Many of us intuited at the time that Adkisson's rampage was exactly the kind of rancid fruit that would inevitably take root in an American countryside thickly composted with two decades of hate radio bullshit, freshly turned and watered with growing middle-class frustration over the failing economy. That suspicion that was verified in the days that followed, when police searched Adkisson's apartment and found it filled with books and newsletters penned by Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and other right-wing hate talkers.
The connection between conservative talk-radio and the shooter's actions became even more evident with the release at his sentencing of a 4-page hand-written minifesto. In it he lays out his thinking, which as chilling as it may be, makes you wonder how prevalent it is.
"Know this if nothing else: This was a hate crime. I hate the damn left-wing liberals. There is a vast left-wing conspiracy in this country & these liberals are working together to attack every decent & honorable institution in the nation, trying to turn this country into a communist state.
"I thought I'd do something good for this Country Kill Democrats til the cops kill me....Liberals are a pest like termites.
In the Orcinus post, Sara seems to be saying that this Manifesto and the future writings of Adkisson are liable to become as popular as the Turner Diaries with the hate crowd. Which, by the way, Wikipedia explains was "initially only available through mail order and at gun shows." Do you think that's true; is this guy bound to become a hero to some?
She makes no bones about blaming the talk radio crowd.
Nicely done, Messrs. Hannity, Goldberg, Limbaugh, Savage and O'Reilly -- and all your lesser brethren who keep the hate speech spewing 24/7/365 across every field and into every shop in the country. There is no more debate to be had, no more doubt about it: What you did in the name of "entertainment," and for the sake of the almighty ratings, raised and animated a monster like Jim Adkisson, gave him a list of targets ("the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book"), and was directly responsible for the deaths of two brave and decent people. Adkisson was clearly angry and crazy -- but his "manifesto" draws the clearest, brightest line possible between the media he consumed and his actions that terrible Sunday morning.Is it fair to blame them? What's your opinion on that? Do you think Jim Adkisson is an anomaly, or are there many just like him, ready to blow?
The last time we talked about this, I said, "The problem seems to be when these lethal weapons get into the wrong hands, whether those are the hands of a ghetto drug addict or an unhinged right wing bigot, we've got trouble. I say the fewer guns the better."
He did the crime with a shotgun, which as far as I know, no one is seriously suggesting we ban. But, perhaps this case illustrates another phenomenon we've often touched upon. Presuming he owned the shotgun legally and previously had been a law-abiding citizen, on the day of the shooting he became part of the "flow."
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