He'd learned the Tennessee Valley Universalist Unity Church was a liberal organization that supported Gays and liberal issues. He hated liberals.
The Sheriff who reported on The message the killer, Jim D. Adkisson, left behind, stated the murders were motivated by "hatred for the liberal movement."
The killer intentionally chose the Universalist United church intentionally, coming prepared to engage in a massacre, with over 70 shotgun shells, ready to keep on shooting people until the police arrived to kill him.
He does not appear to a member of any organized group, but the episode is being investigated as a hate crime.
Those are the facts. Now we have to ask some questions.
Was Adkisson a member of any groups, or a church that might have fomented his hateful views?
Was this a terrorist act? Joe Lauria says so;
Even if this man hopefully acted alone it is chilling to all progressive people and groups, like the Unitarians. Are we free to express our views, indeed to allow our children to perform in a church play?
Adkisson must be tried on terrorism charges and the White House and Congressional leaders must speak out against this form of domestic terrorism too, not just the inflated threat from Islamic extremists that threaten American political and economic interests abroad and help drum up defense contracts at home."
Did he listen to talk radio that espoused ideas or actions that could have inspired his murderous actions? One commenter on the ABC website commented,
Day after day so-called "conservative" radio talk show hosts go on the air and blame the "liberals" for everything that has ever gone wrong in the world often times outright lying about something to bolster the point. The target audience of these shows is the not-too-bright crowd to begin with but a certain percent of any group is going to be mentally or emotionally unstable, this particular group moreso than others perhaps? So day after day these not-too-bright, emotionally unstable folks listen to Lush Rimjaughbe and his ilk tell them that the liberal, god-hating, gay boy, gun grabbers are responsible for making their lives miserable and eventually some of them snap. When this happens lets not pretend that the right wing vitriol that they have been exposing themselves to played no role in the snapping or at the very least the choice of victims.
Did he talk to anyone who could have persuaded him not to take the steps he took? Or did he speak to people who encouraged him to think this way?
R.J. Eskow writes, on the Huffingtonpost.,
Who really killed those Unitarians? Was it the preachers who spread hatred and intolerance? The politicians who court and flatter them instead of condemning their hate speech? The media machine that attacks liberals, calls them "traitors" and suggests you speak to them "with a baseball bat"? The economic system that batters people like Jim Adkinson until they snap, then tells them their real enemies are gays and liberals and secular humanists?
If you ask me, it was all of the above.
You killed them, Pat Robertson. You killed them, Pastor Hagee. You killed them, Ann Coulter. You killed them, Dick Morris and Sean Hannity and the rest of you at Fox News.