Tennesee church shooter needed help but didn't get it

The Tennesee church shooter, James Adkisson, sounds like many other mass killers in this article from the Knoxville News-Sentinel. In the USA Today, the note he left was described as “irrational.”

In reading the Sentinel article, you get the sad picture of a person who was in need of mental health treatment but did not get it. His ex-wife attended this church which may have been a motive in the shooting.

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  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

    Interesting that you describe Atkisson as “a person who was in need of mental health treatment” …. because according to newspaper reports, inside his house, police officers found a copy of the book “Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder” by radio talk show host Michael Savage.

    (They also found “Let Freedom Ring” by Sean Hannity and “The O’Reilly Factor,” by Bill O’Reilly.)

  • Warren

    The Knoxville paper also quoted a neighbor as saying he didn’t like religion saying the Bible was full of contradictions. The man was all over the place, probably with delusions that included liberalism but not caused by the converse – conservativism.

  • Warren

    So if a Moveon.org member does something deranged, then it will be their fault?

  • jayhuck

    The books found in the man’s house seem to be a testament to his conservatism do they not? I would NEVER go so far as to say his conservative views caused his mental health issues, I’m sure they did not, but anyone who has read the writings of people like Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly with all their dire warnings of liberalism have to wonder just how much these words fed a possibly already deranged mind.

    As for the words of a neighbor – well, those are really just the words of a neighbor –

  • jayhuck

    I’m not saying that the left doesn’t have its own radicals, I’m just trying to bring to light the way people like Sean and Bill try and paint “liberals”. They do not approach the issues in ANY kind of fair and balanced way – and their words do lean towards dire warnings.

  • Warren

    If you hadn’t mentioned Besen’ book…

    Seriously, no, I wouldn’t. I will grant you though that others would. But no, I wouldn’t because of my mental health training and perspective I think.

    Over and over again in these shootings, and I have followed the histories of many of them, the signs of delusions were there and because you can’t make people seek treatment, the needed care is not provided.

    IMO, if there is anything to be learned it is that we have not figured out how to deal with chronic and severe delusional illness. To me it does not help to align these actions with either liberal or conservative ideologies.

  • Evan

    Jayhuck,

    If he read Mein Kampf events would have turned out even worse?

  • NickC

    Imagine the following scenario:

    The shooting is in an evangelical church that hosts an ex-gay ministry and preaches against gay marriage, etc.

    The shooter is a gay man.

    He has made previous statements to a neighbor that he didn’t like religion because the Bible was full of contradictions.

    He leaves irrational notes full of anger against fundamentalists and opponents of gay rights.

    He has a copy of Wayne Besen’s “Bashing Back” in his apartment.

    Warren, don’t you think your comments would have a different tone?

  • jayhuck

    Mein Kampf? – I don’t know – I would hate to speculate about that. I’m simply talking about people who scream and rail against the evils of liberalism – which is as hard a word to define as conservatism – who make all manner of claims regarding liberals and then never have to take responsibility for their words. Words are obviously very powerful things. Does the left have people who do the same sorts of things – yes, they do, but right off the top of my head I can’t think of many who get as much air time or operate under a purportedly fair and balanced banner as Sean and Bill.

    However, I think I’m turning this discussion into something that it was not meant to be – Its not, in the end, really about Bill, Sean, Ann Coulter, Moveon.org or the rest of their unbalanced ilk, it is about a mentally unstable man who needs help – who NEEDED help. None of the pundits above were responsible for this man’s instability – I should probably make that very clear – and Warren is absolutely correct when he says:

    “if there is anything to be learned it is that we have not figured out how to deal with chronic and severe delusional illness. To me it does not help to align these actions with either liberal or conservative ideologies.”

  • http://aebrain.blogspot.com Zoe Brain

    Seriously, no, I wouldn’t. I will grant you though that others would. But no, I wouldn’t because of my mental health training and perspective I think.

    Funnily enough.. I believe you. Actually, it never occurred to me that you would.

    Integrity is rare, but I can recognise it 9 times out of 10 when I see it.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Thanks, Zoe.