It turns out that the violent and deadly attack on Liberal Unitarian Universalists who supported Gay Rights was yet another Right Wing Gun Toting Conservative attack. So, yesterday’s violence can be added to another suspected case of a similar nature, the murder several days ago of a trans-gender student in Colorado.

Jim D. Adkisson, 58, ranted that “liberals and gays” taking jobs had prevented him from finding work. He wrote that he expected to keep shooting parishioners until the police showed up and killed him, Knoxville, Tenn., Police Chief Sterling Owen told a news conference.

and in Colorado:

An 18-year-old found dead inside her Colorado apartment last week may have been targeted because she was transgender, police said. …

Born a male, Justin Zapata, 18, identified herself as a woman and was known to family and friends as Angie. Her body was found in her apartment a week ago, with wounds to the head and face, police say.


Hate crime rates are up in a number of places, including Los Angeles and San Fernando in California.


  1. #1 Stephanie Z
    July 28, 2008

    Think the Catholic League can generate some outrage about actual dead people?

    I’ll bet the “militias” are gearing back up too. While I think this means the reactionaries are realizing they’re losing their grip on society, I’d really prefer my signs of change not to have faces and puncture wounds.

  2. #2 Brian X
    July 28, 2008

    Greg, how dare you question peoples’ right to suppress those who try to get them to shed their prejudices and greed? Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go put up my Weasel Stomping Day decorations.

  3. #3 Jeb, FCD
    July 28, 2008

    I wonder how many of these closeted fucksticks are fans of the Left Behind series of “books”.

  4. #4 sailor
    July 28, 2008

    “Think the Catholic League can generate some outrage about actual dead people?”
    No they reserve their passion for crackers, weeping virgins and stigmata.
    The whole cracker thing did have me wondering about symbolism and personality types. Many people treat symbols as more important than humnas (for example they would cheerfully imprison a human for descrating a flag). I wonder what other personality traits that all all correlates with.
    Also, notice that PZ never got any threatening letters from Muslims, Jesus and Mo slides by also. Which makes me think all religious anger is highly organized by those who can gain from it. Little is spontaneous. In the case of Muslims the protestors may be paid. Check out the link I put with my name for an intersting take on that.

  5. #5 Alan Kellogg
    July 28, 2008

    Two incidents in a population of 300+ million. Such a trend.

    These incidents are distressing because they are so rare. There are some things you just don’t do. Not if you’re a normal, healthy human being. You’ll note that Adkisson was described by some of his neighbors as being friendly. To them he was, because they were the sort of people who fit into his idea of the good guys. He got fired, got frustrated looking for a job, and this exacerbated his feelings regarding segments of our population.

    Adkisson was acting on feelings most every suicidally depressed person feels. He wanted revenge on those he thought made him feel the way he did. Most of the time the suicide itself suffices, but sometimes the suicide wants to cause physical as well as emotional pain.

    The person who killed Ms. Zapata is another matter. For here we have an act directed at a specific person for a specific reason. Adkisson was going after people of a type. Ms. Zapata was targeted because of who she was, and what she was. Targeting a human being, even if you don’t consider them human, is a harder thing to do than lashing out against faceless strangers. Odds are, Adkisson just wanted to hurt people, and was surprised that anyone actually died. Angie’s killer wanted her dead, and that makes all the difference.

    A conservative trend? I very much doubt it. One was done out of frustration, hatred, and fear. The other out of hatred and fear. None of those emotions are exclusive to any particular political or social philosophy.

  6. #6 Stephanie Z
    July 28, 2008

    Alan, read to the end of the post.

  7. #7 tguy
    July 28, 2008

    A little off-topic but apropos the comments:

    When that furor broke out over the Danish cartoons a couple years ago, one thing which escaped notice was that, other than Nigeria which is a basket-case unto itself, and a purported murder in Rome where the perp seems to have had a prior conflict with a priest – aside from those exceptions almost all the people who died were Muslim. Muslims got the ball rolling committing property crimes like looting, breaking, burning – throw in violent rhetoric, show of force and threats – but the deaths began in earnest when law enforcement responded with deadly force. Please, to any trolls present, KNOW THAT I DON’T CONDONE RIOTING AND VIOLENCE FOR ANY REASON, ESPECIALLY RELIGION. I also don’t have any great sympathy for the rampaging mobs. I’m only countering the misconception that “Muslims went out and killed a lot of people over cartoons”. Mostly, they got themselves killed. (Screw religion.)

    I also recall reading that many of the riots are thought to have been stirred up by political agitators. (Screw politics too.)

    Some British reporter was keeping a web site that tracked the deaths, what country and what religious group. If it still exists I can try to find and link to it (provided I can remember what thread I’m on here). But it’s not like I’ve got any magic sources – this was all in the news as reported, just peoples’ perception filtered what they took away from that.

  8. #8 tguy
    July 28, 2008

    By the same token, I think it wise to question whether we’re seeing what we think, or another social phenomenon altogether, filtered through a particular world view that interprets it as conservative on liberal violence. If we knew all the underlying variables they might show it to be something else.

  9. #9 sailor
    July 29, 2008

    Liberal violence? Throwing your tepid latte at someone?

  10. #10 Greg Laden
    July 29, 2008

    I thought the contention that this was “conservative violence” would be controversial. But no, it is mainly the idea of the violence increasing that is controversial. So, we have gotten somewhere and are prepared to recognize anti-gay and racist hate crimes as the manefestation of conservative politics. Good.

    I have to tell you that I’m a little uncomfortable about assertions that violence is on the increase wheever I see that. Mostly, on the large scale, violence has been on the decrease for a couple/few hundred years. The murder rate in the Midwest (which was then the west) and beyond in the US in the 19th century was far higher than any non-combat zone murder rate anywhere i the world right now, for instance, and it was not particularly out of wack (for frontier zone).

    But, as I do cite, there does seem to be an increase in Conservative on Liberal violence, and certainly the attitude (see Crackermania) is there.

    We await the accurately recored and well analyzed statistics that will test the hypothesis that the bush administration is correlated, maybe associated, with increased personal politically motivated violence, whether as a targeted attack or as a “lonely suicidal person” who just happens to kill a bunch of people he is politically opposed to.

  11. #11 Stephanie Z
    July 29, 2008

    Sailor, “Then she cut him with an epigram and slew him with a word.”

  12. #12 JanieBelle
    August 2, 2008

    This morning’s NYT article has more details on the Zapata case:

    Mr. Andrade told investigators that he thought he had “killed it,” according to an affidavit filed by the police. Mr. Andrade, who is in custody, has said nothing publicly about the killing, and his arraignment has not yet been scheduled.

    On Thursday, the Weld County district attorney announced that he would prosecute the killing as a hate crime, which carries an additional 18-month sentence if Mr. Andrade is convicted.