8 Killed in Atlanta Massage Parlor Shootings

Andrew Donaldson

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home.

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71 Responses

  1. Avatar Philip H
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    says:

    Cue the “well, you have to understand” white man with mental issues defense against racially focused domestic terrorism in 3 … 2 …Report

  2. Avatar Oscar Gordon
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    says:

    I have been seeing a lot of anti-Asian abuse/violence in the news lately. Where is this coming from? Is the the Trump vs. China rhetoric?Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Oscar Gordon
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      says:

      Not sure if it is connected, but at the start of the pandemic, I know there was a lot of abuse/violence directed at Asian-Americans in NYC since some folks saw the virus as their fault.

      It possibly went on beyond the start but at that time I was working alongside a Chinese-American woman who was sharing these stories so I was more aware at that point.Report

    • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Oscar Gordon
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      says:

      Yes and no. A lot of the anti-Asian incidents in NYC and the San Francisco area have been carried out by African-Americans.Report

      • Avatar InMD in reply to LeeEsq
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        says:

        I think the media sees a capital-n Narrative which is so far way over-determined. I mean, is a white guy shooting up massage parlers killing people of multiple races really connected to a beating of an Asian person by black people across the country? Are there really numbers to suggest some sort of trend is happening or is this just noise?

        And hey I’m open to evidence there is. But I don’t think we should just accept that’s the case, especially not when inflammatory reporting about racial tensions is the media meal-ticket du jour.Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Oscar Gordon
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      says:

      There is a strong correlation – hell Trump was even calling it the China Virus at CPAC a few weeks ago. No one ever seems to want to discuss causation though.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Philip H
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        I can see the correlation (and the fact that most people can’t visually differentiate between someone from China, or Korea, or Japan, or SE Asia/Indonesia), it’s the causation I’m curious about.

        Is this the same anti-immigrant attitudes that Hispanics put up with just getting applied to a new immigrant set? Or something new?Report

        • Avatar Philip H in reply to Oscar Gordon
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          says:

          Time will tell, sadly.Report

        • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Oscar Gordon
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          says:

          Possibly? Though I remember when I was a college student, a certain subset of the other white students used to say bad things about both East Asian and South Asian fellow students, mainly in the vein of “we’re gonna miss out on OUR chance in life ‘cos of them danged furriners” – generally these were people who were going to do okay themselves in life so I didn’t quite get it. (Not that there is anything to “get” about racism)

          But they seemed to think the Asian folk (who had the stereotype of being high achievers) were going to “take their place.” I also know Desi friends of mine in grad school talked about taking abuse from people because they were different and often because they were immigrants or children of immigrants.

          This may be one part “distrust of the ‘other,'” one part “Hey I might not get ‘mine’ because someone else came here and worked harder” (or whatever.)Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    The cops interviewed the guy and the guy gave an accounting of his motives.

    And, now, we get to have a discussion of the extent to which we can rely on the stated motives of someone who committed an atrocity.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      For the record, if it’s a “hate crime” (which it certainly appears to be), the consequences are a lot worse than if it’s a crime borne of something akin to mental illness (which he seems to be claiming it is).

      It’s to his benefit to be believed on this!Report

    • Avatar Philip H in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      Why wouldn’t we rely on their stated motives? Was Hitler or Bin Landen unclear? Or Dillon Roof? Or any of the people who actually attacked the Capitol?

      Its questions like this that always make me think you are just trolling to own the libs Jaybird.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Philip H
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        says:

        Why wouldn’t we rely on their stated motives?

        Because he’s arguing that he did it because of sex addiction and not racism.

        It’s to his benefit to be believed on this.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          Someone’s drug or alcohol addiction is not an excuse for the crimes committed, this should be no different. It’s rarely a mitigating factor except for very minor crimes.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Oscar Gordon
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            says:

            I agree with that, but the argument seems to be that this was (obviously) an Anti-Asian Hate Crime.

            His statement, self-serving as it is, argues that it was not Anti-Asian. Merely anti-sex worker.Report

            • Avatar Philip H in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              No it was anti-ASIAN sex worker in as much as there’s reporting he had been there before.

              And as you note its in his best interest to plead mental illness. He’s not clueless.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Philip H
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                says:

                If you spend more than five seconds around the weirdo -chan misogynist set, you’ll quickly see that these dude have a whole smorgasbord of dysfunction involving sex and race. It’s all mixed together. Asian fetishism goes hand in hand with their general misogyny. There’s not big mystery here. Trying to nail it down to “racism and nothing else” or “sexism and nothing else”, or even “anti-sex worker prejudice and nothing else” — these all miss the point. It’s all of these things all mixed together, fueled by a toxic subculture full of men who feed off each other. They hate what they desire. It’s pure narcissism.

                Note, I don’t actually know that this guy is part of the broad -chan culture, but who wants to take bets?Report

              • Avatar Philip H in reply to veronica d
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                says:

                You forgot the part about the rise in anti-Asian violence generally and the year our President – whom many of these men looked up to – spent blaming Chinese people for a pandemic he refused to control.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to veronica d
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                says:

                So, you spent more than 5 seconds around that set?

                Why?Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                Ha! Now that’s a very good question.

                Partly it’s perverse curiosity. Sometimes it’s fun to gaze into the abyss. Partly it’s the fact I’m a nerd and my media interests overlap with theirs, so I’ll encounter them in general discussion forums. Thus one inevitably learns to spot such people. In fact, it’s useful to quickly spot them, as they are pretty toxic, and the sooner you recognize them, the less damage they can do.

                In fact I encountered one today. At least I suspect I did. This was on a discord server for an anime-themed video game. Mostly the folks there are cool and pretty down to earth. However, a very socially maladjusted dipshit burst onto the scene and said nasty stuff, some of it directed toward me. The mods quickly banned them, as I’m sure they’ve learned (as I have) that such people don’t get better over time, nor do they listen to mod instructions.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to veronica d
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                says:

                I reckon at some point I’m going to have to sit down and teach Bug how to spot and avoid such people.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                Well, unless she gets into video game culture, or various related nerd-doms, she probably won’t encounter them much. That said, creepy dudes who don’t understand ‘no’ are out there. Every parent will need to talk about that at some point.

                If I could give young people one bit of advice — and this applies regardless of gender: if someone makes you feel uncomfortable, if they are ignoring your boundaries, trust your feelings. Get away from the situation. Talk to people about it.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to veronica d
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                says:

                FYI, Bug is a he. That may change someday, but for the moment, Bug is a he.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                Oops! Sorry.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to veronica d
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                says:

                No worries. 🙂Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Philip H
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                says:

                That seems to be a good reason to not rely on his stated motives.Report

  4. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    The alleged murderer comes from a Baptist fundiegelical background and appears to be a frequent customer of massage parlors: https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/03/17/us/shooting-atlanta-acworthReport

  5. Avatar Saul Degraw
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    says:

    Despite the reasons for the murders, it should be noted that countries without easy access to guns do not have stories like this on a regular basis. The United States makes it extremely easy to kill people and is filled with people who will scream blue in the face that access to guns is not the reason these murders happen. It is the reason the mass murders happen.Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    There is also a law enforcement wrinkle to the story.

    Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      Welp, you have to understand that Billy was just in a bad way, and he decided to take it out on some sex workers, as one does. Normally, this kind of thing just results in a single beaten or dead hooker, but Billy just took it too far, and we can’t be having that. But we caught him, and we’ll have a sit down with him and explain that he just can’t be doing that…Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Oscar Gordon
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        says:

        When I see for calls for new gun laws in the wake of an awful situation like this, I just want to ask “so you’re looking for this guy* to have yet another excuse to pull his gun on an unarmed black teenager standing on his own porch?”

        *or a guy just like this guyReport

        • Avatar InMD in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          Any argument where the best case scenario, based on its own terms, is that the only people allowed to have guns are the Derek Chauvins of the world needs some serious rethinking.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
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            says:

            Any argument where the best case scenario, based on its own terms, is that the only people allowed to enforce the law are the Derek Chauvins of the world needs some serious rethinking.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              Are you still a fan of house to house searches and confiscation of all guns?

              Or are you in a “we need to back-burner that… police reform is more important” place now that you’ve had two years’ worth of new information?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                I still don’t see any moral justification for any “right” to own a deadly weapon.
                Firearms should be a tightly regulated privilege granted on need.

                Maybe there is some logic behind thinking two more years of gun deaths would make a case for such a right, but it escapes me.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Do you mind if I conclude that you’re still a fan of house to house searches and gun confiscation, then?

                Will you feel like this is a misrepresentation of your position?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Not necessarily.

                If someone accepts that there is no right to automatic rifles, is it fair to say they are a fan of house to house searches and confiscation?

                The answer in both cases is yes, but…there is a vast territory between “Strict regulation” and “House to house searches. Collapsing that vast territory into a soundbite is pretty dumb.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Yes, one can hold X should not be allowed, or subject to greater control, while also recognizing that getting to that state through aggressive action is likely to have significant and horrific consequences.

                ETA: That said, there’s a lot of people who are perfectly fine with those horrific consequences, even excited for them, and it’s fair to ask the question.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                I mean, I can understand saying “yes, I understand that we spent all of last year arguing about whether the police needed reform and, yes, I remember that we had those arguments but, let’s face it, look at the number of gun deaths we had last year (DURING A PANDEMIC!) and look at the number of innocent or unarmed people killed by the police. If we cut the number of gun deaths in half, we could multiply the number of innocent and unarmed people killed by the police by 10 and *STILL BE AHEAD OF THE GAME*.”

                I mean, just using a vulgar utilitarian calculus, the numbers are the numbers.

                And, yes, I’m adding “suicide” into “gun deaths”. But that’s not the point.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Please understand, Chip.

                When I asked “Are you still a fan of house to house searches and confiscation of all guns?”, I linked to a comment where you said that you wanted house to house searches and confiscation of all guns.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Yes, and I stand by that.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Okay, fair enough.

                It’s weird how much power you want to give the cops.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                “Power of police”, like “size of government” only ever applies to laws people don’t like in the first place.

                No one ever says, “Wow, cops have too much power to arrest burglars and shoplifters, we need to revoke those laws!”

                If you believe in strong gun rights, just say so, don’t shroud it in some cloak of small government rhetoric.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Chip, you’re talking about, let me copy and paste this, “house to house searches”.

                Me saying “I don’t want the same cops we were protesting last year doing house to house searches” does not require me believing in strong gun rights.

                It just has to require me saying “I don’t want the same cops we were protesting last year doing house to house searches”.

                Me saying “I don’t want the same cops we were protesting last year doing house to house searches” isn’t even a particularly libertarian position, as libertarian positions go.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                You don’t want the cops to have the power to do house to house searches?

                Ever, under any circumstances, no matter what?

                Or, is the house to house search power only limited to things you care about?

                How about this idea, now just hear me out because I’m spitballing:

                How about the police only be allowed to conduct house to house searches under a court order, which needs to be backed up by compelling evidence presented to a judge justifying such a draconian invasion of rights?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Would each house have a warrant?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                And now you know why people seriously object to any kind of gun registry.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                No they don’t.

                Even people who support strong gun rights, agree that there is no right to a fully automatic weapon, and further, they agree that with a warrant, the FBI and local police should have the power to search someone’s home and confiscate automatic weapons.

                What I said is pretty much the consensus view of about 95% of Americans.

                It’s weird to me how this gun rights absolutism magically, and without any apparent logic, stops exactly at whatever position people want to own.

                Fully automatic rifles? Of course there’s no right to own one!

                Semi-automatic bumpstock high powered large capacity rifles? Ermagerd, Jesus His own self handed down that right!

                Even the individual right to a gun is younger than anyone commenting here; It didn’t explicitly exist until very recently.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                This is either utterly dishonest or so disconnected from reality that I don’t even know where to begin.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                As for the warrant, no, they shouldn’t, because judges have clearly and definitively shown that they will sign a search warrant on the absolute thinnest of pretense, and police have shown that if they have even an inkling that the execution of that warrant might involve danger, they will execute with overwhelming and careless violence.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Oscar Gordon
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        says:

        The sheriff was explicitly telling the suspect’s version of events, not endorsing it.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      Robby Soave at Reason provides some additional context here as well a link to the full video of this press conference. He appears to be relaying what the shooter said, rather than stating his own opinion.Report

  7. Avatar Brandon Berg
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    says:

    Andrew Sullivan gives the media a well-deserved trip out behind the woodshed for their narrative-driven coverage of this story. As additional facts come in, it’s looking more and more like his sex-addiction story was, in fact, an honest explanation of his motives. Obviously that’s still seriously fished up in a lot of ways, but it’s not fished up in the specific ways the media needed it to be to feed the narrative they initially tried to shoehorn it into.

    We should not take the killer’s confession as definitive, of course. But we can probe it — and indeed, his story is backed up by acquaintances and friends and family. The New York Times originally ran one piece reporting this out. The Washington Post also followed up, with one piece citing contemporaneous evidence of the man’s “religious mania” and sexual compulsion. It appears that the man frequented at least two of the spas he attacked. He chose the spas, his ex roommates said, because he thought they were safer than other ways to get easy sex. Just this morning, the NYT ran a second piece which confirms that the killer had indeed been in rehab for sexual impulses, was a religious fanatic, and his next target was going to be “a business tied to the pornography industry.”

    We have yet to find any credible evidence of anti-Asian hatred or bigotry in this man’s history. Maybe we will. We can’t rule it out. But we do know that his roommates say they once asked him if he picked the spas for sex because the women were Asian. And they say he denied it, saying he thought those spas were just the safest way to have quick sex. That needs to be checked out more. But the only piece of evidence about possible anti-Asian bias points away, not toward it.

    And yet. Well, you know what’s coming. Accompanying one original piece on the known facts, the NYT ran nine — nine! — separate stories about the incident as part of the narrative that this was an anti-Asian hate crime, fueled by white supremacy and/or misogyny. Not to be outdone, the WaPo ran sixteen separate stories on the incident as an anti-Asian white supremacist hate crime. Sixteen! One story for the facts; sixteen stories on how critical race theory would interpret the event regardless of the facts. For good measure, one of their columnists denounced reporting of law enforcement’s version of events in the newspaper, because it distracted attention from the “real” motives. Today, the NYT ran yet another full-on critical theory piece disguised as news on how these murders are proof of structural racism and sexism — because some activists say they are.

    Report

  8. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    Aella has her take on the shootings and she’s upset that all of the focus is on Race instead of the whole “Sex Worker” thing.

    Report

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