Baker said Long “was pretty much fed up, kind of at the end of his rope, and yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did.” Investigators who interviewed Long “got the impression that he understood the gravity” of his actions, according to Baker, who further said “I don’t know if he was remorseful or not.”
Okay, then. We have a white guy who apparently murdered eight people at three locations, injured one other person, and was arrested unharmed despite police having to force his car off the road to apprehend him. And the first thing police have to tell us is what a bad day he had and about his sexual addiction problems that led him to want to eliminate temptation … by murdering people.
First off, let’s be clear that “murdered women because he saw them as a source of sexual temptation” is also very, very bad. Second, a spike in anti-Asian racist incidents over the past pandemic year have disproportionately targeted women, with the founder of Stop AAPI Hate noting, before the Atlanta shootings, “There is an intersectional dynamic going on that others may perceive both Asians and women and Asian women as easier targets.” Third, and this is closely related, gross racist fetishization of Asian women has a long history.
Fourth, sex addiction is not a real condition. It’s mostly an excuse for men who do lousy things: “high libido coupled with low impulse control.” Attributing mass murder to sex addiction suggests an illness is responsible where there is no illness.
The message from the police seems to be this: Gosh, it’s not good what he did, but … he had his reasons—a really bad day, people!—and despite the racial makeup of his victims, we’re going to put a whole laundry list of reasons above racism.
In addition to why Long (allegedly) killed all those people, there’s a question of how. He reportedly bought a gun just hours before the shootings, despite plenty of evidence that he was a guy with access to guns already. “It’s worth asking if waiting periods could’ve prevented this tragedy in Georgia[.] Waiting periods for possession of firearms prevent impulsive, volatile acts of gun violence,” Igor Volsky tweeted. “10 states + DC have waiting periods for at least some types of firearm purchases. Georgia does not.”
Going to buy a gun and then going to three separate establishments, with 30 miles between the first and second, and then planning, as Long told police, to go to Florida to kill some more people would seem to suggest a higher degree of planning than “yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did.”
Police have named the victims at Young’s Asian Massage in Acworth as Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, and Daoyou Feng. Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz was injured. The people killed at the two other locations have not yet been identified by officials.
Long’s victims won’t get to have any more days—not good ones or “really bad” ones.