There has been another horrendous mass shooting.
This one happened last night, in and around Atlanta. A young white man by the name of Robert Aaron Long reportedly gunned down eight people, all but one of them women, at least six of them Asian, at two spas in the Atlanta area before he was apprehended by the police.
Sheriff Frank Reynolds of Cherokee County explained that Long has a “sex addiction” and that he had frequented these spas for sexual gratification before. Sex addiction is not considered a mental illness according to the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Illness nor the one before that; it hasn’t been an official diagnosis since the eighties. Nevertheless, Long seems to have spent some time in rehab for his “sex addiction” in 2019. His roommate from the rehab facility describes him as “tortured” by his disorder because he was “deeply religious” and liked to talk about the Bible. Long is a Southern Baptist. The roommate further explained that Long would go to massage parlors to engage in sex acts with the massage therapists whenever he had a “relapse.”
Long was captured alive en route to Florida where he was reportedly planning to continue his rampage and murder more women. When arrested, he assured the police that this mass murder is “not racially motivated.” He just saw them as a “temptation” he needed to wipe out. That was all there was to it; he struggled with an addiction to sex and was just trying to get right with the Lord by eliminating the temptresses. The police seem to believe him. Sherriff Jay Baker explained, “He was pretty much fed up and kind of at the end of his rope, and yesterday was a really bad day for him, and this is what he did.”
Long’s day was not as bad a day as Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, and Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz had yesterday– Long survived and they did not. It’s not as bad a day as the one Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz is having; she was shot but survived and is recovering in the hospital. It’s not as bad a day as the one the other four people he murdered had either– their names haven’t been publicly released as I write this. But anyway: Long claims to be a person suffering from an addiction that made him violate the tenets of his religious sect, and he was trying to save himself by killing massage therapists from spas he liked to visit. He claims it wasn’t racist at all.
I’m going to be perfectly frank, something I hope you’ve come to expect from me. Robert Aaron Long does not have a “sex addiction” because those aren’t real any more than Neurasthenia, Hysteria, Glass Delusion or other fictitious mental disorders are real. Even if he did, murdering women is not a recognized symptom of sex addiction. Sex addiction, if there is such a thing, makes people want to masturbate. It makes them promiscuous. It makes them think about sex far too often and watch a lot of pornography. It doesn’t cause people to get a gun, get in the car, and go on a shooting rampage. It might make a person want to watch a snuff film where that kind of massacre happens, but it doesn’t make them shoot people.
If the accounts coming out now are true, we can surmise that Robert Aaron Long was a dirty young man who liked to get erotic massages from parlors staffed primarily by Asian women. That was the kind of sexual gratification he voluntarily sought ought even when his religion told him he mustn’t. There are presumably other kinds of people available to have sex with in Atlanta, but he chose Asian massage therapists. No one made him do that. He felt guilty about what he’d done. He tried to go to a rehab facility for treatment but it didn’t work, not surprisingly since sex addiction is not a real mental illness. Then he decided that he had to do something else to cleanse himself of his guilt, so he got a gun and murdered eight people. After that, he drove for the state border so he could murder some more.
That’s a “racially motivated” act if ever there was one.
A white man who has a thing for Asian women and hires them to fulfill his fantasies, then feels guilty, then loses his temper and murders those women because they made him do it, is not viewing Asian women as equals but as tools for his gratification and scapegoats for his sins. That’s racist. That’s being a white supremacist.
A white supremacist who murders eight people in a shooting spree is called a terrorist.
Based on the information we have right now, Robert Aaron Long appears to be yet another white supremacist terrorist like Patrick Crusius and Dylan Roof. White supremacists commit most of the terrorist acts in the United States, but for some reason we’re very skittish about naming them. We shouldn’t be. This is not a problem that’s going to go away by calling it something else– not any more than a racist pervert is going to purge his sin by calling it a mental illness.
Call things what they are.
Image via Pixabay
Mary Pezzulo is the author of Meditations on the Way of the Cross and Stumbling into Grace: How We Meet God in Tiny Works of Mercy. Steel Magnificat operates almost entirely on tips. To tip the author, visit our donate page.