This article was first published by on Thursday, March 18, 2021:

It took leftist commentators less than 24 hours to conclude that gun culture, racism, and former president were to blame for the horrific attacks that took place in and near Atlanta on Tuesday evening.

First was former president Barack Obama, not wanting to let the moment go to waste. He tweeted:

Even as we've battled the pandemic, we've continued to neglect the longer-lasting epidemic of gun violence in America.

If that wasn't clear enough he added another tweet:

Yesterday's shootings are another tragic reminder that we have far more work to do to put in place commonsense gun safety laws and root out the pervasive pattern of hatred and violence.

Xenophobia was to blame, according to the former Democrat president: “The identity of the victims underscores an alarming rise in anti-Asia violence that must end.”

It didn't matter that the alleged shooter had just undergone a background check to purchase the handgun he used in the murders. It didn't matter that the shooter said race had nothing to do with his attacks.

It certainly didn't matter to Representative Ted Lieu (D-Calif.). He blamed Trump, tweeting:

The former President inflamed discrimination against Asian Americans by using racist phrases like Kung Flu.


I urge any officials who continue to use ethnic identifiers to describe the virus to please stop doing so. You are adding fuel to the fire of hate.

The fact that the virus originated in is beyond dispute. But when described by former president Trump and others as the China virus — indicating its location and not as a racial epithet — it didn't matter to racists such as Lieu.

And in case anyone considered that the shooter had demons related to sex that might have had something to do with Tuesday's attacks, Lieu, the pop psychologist, scoffed at the idea:

Did the murderer … shoot employees at strip clubs to relieve his alleged temptations? Or adult video stores? Or adult movie theaters? NO. He specifically went to three locations that disproportionately had Asian women employees.

Georgia state representative Bee Nguyen opined that “Donald Trump's use of the term ‘China Virus' put a target on the backs of Asians in America.”

Police investigators were much more temperate, stressing that it was far too early to cite a motive for the bloodbath.

Instead something darker and more insidious might have been involved, and investigators were careful in talking around the issue. Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds suggested that the shooter may have a “sexual addiction” and that he “may have frequented some of these [massage parlors] in the past.”

Captain Jay Baker of the same sheriff's office suggested that the shooter “apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction, and sees these locations as … a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate. These locations … he sees them as an outlet for him … something he shouldn't be doing.” Baker added that the shooter, now in custody and charged with four counts of murder, “does claim that [the attacks were] not racially motivated.”

A trickle of evidence is being uncovered about what drove the shooter to kill eight and seriously injure another on Tuesday night. “Pizza, guns, drums, music, family, and God. This pretty much sums up my life. It's a pretty good life,” read the tagline on an Instagram account that appeared to belong to the shooter.

A student who graduated from Sequoyah High with the shooter in 2017, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The Daily Beast, “He was very innocent seeming and wouldn't even cuss. He was sorta nerdy and didn't seem violent from what I remember. He was a hunter and his father was a youth minister or pastor. He was big into religion.”

The Washington Post may perhaps have gotten a little closer to exposing the demons in the shooter's life:

As a teenager, [he] would stack chairs and clean floors at Crabapple First Baptist Church in Milton, Ga., said Brett Cottrell, who led the youth ministry at Crabapple from 2008 to 2017.


[His] father was considered an important lay leader in the church, Cottrell said, and they would attend morning and evening activities on Sundays, as well as meetings on Wednesday evenings and mission trips.


“There's nothing that I'm aware of at Crabapple that would give approval to this,” Cottrell said in an interview, referring to the shootings. “I'm assuming it's as shocking and numbing to them as it has been to me.”

CNN might have come even closer to a possible motive. A roommate of the shooter, who spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity, revealed that the shooter had spent time with him in a rehab center for sexual addiction, that he knew that the shooter was “tortured” by his addiction, and that it conflicted deeply with his . Said the roommate: “It was something that absolutely would torture him.”

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