Were the shootings at massage parlors and spas in or near Atlanta a planned "false flag" event to push gun control through Congress? No, that's not true. The shootings in Atlanta on March 16, 2021, that killed eight people happened when a 21-year-old man opened fire in three spas and massage parlors, according to law enforcement agencies and national news outlets. There is no evidence that the shooting rampage was done by anyone other than one suspect who blamed his actions on a sex addiction, according to CBS News.
The false flag claim appeared as a video published on BitChute by X22 Report on March 18, 2021, titled "Ep. 2430b - We Have Reached Cruising Altitude A While Ago, Prepare For Landing" (archived here) which opened with an advertisement for a collagen dietary supplement followed by:
Hi and welcome. You're listening to the X22 Report, my name is Dave and this episode is 2,430BN. Today's date is March 18, 2021 and the title of today's episode is "We Have Reached Cruising Altitude A While Ago, Prepare for Landing." ...We knew that they were going to need an event, a crisis to push their gun control.
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:
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The video 39-minute video makes several claims but this fact-check will address a primary one: The claim that the series of mass shootings that occurred at three spas and massage parlors in or near Atlanta was a "false flag." A "false flag" is a conspiracy theory that a covert operation took place to cover up the real purpose and the real people responsible (so-called "Deep State" government and officials) by blaming another.
The video offers no evidence to back up the conspiracy theory of a "false flag" and instead points to posts by various prominent people who expressed shock at the deadly shootings and the need for more stringent gun control as proof of a conspiracy.
At 13:13 the video claims:
Now you can see that the Deep State, the main stream media and China who is controlling all of this, they are pushing the Atlanta shooting like we've never seen before. Now, we knew there was a false flag that was going to happen. We knew that this was going to happen. Because they have a lot of gun control bills that just passed the House. Dianne Feinstein, she has hers in the Senate. We knew that they were going to need an event, a crisis to push their gun control."
The two pieces of legislation referred to in the video would not have altered events surrounding the Atlanta shootings. Legislation requiring background checks and extending the time the FBI has to perform the background check passed the House on March 11, 2021, but faces "insurmountable opposition" in the Senate, according to The New York Times.
On March 11, 2021, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California introduced a new bill that was an "assault weapons ban," that would ban the sale, manufacture, transfer, and importation of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines but would not take them away from current owners," FOX News reported.
Neither the House bill nor the Senate bill would have stopped the shooting in Atlanta -- the suspect purchased a 9mm handgun legally the day of the shootings, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported, but he had no prior record that would have stopped him from purchasing the weapon had there been a waiting period for purchasing the gun. There is currently no waiting period in Georgia.
There is no publicly available evidence that anyone other than a single gunman armed with a 9mm handgun killed victims at three locations. The family of the lone suspect, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, worked with law enforcement to help apprehend him after he opened fire at the spas, Atlanta's 11 Alive News reported.
As reported by the Washington Post, Fox News and ABC News, Long blamed a sex addiction -- not the "deep state" or mainstream media or China -- as his motive for the shootings, where six of the eight fatal victims were Asian.
The video claims that a group of Democratic politicians -- current and former -- all posting messages on social media after the shooting were proof that a "false flag" took place for them to push gun control legislation.
The video says at 15:01, "But Obama, he wasted no time. He waited less than 24 hours to issue calls for greater gun control measures."
In a tweet, former President Barack Obama said:
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 patterns of hatred and violence in our society.
-- Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 17, 2021
The video continues with a screenshot of tweets from Democratic politicians posted on the Telegram account "Pepe Lives Matter":
The video says:
Mel Q pointed out that all the same players, as usual, put out their talking points pretty much around the same time. And all the wording is pretty much the same. We have Biden, Clinton, Schumer, Schiff, Pelosi and Kamala Harris. All talking about the shooting and racism and Asians and you name it. This is how you know that it was completely planned. When they tweet out the same exact thing at the same time. We know who pushed this. Now, was this person an innocent which they completely controlled? Maybe or maybe not. But you can see how this works. Biden was talking about gun control, they were talking about confiscating the weapons. But the only way to do this is to create a 'false flag' or a crisis."
There is no evidence tying the alleged shooter to any of the six politicians mentioned, nor evidence that there was a directive from any of them -- or anyone else-- to suspect Robert Aaron Long.