This week, as we remember and honor the 18 lives lost in the tragic mass shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, the Asian Pacific Fund, Asian Pacific Community Fund, and Hope and Heal Fund call for the Asian American community to participate and speak out to end gun violence.
As a community, Asian Americans have expressed strong support for taking action to end gun violence; however, Asian Americans have also demonstrated a surge in gun ownership within our community despite the inherent risks that access to firearms poses, escalating hate-motivated violence. Both facts are rooted in fear – fear of othering, fear of violence, and fear that current systems don’t adequately protect our communities.
In California, Asian Americans are the fastest-growing group, constituting 17% of the state’s residents. With such a significant presence, it is imperative that we actively participate and speak out on root causes and community-centered solutions that promote safety for all.
We must empower ourselves to confront this issue of gun violence and dare to take decisive action, including:
- Investing in community education on the risks of gun ownership, promoting responsible gun ownership, safe storage practices, and background checks, and empowering through education to prevent accidents and misuse
- Embracing community-based violence intervention (CVI) to reduce gun-related harm and support CVI programs targeting high-risk individuals in affected communities
By being a part of the solution, we not only safeguard our community but also contribute to the broader effort in addressing and mitigating the impacts of gun violence.