Following several mass shootings in predominantly Asian-American communities, Asian-Americans are buying more guns than ever before.
CNN reports that the surge follows two mass shootings that received widespread media coverage, in the California communities of Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, where Asian perpetrators carried out two separate shootings during Lunar New Year celebrations. Prior to these incidents, Asian-Americans began seeing an increase in violence against them during the 2020 race riots, with numerous viral videos of Asians being viciously attacked in the streets or on public transportation, most often by African-American culprits.
A survey by the Pew Research Center in 2021 determined that just 10 percent of Asian adults in the U.S. reported owning a firearm, while another 10 percent admitted to living with a gun owner in their house. By contrast, 36 percent of White adults reported gun ownership while 11 percent said they live with a gun owner. But a subsequent report by the National Firearms Survey saw that Asians made up a significant portion of new gun owners in 2021.
The rising trend has drawn concern from far-left activists who fundamentally oppose gun rights. Gloria Pan, a spokeswoman for the anti-gun group Moms Rising, cited her own Asian identity as an excuse to claim that increased gun ownership will not solve or prevent violence.
“Bringing guns into the AAPI community will only increase gun violence in our community,” Pan said, with no evidence. She cited the example of the Monterey Park shooter, whom she described as “an ostensibly harmless elderly Asian man” whose “mind was captured by the idea of guns. He decided they were a good idea and brought them into the community. Look what happened.” In fact, the shooter in question, Huu Can Tran, carried out the shooting because he was targeting his ex-wife.
In response to Pan and other progressives discouraging gun ownership, biotech worker Trish Sargentini, who bought her own handgun during the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, defended the concept of gun ownership among Asian-Americans.
“Why are you trying to disarm and further repress an entire group of people?” said Sargentini, 34. “It’s like saying women who can read are threatening, right? Other women, women of color, minorities, the disenfranchised, this is an opportunity for them to learn protection of self, learn a new skill. We want to be good people and be good citizens.”