For Immediate Release
Seia Watanabe, VP Public Affairs
Matthew Weisbly, Education & Communications Coordinator
What should have been a joyous weekend as the Monterey Park community celebrated the New Year, instead turned into an unbelievable tragedy as 10 people were killed and 10 more sent to hospital emergency rooms from another incidence of gun violence.
The Monterey Park community is widely known as the first suburban Chinatown and is over 65% Asian American. The Asian American community has experienced a heightened level of fear over the past three years, in addition to the history of racism and xenophobia directed toward our communities. However, we are not the only communities living in fear of violence, a fear that is only heightened because of the ease with which someone might, in anger, choose to release those feelings in a barrage of gunfire with deadly consequences.
Although the killer’s motivations are still unknown, we do know that a semi-automatic weapon, with a potentially illegal high-capacity magazine, was used to carry out the mass murder. In the time since the Monterey Park shooting, there have already been two mass shooting incidents in Louisiana and numerous individual victims across the country.
The demographics of all those who were victims of gun violence this weekend are as diverse as the nation we live in. The only commonality was that they were killed or injured by gunfire. We must recognize this commonality and act as a nation to reduce the risk of harm from guns in this country. When will our lawmakers listen to the majority of Americans who agree that enough is enough and we need sensible gun safety laws?
The JACL joins the Monterey Park community and the broader AANHPI community in mourning those lost in this senseless act of violence. Our hearts are with the families and loved ones of the victims, and with those currently recovering from their injuries.