We are heartbroken over the Monterey Park violence. We grieve as we hold in the Light all those who were killed and wounded in yet another mass shooting in our country. We grieve over the loss of life in a predominantly Asian American community on a day that should have been a celebration for a new year of peace and kindness.
We grieve for the senseless killing of innocent civilians by another civilian, and the gunman’s taking of his own life. We grieve for the hundreds of mass shootings each year in our country, and for the inability of our lawmakers to take the necessary action, or even the most basic steps, to address this plague of killing across our nation.
We grieve as we hold in the Light all those who were killed and wounded in yet another mass shooting in our country.
The killing of 10 and the wounding of another 10 people on the eve of the Lunar New Year in Monterey Park, CA, highlights the need for stricter gun violence prevention laws throughout the country. Although California has among the strictest gun laws in the United States, still the mass killing happened. Like the majority of other mass killings, the shooter used an assault weapon designed to kill many quickly. Had he not been stopped by the courageous actions of other community members; he would have killed more.
The Monterey mass killing is the fifth of its kind in 2023. The Gun Violence Archive reported that it has already surpassed the number in January 2022. How many more mass killings will it take for Congress to enact stricter gun control laws?
The fact that the mass killings took place in a predominantly Asian American community – by an Asian American gunman – makes the violence more senseless. Stop AAPI Hate, which has been compiling data since 2021, reported last year that hate and violence incidents against Asian American and Pacific Islanders surged to over 11,467 incidents. They report that this number is just the tip of the iceberg.
Today, there are more guns than people in the United States. The widespread availability of weapons – particularly high-powered assault rifles – threatens all our communities. It radically escalates the potential for individuals who want to harm others – whatever their motive – to kill rapidly. Yet, despite widespread public support for banning assault refiles, Congress has not banned these deadly weapons.
As more details unfold about the Monterey Park mass shooting, we will continue holding all those affected, and our whole country, in the Light. The Monterey Park – and other mass shootings – will continue to be on top of the minds of our advocates, including the hundreds of young people who will descend on Washington, DC in March to continue calling on Congress to take the urgent, necessary steps to end gun violence in our communities.