Asian American Leaders, Survivors, and Allies to Hold Press Call on New Violence Policy Center Study that Details Gun Industry’s Exploitation of Hate Crimes During the Pandemic to Target Asian Americans as First-Time Gun Owners, Future Pro-Gun Advocates
Xenophobic political statements about China and Chinese people have contributed to rising incidents of racism against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between March and June 2021, Stop AAPI Hate reporting center received 9,000 reports of hate incidents. On March 16, 2021, a 21-year-old white gunman killed eight people, including six Asian women, in three spas in the metropolitan area of Atlanta, Georgia. On April 15, 2021, a 19-year-old white gunman killed eight people, including four Sikhs, at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Exploiting the increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, the gun industry and the corporate gun lobby are targeting the Asian American community as potential new gun buyers and future pro-gun advocates, according to How the Firearms Industry Markets Guns to Asian Americans, a new study from the Violence Policy Center (VPC).
The study will be released on a press call with Violence Policy Center, MomsRising, Newtown Action Alliance, AAPI Victory Alliance and Asian Americans who have been directly impacted by gun violence.
The firearms industry and the corporate gun lobby are currently targeting minority communities in their marketing in response to long-term stagnation in the traditional gun market of white men. This coordinated “diversity” campaign was launched in 2015 at the annual “Industry Summit” held by the Newtown-based National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the gun industry trade association and gun lobby group. Until recently, this campaign focused primarily on Black and Latino Americans (for more information, please see the January 2021 VPC study How the Firearms Industry and NRA Market Guns to Communities of Color), but the gun industry has now ramped up its efforts to target Asian Americans.
Asian Americans have low gun ownership rates, strongly support stricter gun laws, and are the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States. As a result of the AAPI population’s growth, gunmakers view them as an untapped market. And in the eyes of the firearms industry and the corporate gun lobby, the purchase of a firearm is the first step down the path for new gun owners to become future pro-gun advocates and voters.
Media, to RSVP for the event, click here
- Josh Sugarmann, Executive Director, Violence Policy Center
- Gloria Pan, Chinese American, Vice President, Gun Safety, MomsRising
- Po Murray, Korean American, Chairwoman, Newtown Action Alliance
- Varun Nikore, Indian American, Executive Director, AAPI Victory Alliance
- Mike Song, Korean American, father of 15-year-old Ethan Song who was killed by an unsecured gun
An event to convince Asian Americans guns won’t make them, their families or their communities safer and to encourage them to join the efforts to end the gun violence public health crisis in our nation. Studies show having a gun in the home doubles an individual’s risk for homicides and triples the risk of suicides.
Thursday, September 16, 2021 at 1:00 PM ET
WHERE: Zoom Link will be sent after REGISTERING HERE.
Newtown Action Alliance is a Newtown-based, national grassroots organization formed after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Our mission is to achieve the steady and continuous reduction of gun violence through legislative and cultural changes.
MomsRising.org is an on-the-ground and online grassroots organization of more than a million people who are working to increase family economic security, stop discrimination against women and moms, and build a nation where businesses and families can thrive.
The AAPI Victory Alliance, as a policy and advocacy organization, works in partnership with the AAPI Victory Fund along with legislators at the federal and state level to move and implement policies that benefit AAPI communities from a diverse lens, harness last year’s record voter engagement, build grassroots support of candidates who prioritize the AAPI community, and works on policy proposals to improve hate crime reporting and response.