WASHINGTON – A coalition of leading civil rights organizations denounce the senseless mass shootings that occurred in Monterey Park, CA and Half Moon Bay, CA during Lunar New Year weekend, and call for swift action to prevent further acts of gun violence. Coalition members include the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Dēmos, Farmworker Justice, NAACP, National Urban League and UnidosUS.
There have been 60 mass shootings this year alone, the highest it has ever been in our nation’s history. This follows the devastating shootings that took the lives of dozens in Buffalo, NY, Uvalde, TX and Colorado Springs, CO in 2022 – tragic events that show gun violence is an epidemic that disproportionately affects marginalized communities, particularly women and communities of color. The recent shootings in California remind us that behind these numbers are real people, families, and communities all touched by death.
Gun violence threatens our communities’ very health, well-being, and freedoms. We urgently need common-sense gun laws and aligned policies that prioritize people over guns, and we must address the unique needs and challenges of underserved communities. This includes investment toward rebuilding community trust and safety that the violence has shattered. The Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay tragedies are only two examples of the far too many mass shootings fueled by hate and too-easy access to high-power weapons.
While we welcome the Biden administration’s strong rebukes against gun violence and the Senate’s reintroduction of the Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Magazine Ban, decisive and comprehensive action is critical to address the trauma that gun violence has inflicted on the victims, bystanders, and their families. A crucial but often overlooked impact of gun violence is the financial cost. The Half Moon Bay shooting targeted farm workers, whose families have now lost a stream of income along with their loved ones. It is not sentimental but factual to state that the victims of mass shootings are not only those whose names are shared in news articles.
As the Asian American community, Latino community, Black community and other racial and ethnic groups begin the arduous process toward healing from these tragedies, we must also invest in the mental health of all in our country. The collective trauma from gun violence is an unnecessary burden that is not only harmful to psychological health on an individual level but also on a societal and national scale. Migrant workers and people of color in particular, face many barriers to healthcare access, which can be especially detrimental in the wake of disasters such as these. Community resources and organizations are instrumental in alleviating these burdens for underserved communities.
In times of tragedy and uncertainty, unity and swift action are more critical than ever. We urge our nation’s leaders to take concrete steps to support and protect their communities.
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The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) influences policy, mobilizes communities and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.
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Dēmos is the think tank for the racial justice movement. Through research, advocacy, strategic communications, litigation, and deep partnerships with grassroots organizations across the country, we build power for Black and brown communities.
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Farmworker Justice (Justicia Campesina) is a nonprofit organization that seeks to empower migrant and seasonal farmworkers to improve their living and working conditions, immigration status, health, occupational safety, and access to justice. We work with farmworkers and their organizations throughout the nation.
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The NAACP advocates, agitates, and litigates for the civil rights due to Black America. Our legacy is built on the foundation of grassroots activism by the biggest civil rights pioneers of the 20th century and is sustained by 21st century activists. From classrooms and courtrooms to city halls and Congress, our network of members across the country works to secure the social and political power that will end race-based discrimination. That work is rooted in racial equity, civic engagement, and supportive policies and institutions for all marginalized people. We are committed to a world without racism where Black people enjoy equitable opportunities in thriving
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The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its 92 local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people annually nationwide. Visit www.nul.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @NatUrbanLeague.
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UnidosUS is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that serves as the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Since 1968, we have challenged the social, economic, and political barriers that affect Latinos through our unique combination of expert research, advocacy, programs, and an Affiliate Network of nearly 300 community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico. We believe in an America where economic, political, and social progress is a reality for all Latinos, and we collaborate across communities to achieve it. For more information on UnidosUS, visit unidosus.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.