Earlier this month, the Asian American community experienced back to back tragedies during the Lunar New Year season. First was the mass shooting in Monterey Park, CA, with 11 victims, all Asian American. The second mass shooting happened only two days later in Half Moon Bay, where seven people, five Chinese, and two Latinos, were killed at two Northern California mushroom farms. The South Asian Public Health Association (SAPHA) expresses our deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the recent victims of these horrific tragedies.
We grieve for the losses experienced by the community. Lunar New Year is one of the most important and joyous holidays for many Asian Americans, and what should have been a time of celebration was instead upended by violence and tragic loss.
If you reside in California, are in need of someone to talk to and would like support, we advise you to call 211, for connections to mental health resources. You can also call 988, which is the nationwide number for mental health crises support. The AAPI Equity Alliance has also compiled a comprehensive list of resources.
We stand in solidarity with the Asian American community and implore the leaders of our nation to act against gun violence and keep all of our communities safe from senseless violence.
Gun violence is a public health crisis.
Gun violence is a leading cause of premature death in the United States, with 3,469 deaths, 397 injuries and 49 mass shootings in the past month alone. The epidemic of gun violence affects the health, well-being and public safety of our communities. While mass shootings are the most visible, as a public health organization, SAPHA knows that gun violence disproportionately impacts the Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities in the form of daily violence.
This is why we urgently need comprehensive, evidence-based, community-driven policy solutions to prevent gun violence and support those who are healing in its wake. Taking this approach is the only public health solution that will keep our families and communities safe. We implore our elected officials to consider comprehensive and meaningful gun reform legislation to prevent the continued rise of gun violence and stop future tragedies like the ones in Monterey Park, Half Moon Bay, Uvalde, Buffalo, Chicago, New York, Hialeah, Atlanta, El Paso, Parkland, Newtown, and so many more.
SAPHA stands in solidarity with our colleagues and communities to resist violence and uphold justice, equality, compassion and truth.
Public health resources around gun violence from APHA can be found here.
The SAPHA Board of Directors
SAPHA is the leading voice on public health issues impacting South Asians in the United States. Since its inception in 1999, SAPHA has dedicated itself to promoting health equity and well-being of our broad and diverse South Asian American communities through partnerships, research, education, communication, and advocacy. Representing the South Asian diaspora, SAPHA aims to address the unique challenges facing South Asians and advance opportunities for people to reach their utmost potential health in the communities where they live, work, and play.