That’s the message delivered by Chris Cheng on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. The competitive shooter, Second Amendment activist, and resident of California’s Bay area joins me on the show to talk about the disturbing rise in violence against Asian Americans, including the murders at three Atlanta-area massage parlors earlier this week.
While police in Georgia say they haven’t found any evidence yet that the shootings in Georgia were specifically targeting Asian Americans, six of the victims were members of that community, and we know that there have been a growing number of attacks on Asian Americans across the country. On Wednesday a 76-year old woman was assaulted in broad daylight in San Francisco, only to turn the tables on her attacker.
Xiao Zhen Xie says she was just waiting at the traffic light and then the suspect punched her by her left eye.
Immediately, her instincts kicked in to defend herself. While she suffered injuries and required medical attention, it was her attacker that ended up on the stretcher. “She found the stick around the area and fought back,” said Li.
Li said her mother cannot see at all out of her left eye and hasn’t been able to eat. The hope is that time will heal the physical and emotional wounds, but her family said the incident has left her scared for her life.
“As you can see she is extremely terrified,” Xie’s grandson John Chen told KPIX 5. “She’s terrified to even step out.”
Self-defense is a human right, but the gun control laws in California prevent the average citizen from acting in self-defense with a firearm. There’s no way that Xie would have ever received a concealed carry license in San Francisco if she had ever applied for one, because there are only a handful of active permits in the county.
Despite the draconian gun control laws that inhibit legal self-defense, Cheng says he’s encouraging other Asian Americans to become gun owners and exercise their Second Amendment rights to protect themselves. As for the idea that more gun control laws are the answer to acts of violence like assault in San Francisco or the murders in Georgia, Cheng has a simple response: absolutely not.
“We already have plenty of gun control laws on the books, and they’re only so effective,” he said, rolling his eyes in frustration. “Any law is only going to be so effective at preventing any kind of act of violence or negative behavior. The problem with these gun control bills, especially H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446 that are currently going through Congress, is that they’re targeting law-abiding citizens.”
Cheng says he’s become increasingly vocal about the right of self-defense as he’s watched the attacks on the Asian American community take place with growing frequency over the past year. Cheng told me that, culturally, many Asian Americans believe its better to be silent about these acts of violence, but he’s glad to see that more people are speaking up; not only reporting crimes to police but taking steps to protect themselves and their families.
“Asian Americans, for too long, we have just sat on our hands kept our mouths shut, thinking that if we just kept our heads down that this problem would eventually go away. Okay, well, maybe that’s true but as we wait and the more we stay silent the more Asian Americans are going to get hurt or killed.”
There are plenty of signs that members of the Asian American community are increasingly turning to firearm ownership and embracing their Second Amendment rights, which Cheng is encouraged to see. In fact, Cheng spoke about the “rooftop Koreans” in the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and says that the mentality of protecting yourself, your family, and your business is starting to take root.
“It’s a mindset. It’s an attitude. It’s a philosophy and a set of values that says ‘I am responsible for my self protection and personal defense, and I have the Second Amendment right to own a firearm; to defend myself, to protect my family and protect my community. And that rooftop Korean mentality is making a comeback. It’s surging throughout the Asian American community and spurring, at minimum, conversations about whether an Asian decides to purchase a firearm. And then, of course, many Asian Americans are taking that step of going to the gun store and purchasing their very first firearm, and I applaud that.”
I truly appreciate Chris Cheng’s time today, as well as his passionate advocacy for the Second Amendment and the right of self-defense. No one deserves to be attacked or assaulted because of their ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or any other personal attribute or physical characteristic, but we all deserve the ability to protect ourselves from those who would do us harm. I just wish that the Asian Americans who live in California, New York, and other states that restrict their right to keep and bear arms could own and carry a gun for self-defense without the government putting unnecessary and unconstitutional barriers in their way.