Asian-American reporter takes firearms class after covering anti-Asian crimes

(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

It is no secret that hate crimes against Asian Americans have been on the rise over the past couple of years. It’s a coast-to-coast phenomenon with numerous reports from New York City to San Francisco and in between. Hate just needs an excuse and the COVID-19 pandemic has provided a big one to those who couldn’t wait to reveal their latent inhumanity.

Covering these hate crimes is bound to have an emotional impact on even the most battle-worn among us. That appears to be what happened to KGO-TV San Francisco Anchor & Reporter Dion Lim. In an op-ed (archived) in the San Francisco Chronicle titled, “How the coronavirus story gave me purpose,” she wrote:

There was already a bad case of anti-Asian sentiment in the Bay Area, documented in high-profile attacks. The 89-year-old great-grandmother who was brutally beaten on a playground and left to die in Visitacion Valley.

The empty soda can collector, assaulted in the Bayview, humiliated and his recyclables stolen.

The mom walking through San Francisco’s Stockton Tunnel and pistol-whipped and dragged on the sidewalk in broad daylight for her purse with less than $100 inside.

All of the victims: Asian American.

She touches upon why Asians are often targeted:

While covering these stories, law enforcement would tell me they knew criminals were targeting this population because of the language barrier. Culturally Asians would be less apt to file police reports or speak out. As the daughter of immigrants from Taiwan and Hong Kong I was raised to work hard, keep my head down and nose clean, and to not to cause controversy. My mother never reported the countless times people would yell slurs at her or throw eggs at her window when she first moved to America and landed in Texas. She even sent me an email one day instructing me to stop highlighting bad things happening to the Chinese.

After covering crimes against Asian Americans for more than two years during a period in which anti-Asian hate crimes dramatically increased, Lim decided to learn how to safely handle a firearm and tweeted a video of herself at a gun range.

At first this was scary. 

But after 2+ years of regularly covering horrifying attacks on Asian Americans…& the murder of security guard Kevin Nishita, I figured it was time to learn how to responsibly handle a firearm. 

TY John & the team for the lesson 🙏🏽 #StopAAPIHate

Like most Second Amendment advocates, I get excited every time a non-gun owner goes to the range for the first time. In just an hour or so, the initial bewilderment and hesitation – and fear in the case of Dion Lim – are destroyed, and the student comes out with a “So this is what all the fuss was about?” attitude. I know it because I’ve been there myself. An intro class uproots media propaganda quickly and irreversibly, and there’s no better gun rights advocate than someone who learns first-hand that he or she has been lied to for a long time. (I would like to add that I have a deep distrust of the press a priori, especially when it comes to reporting on firearms, and disagree with Dion Lim that it was Trump who seeded the public’s distrust in the media with his “Fake News” taunts.)

Of course, there are notorious exceptions like NY Daily News reporter Gersh Kuntzman who come out of a firearms class shaken, emotionally rattled, and with PTSD. But those exceptions exist to provide us with a few laughs in an increasingly humorless world, and we ought to be grateful for that too.

Dion Lim concluded with this tweet:

 It was an interesting experience. Even tho u all know, I am not walking around w/a gun (not that you can in the Bay Area anyway.)

I really hope that Dion gets a carry permit, and that she can walk around the Bay Area legally armed once the Supreme Court hands down its decision in the NYSRPA v. Bruen case.