Anti-Asian Violence Driving Asian Surge In Buying Guns

Anti-Asian Violence Driving Asian Surge In Buying Guns
AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

For some reason, there’s been an uptick in anti-Asian violence. I know they say it’s supposedly people lashing out about COVID, but that’s absolutely ridiculous. First, not every Asian is Chinese. Second, even if they were, Asian-Americans aren’t responsible for the failures of the Chinese government.


Honestly, the whole thing is just stupid.

Of course, hating an entire ethnicity for any reason is pretty stupid in and of itself, so what did I expect?

Because of this uptick in violence against Asians, a lot of Asian-Americans are doing the smart thing. They’re arming up.

After months of rising anti-Asian hatred, many others like Kim are having a change of heart about firearms. Tired of relying on bystanders for aid that sometimes never comes, more Asian Americans are bucking entrenched cultural perceptions of guns and overcoming language barriers to help fuel a spike in U.S. gun ownership. While there is no official data on firearm purchases by Asian Americans, a survey by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) indicated that Asian Americans bought 42% more firearms and ammunition in the first six months of 2020 than they did in the same timeframe the year before. At Jimmy’s Sportshop in Mineola, N.Y., where guns and pepper spray have been flying off the shelves since the pandemic, gun purchases by Asian buyers have surged 100% due to recent fears of attacks, according to Jimmy Gong and Jay Zeng, the shop’s Chinese-American owners.

“It was a turning point when I saw that people just randomly got attacked based on their race.”

“Everybody got paranoid,” says Gong, 47, adding that some might have good reason to feel that way. Several customers have walked into the business, saying they were targeted in robberies, home invasions and assaults. “Some guys come in with black eyes,” Gong says.

From March 2020 to March 2021, reported hate incidents against Asian Americans nationwide jumped 74% to more than 6,600, according to Stop AAPI Hate, a reporting database created at the beginning of the pandemic. Anti-Asian hate crimes in 16 of America’s largest cities increased 149% in 2020, according to an analysis of official preliminary police data by the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino. The sustained violence has shaken Asian-American communities, particularly in New York and California, where the majority of the hate incidents have unfolded and where assaults on the elderly have sent shockwaves across the world. Terror grew on March 16 after a white gunman killed eight people, including six Asian women, at Atlanta-area spas.

“I’ve never seen this level of fear,” says Chris Cheng, 41, a professional sport shooter in San Francisco, who has been fielding numerous questions from relatives, friends and strangers about buying guns.


Now, let’s be clear, the shooting in Atlanta doesn’t appear to be a hate crime. This was the act of a loser who paid for sex at “massage parlors,” couldn’t quite, and lashed out at the parlors. The fact that the victims were Asian was ancillary.

However, anti-Asian violence does appear to be a thing. It’s not surprising that a lot of Asian-Americans are buying guns. While the anti-gunners can claim that the police are there to deal with that, some of these folks are discovering that when seconds matter, the police are just minutes away.

If you’re lucky.

So, they’re taking their own safety into their hands. Good for them. I hope they also get some good training so they know what they’re doing with those firearms.

Once they do, I suspect we’ll start to see anti-Asian violence decline significantly as more and more Asian-Americans get guns, learn to use them, and start carrying them.

Guns don’t make people violent. Guns can stop people from being violent, though.

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