Throughout the nation, a lot of Asian Americans are being targeted for hate crimes. They’ve been shot, beaten, and even pushed in front of subway trains.
That is a whole topic of discussion, one beyond what we do here.
However, what we do talk about is gun rights. For a lot of Asian Americans, guns represent a way to protect themselves from these hateful attacks. We agree. A gun isn’t a talisman that wards off evil, but it sure makes it easier to meet that evil on a more equal footing.
Recently, I came across a story about Asian Americans and guns. For the above reasons, I was interested in reading it, and I can see part of why we’re losing the information war on gun rights.
Laura Lee is an average 20-year-old, going to school and working a part-time job at her local Gong Cha, a famous Asian boba tea franchise.
“My mom recently asked me if I felt safe working at an Asian drink store. She is scared something might happen to me with all these recent hate crimes and shootings,” Lee explained. “I’m scared too. I work here because I enjoy it, but now I get nervous when I’m working by myself. I even catch myself wondering what I would do if a shooter came in here. It’s sad, but that’s our reality.”
A report by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and AAPI Data reported two-thirds of Asians were “very worried” or “somewhat worried” about falling victim to a violent gun crime. Within the Asian population, Korean Americans reported the highest level of fear of gun violence.
Lee is concerned for her safety, but she feels hopeless as to lawmakers doing anything about gun control.
“I’ve seen on TikTok how much the National Rifle Association (NRA) spends to lobby against gun control legislation,” she said.
She explained, “I would never own a gun … And, no, I’m not an outlier. My friends and I talk about this a lot. Guns are so stupid. Unnecessary killing machines. No one needs to own a gun. American lawmakers just need to do something.”
Lee is not the only person who feels uneasy around the subject of gun ownership.
Now, let’s understand that this is in Dallas, TX. This isn’t Los Angeles or San Francisco, deeply anti-gun cities in anti-gun states.
This is Texas, a state that prides itself on its pro-gun stance.
So we have someone who has a risk of being targeted for a hate crime, who also has the same odds of being caught in a mass shooting, who not only refuses to even consider a gun but thinks that literally no one needs to own any kind of firearm ever.
Why? Because she saw on TikTok how much the NRA spends in elections.
This is troubling because we know that anti-gun groups spend just as much as gun rights groups, if not more, year after year. Both sides drop a lot of money pushing favorable politicians and hoping that they’ll get elected and repay that investment.
Yet this is only a problem for this person and her friends when the NRA does it.
Look, we’re losing the information war for gun rights. I get that we have a hostile media, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be taking the fight there just the same. Our gun rights groups need to go on the information offensive and illustrate exactly why these measures are wrong. We need to fight back or else people like this will be the people voting to take away our guns forever.
She’s made it clear that she’s not wanting “common sense” reform. She and a lot of people like her think you don’t need a gun at all. They’re likely to vote for people who will make it impossible for you to have one.
Unless we start winning the hearts and minds, that’s where we’re headed.