Members of the Chinese community in San Francisco are reportedly promoting gun ownership as fears of crimes targeting Chinese locals escalate.
In recent months, local Chinese news media reported a number of horrifying crimes, such as the kidnapping and rape of a 74-year-old woman, as well as the beating and robbery of the 56-year-old chairman of the Wong Family Benevolent Association.
“If the police [are] not able to enforce the law, if the victims are not protected and we have been victimized, again and again, and again, it’s about time for us to unify and see how we can protect themselves,” Sunset District resident Wendy Wong told the San Francisco Examiner.
Wong, 32, is part of the Coalition for Good Neighborhoods, which have been organizing gun education meetings for the Chinese community in the city.
Wong, who has already hosted one such meeting, claimed that at least 200 people on her WeChat group have expressed interest in gun ownership.
She pointed out that is not a “pro-gun” person at all, but the recent attacks “paralyzed” the Chinese community with fear.
In May, a 74-year-old woman in the Crocker-Amazon district was grabbed and dragged to a man’s home, where she was attacked by a pit bull, held captive for five hours and repeatedly raped before being left semi-conscious on the sidewalk, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Then, last month, Walter Wong, a longtime business owner in Chinatown, was beaten in broad daylight before being robbed of his watch and left unconscious, according to KTVU.
Ellen Lee Zhou, who is running for mayor, supports the movement for gun ownership. “Can you imagine if all the Asian people owned a gun and they could protect themselves?” she told the Examiner.
When asked about her thoughts on recent mass shootings, she replied, “The people who shoot at us, the mass shootings, they’ll always get [guns], because they’re bad. Good people like you and me, who have common sense, if we could carry we could come out and defend ourselves.”
Not everyone is on board over the push, however. Pius Lee, chairman of the Chinatown Neighborhood Association, acknowledged that people feel unsafe but described the idea of owning guns as “too dangerous.”
“We don’t want to encourage people to arm themselves, it’s too dangerous, it’s not in today’s society. We have to rely on the police to protect us, but we want them to do a better job,” he told the Examiner.
California’s gun laws are among the most restrictive in the United States. For starters, researchers have counted 109 laws that in some way restrict “the manner and space in which firearms can be used,” including regulations on dealers and buyers, background check requirements, and possession bans for “high risk” individuals, according to Cal Matters.
This year, a new law set the legal gun-purchasing age at 21, with exceptions for young police officers, military members and those with a valid hunting license. The legislation, however, gave rise to one lawsuit against the state, which argued that it unjustifiably “prohibits an entire class of adults from exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”
Featured Image via YouTube / Ellen Lee Zhou