May 16, 2022 Press Releases

The Alliance For Gun Responsibility Responds To Mass Shooting In Buffalo

Also this week, shootings in Laguna Woods and Dallas targeted AAPI individuals 

SEATTLE, WA – On Saturday, May 14th, a self-described white supremacist opened fire on mostly Black shoppers at Tops Friendly Market grocery store in Buffalo, New York killing 10 people and wounding three others. This racially-motivated mass shooting came the same week as two shootings targeting AAPI individuals. On Sunday, a mass shooting at a Tawainese church in Laguna Woods, California left one person dead and four others wounded. All the victims were of Asian descent. Earlier in the week, a shooting in Dallas left three women of Korean descent wounded and is being investigated as an anti-Asian hate crime. 

In response to these senseless shootings, Alliance for Gun Responsibility CEO, Renée Hopkins issued the following statement: 

“Once again, we have borne witness to the devastating consequences of white supremacy fueled by a gun. A white shooter, filled with hate, motivated by racism, and armed with a semi-automatic assault weapon and high-capacity magazines terrorized a predominately Black community, stole 10 lives, wounded three others, and left our country grieving. It was the deadliest mass shooting–and the 198th–this year. Our hearts go out to the victims, survivors, their loved ones, and all those mourning this senseless tragedy.

We have seen too many cases like this before. At Emanuel AME church in Charleston. At the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. At a Walmart in El Paso. At spas across Atlanta. We cannot wait for the next tragedy to act.  

This week also saw two shootings targeting AAPI individuals–at a Taiwanese church in Laguna Woods, California and at a hair salon in Dallas, Texas. Less is known about the motivation behind these shootings, but they follow months of targeted attacks against the AAPI community in the United States. 

All of these shootings occurred during Mental Health Awareness Month and AAPI heritage month. There has been much discussion about the role mental illness might have played in these shootings. That is a common gun lobby argument meant to distract from the root of the violence, which is easy access to firearms. Other industrialized countries experience the same levels of mental illness but significantly lower levels of gun violence. And people who suffer from mental health challenges are far more likely to be the victims of gun violence than the perpetrators.

The specifics of these shootings may differ, but the common denominator is easy access to firearms. These tragedies serve as stark reminders that guns make hate deadly. And they remind us that we cannot end gun violence without rooting out white supremacy. 

In Washington, we have taken action to keep weapons of war out of the hands of young people and to keep high-capacity magazines out of our communities. But this violence highlights the urgent need for meaningful federal action to disarm hate and keep our communities safe. We refuse to accept this as the price of living in America. We demand better from our elected officials. This is not the first time we have issued a statement in response to white supremacy fueled by a gun. It should be the last.”