As we try to process the senseless violence of a gunman killing eight people and wounding at least seven more at Allen Premium Mall this past Saturday, we witness once again that mass gun violence is often motivated by hate and linked to hate crimes. According to the Dallas Morning News, social media posts linked to the gunman espoused extremist ideology, including “admiration for neo-Nazis, along with sympathy for a violently misogynistic movement.” It is especially alarming to find that the gunman had posted pictures of handwritten diary pages targeting Asian men and women. Out of the eight people who were killed, four were of Asian descent, and it was not by accident.
As Christians with the AAPI heritage, we stand against gun violence and crimes motivated by hate, including anti-Asian hate. We boldly proclaim that God deplores violence in our homes and on our streets. We fearlessly declare that God’s table is for all, regardless of one’s race, gender, or identity (Galatians 3:28).
Many of us feel utterly helpless as we have repeatedly lost members of our communities, especially following another major mass gun violence on Lunar New Year Day at Monterey Park and Alhambra, CA. Many of us feel gravely unsafe as we raise our children with the incidents of mass gun violence increasing each year, nearly doubling this year compared to five years ago. Many of us feel painfully vulnerable and targeted as we navigate this world that is marred and paralyzed by racism and white supremacy.
May Jesus, who was racially targeted by the Roman Empire at the time, give us strength to resist evil. May Jesus, who was brutally killed by senseless violence, comfort and guide us through this injustice and oppression. May Jesus, who victoriously overcame hate and violence, empower us to go out and be part of God’s grace at work eradicating violence in this world.
Friends, let us rise and make a difference. Let us pray. Let us vote. Let us share our resources with those who are harmed. Let us continue to fight this battle in every way we can until we no longer need to.