The Georgia chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statements after at least eight people were shot and killed and at least two more were shot and wounded in a spate of shootings in massage parlors around metro Atlanta. According to the AJC, “Officials have not said whether they believe the incidents are connected, but the shootings took place at spas where a majority of the employees are Asian. Atlanta police said that all four victims on Piedmont Road appeared to be Asian women.”
“We’re still learning more, but our hearts are with everyone who was impacted by these devastating shootings. While it is too early to know what motivated them, these shootings come amidst a rise in violence against the AAPI community, fueled by xenophobia and racism and enabled by guns,” said Courtney Spriggs, a volunteer with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We must do more to end gun violence and to combat the scourge of armed hate.”
“This shooting is a terrible reminder of the toll that gun violence takes on communities – especially communities of color – at a moment’s notice,” said Becky George, Senior Advisor on AAPI Engagement at Everytown for Gun Safety. “While we don’t know yet if the people who were killed or wounded today were targeted because of their race or ethnicity, our thoughts are with them and the broader AAPI community, who have been targeted throughout the pandemic by hate made more dangerous by easy access to guns.”
Research by Everytown for Gun Safety shows that this is the third mass shooting this year and the 244th mass shooting since January 2009. Everytown defines mass shootings as those in which four or more people are shot and killed, excluding the shooter.
According to a study released today by Stop AAPI Hate and first covered by the Los Angeles Times, “since coronavirus shutdowns began last March, thousands of Asian Americans have faced racist verbal and physical attacks or have been shunned by others. The report by Stop AAPI Hate documents 3,795 racially motivated attacks against Asian Americans from March  to February , noting that the number is likely a fraction of the attacks that occurred, because many were not reported to the group.”