Rising hate crimes against Asian-Americans have been all over the news as of late, and while a hate crime is normally a golden opportunity for Democrats to cash in on, it would appear things are backfiring for the left.
A new Asian-American gun group has formed called the Asian American and Pacific Islander Gun Owners (AAPIGO) and, according to The Reload, was created to train and represent Asian-Americans when it comes to firearms and firearm ownership:
Asian American and Pacific Islander Gun Owners (AAPIGO) aims to provide training and representation to a demographic often overlooked in the conversation on guns. They have scheduled their first meet-and-greet range day for May 2 in Livermore, Calif. And they have already signed up 25 people for an informational course on how to apply for a California gun-carry permit followed by a group application drive designed to bring awareness to the rising threat of hate crimes against Asian Americans.
Racist attacks on Asians surged in 2020, with one report putting the figure at nearly 3,800 incidents and the Los Angeles Police Department reporting the rate of hate crimes against Asians more than doubling. Simultaneously, alongside other Americans, Asians began buying more guns. A gun dealer survey conducted by the National Shooting Sports Foundation found the number of Asian customers jumping 46 percent in the first half of 2020.
Now, AAPIGO wants to train those new Asian gun owners and equip them to protect themselves against racist attacks.
The group is being founded by Patrick Lopez and Scott Kane. Lopez, an Asian-American man living in California, was inspired to found the group with Kane after a discussion on Reddit.
“In early March, there was a lot of news about the shooting in Atlanta and new gun owners, lots of new gun purchases,” Lopez told The Reload. “And I’m seeing that in action, people bringing their brand new guns, and it just kind of hit me like ‘it would be nice if there were a place where people of Asian descent can just get good information.’”
Kane, who is white, is married to an Asian woman with whom he has children. Kane said he was inspired to start the group after he was walking with his daughter and some guys in a truck shouted at his wife and daughter to “go back to China, Kung flu.” This is when he decided to buy his first gun.
“I mean, that was kind of like the initial spark, but over the course of the year, things just kind of started getting worse and worse,” Kane said.
Kane said that he immediately began running into trouble. Trying to purchase a gun in California is trouble enough as it is, but California gun stores had been ruled as non-essential and were shut down during the pandemic. What would normally take 10 days became two months and all the while, the attacks were getting worse. It was enough to make him a gun-rights activist.
“What attracted me to this approach is that we have the same mindset of let’s emphasize education first and helping folks in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community learn about their rights and what they have at their disposal to make some informed decisions when it comes to purchasing a firearm and if that’s even right for them,” he said.
According to The Reload, Kane and Lopez aren’t alone either:
Chris Cheng, an Asian-American gun-rights activist who testified before Congress on gun rights in March, told The Reload an Asian group would fill a hole in current efforts by the gun-rights movement and the firearms industry to reach new demographics. He said many Asians come from countries where guns are negatively stigmatized as being tools of oppressive military and police regimes. That, combined with language and cultural barriers, can make it especially hard to get Asian Americans interested in gun ownership, according to Cheng. But not impossible.
“If we look at the success of outreach programs for women, we have a template and a blueprint for how this can be successful,” he said. “Now, the challenge is taking that and applying it to Asian Americans.”
He said Asian Americans have often been taught not to draw negative attention to themselves, even when faced with racist violence.
Cheng noted current events have made gun ownership a good idea.
“We’re seeing increased attacks on the Asian-American community. We’re seeing calls for defunding the police. We’re seeing riots and social unrest. We’re seeing more anti-Asian language coming from politicians,” Cheng said. “If we can’t rely on society and law enforcement to protect us, then, naturally, Asian Americans are starting to wake up to this notion that I may be that first-generation gun owner for my Asian-American family because that is going to be the only way that I’m going to be able to protect myself and my family.”
It’s not likely that Democrats will be pleased with this. The left considers gun ownership as more of a hurdle than a God-given right and doesn’t differentiate between a law-abiding citizen with a firearm and a criminal. Regardless, it’s imperative that any American, no matter the race, have the ability to defend themselves with firearms. Gun groups that not only train in firearm usage but also educate members in legal rights and guidelines are how we make guns in this nation less of a problem.
The Asian-American community arming and educating itself is one of the best things it can do for itself and for society.