Asian targeted gun violence

Sonya Lewis Mar 21, 2021, 9:07 AM (2 days ago)

Dear Friends and Colleagues, 

Our hearts are heavy following last week’s murders of eight people in Atlanta, six of whom were women of Asian descent. 

Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence is steadfast in our commitment to eliminating the interconnected scourges of racism, misogyny, and gun violence in our nation. As healthcare professionals, we condemn racist rhetoric that finds its lethal expression in cowardly acts of violence, and we dedicate ourselves to ending the cancer of armed hatred. 

Each of us has a role to play in speaking out against the American sickness of gun violence. Rejecting helplessness in the aftermath of trauma, there are steps we can take to further the causes of safety and justice. 

We urge you to contact your U.S. Senators to voice your support for H.R. 8, The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, and H.R. 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021. These bills were recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, and if signed into law, would require background checks on firearms purchased from private sellers (H.R. 8), and would extend the time period in which background checks must be completed from three days to ten days (H.R. 1446). 

Similarly, we urge you to contact your U.S. Senators to voice your support for the reinstatement of the Violence Against Women Act, which was recently approved by the House. Provisions in this act will prevent individuals who are convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse or stalking from buying guns. This will also close the “boyfriend loophole” by prohibiting domestic abusers from purchasing guns even if they have never been married to, lived with, or had a child with their victim. 

Additionally, we urge you to maintain a personal and professional practice of active anti-racism. As healers, we must loudly and consistently condemn white supremacy when we see it. Through our interactions with patients, colleagues, legislators, friends, family, and the general public, we have the opportunity and obligation to be agents of transformative justice in our communities. 

As we face the future, we decry senseless bloodshed and we keep the victims and survivors of the Atlanta shootings in our hearts. May we honor their lives and memories with positive action.