The Brave Taiwanese American Doctor who took down the Chinese Shooter in Laguna Beach
With the wide availability of weapons in America, it is a national security issue that transnational issues are seeping into the U.S. gun violence epidemic.
Laguna Beach, California— The shooting that struck the Taiwanese American community at Geneva Presbyterian Church, clearly demonstrates how transnational issues are blending themselves into an ever-present crisis in America —Mass Shootings.
The rise in Asian American hate crimes has certainly spurred conversations around what response we should provide when the perpetrator of a hate crime is another person of color. But what if that happens to be a member of your ethnic group when it pertains to geopolitical issues back home?
When David Chou (68) opened fire at congregants at Geneva Presbyterian Church, it is reported that he was acting out of anger when it came to the geopolitical issues in China and its interests/control over Taiwan. According to NPR:
Authorities have said Chou — a U.S. citizen who worked for years as a security guard — was motivated by hatred of Taiwanese people documented in handwritten notes that authorities found. Spitzer said he is considering hate crime charges but needs more time to investigate.
Spitzer said Chou was motivated by hatred for Taiwan, where he was born after his family was forced from mainland China when Communists prevailed in a civil war that ended in 1949. He apparently chose the church at random and didn't know anyone there, authorities said.
He drove from his home in Las Vegas on Saturday and arrived at the church the next day. Chou spent about an hour mingling with dozens of members of the congregation at a luncheon, which Spitzer said was Chou's way of gaining their trust so they wouldn't notice as he began carrying out his plot — chaining doors closed, super gluing locks and placing incendiary devices in several locations.
Tensions between China and Taiwan are at the highest in decades, with Beijing stepping up its military harassment by flying fighter jets toward the self-governing island. China has not ruled out force to reunify with Taiwan.
Chou had ties to a Las Vegas organization opposed to Taiwan's independence from China, according to Taiwanese media.
NPR goes on to note that the weapons that Chou carried out the attack with, were purchased legally.
He had two 9 mm handguns — legally purchased years ago in Las Vegas — and three bags, containing four Molotov-cocktail-type incendiary devices and extra ammunition, according to authorities. He opened fire and in the ensuing chaos Dr. John Cheng, 52, tackled him, allowing other parishioners to subdue him and tie him up with an extension cord, the authorities said.
Transnational Issues pouring out in American Domestic Crisis
With the recent shooting in Uvalde, Texas, the ease with which the guns can be purchased in this country continues to shock and horrify people across the United States. It is an understatement at this point that we are facing a national crisis on red alert when it comes to both COVID-19 and the epidemic of gun violence that continues to decimate our communities.
There have been common themes in stories that have come out against gun violence. Some of them are:
Ease of purchase- Dr. Cheng hailed from Texas, where it is easier to buy AR-15s in Walmart and harder to purchase a sharpie or baby formula -which is locked up behind glass and you need a staff member to open it for you- and the lack of background checks for people who purchase these weapons.
A Campaign Finance System that funds murder- Politicians are beholden to the National Rifle Association and with an upcoming Supreme Court ruling that could potentially strike down New York’s concealed carried statutes and which would open the floor for more violence in our state. The shooting of a Goldman Sach employee this month on the Q Train emboldened gun rights proponents in the wrong direction with arguments centered around what would have happened if there were armed people on the train who could intervene.
Gridlock in Congress- Even though Democrats control Congress, Senator Manchin and Sinema continue to be obstructionists when it comes to passing any meaningful gun violence prevention laws. According to this Time Magazine timeline of federal efforts to combat gun violence, the failure of Congress to get rid of the filibuster, has enabled the gun lobby to continue to get away with murder —literally.
Republicans are blaming doors, mental health, and anything under the roof that they can do to shift the blame from their own lack of action and care, to mislead the public about how they continuously benefit from the National Rifle Association at the expense of grieving communities from Buffalo, New York to Laguna Beach, California.
It feels eerie to write about benefits at a time when people are losing. It feels eerie that politicians have written out entire templates in order to respond to the crisis that continues to happen. And it feels eerie that transnational issues are being fought out in the domestic United States through gun violence.
The gun violence epidemic in the United States has been spurred on by white supremacist and neo-Nazi factions. And, with this attack, it seems that transnational issues are being fought out in our communities in the United States as well.
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