Dear TSNE Community,
The Lunar New Year this past Sunday ushered in the Year of the Rabbit, or the Year of the Cat for our Vietnamese community. This is a year symbolizing peace, longevity, and hope for billions of people around the globe, including for many of us at TSNE. As the most important holiday of the year, Lunar New Year is a time spent with family and friends in celebration and anticipation of a year filled with good fortune, health, and prosperity. But instead, we watched in horror as the violence unfolded in Monterey Park, and then in Half Moon Bay days later. It’s been several days since these horrific events, and there are no words to comfort those who have lost loved ones.
Violence has always existed as long as humans have existed. But the occurrence of mass shootings is a phenomenon that has escalated over the past decades. We may never understand the motivation of the attackers in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, and the reasons can vary from lack of access to mental health care that is especially prevalent in communities of color, to the lack of economic stability for immigrants and migrant workers in our country. Yet one thing is clear in these and other mass shootings: there is NO lack of easy access to guns in the United States. While we may not be able to stop humans from inflicting violence on one another, limiting easy access to guns — especially to high-powered semi-automatic and automatic weapons that have no justifiable civilian use — will help curtail violent acts and prevent countless loss of life.
As we welcome in the Year of the Rabbit and mourn this senseless loss of life, we hope that together — as the citizens and residents of this country — we can work towards peace and longevity by supporting legislation and pushing our politicians to strengthen gun laws that protect our society from more mass shootings.
In solidarity with those working for peace,
TSNE Leadership Team
Faisal Abid, Luke Alonso, Michael Ibrahim, Geoff Lamont, Elaine Ng, Luzdy Rivera, and Noah Stockman