March 18, 2021
Demand Immediate Comprehensive Gun Violence Legislation and an End to Misogyny and White Supremacy
Washington, D.C. – As investigations continue into Tuesday night’s shooting spree at multiple Atlanta-area massage parlors, Franciscan Action Network (FAN) denounces the taking of innocent lives through gun violence. Franciscans stand for the sacredness of all life as we follow Jesus Christ, the prince of peace, and often invoke the prayer attributed to St. Francis who calls on all of us to be instruments of peace. We stand in solidarity with the families of the victims as well as the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community, recognizing the fear and hurt this event has exacerbated.
We call attention to the intersection of gender-based and racial violence in this shooting. Amidst an epidemic of violence against all women, women of color are three times more likely to be murdered with a gun. Facts like this along with reports of hate crimes targeting Asian-Americans rising 150% nationwide since last March are deeply concerning. These attacks follow a long history of violence against Asian-Americans, largely fueled by negative stereotypes and xenophobia exacerbated at the start of the pandemic with elected officials referring to the novel coronavirus as the “China Virus” or the “Wuhan Flu.”
Hate and fear of the “other” are deadly when paired with easy access to guns. FAN is committed to advocating for legislation that addresses gun violence prevention, such as Bipartisan Background Checks Act, as well as legislation such as the Violence Against Women Act, and to end racism. As people who seek to follow Sts. Francis’ and Clare’s way of living the Gospel, aligning ourselves with those who are oppressed is not optional. We call on Congress to immediately pass comprehensive gun violence legislation and for each of us to look inward as we examine our nation’s history of white supremacy and misogyny and how that is impacting the most vulnerable today, including people of color and women.