SALEM, Ore. - The Legislative Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus released the following statement in response to the tragedy at Half Moon Bay, CA that left seven dead and one person wounded, all of whom were people of color:
“We are heartbroken by this horrendous act of violence targeting farmworkers and migrant workers, whose essential work sustains the nation. We extend our deep condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims. Although we understand that no words can bring back the lives lost, we acknowledge the trauma and pain suffered by the Asian, Latino/a/x, and farming communities.
“This is the second statement we have been forced to write this week mourning those who have died following the mass shootings at Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay, California. Gun violence has become an all too familiar part of American life. There were a total of 647 mass shootings in 2022 and already 42 mass shootings in 2023.
Studies have shown that the regularity and looming threat of mass shootings have real and detrimental effects on the mental health of Americans. It does not have to be like this. Schools, grocery stores, workplaces, and other establishments should not be associated with mass violence. We deserve the right to feel safe as we move about our everyday life.
“A fact that lingers on our mind was the presence of children during these horrific acts of violence. We know that early exposure to the trauma and violence of mass shootings leaves an enduring mark on these young survivors affecting their mental health and shaping educational and economic trajectories. While we focus on keeping our communities safe from gun violence, we must also work towards expanding community-based mental health resources and ensuring that culturally appropriate responses are accessible to children of color.
“We cannot be silent as easy access to weapons continues to tear apart families and traumatize children. We owe it to the 3,143 people who have already died this year from gun-related violence and we owe it to those left behind to mourn. We must act now to protect our communities and help support victims of violence as they cope with this public health crisis.”
Senators: Wlnsvey Campos (Co-Chair), Lew Frederick, Kayse Jama, Aaron Woods
Representatives: Ricki Ruiz (Co-Chair), Andrea Valderrama (Co-Vice Chair), Annessa Hartman (Co-Vice Chair), Nathan Sosa (Co-Vice Chair), Hai Pham (Co-Vice Chair), Janelle Bynum, Farrah Chaichi, Travis Nelson, Daniel Nguyen, Hoa Nguyen, Khanh Pham, Tawna Sanchez, Thuy Tran