Concordia students respond to Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay shootings

The Concordia Courier

Concordia Irvine

By Luka Brancato | 2/10/2023

Over the span of less than a weekend, two mass shootings rocked the cities of Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay. Concordia students shared thoughts and reactions regarding these horrific acts of violence that took place in January.

On Sat., Jan. 21, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran opened fire into a crowded ballroom of people celebrating the Lunar New Year. Tran fired at least 42 rounds from a semi automatic Mac-10 Machine Pistol, before fleeing the scene. Tran was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Torrance. 

Julian Vu, a senior at Concordia, expressed his feelings about the Monterey Park shooting, "It hit pretty close to home to be honest. As an Asian American that celebrates Lunar New Year, it was heartbreaking to think about how a well known Asian community is dealing with a devastating event during a time of the month that should be a cause for a celebration.” 

Vu added, "This mass shooting resonated with me particularly because of the circumstances revolving around the community that I am familiar with for my entire life." 

Two days following the Monterey Park shooting, a second one occurred in Half Moon Bay. 66-year-old Chunli Zhao shot and killed seven people, before being arrested and placed in custody.  

Grant Lee, a junior at Concordia, is also Asian American. Lee said, “For the Half Moon Bay shooting, while it did not feel as personal to me as the Monterey Park incident… it was also equally as devastating simply due to the loss of innocent lives.”

“Farm workers are heavily undervalued and underappreciated in today's culture and job prestige and this shooting [in Half Moon Bay] basically proves that point,” Lee said, adding, "People responsible for our food should not be in fear of risk for their lives in an occupation that is not even in close proximity to weaponry." 

More Americans died of gun-related injuries in 2020 than in any other year on record, according to Pew Research.

"Overall through my life, I have become so disappointed and angry that shootings have honestly become something that is normalized throughout my lifetime and there seems to be no solution to this problem,” Lee said.

“Starting with Sandy Hook Elementary shooting and now both the Monterey Park/ Half Moon Bay shooting," Lee said, "I only pray that things will get better in the future and that the safety of our kids and loved ones will be guaranteed or at least handled better for years to come." 


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