SALEM, Ore. - Following this weekend’s mass shooting in Monterey Park, California where 11 Asian Americans were murdered and nine injured, as well as yesterday’s shooting in Half Moon Bay, California, leaving seven dead and one person injured, Representatives Daniel Nguyen (D-Lake Oswego), Hoa Nguyen (D-East Portland and Damascus), Hai Pham (D-South Hillsboro & West Beaverton), Khanh Pham (D-Outer Southeast Portland), and Thuy Tran (D-Northeast Portland) release the following joint statement:
“Today marks the third day of the Lunar New Year. Two weeks ago when the state of Oregon swore in a historic five Vietnamese American representatives, we had many exciting ideas on how we would invite this Assembly to join us in celebrating this important holiday. Instead, it is with heavy hearts that we mourn the lives of 18 members of our community - their stories, wisdom, and guidance - taken from us by gun violence.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the victims’ families and loved ones. Lunar New Year should be a time for family; it should be a time to honor and thank our ancestors for their protection and look to a hopeful future. Instead, we add Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay to the long list of American communities torn apart by gun violence.
“The US is currently witnessing the highest rate of firearm-related homicides and suicides in 30 years. Only a few weeks into 2023, and already we have been forced to witness 38 mass shootings. No one should fear for their safety while attending a community event, going to school, the grocery store, or just going about their day.
“We ran for office to solve big problems and make life better for our constituents and communities across the state. This year, the Oregon Legislature will work to keep communities safe by supporting effective programs that reduce gun violence, investing more resources in solutions proven to prevent crime and keep us safe; and bolstering behavioral health and addiction services. Following this senseless tragedy, we reaffirm our commitment to taking action this session and beyond, so that everyone can feel safe and secure in their community.”