Coronavirus: More Asian-Americans are buying guns to protect themselves as racist attacks spike amid outbreak

As the novel coronavirus spreads its wings in the United States, with more cases being reported every passing day, the virus has not only triggered fear but racism as well


                            Coronavirus: More Asian-Americans are buying guns to protect themselves as racist attacks spike amid outbreak
(Getty Images)

There has been a sharp increase in the number of Asian-Americans purchasing firearms to protect themselves from racist attacks in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in the US, gun stores have reported. David Liu, the owner of Arcadia Firearm & Safety in San Gabriel Valley, California claimed that he has witnessed nearly 10 times more customers coming in for weapons purchase in recent weeks.

Liu, while speaking to CBSLA, said that he believes that the increase in gun sales is because many people are concerned about their safety in the wake of the outbreak. He added that many are doing so because they fear being targeted because of their ethnicity. "Because of coronavirus, a lot of people start to worry," Liu said whose store is located in an area with a large population of Asian Americans.

As the novel coronavirus spreads its wings in the United States — with more cases being reported every passing day — the virus has not only triggered fear but racism as well. Just because the virus originated in China, there has been an increase in racist attacks against Asian Americans in the country amid the coronavirus scare, with many calling the community "diseased."

One customer at the gun store, Dirk Zhang, told the outlet that now is the "perfect time to get a weapon for ourselves," adding that his wife had not allowed a gun in their home before. "She's a little afraid of the outbreak of the virus," he added.

Travelers arrive to LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal wearing medical masks for protection against the novel coronavirus outbreak on February 2, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Getty Images)

In a possible hate crime incident in New York City in February, a man assaulted an Asian woman wearing a face mask at a Chinatown subway station after, calling her a "diseased b***h." In another similar incident later that month, a man on a Los Angeles subway, proclaimed that Chinese people are filthy, saying "every disease has ever came from China." 

The owner of Gun Effects and Cloud Nine Fishing in Industry, Dennis Lin, while talking to KABC, said: "Normally, we're a pretty busy store, but this made it really, really crazy." Lin said that he had also seen an increase in the number of gun sales at his store in an area with a large Asian American community. He added that many of them were purchasing weapons over fears of being racially targeted. 

"Just people discriminating," said Lin. "We forget, we're all people. We're in America, we're not in China."

Another customer, identified as April Zha, told the outlet that she came to the gun store to purchase a weapon over fears that she may be targeted because of her ethnicity. "So I have to protect my family and my son," Zhao said. 

The US, on early Thursday, confirmed the 38th fatality resulting from Covid-19, with a total of over 1,300 people being infected in the country. 

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