In the one-year anniversary of the Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay mass shootings on Sunday, President Joe Biden issued a statement remembering the survivors and victims and highlighting efforts to curtail gun violence.

Biden memorialized the 10 victims of the Monterey Park shooting, saying they “were killed in a heinous act of gun violence that struck at the heart and soul of one of the largest Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities in our nation.”

“In mere moments, friends and families gathering together in joy and hope were devastated by a senseless, horrific mass shooting,” he wrote. “Jill and I continue to pray for the families of the victims and many others traumatized by these attacks.”

Monterey Park Mayor Henry Lo kneels at a makeshift memorial outside the scene of a deadly mass shooting at a ballroom dance studio, in Monterey Park, Calif., on Jan. 23, 2023.Mario Tama / Getty Images file

Last January, two predominantly Asian American communities in California experienced tragedies in a span of a few days. At a celebration for Lunar New Year on Jan. 21, 2023, a gunman entered a ballroom in Monterey Park, California, and opened fire, killing 11 people, including himself. Two days after that, another assailant killed seven in Half Moon Bay, California — primarily farm workers of Chinese descent.The shootings brought to the forefront concerns about mental health issues faced by older members of the Asian American community. They also highlighted an epidemic of gun violence, which survivor of the Monterey Park shooting Brandon Tsay — who wrestled the gun away from the assailant — says shows the need for stricter gun control.

In an interview with NBC News, Tsay said that the reality of gun violence burst what he called a “golden bubble” around his predominantly Asian American community in Monterey Park.

“People are really scared,” he said. “We really see a need to restrict assault weapons, especially the abuse of power and using such weapons without proper training or licensing or knowing how to safely operate a weapon of that caliber.”

In his statement Biden recounted that at the State of the Union address last year on Feb. 7, he and the first lady honored Tsay by hosting him in Washington.

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