News Brief

Message from President Pam Eddinger: Shootings in California

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Bunker Hill Community College | Office of the President

Dear BHCC Community,

On Sunday, my family and I began the celebration of the Lunar New Year. Just as we finished New Year’s Eve dinner on Saturday evening, we heard about the mass shooting in Monterey Park, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, often known as the city’s Second Chinatown. Ten individuals were killed, and as many wounded, all in their 50s, 60s, and 70s.  We were devastated that these elders, engaging joyfully in dance lessons and social activities, were so senselessly and brutally gunned down.

Then, late yesterday, we learned of two more mass shootings in California, also at places where Asian communities gathered to celebrate, in Half Moon Bay, just outside of San Francisco, where seven people were killed. This, in addition to another mass shooting in Oakland, California, overnight.

Being in America in 2023 means living among these seemingly endless spasms of gun violence—and while I hope that we can build a newer, less violent world, I most immediately hope that we can be a comfort to one another.  Part of our resistance to violence and loss can be through solidarity, and celebrating the eternal human spirit that seeks community and positive celebration. As we enter the Year of the Rabbit, let’s lean on the positive aspects of our community to help us heal, and look forward.

Today, we mourn with our Asian American community, and our wider community, the loss of innocent lives.  As difficult as it is to witness this violence, we must not look away. The devastation we feel must fuel our determination to curb gun violence, each in our own capacity, through advocacy and action.

For me, and I’m sure for many of you, these events coming at the beginning of the Lunar New Year celebration are absolutely devastating.  For all of us, events of mass violence like this can evoke all kinds of feelings and reactions, so please check in with each other, listen to each other, and if you are struggling, please reach out for support.  Students can use the My Student Support Program for 24/7 access to counselors and other resources, and employees can use Lifeworks, the College’s Employee Assistance Program for access to mental health resources and a 24/7 toll-free hotline at 888-267-8126.

Wishing you peace, 

Pam Y. Eddinger, PhD
Bunker Hill Community College