On Wednesday, December 2nd, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network issued the following statement regarding the shooting at Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California:
Earlier today, a shooting occurred in San Bernardino, California at the Inland Regional Center, one of California’s non-profit Regional Centers tasked with managing services for people with developmental disabilities. Details are still emerging and the full picture of what happened is unclear.
While information about the victims has not yet been released, we do know that the victims likely include members of the disability community, particularly people with developmental disabilities, their families, and professionals working with them. As an organization devoted to the well-being of autistic people and those with other developmental disabilities, we express shock and sorrow at this tragedy.
At this time of all times, we remind the media, our elected representatives, and our friends and allies to push back against any attempt to use this violence, whose motive is still unknown, as a means of attacking people with psychiatric disabilities, as has occurred too often after high profile shooting incidents. As this incident illustrates, people with disabilities are far more likely than those without disabilities to be the victim of violent crime.
We see this painful truth born out in this tragedy, and we mourn the losses and harm enacted upon those with developmental disabilities and others at the Regional Center. Our thoughts are with the local community, and we mourn with you. It is our sincere hope that law enforcement captures the perpetrators of this horrific act and brings them to justice swiftly.
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization run by and for Autistic people. ASAN’s supporters include Autistic adults and youth, cross-disability advocates, and non-autistic family members, professionals, educators and friends. Its activities include public policy advocacy, community engagement to encourage inclusion and respect for neurodiversity, leadership trainings, cross-disability advocacy, and the development of Autistic cultural activities.