Asian Americans are stocking up on guns for protection as Trump stokes COVID-19 bigotry

Asian Americans are stocking up on guns to protect themselves from a growing wave of coronavirus-prompted bigotry and violence.

Frightening incidents have been reported across the country after coronavirus emerged at the end of last year in China, and many Americans of Asian descent are buying firearms as President Donald Trump and his allies continue stoking up anti-Asian sentiment by referring to COVID-19 as the "Chinese virus," reported the New York Times.

“This is the darkest day in my 20-plus years of life in the United States,” said Tony Du, an epidemiologist who worries about his son in school.

The 48-year-old Du, who was already a gun owner, is buying an AR-15 rifle in case things turn out as bad as the unrest in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

"When all these bad things come, I am a minority," he said. "People can see my face is Chinese, clearly. My son, when he goes out, they will know his parents are Chinese.”

A gun shop owner in Rockville, Maryland, told the Times most of the gun buyers he's seen this month have been Chinese-American or Chinese -- who make up more than a fifth of the city's residents.

“It was just nonstop, something I’ve never seen,” said shop owner Andy Raymond.

Asian Americans told the newspaper they feel like they're being watched.

“It’s a look of disdain,” said Chil Kong, who also lives in Maryland. “It’s just: ‘How dare you exist in my world? You are a reminder of this disease, and you don’t belong in my world.’”