Just last year, almost 60 people were killed by one of the worst shootings in America at a country music festival in Las Vegas. Since the Vegas massacre, the survivors have come together, often celebrating their life at Borderline Bar & Grill, a popular hangout for country music fans located in Thousand Oaks, California. College students of age frequently met up at the Borderline – only 20 miles from Pepperdine University. It should also be noted that Thousand Oaks was listed as one of the safest communities in the country. On November 8th, however, a gunman opened fire at the Borderline.
The bar had become a safe place for survivors from the mass shooting in Vegas to heal and remember. Survivors of both shootings consider themselves lucky. However, Telemachus Orfanos, a survivor of the Vegas massacre, was a victim of the violence in Thousand Oaks. Authorities have reported that at least twenty individuals were injured and rushed to a hospital. Twelve of those innocent people are dead. Officials have identified the gunman as a 28 year-old male named Ian David Long who frequently attended Borderline and enjoyed the bar. Previous to the incident, psychiatrists believed that Long was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after his service in Afghanistan with the Marines. In April, Long had caused another disturbance, but he was not detained. The survivors feel that the solution to a peaceful environment is simple: gun control. To avoid tragedies like the shooting in Thousand Oaks, the media and many Americans tap into gun control, which violates the Second Amendment. Ramapo High School senior Elizabeth Otero comments, “… it’s more important to focus on protecting American lives, which are severely threatened by the arms industry that exists today. The National Rifle Association and other pro-gun organizations are controlled by greed and corruption, supporting pro-gun politicians and legislation out of fear that if guns were regulated, the arms industry would be hurt and made much less profitable. The gun violence epidemic in the U.S. is unparalleled to other developed nations in the world… because they have all imposed strict gun control laws to combat gun violence.” On the other side of the debate, the executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association stated that, “If [our government] seize[s] power, our American freedoms could be lost and our country will be changed forever… The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun” (NRA). To clarify, both sides of the debate have valid arguments. The California shooting along with other recent mass shootings have once again brought attention to discussing politics of gun control and the legislation of the Second Amendment in our current society.
By: Caroline Kinkella ’19, Editor-In-Chief
Featured Photo: The scene of the crime (Photo courtesy of TMZ News).