Mass Shooting in Thousand Oaks, California

Max Pulido

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Tragedy has struck the human spirit again with a mass shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California on November 8, 2018. Officials stated that 12 people were killed and 10 injured by a gunman at Borderline Bar and Grill. One of the victims was Sheriff Sergeant Ron Helus, who was planning to retire in a year. The bar was full of college students, as it usually is, stated by locals and officials. A majority of the victims were college students. The gunman, who’s been officially identified as a man named Ian David Long, is believed to have taken his own life at the scene before authorities arrived. Long not only opened fire in the bar but also threw in smoke bombs, causing confusion and panic within the bar. Ian David Long was a 28-year-old former marine who suffered from PTSD and a documented history of mental health issues. Officials stated that Long was identified from his finger prints and his tattoos. The deputy department has yet to release the identities of the victims, leading to parent’s concern for their children who were present at the bar that night.

The shooting has caused an uproar from the American population, with the news reaching the entire nation quickly. Hamilton’s ears are among those who heard the cries of the victims and have their own reactions to the devastating event. Leo Vasquez (9) voiced his view and said, “It’s things like this that make people scared of going out and just doing what they usually do. It’s because of these ill people who are allowed with guns.” Another student, Darian Iniguez (10), had his own view on the incident: “It’s terrible when people use a weapon meant for protection against innocent people. But we can’t blame the gun, it was David (Long) who fired it.” Two different views of the horrid shooting, suggesting either Long is to blame or the weapon he used.

This act of unnecessary violence has been another reason for politicians and officials to review their gun laws. Some California officials have already stated that they’re going to be taking serious action on gun laws. Investigators have found out that Long’s gun was owned legally but his modified magazine was not, as he illegally extended it for more bullets. This was just one of many heartless acts of carnage dealt out this year in the U.S. All leading back to the needed discussion of gun laws and the necessary restrictions for them. There can also be room for discussion on the topic of mental treatment for veterans, since Long did serve in Afghanistan and sadly returned with diagnosed PTSD. Sheriff Geoff Dean stated that in April they were called to Long’s house. Dean says that Long was visited by the departments mental health specialist as they found him acting a bit irrational but was cleared soon after. This shows that it’s possible if he would’ve gotten the proper and deeper help he could’ve made better decisions and been in a better place mentally. But now we’ll never know and the cost for such neglect is too great to bear.