Shooting Close to Home

An unexpected tragedy at Thousand Oaks’ Borderline Bar & Grill

Today we live in a world where hearing about shootings and gun violence carries a sense of normalcy. It’s a world in which we have become so used to hearing about another iteration of Sandy Hook or the Las Vegas concert, a world where the majority of us who were unaffected just shrug it off as something that we can’t do anything about.


On the night of November 7, 2018, that reality was brought to our attention yet again. In Thousand Oaks’ Borderline Bar & Grill, a gunman killed 12 innocent people. Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus lost his life through friendly fire while trying to stop the gunman.


After each shooting, many Americans call for gun control and reforms. California has some of the strictest gun laws in the U.S. with Governor Jerry Brown recently signing a new bill to raise the minimum age of buying a rifle from 18 to 21. Since California’s gun laws are strictly enforced, one question remains: How can we prevent another mass shooting? An often ignored fact is that the Parkland, Las Vegas, San Bernardino and now Borderline shooters all obtained their guns illegally.


Despite gun restrictions, mass shootings still occur so we must ask ourselves whether another issue is at work. Most of the mass shooters had one thing in common with each other – mental health issues. According to the US Library of Medicine National Institute of Health, “60% of perpetrators of mass shootings in the United States since 1970 displayed symptoms including acute paranoia, delusions, and depression before committing their crimes.”


A good starting point for future prevention seems to be addressing the issue of mental health in our country. The majority of these shootings may have been preventable with early intervention. Many people have different views on how to solve the tragic issue of mass shootings, but we should all agree that we must take steps forward. Any progress is better than no progress at all, even if it doesn’t turn out to be the best solution.