Throughout the past several years, there has been an increase in mass shootings in the United States. These shootings have been extremely distressing and traumatizing to many across the country. From the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to the Orlando nightclub shooting, the people of the world’s hearts have been shattered, and their minds have been left to worry.
After witnessing such events, people have been protesting for gun control all over. So far, nothing has changed and the events just continue to occur. Just recently, yet another mass shooting took place. On November 7, 2018, 28-year-old Ian David Long attacked the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California. The gunman was revealed to be a former US Marine.
On this seemingly normal Wednesday night, people were having fun and dancing around. It was college night at the bar and anyone over 18-years-old was allowed in, resulting in a very packed place. In the midst of the fun, Ian David Long walked in and started shooting. Witnesses say that he continued to shoot, shooting security guards, customers, employees, and even a Ventura County sheriff’s deputy. Everyone started stampeding towards the nearest exit, jumping out of windows, and trampling each other. Some were so shocked that they couldn’t move, paralyzed in fear and shock. Many people stated that the initial shots sounded similarly to a balloon popping.
Slain sheriff’s deputy Sgt. Ron Helus had been planning to retire next year, but was fatally shot by the gunman. Right before he went in, he had called his wife and said, “Hey, I have to handle a call. I love you, I’ll talk to you later.” Helus arrived to the scene three minutes after receiving the 911 call, walked into the bar during active shooting, and was shot multiple times. He ended up passing away in the hospital. His colleagues commemorated him for his bravery and heroism. After injuring about 21 people and killing 12, Long shot and killed himself before the police could get to him.
After the tragic event, authorities began to investigate the shooter. Through this process, an interesting Facebook post believed to be posted by Ian David Long was discovered. The post said, “I hope people call me insane… (laughing emojis).. wouldn’t that just be a big ball of irony? Yeah.. I’m insane, but the only thing you people do after these shootings is ‘hopes and prayers’.. or ‘keep you in my thoughts’… every time… and wonder why these keep happening…”. Additionally, one of Long’s neighbors revealed that he had called the police on Ian David Long due to unusual loud banging and shouting he had heard.
Although these claims connect to the shooter’s actions, after seeing the Facebook post, an unnamed friend of Long stated, “That does not sound like Ian to me at all. I don’t know what was going through his head when he wrote this. It must have been terrible,”.
Through this event, the precious lives of the 12 victims were lost to a terrible incident. The city of Thousand Oaks is heartbroken, and people all over the world continue to keep them in their prayers.
Nicole Kim, Grade 10
South Pasadena High School