“That will never happen to me.” This is usually what goes on in one’s head when they read about a horrific disaster that had occurred. The problem with this mindset is that one will not be prepared if this situation applies to them.
On the night of November 7, 2018, at 11:20 PM, a shooting occurred at a bar in Thousand Oaks. Many young adults were gathered there because it was college country night. Police officers arrived at the scene after about two or three minutes, but the damage was already done: at least 12 people were killed. During their arrival, Sargent Ron Helus was shot and killed along with Tel Orfanos, who had survived the earlier Las Vegas shooting. The shooting was deemed a suicide-murder.
The assailant was identified as Ian David Long, who was a 28-year-old US Marine Corps veteran. He was seen wearing a black trench coat and eyeglasses. The shooter used a legally purchased handgun and coupled it with an extended magazine, which is illegal in California. He was allegedly diagnosed with a mental illness and attended California State University Northridge from 2013 to 2016. Many college students from California Lutheran University and Pepperdine University attended this night.
As tragedy struck again in the United States, many are becoming numb to the devastating effects of such horrific incidents. This is even to the point of ignoring the tell-tale signs of something ominous to come and refusing to stay alert. However, one of the best options or solutions to help decrease and even stop such horror from occurring over and over again, one must always be aware of their surroundings.
Like said before, since such horrific situations can occur anywhere, it is important to keep yourself and others around you aware of the actions needed to be taken during these times. For example, in schools and businesses, it is imperative for people to have active shooter drills and know multiple escape plans to make sure that when worse comes to worst, they have other options.
This is of grave importance because being alert and having an escape and action plan is always the best way to save lives. Unfortunately, it has become fact that horror will continue to strike and at random times, so hopefully, this message is sent to many school districts and other public areas to make sure that they keep alert and keep our citizens safe.
Esther Jung, Grade 10
Grover Cleveland Charter High School