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A Survivor Of The Las Vegas Massacre Died In The Thousand Oaks Shooting & His Mother’s Statement Is Devastating

Telemachus “Tel” Orfanos, 27, was one 12 people killed in a mass shooting Wednesday night at a bar in Southern California where more than 100 people had gathered to celebrate “College Country Night.” In addition to being an Eagle Scout and a Navy Veteran, CBS reports that Orfanos was also a survivor of the Las Vegas shooting in October 2017, which claimed the lives of 58 people.

Orfanos was actually one of several Las Vegas shooting survivors in attendance at the Borderline Bar and Grill when the shooting occurred. One such survivor, Nicholas Champion spoke to CBS News about the trauma of living through not just one, but two mass shootings.

“It’s the second time in about a year and a month that this has happened,” he said. “It’s a big thing for us. We’re all a big family and unfortunately, this family got hit twice.”

According to ABC News, the shooter, identified as 28-year-old Marine Corps veteran Ian David Long, legally purchased the .45 caliber handgun he used to commit the massacre. Since the shooting, there have been many cries for the government to take action to prevent future shootings, including one from California’s governor-elect, Gavin Newsom.

In a statement published by CNN, Newsom said that “Simply saying ‘enough is enough’ isn’t enough. We must address the root causes of these devastating acts at every level of government.”

However, one of the most impassioned pleas came from Orfanos’ mother, Susan Schmidt-Orfanos. Standing outside her family’s home and clearly overcome with emotion, Schmidt-Organos made it clear that “thoughts and prayers,” the go-to consolation after such tragedies, would not be enough this time.

“My son was in Las Vegas with one of his friends and he came home. He didn’t come home last night,” she said. “And I don’t want prayers, I don’t want thoughts, I want gun control and I hope to God nobody else sends me more prayers. I want gun control. No. More. Guns.”

Sophie is a college student studying English and American Studies. She likes to write as a form of self-expression and procrastination. Her work has appeared in Rookie Magazine, Clover Letter, and Screen Queens. Outside of writing, her interests include reading Gothic literature, playing guitar badly, and enjoying the great outdoors from the even greater indoors.