When Devastation Hits the Third Safest City in America

On Wednesday, November 7th, the unimaginable happened in Thousand Oaks, California. In the midst of dancing, drinking, and having fun, a man walked into Borderline Bar & Grill and shot people with a handgun. The outcome was 12 bodies. In a blink of an eye, 12 innocent lives were lost due to lack of gun reform. The families who once found comfort and safety in Thousand Oaks will forever be affected by this traumatic night, and Thousand Oaks will be added to the list of cities that has experienced a mass shooting.

Not only will the night of November 7th haunt the residents of Thousand Oaks forever but also the ones who were indirectly affected by the trauma. Multiple college students have mentioned they were about to go to that very bar that very night to have some normal fun, but for some reason decided against it at the last minute. Friends of friends of victims have been lining up for hours to donate blood for the victims. Every other post on all social media platforms have been about personal experiences with the shooting or personal connections to the incident.

Many people that watch the news or hear about situations like this automatically assume, “Oh this won’t happen to me”, yet the reality of today is that it might. It can happen to anyone. It can happen in a largely populated and popular city like Las Vegas, Nevada, where a shooting took place in 2017, or it may happen in a quiet town like Wallingford, Connecticut where a few people were shot in 2016. In 2017 alone, there was a total of 304 mass shootings in the United States, and shootings have only escalated from there.

Many citizens are getting frustrated with the gun reform in the country. Even after a surge of mass shootings, there has not been enough official regulations to improve gun reforms and potentially decrease the number of shootings. Therefore as a community, we must take matters into our own hands. The most important thing to do is to be informed. Learn about your state’s gun laws and about federal gun laws in order to advocate with the right information. If you do decide to own a gun, then be smart about. Make sure it is secured in the household and far away from children and teens, especially teens that have mental health issues. Most importantly, and this may sound repetitive, but make sure you are registered to vote when the time comes. One vote does in fact make a difference. It prevents a horrific night, it prevents innocent lives lost and it prevents not feeling safe in your own hometown.