This morning family and friends gather to mourn the young people, and Sheriff’s Sergeant Ron Helus, who were murdered by a lone shooter at a popular Thousand Oaks country music venue, the Borderline Bar and Grill. There were 11 victims total.
Wednesday was College Night at the Borderline, when anyone 18 years of age or older could be there, taking the line dancing lessons and otherwise enjoying the night. Two women were celebrating their birthdays with friends. Everyone was there to have fun on Hump Day.
The shooter was a former Marine who lived just five miles from the bar and grill. He served in Afghanistan during his four-plus years in the Corps. He purchased the handgun used in this horrific crime legally. In April police were called to his home after an incident, but mental health services didn’t find him to be too dangerous to live among us.
Many news organizations are reporting he may have been suffering from PTSD, but it would be a mistake to mis-diagnose the shooter on TV, or paint everyone suffering from PTSD with a wide brush.
Thousands of people, civilians and first responders, lined the route of the hearse taking Sgt. Helus from Los Robles Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, to the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office in Ventura.
There are many layers of this terrible act, from the ease of purchasing a firearm to mental health care, that need to be addressed, but at the moment everyone in Southern California sends their hearts and thoughts to the families of the murdered.
It’s up to state, local and federal officials to skip the thoughts and prayers and fix the problems that led to this shooting find ways to slow down the number of mass shootings that now plague this nation.
Top photo is a YouTube screenshot
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