Thousand Oaks California became the site of the 307th mass shooting in the U.S. this year on November 7th. This massacre left 12 people dead in total as well as the gunman himself.
The shooting took place on Wednesday night, at the Borderline Bar and Grill. The gunman entered, dressed in black, and opened fire at people in the packed restaurant during an event for college students at around 11:20 p.m. 11 of the victims, who had been attending the bar, were killed on the scene. A deputy who was among the first to arrive at the scene exchanged gunfire from the attacker, and later died from his injuries. This brought the total number of fatalities to 12, that was until police raided the Grill and found the shooter already dead inside.
The body was identified as 28-year-old Ian David Long, who had apparently, after killing 11 people, gone to an office near the front of the bar and shot himself. The shooter used a Glock 21, with an extended magazine. California Law prohibits the sale of high-capacity magazines. Long was a marine veteran who had served for five years, and had no apparent motive for the crime he committed. Earlier in the year, he underwent a mental health evaluation, though it was concluded that Long didn’t need to be taken into custody at the time.
A 29-year veteran of the Ventura County Police Station, Ron Helus, was the first responder and was injured at the crime scene. Helus had been looking to retire in the next few years, which makes his death all the more tragic. He left behind a wife and son and died a hero.
Just a couple of weeks ago, on October 27th, there was a devastating shooting at a Synagogue in Pittsburgh. A man with an AR-15-style assault rifle and three handguns opened fire inside the Synagogue, killing 11 attendants and wounding six people, four of which were police officers. The assailant was later identified as 46-year-old Robert D. Bowers. who had no previous criminal history before this.
There have been 307 mass shootings only 311 days into the year – almost one a day. Something has to be done to stop these tragic events from happening.