We will never forget

Alex E., Editor in Chief

Ron Helus, Noel Sparks, Dan Manrique, Justin Meek, Cody Coffman, Alaina Housley, Telemachus Orfanos, Sean Adler, Mark Meza Jr., Blake Dingman, Jacob Dunham, & Kristina Morisette. These are the names of the victims of the Borderline Shooting. These are the names that you should never forget. Each victim had family and friends who loved them and people in their lives that cared about them. The victim’s lives were senselessly ended before many of them had a chance to even think about their futures. Some of these victims were college students worrying about what grade they would get on their next test in school, not worrying if they were going to become another statistic. Other victims were veterans, some were aspiring to join the military, others were employees at Borderline Bar & Grill, while others were important parts of their community and families. No matter who they were, they were all at Borderline to have a good time, but now none of them will get to see their family or friends again. They will make no more new memories. Most of them will never have had the chance get married nor have children. Instead, a heinous man decided to end their lives, strip them of their futures, and leave everyone else who was affected by the mass shooting grappling to overcome the sadness, hatred, and mourning that they are left feeling.   

This article does not need my own opinion, there are more than enough people who lost their son, daughter, husband, best friend, etc who can say what’s on my and many others minds. Telemachus Orfanos was 27 years old when he was murdered. His mother, Susan Orfanos, talked to KABC about how she was feeling after the shooting. “My son was in Las Vegas [when the Route 91 music festival turned into a mass shooting] with a lot of his friends and he came home,” she said. “He didn’t come home last night, and I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts. I want gun control, and I hope to God nobody else sends me any more prayers.”

Janie Scott, a 42 year old Las Vegas survivor who runs a Facebook page for other survivors, told the New York Times that 47 people who made it out of that shooting had posted on her page that they were at Borderline last night. “They’re just broken,” she said. “I’m hearing a lot of: Why is this our new norm? Why is this our new norm? It shouldn’t be. At all.”

Teylor Whittler, a young woman inside the bar, saw the gunman quickly reload and fire again. “He knew what he was doing,” she told the New York Times. “He had perfect form.” The shooter, who was a war veteran, was skilled with his legally bought Glock 21 .45-caliber handgun. Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean told NBC News that the gun also had an extended magazine, which is illegal to purchase or sell within California. Sheriff Dean also said, “Unfortunately, our young people or people at nightclubs have learned this may happen and they think about that, [but] fortunately it probably saved a lot of lives that they fled the scene so rapidly.”

In response to the mass shooting, Calif. Governor-elect Gavin Newsom told TIME Magazine at a vigil for the victims, “Our hearts are with all those whose loved ones were stolen from them too soon, by yet another senseless act of gun violence.” A senseless act of gun violence, there is truly no other way to describe the events that occurred. Mass shootings like these do not happen solely due to the ownership of guns, but this level of destruction by one person can almost only be done with the guns. This is why people like me, many of the victim’s family members and friends, as well as millions of other people nationwide, have a huge desire for extensive gun reform. I’ll say it again. Gun reform! The intention is not to take away every gun in the US, but to make the United States of America a safer and less violent place. A place that the founding fathers wanted the US to be, a land of freedom and opportunity unlike any other. Not a land where children, from age five, learn what to do in case of an active shooter on campus. Nor a land where annual gun deaths number in the tens of thousands. This holiday season, be thankful for who and what you have in your life and try to help those in our community that are not as fortunate as you.