Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus was on the phone with his wife when reports of a shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill came in. “I gotta go handle a call,” Helus said before hanging up. “I love you. I’ll talk to you later.” Soon, the 54-year-old would be one of the first two officers to reach the country music bar. After exchanging fire with the gunman — a troubled 28-year-old who had served in the Marines — Helus would be fatally wounded. In the aftermath of the Thousand Oaks shooting that killed a dozen people and left 18 injured, stories of panic, bloodshed and heroics emerged. Family and friends remembered the people who were killed. Among them: an 18-year-old freshman at Pepperdine University, a 48-year-old bouncer with dreams of a better life, a 33-year-old veteran of the Marines, a 27-year-old who had survived the Las Vegas mass shooting just over a year ago. And once again, the question: How could this happen?
Axios morning email thingie:
- 328 people died in those incidents, and 1,251 were injured, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit that provides online access to data about gun violence.
- “The numbers include incidents in which four or more people were shot or killed, not including the shooters.”
One possibility is an expansion of California’s gun violence restraining order law, which allows police and family members to seek the temporary removal of firearms from someone they believe is a danger to themselves or others. Brown has twice vetoed, including in September, a measure that would also allow employers, co-workers, high school and college staff, and mental health providers to petition for a gun violence restraining order. Newsom indicated Thursday that he was open to the idea.
So what is it going to take? Every corner of America has seen this slaughter time-after-time, according to polls everyone wants some regulation, but money-grubbers at the NRA continue to buy and sell politicians (mostly but not always Republicans) who continue to do their bidding and instead of strengthening laws and restrictions insist on loosening them.
The very first Police responder to the scene was shot and killed. The good guy with a gun argument is inoperative.