Tragedy struck last week, leaving a dozen dead and almost as many injured as a bar in California became home to the 307th mass shooting in the United States this year.
The Borderline Bar & Grill was a popular hangout spot for the youth of Thousand Oaks, California. On the night of November 7th it was a special ‘College Night’ event and per usual, customers packed in to dance, watch the game and unwind. Then, terror struck as a man dressed in a black trench coat and glasses suddenly rushed and shot the security guard. Inside, patrons thought that it may have been a sound effect or fireworks, and some people even continued to dance.
However, the loud cracks kept coming, and quickly the people dived to the floor. Teylor Whittler, a local student who was present at the time, claimed that there wasn’t a lot of screaming. In its place there was just ‘gunfire and a stampede of people.’ In an interview with CNN, he said “There were at least 50 people that all tired getting up at once and run out the back door. I ended up getting caught in the ground and stumbled over by multiple people.”
The gunman was identified as Ian David Long, a US Marines veteran. Armed with a legally purchased .45-caliber Glock 21, the 28-year-old stormed the bar and killed twelve innocent people before taking his own life. Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said “It’s a horrific scene in there. There is blood everywhere and the suspect is part of that.” As of yet local authorities have no motive or cause for Long’s sudden outburst.
Perpetrator Ian Long was a disturbed individual, who was found to have posted online to social media prior to the event. On an Instagram post made only a minute before law enforcement entered the building, he stated “It’s too bad I won’t get to see all the illogical and pathetic reasons people will put in my mouth as to why I did it. Fact is I had no reason to do it, and I just though… Life is boring, so why not?” He made another post to Facebook just minutes later, claiming “I hope people call me insane (two smiling emojis) would that just be a big ball of irony? Yeah… I’m insane, but the only thing you people do after these shootings is ‘hopes and prayers’ or ‘keep you in my thoughts’.”
Greg Zanis, a retired Chicago carpenter, erected 12 wooden crosses near the Borderline Bar & Grill, one in honor of each passed on victim. “I’m working for the families. I always bring a double set. I sand them. I paint them. I put hearts on them and I put their names on them” he stated in an interview with media. “I also put their photo on there in black and white as a ghost. It’s the most personal gift a carpenter can give to a grieving family.” The crosses stand near flowers, wreaths and even a stuffed animal, all coming together to form a beautiful memorial.
Works Cited: CNN.com, USAToday.com, Vox.com