Washington, D.C., November 8, 2018 – Yet again, a community is left reeling after at least 12 people were shot and killed and at least a dozen more were injured at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, CA. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence released the following statement, expressing outrage at yet another mass shooting in America.
Brady Campaign co-presidents Kris Brown and Avery Gardiner stated,
“Waking up to news of a mass shooting is becoming frighteningly close to a daily occurrence in America. We mourn the deaths of the 12 people murdered and what some are reporting as another 12 injured, and yet we know there is so much more we could do to prevent these tragedies. This should have been a night for college students to enjoy themselves, but instead the Ventura County community is left broken and grieving. From synagogues to yoga studios to schools to dance halls, as long as gaps in our federal gun laws remain, every single one of us is vulnerable. Gun violence is a public health epidemic, and we need comprehensive solutions. We have to pass stronger laws, and we have to enforce the ones we have. We cannot wait for the next House of Representatives to take office - we expect and demand that Congress enact Brady’s three-point plan to take meaningful action to end these mass shootings. We don’t have a moment to wait.”
Janet Eckhouse, head of the Ventura County Chapter of the Brady Campaign stated:
“We are utterly heartbroken today. And yet, our resolve is strong to continue our fight against gun violence. While we have worked hard to ensure that California has some of the strongest gun laws in the country, as long as there is a patchwork of weaker local and state laws across the nation, no one is truly safe from this epidemic. Don’t wait for this to happen to you and to your community - demand action from your elected officials so that we can bring this crisis to an end before we lose any more innocent lives.”
Omari Allen, member of Team ENOUGH and alumni of Pepperdine University, added:
“Pepperdine has always been home for me, so for this to happen to my community strikes directly at my heart. Borderline Bar and Grill should be a safe haven, just as the Tree of Life Synagogue should have been, just as Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School should have been, just as the Route 91 Music Festival should have been, just as the Pulse Nightclub should have been, and just as so many other places across the country should have been. I stand with Pepperdine and the Ventura County community, and I will be there to lift them up today. And I will continue to support and lift them up marching forward against gun violence to ensure that, in the very near future, these mass shootings become a part of the past.”
Team ENOUGH and the Brady Campaign will be holding a vigil honoring the victims and survivors of the Borderline Grill shooting tonight, Nov. 8, starting at 5:30pm PST. Congresswoman Julia Brownley, who represents the area where the shooting occurred, will speak at the vigil. More details can be found here.
According to Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean, at least 12 people have been killed, including a Ventura County sheriff’s deputy, and up to a dozen more have been injured. The suspect died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Dean told reporters that “It’s a horrific incident... It’s part of the horrors that are happening in our country and everywhere, and I think it’s impossible to put any logic or any sense to the senseless.”
- Reports say that the suspect used a .45 caliber Glock that was purchased legally in Ventura County. Some sort of magazine modification had been used. The shooter was a Marine Corps war veteran. In April, deputies were called to a residence for a domestic dispute which the suspect was involved in. According to reports he was acting irate and irrationally, but a mental health specialist determined that a 5150, which would have subjected him to an involuntary psychiatric hold, was not necessary at the time. Had he been admitted to the hospital under a 5150, he would have been prohibited from purchasing or possessing guns for 5 years, though the law permits those individuals to petition to regain firearms rights.
- Sgt. Ron Helus, who had been on the force for 29 years, was one of the first officers on the scene in response to 911 calls in addition to a California Highway Patrol Officer. Sgt. Helus was shot multiple times and later died in the hospital from his wounds. According to Sheriff Dean, Sgt. Helus was preparing to retire after his many years of service. Six off-duty police officers were also in the bar at the time of the shooting.
- Borderline Bar and Grill has, per the venue’s website, “stood as Ventura County’s largest country dance hall and live music venue.” The bar is often crowded on Wednesday as it hosts a college night, allowing students between the ages of 18 and 21 to enter.
- Further news reports state that survivors of the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival shooting in Las Vegas in 2017 were in attendance at the bar.
- This is the second time this year that Thousand Oaks, CA has seen violence in a crowded area. In March, a man shot and killed his wifebefore attempting to shoot himself at the Thousand Oaks Mall.
- Thousand Oaks mayor Andy Fox told reporters today that the town “is considered one of the safest cities in the country… the reality is that these types of incidents can happen really at any place, at any time, even in communities that are considered extremely safe.”
California gun laws include:
- All gun transfers in California must take place with a background check.
- There is a ten-day waiting period for the purchase of any firearm. The California Department of Justice can also delay transferring a gun for up to 30 days while they determine if the potential purchaser is prohibited or not.
- There is an assault weapons and high capacity magazine ban statewide; such weapons can be owned, but no longer purchased.
- California has enacted a law called a “Gun Violence Restraining Order,” that enables law enforcement, family members, and some others to bring a civil petition before a judge to temporarily remove guns from individuals in crisis who are at risk of harming themselves or others. These laws also prohibit a person from buying more guns while the order is still in place.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in the common sense. In the spirit of our founders Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 25 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.