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Students are numb to tragedy after the shooting in Thousand Oaks

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Students are numb to tragedy after the shooting in Thousand Oaks

The site of the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California

The site of the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California

Ringo Chiu/Reuters

The site of the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California

Ringo Chiu/Reuters

Ringo Chiu/Reuters

The site of the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California

Alexandra Bentzien, Editor in Chief

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An ordinary night at a country music bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif. became the scene of a tragedy as a gunman fired shots into a crowd of people, murdering 12 and wounding others.  The incident, which occurred on Wed., Nov. 7, marked the 307th mass shooting in the United States since the beginning of 2018, according to ABC News. Among those affected were college-aged students, for whom Wednesday nights at the Borderline Bar & Grill signified, “College Country Night,” as well as survivors of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting that took place just over a year ago.

Derick Lee, Class of 2018 and a current student at UCLA, was not present during the shooting and did not directly know anyone affected, though he and his friends were aware of the local bar’s popularity among college students and the threat to personal security.  “I am not happy with the fact that California is the state with the most amount of mass shootings – 128 since 1982, New York had 30 – but it’s not like people in Thousand Oaks expected this since they have one of the lowest crime rates,” Lee said.

After the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., the Masters community participated in advocating for gun control and standing in solidarity with the victims of gun violence.  A volunteer chapter of Students Demand Action (SDA) was founded in April, two walk-outs were organized and Tower published a special edition newspaper to honor the memory of the victims of Stoneman Douglas.  However, in reflecting on the most recent mass shooting, some students struggled to reckon with the effects.

“I feel incredibly sad, but it’s become such a common event in the news to see.  It kind of loses its significance,” senior Ben Miller said.

Feeling numb was a shared sentiment among fellow senior Max Steinert.  “It desensitizes the citizens. I think a move to restrict gun purchases and ban assault rifles is long overdue,” Steinert said.  

But even the gun laws in California, which are among the most restrictive in the United States, did not prevent Ian Long, the 28-year-old suspect and Marine Corps veteran, from inflicting tragedy.  While emphasis has been placed on banning the sale of assault rifles, which are illegal to purchase or possess in California, Long opened fire with a handgun – a weapon whose advertisement is banned in the state, including on the property of legal and certified gunsellers.

“Honestly at this point I’m not sure if there is any place in the world that is completely safe,” Lee said.    

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Students are numb to tragedy after the shooting in Thousand Oaks