NBCSL Mourns Those Lost in Thousand Oaks, California Mass Shooting

Washington DC —National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) President and Indiana State Representative Gregory W. Porter issued the following statement in response to news of the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, CA, on Wednesday evening, November 7, 2018, in which a lone gunman fatally shot at least 12 people.

Representative Gregory W. Porter:

“Our hearts are heavy as we send condolences and prayers to the family members, friends, and nation for the 12 people who died in our nation’s most recent mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California.  Most of the victims were young college students who had gathered together to enjoy an evening of line dancing at a local club.  A police officer responding to the emergency call also died trying to save people. Here we are again and again and again.  We are constantly mourning the loss of lives snuffed out by a mass shooter and it seems as though it’s now happening multiple times every month.”

“Gun Violence Archive data shows that the shooting in Thousand Oaks brings the total number of mass shootings for 2018 to 307, which means our nation is averaging a mass shooting almost every day. Just over a week ago, there was a mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh where 11 people worshipping lost their lives, and a few days before that, in Louisville, Kentucky, two people were killed at a Kroger grocery store.  There have been mass school shootings across America for years, and statistics indicate the situation is getting worse.  Showing our remorse and grief helps the stricken families, but it’s not changing this horrific phenomenon or saving lives.  We must do more to stop this terrible scourge this is gripping America.

“NBCSL is poised to work with local, state, and national law enforcement, government, and mental health clinicians to help develop appropriate policies and legislation that will mitigate the loss of life that is impacting our nation due to mass shootings. We know that there are thousands of people suffering from mental health issues in the United States.  We also know there are people who do evil things and have committed mass shootings to hurt others because of their race, religion, national origin, or sexual preference. 

“Minimizing or eliminating mass shootings in America will not be easy, but we must come together and do everything in our power to save our children, elders, and our freedom.  Whether it’s through working groups, town hall meetings, or developing the policies and regulations required, NBCSL is committed to making and keeping our nation safe for all people.  It’s not just our lives that are at stake—it’s our ability to live in a society where we can go about our daily tasks without fear.  It goes to the core of our democracy.  Remember, if you live with fear of a mass shooting, you aren’t really free.  Again, our hearts and prayers are with the families of the victims of Thousand Oaks.  May God be with you and comfort you at this time.”