Students and faculty of UCSB joined together in remembrance of friends and family lost to gun violence, this time for the lives lost at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks.
On Wednesday night, 12 people were shot and killed by Marine veteran Ian David Long. Some students from Thousand Oaks, which Niche rated the third safest city in America as of 2018, blame the lack of gun control as the cause of the shooting.
After the 2014 shooting in Isla Vista by Elliot Roger, California legislators passed bill AS 1014, which regulates the sale and transfer of firearms. This bill also gives the right to law enforcement to enforce a temporary gun restraining order if a court finds it necessary to keep a gun from an individual at risk of harming others.
“I can’t believe we’re here again,” said Chicano studies professor Ralph Armbruster Sandoval during the community gathering at the Multicultural Center (MCC) on Friday. While some attendees were in disbelief over the occurrence of another shooting, others already had their minds strained on the future.
“How many more vigils will we have to participate in?” asked Diane Puente, Associated Students Isla Vista Community Advisor, further stating how tiring it can be to continue asking “who’s got the candles” in preparation for each vigil.
One student, who chose to remain anonymous, said that they could not sleep since learning about the shooting. Another resident from Thousand Oaks, who chose to remain anonymous, brought in the larger issue of divisiveness in the United States at the root of this violence.
“Going through this is creating a hard time to be happy,” said Taylor Jackson, MCC programming assistant and third year sociology and Middle East studies double major. Jackson brought up how living as a person of color is additionally stressful and scary with respect to the issue of gun violence because it affects their community at exceptionally high rates.
Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Margaret Klawunn expressed that it feels as if we are living in a dystopia. In hopes of offering emotional aid for those affected by this tragedy, Multicultural Center Director Zaveeni Khan-Marcus said to those in attendance, “we cannot take away the pain, but we can sit with you.”
At another vigil that evening at the Love and Remembrance garden in I.V., CAPS Director Brian Olowude advised, “don’t feel like it’s a sign of weakness to reach out for help.” A mental health peer offered students and community members grief resources for themselves and friends and family that may need help.
Also present at this vigil, Klawunn informed students of university resources to help with the fires, such as emergency funds and short stay housing.
Leading the vigil attendants in singing “Imagine” by John Lennon, I.V. Board President Ethan Bertrand changed the lyrics to include the end of gun violence and hope for peace on Earth.
Having spoken at the Pittsburgh shooting vigil at Storke Tower last Wednesday, Rabbi Evan Goodman found himself speaking again under similar circumstances, saying “it’s time for us to say not one more.” A term used frequently after the 2014 shooting in Isla Vista.
Anyone who is having a difficult time coping with the shooting is encouraged to reach out to friends, family, or CAPS. Anyone can call CAPS 24/7 at 805-893-4411 or visit their office for an in person consultation.