Another mass shooting has hit our country. A popular country bar in California was the target. During college night, Ian Long, a 28-year-old ex-Marine, walked into the bar dressed in all black, shot the bouncer, released smoke grenades onto the dance floor and opened fire.
His reign of terror lasted about 30 minutes and included a fire fight with police, which lead to the death of an officer. He then turned the gun on himself. After it was over, 12 people were dead and many more injured.
Although a motive is still being investigated, it had been revealed that Long suffered from PTSD.
While this latest tragedy has many calling for gun control, there are others that are taking a different approach. They are taking action by arming themselves.
VC Defense, the only gun store in Thousand Oaks, has seen an unusually steady stream of customers the day after the shooting. Owner John Von Colln said that many of the people expressed the same sentiment, they all wanted to arm themselves because they felt no place was safe anymore. They all wanted to be prepared to confront a mass shooter or a home invader. They were taking matters into their own hands.
Many of the customers VC had that day were first time gun buyers. And they learned just how rigorous it is to purchase a gun. Von Colln said he did turn at least one person away because they did not provide the proper paperwork.
Von Colln also mentioned that among the conversations he heard that day, there were two topics that stood out: one being general expressions of hatred for the shooter and the other was about the six unarmed, off-duty law enforcement officers who were reportedly at the bar during the shooting. People were discussing that their lack of weapons were a consequence of a California law barring firearms in bars.
“At least there could’ve been a chance” of preventing the shooting if they were armed, said Von Colln. He expressed that the tight California gun laws were the result of out-of-touch politicians creating irrational rules that, he claims, even his law enforcement clients can’t follow the logic.
Von Colln’s cousin was a police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty. “I take this very seriously, what we do,” he said. “Some people would love to have all gun shops done, but without a legal way people are going to be doing it illegally.”
“Molly” was one of the customers that day who changed her mind about owning a gun. “Thirteen people would have not died” if people who were trained with firearms were armed on Wednesday night, she said.
Ethan, a teen whose father was also buying a gun for protection, also gave his opinion on gun control. “No matter how hard they make it to get a gun, they’re going to get one,” he said. “I’m a kid and I don’t know anything but I know that.”
Tragedies like these are horrible, there is no question there. But it finally looks like people are starting to realize that owning a gun is safer than having laws preventing you from protecting yourself.