People gather for Thousand Oaks vigil

People gather at a vigil for Thousand Oaks shooting victims. (Photo: Apu Gomes, AFP/Getty Images)


After the most recent mass shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California that left 12 people dead, our society is once again left wondering what can be done to prevent such horrific acts of violence from occurring time and time again.

As the details of the tragedy became known to the public, a number of parents and loved ones of the victims gave heart-wrenching on-camera interviews which quickly went viral. Many struggled to hold back tears as they called for politicians to take action on gun control.

One particularly poignant video featured Susan Orfanos, whose son survived the mass shooting in Las Vegas last year, only to be gunned down in Thousand Oaks. She tells the camera: “I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts. I want gun control, and I hope to God no one sends me anymore prayers.”

Thoughts and Prayers

The widely-shared video goes to the heart of a debate that’s getting increasingly heated as mass shootings become the new normal in America: is it enough to simply pray for the victims, to pray these horrific acts of violence eventually subsist? Or must we actually pass new laws and policies in order to effect change?

The phrase “thoughts and prayers” – once a universally positive sentiment – has morphed into a sarcastic phrase employed by gun control advocates to mock those 2nd Amendment backers who are unable to offer anything more concrete.

Perhaps there is a role for prayers in all of this, but as the video above indicates, the more mass shootings we see, the more people will become disaffected with – and indeed angered by – “prayers” as a solution to the killing.

Where do you stand?

 

45 comments

  1. Chris says:

    We definitely need some reasonable gun control measures. Sure, we all have the constitutionally provided “right” to own a gun, but there are some who can’t be trusted with a water pistol, let alone a live weapon. For starters, I believe gun ownership should include mandatory training and regular renewal on the safe usage and storage of the gun. If you can’t prove suitable proficiency you shouldn’t be permitted to have a gun.

    1. What can we do to stop the killing says:

      only law enforcement and armed security officers should be able to own hand guns. Hunters should not br able to owm military grade but a shot gun or basic rifle is ok. And yes we need better control on just who can own a gun. Just because the guy is a cop doesnt mean he cant spaz out and kill people. So just how do we know?
      Prayers just wont cut it. So whst is the answer? anybody got the answer.

      1. JOLENE MARCELLA TRAVIS says:

        Have you ever seen the extent of damage a shot gun can do??? Pellets spray out of the shell and can do more damage than a single bullet. Educate yourself and learn it is the RIGHT of every citizen, except Felons, to own a firearm.

        1. Iconoclast says:

          I concur.

          1. Lori says:

            So you agree that Felons shouldn’t own guns? What able people with a background of mental disorder? Shouldn’t there be extensive background checks into a persons stability? Psychiatric patients with problems that could lead to hostility should not be able to have guns.

      2. Judith says:

        The “military grade weapons” you refer to use a smaller caliber round than your “plain old wood stick hunting rifle”. It shoots one round at a time. It just “looks scarier”

      3. John Owens says:

        Hunters cannot legally own up to date military grade weapons. Of course, I would point out that the 2nd Amendment never mentions hunting. The colonists were not being threatened by moose or elk, but the greatest empire of that time.

      4. Iconoclast says:

        I disagree that only law enforcement and armed security officers should be able to own hand guns. I mean that might be almost acceptable if NO ONE else had them. NOT ONE other person. How could we ever pay enough LEOs and SOs to protect everyone? Simple answer: it cannot be done. Some people will be protected and most will not. That is what most gun control advocates do not seem to comprehend. Or, what about if no one but LEOs and SOs had them, and the government wanted to tell us all what we have to do and we did not like it? What could we do about it? Especially if they tell us we cannot vote or assemble or protest? What you suggest is a bad idea.

  2. Rev. Hoagie says:

    The state of California and the City of Thousand Oaks have more gun control laws than any other state or city in America. They have thousands of gun control laws but this shooter was a mentally ill ex soldier who was deemed okay by the folks hired by the government do check out these people. There is no gun law other than complete confiscation that could have stopped this guy and if this woman wants complete confiscation then she is totally insane.

    We have a second amendment for a reason and just because some nut cases abuse it does not mean we can just cast it aside cavalierly. The same with our other rights. Because people abuse rights is no excuse to penalize those of us who don’t. Every law needed was on the books in California but the dude fell through the cracks. It happens. Her loss and her grief are not legitimate reasons to deny me my rights. My thoughts and prayers go out to the innocent gun owners of California who will now be demonized and admonished and perhaps have more of their freedom stolen by people who refuse to understand that in a nation of 330 million people we are going to have some bad eggs. It’s no excuse to punish the innocent or deny them their rights to protect themselves.

    1. Joe says:

      We need a”like” button on these comments.
      The retoric against gun owners is compeable to raceism.

      1. JOLENE MARCELLA TRAVIS says:

        Wonder whom these people will call if they are victims of a crime??? Oh, yeah, guys with guns.

        1. Judith says:

          In fact, it was a good guy with a “military assault style rifle” that came out of his house, shooting at this guy, who stopped this madman and saved the lives of the rest of the congregation.

    2. Rev. Dr. Marion Ceruti says:

      Rev. Hoagie you are correct. Gun control does not work because it disarms normal people who are not criminals. Gun control is responsible for unarmed victim zones, which attract criminals like magnets attract iron. When a criminal opens fire, no one can shoot back. When seconds count, police are only minutes away.

      We have the right not only to keep but to bear arms. Governments like California are responsible for disarming its citizens with all its irrational and useless gun-control laws. The last thing we need is more gun control. There is no such thing as “common-sense gun control.” Common sense prompts us to arm ourselves in the face of danger.

      The criminals are already armed. No one will not stop criminals with gun-control laws and no one will ever disarm them. Only armed citizens can provide an adequate deterrent and/or defense against an armed attacker.

      My thoughts and prayers are that all of these anti-second amendment laws will be declared unconstitutional some day and we can be safe again whether we are at home or in public.

      Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

      1. Rev. Rene. says:

        Except, my dear Dr. Marion, these are not “criminals”. They are somewhat deluded citizens who have the means now to wreak havoc on an unsuspecting populace. Criminals do usually not do these kind of shootings because this would interfere with the normal course of illegal business. So then, we can talk and talk about mental health, and none or very few are diagnosed in time if ever to prevent this sort of tragedy. And where are the Parkville younger people who were committed to vote for change??? And all the others??? This is the bed US citizens have now made for themselves, and I would think it must be damned uncomfortable to lie in it? Cry second amendment all you will, but more guns in any country equal more death!!! Check the statistics of any country if you will, this is the hard truth, so insist on your 2nd A. rights and live with the result! And that is the last time I will say a word on the subject! ( Don’t bother to smart-reply, I will never read it)

    3. Lea says:

      Rev. Hoagie..Your 100% correct. I grew up in Detroit and its very hard for anyone to get a gun legally..And I lived in fear. But I now live in an area of hunters. In fact the town closes down on the first day of hunting season. I think everyone in this town and other towns near by have fire arms encluding myself…I can walk at 3 in the morning and I walk with no fear..

      Its the ones that have no respect for law. What’s the answer. I really don’t know.

      My husband and I talk about it a lot on how no one has no fear here…They have trust…That is one think that is lost in our society..We have lost trust..Maybe we need a lesson on manors??

      1. Iconoclast says:

        Except, you meant, “manners”.

    4. Iconoclast says:

      I concur.

  3. Don says:

    “Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.”

    1. Gail D says:

      so, so true!

      1. power to the people says:

        Until you need a miricle….haha.

  4. The Pastor says:

    If they didn’t have guns they would just find some other weapon like a base ball bat. So what do we do ban the sport of base ball? You can kill a person with a sheet of paper if you know what you’re doing. Inmates will tell you that. They can turn ANYTHING into a weapon. Why do you think prisons do SHAKE DOWNS. Because they know what an inmate can do with very basic stuff. Toe nail clippings can be made sharp as a razor.
    So any nut on the street can use anything as a weapon. We just need to be aware of our surroundings and the people we come into contact with. We are not safe anywhere any more.
    We don’t need to turn into the wild wild west where everyone has a gun. But what is the answer? I really don’t know.
    I’m sure of one thing, Prayer just isn’t going to cut it here. Anybody have any ideas?

    1. Rev. Dr. Marion G. Ceruti says:

      If everyone carried a gun, either openly or concealed, the criminals would be vastly outnumbered and we would see far fewer attacks.

      Actually, shooting incidents involving multiple victims rarely, if ever, occur in places where guns are readily available. Examples include ranges, police stations, gun shows, and gun stores. Criminals stay away from places where everyone is known to be or could be armed, because they are afraid that someone will shooting back. Criminals do not see “gun-free” zones but rather, they see “unarmed victim” zones.

      You never hear about these kinds of massive attacks in Plano, TX, which has the largest number of guns per capita in the US. More guns means less crime. Texas has shall-issue concealed and now open-carry laws. This levels the playing field. Only when the normal citizens are as well armed as the criminals will these attacks decline.

  5. power to the people says:

    “The phrase “thoughts and prayers” – once a universally positive sentiment – has morphed into a sarcastic phrase employed by gun control advocates to mock those 2nd Amendment backers who are unable to offer anything more concrete.”

    Say what? I know a lot of gun owners and NONE of them feel this way.

  6. JOLENE MARCELLA TRAVIS says:

    Maybe people should stay out of nightclubs. Maybe there should be a mandatory curfew for anyone under the age of 65 to be home before dusk. Please. If someone wants to kill others, they will. Plain and simple, people have been killing each other since Cain and Able. Get over your grief and leave my RIGHT to own and carry alone.

  7. Lea says:

    I grew up in Detroit and it was hard to get a gun legally…So we know who had the guns.I live now in an area of hunters. They even close the towns down when hunting season starts. Its nice not to live in fear..I can walk to the beach at 3 in the morning with no worries. This area has a lot of trust in each other..And trust is what is lost in this society…I’m armed and will always stay armed..An armed society is a polite society..

    Sorry if this is a repeat..but my comment did not post?

    1. John Owens says:

      I love this comment.

    2. power to the people says:

      Lea- Sometimes it takes a day or atleast a few hours for a post to show up.

      Although, I HAVE had a post or two deleted or cencored before it was posted…or maybe it was a glitch in the computer.

      1. Secretary3rd says:

        Maybe! Someone once said about my posting. It is on their server.

  8. T'Keren Valmaz says:

    As always this is a complex issue that gets bogged down by people putting their want to be able to cause harm to others over those that want to see it be stopped.

    Because that is what it boils down to. When you harp on about the right to defend yourself, your talking about harming another because you value your own more.

    Now all life is precious and should be valued equally from the largest whale down to mosquito. That does not mean it should not ever be ended nor taken through violence but only certain kinds of people are actually equipped by nature to kill and not be harmed by it just as badly as if they had been assaulted or killed. Death is something you should accept as inevitable this leads to a loss of fear of being killed and then lets you be free of the fear that causes so many psychological stress factors.

    I saw someone make the comment an armed society is a polite society. This is a half truth at best. Through out history the world over the only culture that came close to achieving this was Feudal era japan with the samurai caste.When you here about the unwavering politeness of their modern society it can still be directly traced to an era when a specific caste was required by duty and honor to always be armed, highly trained in the use of those weapons, and to so much as walk in front of them while they rode down a street was enough to warrant your beheading and this right for samurai to kill and walk away had no limits, children, social elite, all where within the right of the samurai to kill for as little a reason as breathing bad breath in their face.

    Not unlike our 2nd amendment that speaks of a well trained and regulated militia the samurai caste where trained from early child hood, They where not merely competent but masters of their weapons. How many avid hunters consider themselves the equal of a military trained combat sniper? Few and those are likely delusional people as modern hunters are not like hunters even a hundred years ago when it comes to the psychological make up of these people.

    As for regions where everyone hunts being safer places tell that to a young quaker woman that was killed by a life long hunter who was out hunting drunk, something in my experience most so called active hunters do, go out drink a six pack while hiding in a blind and joke about having a full can just opened when an ideal prey animal comes along. because they think its funny, they think mixxing booze and firearms is just a social norm.

  9. Amy Minckler says:

    The whole point is that Criminals dont follow laws, hence why they are called criminals. No matter what laws you pass they are going to break them. Though I haven’t researched it, maybe a limit on how many guns can be owned by someone. While we have the right to bear arms, I don’t think it was meant that we could have our own personal armories. If we reduce the number maybe it would not be as easy as walking down a back alley to buy one. All in all laws aren’t going to stop criminals.

    But we aren’t talking criminals here, we are talking about people who needed our help, people that we as a society have failed ether when they were children or when they grew older and needed someone. Though at this point there is no law where I am currently living that says people with mental illnesses that can cause a person to become violent (and some do not) can’t own a gun. Though I myself am Bipolar, I am not against a law that would provide for that. There should be a law that says you have to pass a mental health exam to own one. Maybe if we stepped up and started helping those with mental illness and stop treating it as something horrible and to be hidden, maybe we could stop some of these incidents from happening. As most of theses shootings aren’t some big bad gang mowing people down but people who needed our help way before the incident occured. Guns aren’t the cause of these horrific acts, they are just a tool that are abused by those we have neglected.

  10. Dr Bob Thomas, Ph.D says:

    Somehow, somewhere God was lost in the lives of everyday people. The rules for behavior, the notion of respect, and the concept of self sacrifice were all lost. Placing the welfare of your neighbor above yourself vanished like mist. All these things we learned from God. We look at those who were drinking, carousing, and finding a way to loose control (blowing off steem) as victims. We see the damaged soldier as evil and untrustworthy when only a few years previously he was our nation’s hero. We hide our shame behind a piece of steel (the gun) and a bottle of liquor, accepting the later and cursing the former. No one wants to face the real problem: we just do not treat each other right. That is too difficult to face. It is easier to pass laws that only seem to feel good, and are beneficial after they have been broken. My suggestion to all of you is to genuinely help someone besides yourself. Visit those in prison. Cook meals for those who are hungry. Cloth those who are naked. Adopt those without families. You spend more time and money on dogs and cats than you do on the mentally ill, on the homeless, on the poor, on the widow, on the orphan. If I can do these things, you can too. If we all do these things, this world will become a better place to live in. A little less hate. A little less evil. A little less darkness. And maybe things like this will truly go away.

    Unfortunately I remember reading somewhere that once there only 4 people were in the world. A mother, a father, and two brothers. One day one brother rose up and killed the other with a rock. He did not use a gun, it had not been invented yet. He used a rock. And He did it because he was jealous. It seems that this is the way we are made. It is up to us whether we want to rise up above our nature, or give in to it. It is nice that the God who formed us gave us rules to over come our nature. I wonder where we put them?

  11. power to the people says:

    The people have spoken- overwhelmingly it seems.

    1. Joe says:

      People who understand that “gun control” is a political sound bite and ” common sense gun legislation” is full of traps and tricks that are damaging to everybodys rights oppose all such legislation.

      1. power to the people says:

        “Gun control means using two hands.”

  12. Tom says:

    Respectfully; the two sides to this debate argue in a vacuum…the real problem is how parents, schools and society can teach that violence against people does not follow God…but people find it way easier to polarize the solutions to problems, rather than take the energy to remove the causes…deciding whether or not there should be guns avoids trying to teach love and compassion, (as it seems too difficult)…it is apparently easier to rally round a slogan; have a march; do a petition; than to do the hard work of trying to resolve an important problem…how many people shoot those for whom they have love and compassion?…Peace…Tom

  13. Tom says:

    ULC/Joseph…it appears strange that i have written 2 comments in ten minutes, on 2 different posts, and both are “awaiting moderation”…as i have said before, i do not use “bad” language, nor attack individuals, so i am back to feeling this is a form of censorship…Peace…Tom

    1. Travis says:

      I’ve attempted to post a couple huge posts, as well, arguing very valid points. Yet, they never seem to have posted. It’s aggrevating.

      I REALLY hope that ULC is not politically a progressive liberal site, like Facebook.

      1. Travis says:

        Funny.
        I can post replies, but no original comments.

      2. Gary Hynous says:

        I too have had trouble posting comments. I was told that my posts were being reviewed for content and yet they never appeared. These posts were not controversial but simply y opinion. Go figure.

  14. Travis says:

    It’s very strange.

    As time goes on…..
    and more and more gun rights are regulated….
    and fewer and fewer law-abiding citizens are armed….
    and more and more criminals are aquiring more and more regulated guns….
    that criminals are becoming bolder and bolder…..
    in more and more gun-free zones….
    while police officers are taking longer and longer to get to the site….
    because they are becoming more and more sensitive….
    or more and more afraid to shoot criminals for fear of “racism” accusations….
    such that….
    mass shootings are becoming more and more common.

    Pretty ironic…..
    that New York, Chicago, and California have the single-most strict gun control regulations…..
    yet they all have the highest gun related shootings in the country.

    If 1 out of every 5 law-abiding citizens were armed in grocery stores, banks, schools, and various other public places….
    1) any self-respecting criminal with half a brain would think twice before commiting mass shootings (as his chances of surviving the encounter would decrease dramatically)….
    2) any criminal who chose to follow through with the shooting would be stopped dead before killing his 3rd or 4th victim (far fewer dead than if you’d waited for police to show up 20 minutes later).

    The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
    5 good guys with guns will stop the bad guy with a gun, 20 minutes and 50 victims sooner.

  15. Secretary3rd says:

    Go to Cuba that does not have these types of shootings. Canada has laws that keep weapons out of hands of just about anyone. Mexico where blood really becomes serve on a platter also have gun laws where only the police and gangs have guns.
    There is a movie called Brooklyn Connection. Get a copy.
    Paladin Press has a selection of books that open eyes.
    Really if the lawyers pass all the laws they want then they might need that same weapon to keep from being lynch by those same laws.
    If you want to find out what happens in a police State just ask anyone who visit China in the last 50 years.
    Ask all those who seek protection from armed gangs as they try to enter the US.
    Think twice about what you want about disarming my or your rights, You will not be arm, but I will.

  16. Secretary3rd says:

    Thousand Oaks has been erase by God.

  17. Secretary3rd says:

    Sleep at the switch. Had dinner with a guy from Nam who would eat at the local Army base officers club. He was a regular type of guy except that he would get stares from the club’s staff.
    His daughter once ask him what he did in the war (Nam). He took a breath and said sadly that he was trained as an American Ghost. He has a rifle on his front-room wall with a scope. Next to it is a plate with a few lines. He got the Stanly Kubrick award for the most kills.
    He says that if they come for his gun, he will go after them.
    Ouch!

  18. Iconoclast says:

    Even if there is no deity to hear one’s prayers, praying helps people to focus attention and resolve on whatever it is they are praying, Positive reinforcement, concentration, focus, etc, — these would help those who wish to help remember to help, and look for opportunities to help, and keep it in the front of their thoughts. Therefore, while it is popular among a certain portion of the population to ridicule prayer, it is shallow and cynical to complain about thoughts and prayers. It require a little more psychological analysis to appreciate than many are willing to devote to it.

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