Community vigil honors Thousand Oaks shooting victimsProclaimer Staff November 13, 2018 0 COMMENTS
On Sunday, Nov. 11 local residents gathered for a vigil at Marketplace Park to honor the victims of the Thousand Oaks shooting and demand an end to gun violence in America.
The Nov. 7 shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, which left 12 people dead, was the deadliest shooting since the massacre in Parkland, Florida.
Borderline is a popular country-western dance bar and a frequent nightlife spot for Santa Clarita residents. Many attendees of the vigil personally knew the victims of the shooting or their families.
The vigil was hosted by CA25 United for Progress and the Santa Clarita chapter of Moms Demand Action. CA25 United for Progress co-chair Hilary Schardein opened the event by speaking about her personal connection to the shooting.
“I grew up just outside of Thousand Oaks and as many in this community it is still home to family and friends,” Schardein said. “Seeing it added to the ever growing list of communities shattered by a man with a gun, in a place I can picture in my mind with ease. Where I learned to dance, should have been a shock, but at this point the news simply leaves me numb.”
She concluded her speech by reading the names of all 12 of the victims.
Kat Walker, a lead for Santa Clarita chapter of Moms Demand Action, explained why the chapter decided to help host the event. “We wanted to help provide a grieving space for locals plus offer ideas on how to channel mourning into action to help prevent the growing number of gun violence victims and survivors,” Walker said.
“I have friends who were there and I know many people who are regulars at Borderline,” Ally Sagardia said. Sagardia is a member of Students Demand Action, the student arm of Moms Demand Action. “It’s horrific that so many people had to lose their lives, but I hope change can come from it.”
However, some event attendees thought the political discussions and comments on gun legislation were distasteful and inappropriate. Two speakers talked after the original lineup to express the need to focus on the victims instead of politics.
“This isn’t about gun violence,” Jason Gardner said. “It’s about the victims.”