Mass shootings are affecting communities coast to coast
By Paige Meyer
“It was very much the spot of my town and is a very laid back, happy environment to hang out, dance, party and just let loose with your friends,” Quinnipiac University freshman and Thousand Oaks resident Lauryn Yarnall said.
“Everyone around my age absolutely loves Borderline,” she added.
The Borderline Bar and Grill located in Thousand Oaks, California was known as a popular spot for nearby colleges. On Wednesday, the bar was hosting line-dancing lessons for college students ages 18 and up when gunfire stunned the crowd. A night filled with celebration quickly turned to a night of heartbreak.
“I just felt so bad for those kids. The shooter totally knew Wednesday nights were a big night for Borderline,” Daniel Madnick, Borderline regular and Thousand Oaks resident, said.
“It had to be very planned out at least that is what I think because Wednesdays are a huge draw for young kids,” he said.
At about 11:20 p.m., a veteran of the U.S. Marines tossed a smoke bomb and began to open fire. The shooter was a machine gunner in the Marine Corps and has had recent run-ins with the law. In April, officers had to respond to an incident reported at his mother's home, where he lives.
“My brother was supposed to go to the bar that night and at the very last minute his friend bailed and he didn’t go, he very well could have been there last night and not have made it like the rest of them,” Madnick said.
As bullets flew, terrified patrons and community members fled the scene as fast as possible. According to the Los Angeles Times, the shooter was found dead on the scene and is suspected to have committed suicide, but due to the amount of blood in the Borderline Bar, it is unclear to whether he took his own life or was shot down by officials.
“There are always big bouncers who throw out drunk kids but none that are ready to take on smoke bombs and a gun. I have only seen police activity maybe once at that bar and I go all the time. For the most part it is a very secluded little spot and I can see why he targeted it,” Madnick said.
Sometimes the security at bars, clubs and events can only do so much.
“There are times where I walk into an environment and can smell the tension in the air and I just can tell that something is going to happen,” said Jared Allen, a protection specialist, high profiled celebrity bodyguard and Connecticut club security guard.
“While providing security I have been sliced, shot at, had bottles broken over my head, and attacked. This only comes once in a blue moon,” Allen said.
After the Sandy Hook shooting back in 2012, there have been 1,895 mass shootings affecting people and communities around the world.
Below are some of the hotspots in Hamden where many Quinnipiac students spend their free time. The fear of a possible invasion is setting in close to campus for many students.
“I didn’t go out in Hamden or New Haven this weekend and I tried to convince my friends not to go out either. It was too soon for me and it is still too soon for me. Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that I will be able to go to a club or bar again without thinking of the shooting and considering the possibility that I could die,” Yarnall said.
Yarnall set up a vigil on the Quinnipiac University Quad to honor the lost lives in the Thousand Oaks shooting. She set up 12 candles with the name of each victim on them in front of the student center on Quinnipiac’s main campus.
“I set up the vigil for a lot of reasons,” Yarnall stated. “The main one was to help me feel not so useless, all the way on the East Coast. I’ve wanted nothing more than to go home and be with my family and stand with them to help my community.”