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Multiple Incidents Make 2018 the Second Deadliest Year for Shootings

13 people were killed in a shooting that occurred Wednesday night, Nov. 7 at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousands Oaks, CA. The incident began at around 11:20 pm when Ian David Long opened fire with a Glock 21 .45 caliber handgun.

Approximately 30 shots had been fired when police arrived on the scene, beginning a confrontation that would leave sheriff’s sergeant Ron Helus, one of the first responders on the scene, dead after being shot multiple times by Long. A popular college bar, Borderline, was hosting College country night that evening. According to people present when the shooting began, over 200 people were present when Long first opened fire. Several of the victims were college students or recent graduates, in some cases still living at home with their parents. 28-year-old Long was a Marine veteran, having served in the Marine Corp from August 2008 to March 2013 with 8 months spent serving in Afghanistan in 2011.

A frequenter of the bar, authorities believe Long posted a message on his Facebook before the incidents saying “I hope people call me insane… wouldn’t that just be a big ball of irony? Yeah… I’m insane, but the only thing you people do after these shootings is ‘hopes and prayers’.. or ‘keep you in my thoughts’… every time… and wonder why these keep happening…”

After opening fire and killing 12 people it is believed Long shot himself, making him the 13th fatality of the night. The following afternoon, the FBI released a statement saying that it is “too premature to speculate on the motivation” of the shooting.

The shooting is the second in only two weeks, following the Pittsburg shooting on at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Oct. 27. This shooting in a Jewish synagogue left 11 dead and 6 injured, with two officers and two SWAT members among the injured, and is being investigated by authorities as a hate crime.

46-year-old Robert Bowers was arrested on the scenes and has been charged with 44 federal charges including 11 counts of obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death and 11 counts of use and discharge of a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence among others. Given the charges, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Bowers could be looking at the death penalty.

With the two shootings occurring during the shift to a Democratic Congress, gun issues have been launched into politics and the media. Former President Obama tweeted on Oct. 27, “we have to stop making it so easy for those who want to harm the innocent to get their hands on a gun”  and several newly elected Democratic representatives have vowed to focus on stricter gun control.

On social media, the NRA have begun a social media war with doctors while students from Parkland, a school which saw 17 people die in the February shooting, have launched a social media campaign in support of stricter gun control. According to the Gun Violence Archive, 307 mass shootings have occurred in this year alone, though the term “mass shooting” is a broad term that does not have an official definition. In these shootings, 328 people have been killed and another 1,251 injured. This makes 2018 the second deadliest year for U.S. mass shootings in United States history.

 

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