A survivor of the Las Vegas shooting massacre last year was killed in Wednesday’s shooting at a popular Southern California country bar. His mother is understandably as devastated as she is livid.
Susan Orfanos, mother of 27-year-old victim Telemachus “Tel” Orfanos, spoke to ABC7 reporters on Thursday with a strong message to policymakers, demanding:
“I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts. I want gun control. And I hope to God nobody else sends me any more prayers. No. More. Guns.”
Hear it from the grieving mother herself to get the full impact:
“I hope to God no one sends me anymore prayers. I want gun control. No more guns!” – mother of shooting victim Telemachus Orfanos. She says he survived the #LasVegasShooting but did not survive the #ThousandOaksMassacre. @ABC7 @ABCNewsLive pic.twitter.com/UMqTY1RATK
— Veronica Miracle (@ABC7Veronica) November 8, 2018
Tel, a Navy veteran, was reportedly among a group of California-based country music fans still recovering from the trauma of surviving the mass shooting at Vegas’ Route 91 music festival last October.
Just over a year later, he was once again in the wrong place at the wrong time. This time, tragically, he did not survive. Tel’s mom confirmed his death to The New York Times by phone, telling the paper:
“He made it through Las Vegas, he came home. And he didn’t come home last night, and the two words I want you to write are: gun control. Right now — so that no one else goes through this. Can you do that? Can you do that for me? Gun control.”
She then hung up the phone, according to the publication.
California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, but on Thursday, governor-elect Gavin Newsom promised he “will raise the bar” on gun control when he takes over in January. He said at a press conference:
“People that are dangerously mentally ill and have previously had incidences with law enforcement, I think those red flags are appropriate and I think California can continue to lead the nation in terms of advancing prohibitions.”
Stricter, sensible gun laws are needed, of course, but will they be enough? According to law enforcement, the shooter used a .45 caliber Glock handgun with an extended magazine — a modification that is already illegal in California.
Let’s not forget what’s just as responsible for these massacres: unchecked mental health issues.
[Image via ABC7/Facebook]
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