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Today is so horrific and tragic. For those of you not in my local area, a horrific mass shooting happened at 11:20pm last night in Thousand Oaks, California, USA, at a local bar, Borderline, when Ian David Long, a 28 year old (a former Marine), drove his mother’s vehicle to the bar on college night with a legally purchased gun + an illegally obtained extended magazine. He killed 12 at the bar, including Sgt. Ron Helus from the Ventura County Sherrif’s Office who was the first on the scene. 21 others were injured and Long himself was found dead by further responding officers.
What makes this even more tragic (if that’s possible) is that Ian David Long, the suspected killer, is reported to have had purported mental issues and several previous run ins with law enforcement. In April, deputies were called to the suspected shooter’s house and mental health specialists didn’t think he was qualified to be taken away under a 5150 [5150 is the number of the section of the Welfare and Institutions Code, which allows a person with a mental illness to be involuntarily detained for a 72-hour psychiatric hospitalization.] Should he have been taken away for help in April?
Since my childhood when the government said involuntary medical treatment (including medication) was illegal and mental hospitals and sanitariums started closing and you saw more and more men and women living on the street, I believed wholeheartedly that mental health needed to be readdressed and looked at closely especially for our men and women who return from valiantly fighting on the front lines who are often suffering from PTSD. Family members are forced to watch loved ones who won’t take their medicine turn away from love and safety and help.
Many patient rights advocates argue that any involuntary treatment
whatsoever is an violation of a person’s civil rights. Others argue that such programs discourage people with serious mental illnesses from seeking treatment on their own. But if getting people help could save other lives, is it possibly worth looking into? It’s worth at least a conversation.
A Family Assistance Center has been set up at 1375 E. Janss Rd in Thousand Oaks for the
#BorderlineShooting. For more information please call the incident Emergency Hotline (805) 465-6650
Update: There will be a community vigil at 6pm PST at Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. Additionally, many churches are gathering to
PRAY on the Civic Arts Plaza lawn today at 5pm. No stage, no
microphone, just a circle of people praying.