Karen Bass (271126)

“He was killed last night at Borderline. 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.”

—Susan Orfanos, to the New York Times.

Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37) wrote the following in wake of the Nov. 7 mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks which left 13 persons dead (including the gunman) and wounded more two dozen patrons.

Susan Orfanos is the mother of Telemachus Orfanos. He survived the mass shooting in Las Vegas last year, but was killed this week at the Borderline Bar and Grill. My heart goes out to Susan and so many of the families who are mourning the friends and loved ones who were murdered in this latest shooting.

I’m also thankful that Susan has the courage to say what so many won’t right now: we need gun control. We need changes to the laws and regulations that make it far too easy for people who have no business possessing a gun to get their hands on one and modify it to become a weapon of mass destruction.

Our nation is suffering from an epidemic of gun violence. And we can no longer afford to wait to resolve it or stall as we pander to special interests. It’s past time for common sense reforms, including bipartisan legislation to require universal background checks, federal funding for gun violence research, and greater investments in identifying and treating mental illness.

From Thousand Oaks to Pittsburgh to Jeffersontown, Ky., and many, many places in between, these tragic losses are being felt by families, friends, and entire communities. And let me be clear: people are lost to this epidemic all the time. Not only in mass shootings and domestic terror attacks, but in the violence that plagues some neighborhoods every single day.

My heart and prayers are with the all of the families that are preparing to bury children, siblings, and spouses. My focus is on putting a stop to this epidemic that has claimed far too many innocent lives. And my hope is that more people have the courage say what Susan said: “Gun control. Now.”