I’m not a fan of people who start demanding political concessions in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting. That includes the families of those lost in the attack, as a general rule.
For better or worse, though, people don’t think clearly after losing someone they care about to such a senseless act of violence. You’d think they would realize that and focus on mourning their loved ones rather than finding a camera to scream at about politics.
While I disagree with everything she’s saying, though, I’ll give a bit of a pass to Susan Orfanos. Her son was killed at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Wednesday’s horrific shooting.
Why do I give her a bit of a pass? Well, because her son, Telemachus Orfanos, had dodged a bullet (almost literally) when he was at a country concert just over a year ago.
In Las Vegas.
That’s right. Orfanos had survived the deadliest mass shooting in American history only to find himself in the midst of another one. His mother is understandably heartbroken.
“I have two words: gun control,” Susan Orfanos told BuzzFeed News when reached by phone Thursday afternoon. “Now, now, now, now. No more NRA. No more money. Gun control now.”
Telemachus attended the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas last year, surviving the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
But in an interview with ABC 7, Susan Orfanos said he did not come home Wednesday night from the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks after a gunman opened fire inside the bar filled with college students for a country music night.
“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
“I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts. I want gun control,” an exasperated Susan Orfanos said.
I get why she’s so upset.
But she’s wrong.
I’m sorry, but her anger doesn’t make her righteous or right. She’s just as wrong as if she’d lost no one Wednesday night. She’s just as wrong as if she’d never conceived a child. Whether her thinking is the result of fury, indignation, or cold calculation, it doesn’t change a few simple facts.
For example, how about the fact that this happened in the state with the strictest gun control laws in the nation. While a few states are earnestly trying to challenge California for the title of least gun friendly state, no one has yet to dethrone the reigning champ, yet all of the myriads of laws did nothing to prevent what happened in the Thousand Oaks bar. Nothing at all.
Nor is she considering that absolutely nothing that’s even been proposed in Washington would have prevented this attack. Handguns haven’t been up for discussion. That’s what the killer used to gun down a dozen people in cold blood.
I get why she’s upset, but that doesn’t change facts. Nor am I willing to be swayed by emotions, no matter how understandable they are.
In addition to that, though, her “no NRA” comment is troubling. It’s bad enough that she wants to destroy the Second Amendment, but she’s not thinking about the First Amendment ramifications of killing the NRA either.
Then again, I understand that. People don’t think in the aftermath of something like this. Believe me, I know.
But her emotion doesn’t make her less wrong on all of it.