A FORUM ON GUN CONTROL

Feb. 3, 2019

Compiled by Avery Pak

On Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019, several students part of Never Again SoCal and WHS organized a forum on gun control in the Carpenter Family Theater. “After the Borderline shooting, through Never Again SoCal, we all came together to discuss an event we could plan to address that and address gun violence and how it affects our community and the world and how we can help fix that in the future,” said Quinn Muscatel, president and event planner of WHS United Nations Association USA.

Nate Brenner ‘19, WHS UNA-USA vice president and student planner and Quinn Muscatel

“I had good expectations going into [the forum], but when you actually see 300 people in a theater actually care about what’s going on on stage at an event you planned, it hits home pretty hard because this is an issue the entire country needs to face, and it starts somewhere.... And I think it’s really good getting a lot of representatives who are serving us at their constituency, it’s real helpful just getting their policy plans out there, and honestly I think what we did today was super, super helpful, and I don’t have any regrets.”

WHS USA-UNA vice president and student planner Nate Brenner ‘19

The forum begins with a description of each of the 12 victims of the Borderline shooting, and it was followed by a moment of silence.

Never Again SoCal president Bella Robakowski

Susan Orfanos, mother of 27-year-old Telemachus Orfanos, a victim killed in the Borderline shooting.

“I’m not a public speaker. I’m with you today as a grieving mother, and I’m going to tell you what I think. I’m going to use expletives. If you think those are offensive - my son’s death was offensive.... I am not a gun expert, I am not a legal or Constitutional expert, I am a 58-year-old woman, married, two sons. Our rage has not abated, not one little bit. Sometimes we can oppress it, sometimes we literally talk ourselves down, and sometimes we just get too tired.... And we continue to live our lives, but it’s before and after.”

Susan Orfanos

State Senator Henry Stern

“I don’t know what my family would do, had I been at the bar that night.... One thing that I can offer is that anger is a gift, that rage can actually be a bridge.... I truly believe that this moment in this community, in this particular community, right here in Conejo Valley, that that anger can actually stitch our wounded hearts back together somehow....”

State Senator Henry Stern

Congresswoman Julia Brownley

“I believe that part of our healing is to also demand a call to action to put an end to gun violence that is taking so many precious lives and destroying so many families across our country.... After each one of these senseless tragedies, we have another moment of silence without any action to move forward on common sense gun safety legislation.”

Congresswoman Julia Brownley

Sheriff Bill Ayub and Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin

Ventura County Supervisor Linda Park

Jasen Cummings ‘20, board member of Never Again SoCal, and Gracie Pekrul

Students help display Pekrul’s portraits of the Parkland shooting victims from 2018. Pekrul is a high school student who uses her art as a platform for activism.

Ventura County Supervisor Steve Bennett

Bennett shows the audience statistics in relation to gun murders for the United States (red) and other countries from around the world. Bennett also discusses gun shows that are hosted at the Ventura County fairgrounds, and he would like to ban the shows in Ventura County.

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