The mother of Telemachus Orfanos, one of the 12 people who died in a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, late Wednesday night, made an emotional plea for gun-control legislation during an interview with KABC-TV on Thursday.
Susan Orfanos said her son survived the Las Vegas shooting in 2017, in which 58 people were killed and more than 850 were injured.
“My son was in Las Vegas with a lot of his friends and he came home,” Susan said. “He didn’t come home last night, and I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts.”
“I want gun control, and I hope to God nobody sends me anymore prayers,” Susan added. “I want gun control. No more guns!”
Twelve people were killed as 28-year-old Ian David Long opened fire on patrons at the Borderline Bar & Grill on Wednesday night. Police have not yet determined a motive.
Survivors from previous shootings have had similar reactions to Susan’s. Staff writers Selene San Felice and Phil Davis were at the scene of the Capital Gazette newsroom shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, where five people were killed in June.
“I’m not trying to make this political, all right,” San Felice said during an interview with CNN. “But we need more than prayers. I appreciate the prayers. I was praying the entire time I was under that desk. I want your prayers, but I want something else.”
“I was praying when he started reloading that shotgun that there weren’t going to be more bodies,” Davis added. “And you know what? If we’re at a position in our society where all we offer each other is prayers, then where are we? Where are we as a society where people die and that’s the end of that story?”