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Gun violence in the US

Mother of California shooting victim Telemachus Orfanos: ‘I don’t want prayers, I don’t want thoughts, I want gun control’

  • In an interview that has gone viral, grieving mother Susan Schmidt-Orfanos pleads for gun control in the wake of the Thousand Oaks shooting that killed her son
  • She said son Telemachus Orfanos, a Navy veteran, had survived the Las Vegas massacre last year, only to die with 11 other victims on Wednesday
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 November, 2018, 2:19am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 November, 2018, 3:15am

The mother of a young man who survived last year’s gun massacre in Las Vegas only to be killed by another gunman in a California bar this week has made an impassioned plea for gun control.

In a video clip that has gone viral on the internet, a distraught Susan Schmidt-Orfanos rejected the habitual calls by politicians for “thoughts and prayers” after the shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, that left her son and 11 others dead.

“My son was in Las Vegas with one of his friends and he came home. He didn’t come home last night,” said Schmidt-Orfanos, whose son Telemachus Orfanos was a 27-year-old US Navy veteran.

“And I don’t want prayers, I don’t want thoughts, I want gun control and I hope to God nobody else sends me more prayers. I want gun control. No. More. Guns,” she told ABC7.

California gunman was ex-Marine who may have had PTSD

The gunman who attacked the Borderline Bar & Grill on Wednesday night was identified as Ian David Long, a 28-year-old US Marine combat veteran who had served in Afghanistan.

Police said he appeared to have shot himself after opening fire on the bar’s patrons. A doorman at the bar and a police officer were among the dead.

US President Donald Trump told reporters Friday that the gunman was “a very sick puppy. He’s a sick guy.”

“He was a war veteran and a Marine and in the war and served time and saw some pretty bad things and a lot of people say he had PTSD,” said the president, referring to the psychological condition post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It’s a big problem. People come back and it’s a horrible thing, they come back and are never the same,” he said.

California shooting: some inside bar had survived Las Vegas massacre

A lone gunman killed 58 people and wounded more than 800 when he opened fire on a Las Vegas country music concert in October 2017.

US media said a number of the young people who were at the bar rampage in California on Wednesday night had survived that massacre.

The media also reported that in 2016, Californians voted to close a legal loophole that allows gun owners to possess high-capacity magazines such as the one used by Long on Wednesday.

But implementation of the ban was blocked by a lawsuit filed by the California Rifle and Pistol Association, the state branch of the National Rifle Association, or NRA, and five California residents, media reports said.

Schmidt-Orfanos said she doubted that any gun control laws could be effectively enforced in the current political climate, citing the lack of action after the 2012 shooting in the Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut that left 26 dead.

“If mowing down five-year-olds at Sandy Hook didn’t make an impression, nothing will,” she told The Washington Post. 

“The bottom line is the NRA owns most of the Republican Party, and probably some of the Democratic Party as well.”