A shooter stormed into a bar & dance hall in Thousand Oaks, CA, and fired into the crowd, killing 12 people and injuring dozens more. Violence like this affects victims, their families, and the surrounding community — but can also have a ripple effect on all of us.

As all of us feel the painful impact of such a senseless tragedy, we can take small steps to care for our community, ourselves, and those directly affected by the violence.


Train up


What would you do if a shooting happened in your neighborhood, church, or school? Do you know how you’d react? Do you know how you would work with others around you? For most of us, the answer is “no” - because we haven’t gone through training for this.

Don't plug your ears to this reality: shootings can happen anywhere. And like practicing fire drills, we should all be prepared in the event of a sudden disaster.

Take a few minutes to get familiar with the basics.

Mark your calendar

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Tragedies like this are devastating - especially the frequency at which they occur. What’s worse, we’ve become so used to this that many of us move on shortly afterwards.

Don’t become jaded. If you feel devastated or frustrated that this could happen, hold onto that.

Write down how this tragedy has touched your life, then mark your calendar for a few weeks from today. When that date arrives, come back to this issue and re-live how you felt. Once you’ve had that time to reenergize, visit this page or others to make a plan of how you can effect change.

Help the victims for the long-haul


For the victims and their families, this tragedy is only the beginning. They've got a long road ahead of them with funeral costs, medical bills, and missed work. Chip in a few bucks to help them make it through this challenging time and towards a better recovery.

The Ventura County Community Foundation has started a fundraiser for the victims that goes directly to their recovery efforts. The funds provide immediate and long-term recovery support for the victims and their families, to help them through the long-haul.

Pick up the phone


The next time you're waiting for the bus, get on the phone with your representatives to tell them how you feel about this issue. Gun control is an incredibly emotional and polarizing subject, so it's important that you decide for yourself where you stand on the issue. Start by learning the basics on the Second Amendment, federal gun laws, and gun laws in your state - and do some digging on your own.

Once you've done that, you're ready to make the call. Find your state to get the direct line for the House of Representatives or the Senate.

Calling is quicker, more direct, and more impactful than writing a letter, although you can also put pen to paper as an alternative.

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