The following is entirely different from what I originally composed for our December issue. I am writing this on November 8, the morning after the violent tragedy at Borderline in Thousand Oaks. In many ways our communities will never be the same. Not just in Thousand Oaks, but throughout the Southland. There will always be memories and a permanent scar. Before we go out on a Saturday evening to enjoy music at Bogies, NABU or some other fun venue, do we need to think twice? Are there armed guards? Should we be armed? Stay home? This is really sick.
Our hearts go out to the victims and families devastated by one more example of the ongoing violence that is poisoning our communities and our entire country. Thousand Oaks is statistically one of the safest and low crime rate cities in the U.S. What is that worth this morning? Nothing but tears. Our society desperately needs healing, not the ongoing confrontational behavior that starts at the top and filters down to the grassroots. If we think for a minute that the ugliness of the last few years did not help turn a disturbed person into a monster last night, then we are all naive. This just happened right here on our doorstep. Is this what we want our country to become? An armed camp? Frankly, emotions can easily go from heartbroken to angry. We cannot let that happen or we will be no better than those who lash out violently. To those who lost a loved one, our Lifestyle family shares in your sadness.
By the time you read this, we will all be in the middle of the holiday season. Much of it, as it should be, is centered around our families. All things considered, we also need to look outwardly as well. Our community needs to come together with new levels of trust and understanding. May your holiday season be blessed.