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Family Turns To Gun Control Activism To Fight Pain Of Loss From Borderline Shooting In Thousand Oaks

(Orphanos Family Photo)
Tel Orfanos died in the November, 2018 attack at the Borderline Bar And Grill in Thousand Oaks which left 12 people dead.

This weekend marks a difficult anniversary in Ventura County.  On November 7th, 2018, 12 people died when a gunman went on a rampage at the Borderline Bar And Grill, a popular Thousand Oaks nightclub.

While it’s a sad part of the community’s history, for family members and friends of the victims it’s a nightmare they live with every day. 

It’s a loss that time can’t heal.

Two years after Tel Orfanos died in the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, his family still struggles with it.

Marc Orfanos is Tel’s father.  We’re sitting in the living room of the family’s Thousand Oaks home with his wife Susan, and son Ty.  The home is filled with photos and other mementos from Tel’s life.  He says it’s like a nightmare with no ending. 

Tell was just 27 years old when he died.  He did a lot of things in his life.  He was a Boy Scout.  He traveled.  He served in the Navy. He worked at a Thousand Oaks auto dealership.  And, to make extra money, he worked some nights as a bouncer at Borderline.  The night he died, he actually wasn't working, but stopped by to pick up his paycheck.

Tel’s death was especially difficult because of what he had been through a year earlier.  He was a survivor of the October, 2017 Route 91 Harvest Music Festival mass shooting in Las Vegas, which killed 58 people.  During the attack, he helped some of the injured escape from the scene.  Tel's mother Susan says during the Borderline attack. he died trying to stop the gunman.

The tragedy turned the family into gun control advocates.  Susan Orfanos says she doesn’t want the sympathy, and best wishes of people.  She wants action.  But, the frustrating part is that they’ve seen virtually no change in gun laws during the last two years.

Marc Orfanos says he doesn’t think it will change until many of those now in office are voted out, saying that the National Rifle Association and the gun industry have effectively block reform for decades

How do you make sense out of the senseless?  You don’t.

The Orfanos family just does its best to get up every day and live their lives the best they can.

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