California Father Reflects on Unbearable Loss and Societal Acceptance of Gun Violence After Son’s Mass Shooting Death

THOUSAND OAKS, California – The holiday season is meant to be filled with family and gratitude. However, for Marc Orfanos, the holidays have been marred by tragedy. Six years ago, his son Telemachus survived a mass shooting in Las Vegas, only to tragically lose his life in another mass shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill in their hometown of Thousand Oaks, California. This devastating loss has left the Orfanos family grappling with the unimaginable pain of losing a loved one to gun violence.

The nightmare began when the Orfanos family received a phone call in the early hours of November 8, 2018, notifying them of the mass shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill. As they rushed to the scene, their worst fears were confirmed when they were informed that their son was among the victims. The excruciating pain of losing Telemachus has been a constant presence in their lives, a wound that refuses to heal despite the passage of time.

Since that tragic day, Marc Orfanos has come to a stark realization about the state of gun violence in America. He has witnessed the normalization of gun violence and the lack of urgency in addressing this epidemic. The apathy and complacency exhibited by some members of society and elected officials in the face of recurring mass shootings have only intensified the Orfanos family’s grief.

As they continue to navigate life without their beloved son, Marc Orfanos has become an advocate for change. He poses thought-provoking questions about the role of compassion and decency in society, challenging the acceptance of gun violence as a normal part of American life.

In the coming year, the Orfanos family will continue to experience the profound absence of their son during holidays and milestones, a testament to the lasting impact of gun violence. Their unwavering grief serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need for meaningful action to address the pervasive issue of gun violence in America.

January 3, 2024