It is with great sadness that we are once again confronting another mass shooting. My heart breaks for the victims and their families. We may never understand what leads a person to such senseless, horrific violence. But it is clear we can all come together as a country to prevent such tragic actions. The majority of the victims were college students – individuals who had plans to make a significant contribution to society. They were our neighbors, our friends, and our future. And now, we may never know the full potential of their legacy. Even more tragic, Ventura County Sheriff’s Sergeant Ron Helus’s rushed in to save lives as patrons rushed out. He sacrificed his own safety to ensure others could go home. He is the epitome of a hero.
This massacre is therefore another reminder of the great lengths our members of law enforcement are willing to go to serve our diverse communities. And we have to decide if we ourselves are doing enough as stakeholders to support their efforts. Whether it be by showing more compassion for our neighbor, being more vigilant for threats, or being proactive when called upon to address some of the biggest challenges our communities face. It’s not just one profession’s responsibility to serve… it’s all of ours.
Regardless of politics, collaboration is needed if we are to develop comprehensive solutions to address challenges like the needs of the mentally ill and gun violence reduction.
The scripture says, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Sergeant Ron Helus’s act of courage is a demonstration of what law enforcement officers will do to preserve the life of people whom they may have never met, regardless of race, color, or creed. There has to be a special place in heaven for those who lay down their life for strangers.
We ask all of you to join me and the Lampkin Foundation Board in keeping all the victims, and their families in our thoughts and prayers.