Thousand Oaks

USA Today

Thousand Oaks Shooting

I don’t know the answers. But I know what we’re doing is not enough.

November 08, 2018 - 10:58 am

I’m not sure how many times I’ve started a show by reminding everyone that this is a sports show, but that sports isn’t that important on a day like this. And this is another day like that. Because we all woke to news of 12 people murdered in the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California.


I’m from Southern California. This show is based here. I know Thousand Oaks well. I’ve even driven past the Borderline – it’s just off the Ventura Freeway. I have close friends in the area. It’s no far from where I grew up.

And like me, a lot of you listening know Thousand Oaks well. Many of you listening right now live there. Maybe your kids have played sports there. Or you went to dinner there. Or went to a movie there. 

Last night, a bunch of college kids went to a bar there for college night and country line dancing. And many of them never came home. 

So if you think I’m going to see that on the news, shrug and then talk about Le’Veon Bell’s contract situation or some sick dunks in the Association, you could not be more wrong. I’ll get to those topics at some point, but not right now. Not when that is happening. 

A lot of sports talk radio is about making things that are unimportant seem important, but I’m certainly not going to make things that are important seem unimportant. 

When a dozen people are murdered up the road from me, I’m going to talk about it. 

Some of you might not want to hear it. And if you’re tempted to change the station right now, I get that. 

I would rather that you didn’t, but if you do, think about why you’re doing it. Think about why this makes you uncomfortable. And then maybe take some action.

Some of you might want to view sports as a place to escape the news. And it is. But you know what else a place to escape the news is? A country line dancing bar in Thousand Oaks, California.  

Or a movie theater in Colorado 

A college campus in Virginia

A high school in Florida

A concert in Las Vegas 

A church in Texas

A high school in Colorado 

A club in Florida

An elementary school in Connecticut

Those are just a few of the high profile mass murders. There are so many more. Maybe you remember some of them, maybe you remember all of them, and maybe you remember none of them. 

Remember Columbine? Remember when we all said that would never happen again. It did. 

Remember Sandy Hook? Remember how we said that was the last straw that nothing like that would ever happen again. It has. 

We’re not even two weeks removed from a mass murder of senior citizens in a synagogue in Pittsburgh and we’re already going through this again. 

Mass murders have become so commonplace, it’s practically part of the weather report. I’ll tell you about it, we’ll go to commercial break, people will say “thoughts and prayers” and then move on.

So let me try something. Let me read you a quick piece from a CNN report:

Jason Coffman was one of the parents anxiously awaiting news Thursday morning about those inside the bar.

His son, Cody, 22, was there with friends -- and while his friends got out, they didn't know where Cody was, he told CNN and HLN.

The father told CNN he can track his son's cell phone -- and the tracking indicates it still was in the bar Thursday morning.

"It's at the club. It's not moving. That's the problem," said Coffman, who was awaiting information at a center for relatives.

"I am very emotional right now," he said. "This is my firstborn son and it's tough."

The father said Cody's friends woke him up at 1 a.m. to tell him about the shooting.

"I'm afraid that Cody ran to the gunman instead of away from the gunman. That's the kind of boy Cody is," he said.

That’s a father saying that about his 22 year old son. A father talking about how he can track his son’s cell phone and that phone is not moving. Imagine that. Think about that. I know I am. 

Your thoughts and your prayers for the victims, their families, and their friends, plus the survivors who had to witness what happened last night, are important. But they are not enough. There have been so many thoughts and prayers after mass murderers over the years that if they were enough, there wouldn’t be more mass murders.  

And that moment of silence has always been followed by more moments of silence. And absolutely nothing else. 

At a certain point, we need to decide as a country if this is okay. If this is normal. Because right now, by not doing anything, we’re saying it’s okay and it’s normal. We’re saying it’s okay that people can be murdered indiscriminately in clubs, churches, synagogues, and schools, at concerts and in movie theaters. 

I don’t know the answers. But I know what we’re doing is not enough. 

I genuinely do send my thoughts and prayers to the victims of the Thousand Oaks shooting. To their families. To their friends. And to the survivors who have to live with this pain. And I would suggest that the best way to honor their lives is to do something, anything, to make sure this does not happen again.