Last Wednesday, the tragicThousand Oaks bar shooting claimed the lives of 12 people, including a young Pepperdine student named Alaina Housley, who at 18, was the youngest victim.
On Monday Alaina’s family sat down with CBS News for an exclusive interview to talk about the heartbreaking grief they’ve experienced in having to lay their beloved family member to rest. Members included her father Arik Housley, her uncle Adam Housley, and her aunt, actress Tamera Mowry-Housley.
“My daughter’s body was brought back to Napa today. We’re going to bury her in four days. I shouldn’t have to do that,” Arik said fighting back tears.
But the conversation took a more political turn as the topic of gun control has been discussed as a more operative solution to all the unnecessary carnage.
“Yes there needs to be change, but all the noise, nothing has been done,” Tamera said.
The family believes Alaina would have wanted the conversation to not just focus on gun control and politics. They feel that Alaina would have wanted them to center humanity as the narrative.
“I would love for this situation to be a catalyst for change. But I don’t automatically want to make it political, cause when you do that, you shut people out,” Tamera said. “I think if we can make it about mankind, we start with ourselves. You start with decency, you start with imagining, ‘Wait a minute, what if that was my child, or my niece, or my cousin?’ It will get you in a place of just having some sort of human decency. When you focus on that, then you naturally want to start change,” she continued.
But there are other victim’s families who say they want nothing but gun reform.
Susan Orfano, a mother whose 27-year-old son Telemachus was killed during Wednesday’s shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill, gave a direct message about where she stands on the side of the aisle.
“I don’t want prayers. I don’t want thoughts. I want gun control,” Orfanos said in an interview with KABC.
“And I hope to God nobody else sends me any more prayers. I want gun control. No more guns,” she continued.
Telemachus was also a survivor of the Las Vegas shooting last October which claimed the lives of 58 people.
Tamera is on a short hiatus as a host of The Real as the family grieves their major loss. On Monday, Tamera’s co-hosts shared tearful stories about the shooting and expressed their love for Tamera and her family.
While it’s hard to tell the families of shooting victims to take up advocating for gun control in the midst of their grief, the topic is surely not going to navigate away from the center any time soon, especially as these senseless mass shootings become a regular occurrence in the American psyche.