Campus News

Students gather at vigil for lives lost in Thousand Oaks shooting

March For Our Lives Madison member Simone Williams opened the vigil with a few words regarding the shooting in Thousand Oaks, California. 

Image By: Sydney Widell

March For Our Lives Madison hosted a vigil celebrating the lives lost in yet another mass shooting.

A crowd of roughly 20 UW-Madison students and community members gathered on Library Mall Sunday to mourn the loss of the 12 people killed at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California on Nov. 7.

March For Our Lives Madison member Simone Williams opened the vigil by introducing the speakers of the event, which included a local Rabbi, a local high school student and UW-Madison students from various student organizations.

Max Prestigiacomo, a member of National High School Democrats, spoke on the normalization of gun violence occurring in the United States.

“We’ve normalized a toxic gun culture,” Prestigiacomo said. “Shooting after shooting, all we can offer is thoughts and prayers.”

Rabbi Andrea Steinberger said that thoughts and prayers used to be heartfelt but have become empty overused offerings. She also said the purpose of these prayers should no longer be about mourning but of action to change the current system.

“The purpose of our prayers should be to push us out of our sleep, to push us out of our complacency and to push us to be activists in our generation,” said Steinberger.

At the end of the vigil, another member of March For Our Lives Madison read the names of the 12 people who were killed in Thousand Oaks. A moment of silence followed to show respect for the lives lost and support the community that is left behind.

“Tonight we aren’t just a UW community, we aren’t just a Wisconsin community,” Associated Students of Madison Vice-Chair Yogev Ben-Yitschak said. “Tonight we are all in this together, Thousand Oaks strong.”  

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