This Thousand Oaks shooting survivor gave a heartbreaking interview just moments after saving his son’s life.

Warning: This interview contains moments that may be hard to watch for some people.

Just moments after a lone gunman opened fire in a Thousand Oaks bar on Wednesday night, a local news station interviewed one of the survivors.

Understandably emotional, the man talks about his survivor’s guilt, apologizing to the victims he wasn’t able to help after rescuing his stepson from the tragic mass shooting.


“I should have stayed until he changed his clip but I was worried about my boy. But I should have stayed. I apologize,” the man says. “They’re all young. I’m 56. I’ve lived a life. This shouldn’t have happened to them.”

Over and over, the man emphasizes how those who were shot were mostly young and innocent people, simply out enjoying their lives.

“He’s shot the front door bouncer, just a young man,” he says.  “He shot the cashier, just a young girl. It was just some low-life taking lives that shouldn’t have been taken. There were young people, like 18, 19, 20, just having a great time.”

The journalist interviewing him repeatedly tries to reassure the man that there was nothing more he could have done, even reaching out to physically comfort him as he apologizes to those he wasn’t able to save.

“These people have never hurt anyone in their lives. And they’re just kids. I’m so sorry,” he says.

“It still feels like I didn’t do what I should have done.”

Of course, neither he nor any of the other victims deserve anything approaching blame for the tragic loss of life and mindless gun violence that transpired.

With so many mass shootings coming across our news feed, it’s increasingly difficult to pay attention to those impacted by the violence. For every Parkland moment, there is another mass shooting in and out of the news cycle before most people can even begin to process what happened.

That’s why it’s important to watch and digest interviews like this, as painful as they might be. We may not be responsible for the horrible gun violence that transpired but we are responsible for what happens next and staying focused on enacting reasonable gun safety laws and implementing mental health resources to help stop the next shooting before another innocent life is taken.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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