Alaina Housley celebration of life

Hannah and Arik Housley share memories of their daughter Alaina at Vintage High School during a celebration of life on Nov. 18 for the 18-year-old Napa native, one of 12 people who died in the Thousand Oaks shooting Nov. 6.

On behalf of the Housley family, I would like to send my most heartfelt thank you. To say this has been the most trying and difficult time imaginable is an understatement.

Never in our lives did Hannah and I imagine our daughter would have her life taken before us, let alone in a senseless act of gun violence.

Yet, all the while we are mourning and coping, this community as well as the Thousand Oaks and Pepperdine University communities, have wrapped their arms around us. You give us faith, love, support, smiles, laughter, tears, hugs, encouragement and most of all hope that our future is bright.

We will miss our daughter Alaina everyday for the rest of our lives, but we will get through because we are meant to.

If there is one thing you can do as a human being, be kind. Do something just because, not because you intend a reciprocal response. It doesn’t have to be for needy, but can be. It doesn’t have to be anything in particular.

I enjoy most, giving an Alaina’s Voice Bracelet and leaving $5 for someone later in line, in hopes they have no idea who or why, but maybe it will make their day.

Be with the people around you, because before you know it, you or they may not be there.

The TV stations covering sporting events continue to show games but no longer show the idiot running onto the field or the court for his/her political message or short-lived fame. Why do they still cover mass shootings and acts of violence, and then turn these people into martyrs?

Because media is a business and they feel, “if it bleeds, it leads.” They think we want to see the violence. They should see in the declining ratings, maybe that isn’t the truth.

To the Napa Valley Register, thank you for posting (appropriately) on the Dec. 28 article, stating “a gun-man struck the Borderline Bar & Grill...” We don’t need to make him famous. We don’t need to let his pity and loneliness allow him to become famous because you need to sell papers.

So again thank you to the Napa Valley Register for telling the story without making him a martyr.

To the majority of the mainstream media, you should be ashamed. Not showing the attackers face (unless still at large), not showing his/her name and making them a martyr is not censorship, it is for public safety. Ask me if your methods allowed Alaina to spend this Christmas with her family. Ask me if the Route 91 victims were saved or how to prevent future events.

Instead, we hear how many guns, where he got them, what his mental issues were. We hear where he lived and from his neighbors. This is a “How-To” blue-print for the next shooting to happen.

If a teacher or coach hears of abuse, whether true or not they must report it for public safety. Since the public safety is in question in mass shootings, why make a depressed individual see how to make everyone remember his/her name?

We will always remember Alaina, we are wanting our society to be more kind. We want our media to be respectful and hope they see their actions are increasing the number of mass-shootings or senseless acts of violence across our country based on how they cover the tragic event.

There are too many people to thank without missing someone.

Mostly we want to thank the people of our communities for helping us see light through some very dark days.

Arik Housley


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