For the second time in 13 months, Nashville has realized the death of a deadly mass involving many country music fans.
On Wednesday night, an armed man killed 12 people inside the country music bar Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, authorities said. Eight to 15 clients were also injured, according to Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean, who said the suspect's motive was still unclear. One of the victims was Sgt. Ron Helus of the Ventura County Sheriff's Office, who was killed when he entered the scene after answering 911 calls.
The Los Angeles area bar, near Pepperdine University and the California Lutheran University, was hosting its weekly weeklong 18+, which offered online dance classes. Borderline is described on its website as "the largest country and live music hall in Ventura County. . . a paradise for country dancers of all ages.
It was quickly learned that some at Borderline had survived the 91 Road Harvest Festival massacre in October 2017, when an armed man killed 58 people and wounded hundreds of others during the shooting. more deadly of current American history.
"I was shooting mass on Highway 91 in Las Vegas, as well as probably 50 or 60 other people who were in the building at the same time as me tonight," said Nicholas Champion. says CBS News. "It's a big deal for us. We are all a big family and unfortunately this family has been affected twice.
David Anderson, a 23-year-old young man from Newbury Park, attended the Route 91 festival and was on the side of the scene closest to the Mandalay Bay hotel at the start of the shoot. When he saw the shooter at Borderline, he knew exactly what was going to happen.
Anderson threw her friend behind the bar and lay on her. After firing about 10 to 15 shots, the shooter stopped; Anderson saw an opportunity, grabbed his friend and ran to the patio.
Anderson said many regular Borderline members were also on Route 91 and would wear their "Vegas Strong" shirts at the bar.
"It was the strong family of this country, it was a regular activity and we were there to have fun and have a good time," he said. "It's a place where you have fun and you make memories and this frickin 'ruined it, unfortunately."
Country music is proud to be the most accessible and family-friendly genre, where superstars should treat fans as friends. Many Nashville artists, many of whom have already performed on the spot, have posted their condolences on social media as soon as they heard the news on Thursday morning.
"Our hearts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks!", Wrote Locash, the duet whose song "I Love This Life" accompanies the video of the bar broadcast on YouTube to promote College Country Night. "We played in this hall, met the people who are hanging there and injured for their loss."
"So many of my friends and I have plaYed this bar. What a devastation. MMy thoughts and sincere prayers are with the victims, their families and the Borderline staff, "Meghan Linsey tweeted .
"By sending prayers and love to everyone in Thousand Oaks, California, today. Absolutely sorry to think of all those gentle souls who are just trying to listen and dance to country music, " wrote the duo Maddie and Tae.
Condolences from all the singers including Loretta Lynn, Charlie Daniels, Zac Brown Band, Cassadee Pope and Morgan Wallen. John Rich, in New York to promote his brand of whiskey, announced that he would stop advertising "so we can all focus on the current situation." Kelsea Ballerini was supposed to debut with a new video clip, but wrote on Instagram. respect, we postpone publication.
"Although broken, my heart is with these families and friends in Thousand Oaks today," tweeted Brad Paisley.
Next Wednesday, Paisley and Carrie Underwood will host the ABC Country Music Awards, the biggest night of this format in the spotlight on the national stage. Last year, filming in Las Vegas took place a month before the CMAs. The moment was uncomfortable for some in the genre, suddenly linked to the controversial gun control issue – in a city where artists are encouraged to keep the secret of their political beliefs in order not to alienate the fans.
The pressure became so intense that, a few days before the show, CMAs told reporters that their credentials could be revoked when they asked about firearms or politics on the red carpet. After much criticism (including from Paisley, who proclaimed the "ridiculous and unfair" media guidelines), CMAs apologized and lifted the ban. This was a reminder of how much people in the industry did not like to discuss current affairs.
"As a country artist, the problem is that you get the impression that if you say something wrong, your audience will go after you," Bobby Bones, the Washington Post's presenter, told the Washington Post. the morning country radio subscribed to the Syndicate last year. "And their publicists all said," Do not talk about that. Do not talk about that. "
Any statement about firearms is controversial, with the National Rifle Association having close ties to the industry. But earlier this year, after the shooting in Parkland, Florida, Rolling Stone reported that NRA Country, the NRA's "lifestyle arm," reorganized its website and removed all singers from countries previously affiliated with the brand.
And over the past year, some country artists have openly more openly their beliefs. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill called for tighter gun control. A native of Maryland, the Osborne brothers participated in a democratic fundraiser for Tennessee governor candidate Karl Dean. In a cover story of Rolling Stone, Eric Church, star of Road 91 Harvest, said he knew he would be blamed for criticizing the NRA. "I blame the lobbyists. And the most important in the world of firearms is the NRA, "he said.
On Thursday, following the shooting of Thousand Oaks, most country singers offered their condolences and prayers with no mention of politics – with the exception of a few who have already been frank. Margo Award posted a photo from herself wearing a lapel pin that says, "We can end gun violence."
Roseanne Cash, who wrote an editorial last year, calling country singers to "stand up" in front of the NRA, also weighed in. "Twelve people were killed, including the" good guy with a gun ", plus the survivors of the Las Vegas shootings," she said. tweeted. "We can not continue like this. I do not want to hear about thoughts or prayers. I want #GunControlNow. "
Katie Zezima in Thousand Oaks, California, contributed to this report.