America, for all of its majestic expanse, can be an extremely cozy nation in which to make a life.
We have our major hubs of culture, whose attitudes seem to emanate outward like the cultural fallout of some well executed media atomic weapon. The closer to Manhattan you get, the more terse and perturbed one seems to be. As we move west, toward the laid back surf bros of California, we see the attitudes softening. Perhaps the perpetual purple pot cloud over Colorado is one of the best metaphors for the situation.
In any case, we can look around the nation for the signs of these cultural hubs in one another’s attitude and personality, and we can get a fairly good idea about who it is that we’re dealing with.
Call it “profiling” if you want. I prefer to consider it a study of the cultural spider web.
So when a young man survived the targeting of two separate country music-themed events by armed madmen, we can’t help but ask if there is a pattern?
Brendan Kelly said he is a regular at Borderline Bar and Grill, frequenting the venue two or three times a week. Kelly was there when shots rang out Wednesday night around 11:20 p.m.
By the time the shots stopped, 12 people were dead, including the shooter. A Ventura County sheriff’s sergeant who responded to the shooting died later at a hospital after being shot multiple times.
But here’s where it gets strange.
“It’s too close to home,” Kelly said. “Borderline was our safe space after, for lack of a better term, it was our our home for the probably 30 or 45 of us who are all from the greater Ventura County area who were in Vegas. That was our place where we went to the following week, three nights in a row just so we could be with each other.”
In the minutes after his narrow escape, Kelly made the call to his family members that he hoped he would never again have to make after Las Vegas. He could still hear gunshots in the background.
The Borderline Bar was hosting a country music themed night when the gunfire began.
The concert that Kelly survived in Las Vegas was that of Jason Aldean – one of the nation’s most iconic country singers.
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