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8 Nov, 2018 21:46

Tragedy strikes twice for California shooting survivors who witnessed Las Vegas massacre

Tragedy strikes twice for California shooting survivors who witnessed Las Vegas massacre

Survivors of last year’s massacre at the Route 91 country music festival in Las Vegas were at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks as the gunman started firing sporadically killing 12 people and injuring many.

READ MORE: Police identify California bar mass shooting suspect as former marine Ian David Long

Former Marine and Afghanistan veteran Ian David Long went on a shooting rampage at the crowded bar armed with his Glock 21 .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun with extended magazine. The crowd inside, who had gathered for the bar’s weekly college country music night, smashed windows with barstools and scrambled to escape.

READ MORE: ‘He shot a lot, at least 30 times’: Borderline Bar attack witnesses recall terrifying ordeal

For several of them, Wednesday’s shooting was the second such incident they had survived in little over a year. Survivors and their friends told reporters that some of them had escaped from the massacre at the Route 91 country festival in Las Vegas in October 2017, during which gunman Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured 850.

“It’s the second time in about a year and a month that this has happened,” survivor Nick Champion said in an interview aired on CBS Thursday morning.

“I was in the Las Vegas Route 91 mass shooting, as well as probably 50 or 60 others who were in the building at the same time as me tonight,” he said. Champion’s love of country music drew him to both tragic events, and he said that fans are “all a big family, and unfortunately this family got hit twice.”

In an interview last year with Billboard magazine, Champion said that a group of Las Vegas survivors were planning on holding a memorial event in the Borderline Bar, which had become a regular meeting place for some of the survivors. While he said the Vegas attack traumatized him, Champion told Billboard that “I don’t want to let fear change the way I live.”

“A lot of people in the Route 91 situation go here," Chandler Gunn told the LA Times on Thursday. “There’s people that live a whole lifetime without seeing this, and then there’s people that have seen it twice.”

As police converged on the scene, Carl Edgar told the Times that some of his friends had also survived the Route 91 mass shooting, and could have been in the Borderline Bar on Wednesday too.

“If they survived that, they’ll survive this,” Edgar said.

READ MORE: 12 killed & multiple injured in California bar shooting, terrorism ‘not ruled out’ (VIDEO)

The idea that somebody could be in the wrong place at the wrong time even once is beyond most people’s comprehension. To be there twice even more so. However, Wednesday’s tragedy is the 308th mass shooting – defined as a shooting in which three people or more are injured or killed, by gunfire or while escaping – so far this year.

The loss of life has already brought out renewed calls to restrict Second Amendment freedom, which spread on Twitter under the hashtag #guncontrolnow.

Long reportedly acquired his handgun legally in California, but used an illegal extended magazine. California’s gun laws are among the most restrictive in the US and have made the trade in illegal firearms in the state a lucrative one.

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