Late on Wednesday Nov. 7, a shooter opened fire during college country night at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, killing 12 people. When Jason Aldean heard the news, he was saddened, but not surprised.
“I hate to say this but its almost not even surprising anymore,” he told Taste of Country. "It happens so often."
"I’m not even shocked anymore when I wake up and hear something like that," he continued. "It seems like it’s happening all of the time. It’s the saddest thing. It’s just ridiculous.”
The Georgia native added that to him, the worst part is that the shooting took place somewhere people were just trying to have fun.
“I don’t know when all of this kind of stuff is going to stop but its just super crazy when you know people are going to places like that to unwind and have a good time after a long week at school or at work or whatever,” Aldean said. “They are going there to have a good time and for things like that to happen…”
Multiple people in attendance at the bar were also at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas in October 2017 when a shooter opened fire on the festival from a hotel across the street, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds.
Aldean was performing on stage during the festival when the shooting began, and expressed his sadness that some people had to go through such a traumatic event twice.
“For the people from Route 91, it was so tough to get through that deal and then you are on the backside of that and then this happens?” Aldean noted. “I don’t know. I have no words. I was stunned that day when I woke up and heard that. It’s just, like, unbelievable.”
During a recent episode of the PBS series Breaking Big, Aldean called the Route 91 Festival shooting "the worst night of my life."
“My wife, who was seven months pregnant at the time, was at the show, and I was separated from her, so trying to find her and just getting her and the baby somewhere where they were safe," he said.
"You have a lot of different emotions going on, just heartbroken for families," Aldean shared. "As soon as it happened we went back to the hospital and we visited with the victims. You know, after that, it’s like a week later, you’re expected to jump back onstage and act like nothing happened and it was rough, it was rough the first couple of shows."
Still, the 41-year-old shared that he will never let the tragedy stop him from performing.
“Life’s short, man,” he said. “Don’t live in fear. That night is just something I’ll always remember, but it won’t keep me from doing what I do. No matter what happens from here on out, I’ll always go out and play my shows.”
Photo Credit: Getty / Jason Kempin