Isla Vista’s Never Been a ‘Quiet College Town’

The Site of Elliot Rodger’s Shooting Rampage Has a Boisterous History of Bacchanals and Bank Burning

Isla Vista, California

In reporting on Elliot Rodger’s shooting rampage through Isla Vista, the American news media described the setting for this terrible tragedy as sleepy and peaceful. A “quiet college town,” the Los Angeles Times wrote.

Isla Vista is a wonderful place, albeit in a strange way, but it is not sleepy or quiet. It’s a beach town that hosts nearly 20,000 residents—mostly college students—in just a 0.5 square mile tucked within the campus of UC Santa Barbara, except to the south where 60-foot bluffs overlook the Pacific Ocean and surfers frolic daily. …

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