The deadliest shooting in the United States left 58 people dead and more than 500 injured in Las Vegas on Sunday night. The lone gunman mowed down a crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 country music festival, where the Josh Abbott Band performed among many other country acts.
Support came pouring in from country stars and musicians alike, and as a community of music lovers struggled to come to terms with tragedy, one guitarist took it one step further.
Caleb Keeter, the lead guitarist for the Josh Abbott Band, said he has been a supporter of the Second Amendment his entire life.
The musician revealed that members of the band’s crew have concealed handgun licenses and legal firearms on their tour bus — but they couldn't use them for fear the police might think they were part of the massacre.
But after Sunday’s tragedy, he admitted in a Twitter post, “I cannot express how wrong I was.”
The entire Twitter post reads:
“I’ve been a proponent of the 2nd amendment my entire life. Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was. We actually have members of our crew with CHL licenses, and legal firearms on the bus.
They were useless.
We couldn’t touch them for fear police might think we were part of the massacre and shoot us. A small group (or one man) laid waste to a city with dedicated, fearless police officers desperately trying to help, because of access to an insane amount of fire power.
Enough is enough.
Writing my parents and the love of my life a goodbye last night and a living will because I felt like I wasn’t going to live through the night was enough for me to realize that this is completely and totally out of hand. These rounds were powerful enough that my crew guys just standing in a close proximity of a victim shot by this f****** coward received shrapnel wounds.
We need gun control RIGHT. NOW.
My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn’t realize it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it.
We are unbelievably fortunate to not be among the number of victims killed or seriously wounded by this maniac.”
Keeter’s words are touching, especially when even after this shocking event, people are still clinging to the idea that “people kill people, guns don’t kill people.”
One only has to listen to the facts. States with more guns have more gun deaths. If you get rid of the guns, you get rid of the deaths. People use guns to kill people quickly, and in large numbers.
While it’s good that Keeter has changed his philosophies, he was dependent on the myth that if one has a gun, they can protect themselves against these shootings. He found out in the worst way that that isn’t true, but the data was already there. In the past 33 years, zero mass shootings have been stopped by armed civilians.
Hopefully more people will follow in Keeter’s footsteps and realize that the stubborn desire to feel protected is actually costing thousands of innocents their lives, and it’s simply not worth it.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: Reuters/Steve Marcus