The attack on the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Sunday night was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. In the coming days, all of us, especially those who lived through it, will try to make sense of the violence and how it happened.
Caleb Keeter, the guitarist for the Josh Abbott Band, was one of the thousands who lived through the shooting. He performed with the Josh Abbott Band on Sunday afternoon and experienced the attacks.
A lifelong supporter of the Second Amendment, Keeter told his Twitter followers that the shooting changed his mind about gun control.
“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,” wrote Keeter.
He also said that the band’s crew were “standing in a close proximity of a victim shot” and were hit by shrapnel.
“My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn’t realize it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it,” he added.
— Caleb Keeter (@Calebkeeter) October 2, 2017
Keeter said that members of JAB’s crew have concealed handgun licenses and legal firearms on the bus, but having them didn’t help at all.
“They were useless,” he wrote. “We couldn’t touch them for fear police might think that 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 firepower.”
Country musicians and their fans arguably have a closer connection with gun rights and advocacy than any other genre. As we try to make sense of this horrific violence in the coming days, expect the debate about gun rights and laws to become front and center.