Artist News

Country musician Caleb Keeter changes views on gun control after witnessing Route 91 attack

By | Published on Thursday 5 October 2017

Route 91 Harvest

Country musician Caleb Keeter – who has long spoken out against tighter gun controls in the US – has said that he “cannot express how wrong I was” following the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas on Sunday.

Keeter, guitarist in the Josh Abbott Band, performed at the event and was still on site with the band and their crew when the shooting began.

One of the common arguments for limited gun control in the US is that everyone is safer if more people are armed, because the good people with guns can tackle the bad people with guns. It was an argument¬†made by Eagles Of Death Metal’s Jesse Hughes¬†following the attack on Paris venue the Bataclan in 2015 – he suggesting that had the audience been armed, fewer lives would have been lost.

That was basically a view that Keeter says he held until Sunday, when he saw how ineffectual people around him being armed was when the single gunman opened fire in Las Vegas.

“I’ve been a proponent of the Second Amendment my entire life”, he wrote. “Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was. We actually have members of our crew with [licences to carry handguns], and legal firearms on the bus. They were useless”.

“We couldn’t touch them for fear police might think that we were part of the massacre and shoot us. 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 and a living will because I felt like I wasn’t going to live through the night was enough for me to realise that this is completely and totally out of hand. These rounds were powerful enough that my crew guys just standing in close proximity of a victim shot by this fucking coward received shrapnel wounds”.

“We need gun control RIGHT NOW. My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn’t realise it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it. We are unbelievably fortunate not to be among the number of victims killed or seriously wounded by this maniac”.

The most deadly mass shooting in US history, which left almost 60 dead and more than 500 injured, has of course reignited the gun control debate in America. That one man was able to stockpile dozens of high-powered, military-style weapons legally and without any sort of background check, before using them to fire on a crowd of over 20,000 people at a music festival, has provoked new calls to change the law.