Country music guitarist Caleb Keeter said that living through Sunday night’s Las Vegas violence made him change his mind about gun control.
The musician, who was playing with the Josh Abbott Band at the Route 91 Harvest festival, said that he had been a longtime supporter of the Second Amendment — but no more, Mediaite reported.
“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,” Keeter tweeted.
“We actually have members of our crew with [Concealed Handgun Licenses], and legal firearms on the bus. They were useless,” he added.
“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.”
— Caleb Keeter (@Calebkeeter) October 2, 2017
“These rounds were just powerful enough that my crew guys just standing in close proximity of a victim shot by this f*cking 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,” Keeter wrote.
He also said it was “unbelievably fortunate” that he and his bandmates did not become victims themselves during what is now the deadliest shooting in U.S. history.
Stephen Paddock, 64, killed 59 people attending a country music festival and injured more than 500 others by shooting down at the crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino before committing suicide in his hotel room.
Although no motive has yet been discovered, officials have been wary of linking the retiree to Muslim fundamentalism despite claims by the Islamic State. Paddock’s family said that “he had no affiliation with anything.”
Josh Abbott himself posted to Facebook that although he was on the 20th floor during the violence, his band and crew were in the festival area and hit by shrapnel.
“We are deeply disturbed by this horrific act of violence and send our thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families,” Abbott wrote.
“It was a long awful night but we are blessed to be alive and healthy. Hug your loved ones tight,” he added.
The band did not immediately comment on Keeter’s change of heart.