Caleb Keeter, guitarist for the Josh Abbott Band, posted on Twitter on Monday that living through the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday night caused him to change his stance on gun control.
Keeter called for "gun control RIGHT. NOW."
The musician added that he wrote goodbyes to his loved ones because he felt he wouldn't "live through the night." The rounds fired into the crowd were so powerful, Keeter wrote, that members of the band's crew "standing in close proximity of a victim shot by this fucking coward received shrapnel wounds."
You can read Keeter's full statement below.
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.
The were useless.
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 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 fucking 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.
When asked for further comment, a representative for the band referred BuzzFeed News to a post on the band's official Facebook page, which said that everyone in the band and crew were safe, and that they were "deeply disturbed by this horrific act of violence and send our thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families."
In his post to Twitter, Keeter also said that his "biggest regret" is that he didn't realize the need for gun control "until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it."
And indeed, Keeter's stance drew criticism that his views changed only after he was personally affected by gun violence.
Keeter was also applauded for changing his stance.
A few hours later, Keeter acknowledged the criticism, and vowed to "do what I can now."
Adam B. Vary is a senior film reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Adam B. Vary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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