Musician Who Survived Shooting Changes Stance On Gun Control

by Christine Organ
Originally Published: 
Image via Sara Kauss/ACM2015/Getty Images/Twitter/Caleb Keeter

Guitarist Caleb Keeter of the Josh Abbott Band admits he was wrong about gun rights

Following what’s now the United States’ deadliest mass shooting in modern history, which left at least 59 people dead and more than 500 injured, there’s been an outpouring of support from celebrities. But none have been as bold in their call to action as Caleb Keeter, a guitarist with the Josh Abbott Band. Keeter and the band had performed at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon, mere hours before the gunman fired into the crowd during Jason Aldean’s set.

On Monday, Keeter took to Twitter to announce his about-face regarding gun rights and emphatically called for gun control legislation.

“I’ve been a proponent of the 2nd amendment my entire life,” Keeter wrote. “Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was.”

He went on to say that members of the band’s crew have concealed handgun licenses, and there were legal firearms on the bus. “They were useless,” he wrote.

“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,” he wrote. “[T]his is completely and totally out of hand. These rounds were just powerful enough that my crew guys just standing in close proximity of a victim shot by this fucking coward received shrapnel wounds.”

Unlike other celebrities who have expressed their sorrow – offering up their thoughts and prayers – Keeter is calling on us to go even further and take action.

“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.”

As The Washington Post pointed out, it’s rare for country music stars to take a stand on political issues, especially when it comes to firearms, which makes Keeter’s message all the more important. The response to Keeter’s statement was swift, with some people chastising him for his lack of action until he was personally affected by gun violence, to which he had a simple response: “You are all absolutely correct.”

“I saw this happening for years and did nothing,” he wrote. “But I’d like to do what I can now.”

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