After experiencing first hand the deadly terrorist attack in Las Vegas last Sunday night, Caleb Keeter, guitarist for the Josh Abbott Band echoes a pledge that’s been dividing US opinion for decades.
Gun control has been a thorny issue among the American public for many, many years.
Bewilderingly, the death rate from gun homicides in the United States is about 31 per million people, yet a large segment of Americans still advocates for unregulated gun use, including the president, who earlier in the year signed a law that rolled back Obama-era restrictions on firearm purchase by people treated for mental illnesses.
To put that stat into perspective, in Germany, about 2 people out of every million are killed by a gun, which is the same likelihood as dying from a flying object in the US.
It’s gotten to a point where gun homicides are an issue of national public health.
Among men between 15 to 29, firearms are the third-leading cause of death after accidents and suicides. And even more worrying, according to another study firearms are the third-leading cause of death among U.S. children aged 17 and younger.
In a tweet this afternoon, the guitarist expressed his change of heart after the terrible massacre that according to official reports at this point has left 59 dead and more than 500 injured.
His group, the Josh Abbott Band, performed on stage a couple of hours before the tragedy.
One of the main points used by gun control opponents is that guns allow normal civilians to defend themselves against offenders.
Contradicting this argumentative fallacy, some of the crew members of the Josh Abbott Band had firearms on the tour bus with them, but the weapons were completely “useless” during the shooting.
— Caleb Keeter (@Calebkeeter) October 2, 2017
Keeter wrote, “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.
They 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 firepower.
The fear he felt in the moment and the inability to act was why, he said, the country needs ‘gun control RIGHT. NOW.’”
In the face of such tragedy there are still people who cling on to their right to own weapons.
Governor of Kentucky Matt Bevin and author Dave Ramsey unashamedly went on Twitter to slam gun control proponents.
To all those political opportunists who are seizing on the tragedy in Las Vegas to call for more gun regs…You can't regulate evil…
— Governor Matt Bevin (@GovMattBevin) October 2, 2017
You people that use a horrible act of evil to promote your gun control agenda should be ashamed of yourselves.
— Dave Ramsey (@DaveRamsey) December 14, 2012
The rest of Caleb Keeter’s statement says,
“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 not to be among the number of victims killed or seriously wounded by this maniac.”
I believe this a good time to share Australia’s very own Jim Jeffries’ now classic skit on the matter.