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Caleb Keeter, the guitarist for the Josh Abbott Band, who performed Sunday at the Route 91 festival in Las Vegas, wrote that the tragedy had already changed his mind on the need for gun control.
"I've been a proponent of the 2nd amendment my entire life. Until the events of last night," he said. "I cannot express how wrong I was."
Keeter wrote that the band and crew felt utterly powerless and terrified during the shooting, and that crew members who had concealed-carry permits couldn't use them for fear of being mistaken for the shooter.
"Writing my parents and the love of my life a goodbye last night and a living will because I felt I wasn't going to live through the night was enough for me to realize that this is completely and totally out of hand," he said.
The band made an official statement on the shooting as well. "Everyone in our band and crew are safe. I (Josh) had just left and was in the Mandalay Bay on the 20th floor with my fiancé during the shooting just a few floors away. The band & crew were on the concert grounds and saw people get shot. Some of my crew members were hit with shrapnel, but not injured. We are deeply disturbed by this horrific act of violence and send our thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families. It was a long awful night but we are blessed to be alive and healthy. Hug your loved ones tight."
Keeter's remarks suggest that the tragedy may be a turning point in how country artists talk about gun culture and gun control. "We need gun control RIGHT. NOW." he said. "My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn't realize it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it."