The death toll for the Las Vegas shooting now stands at 59, with more than 500 people injured, but the White House doesn’t believe it’s currently the time to have a discussion on implementing stricter gun laws. The GOP, however, still plans to vote on ever looser regulations on the sale of silencers and transport of firearms across state lines (oh, and to allow gun owners to bring their firearms into national parks, which goes hand in hand with giving hunters more access to public lands.)
But some people are pushing for this discussion regardless, folks like Caleb Keeter, a guitarist for the Josh Abbott Band. Keeter is a former proponent of the Second Amendment, who now believes we need tougher gun laws. And what prompted Keeter’s change of heart was surviving the current record-holder for deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, so maybe grief isn’t really keeping people from having rational conversations about automatic weapons that didn’t exist when the Second Amendment was written.
Keeter posted a statement on Twitter yesterday that explains his reversal. The musician saw members of his road crew hit with shrapnel during the attack by Stephen Paddock, who shot at attendees of the Route 91 Harvest festival from a hotel room window. And although several of them were licensed to carry and therefore had their own firearms on the tour bus, they couldn’t use them for fear of being confused with the attacker, thereby refuting the “good gun owner will save us all” myth that Keeter admits he bought into.
When challenged by other Twitter users for not having spoken out sooner, Keeter agreed with them, but wrote that he’d like to do what he can going forward. For starters, he can reach out to his congressperson about the upcoming SHARE Act vote.