Caleb Keeter was on stage playing guitar for the Josh Abbot Band during the Route 91 country music festival this Sunday night when the shooting started. Fortunately, Keeter survived the attack, which is now being called the worst mass shooting in modern history, but he’s come out of it with a slightly changed perspective.
This Monday morning, he tweeted out a message saying, “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.”
Keeter added that many of his crew members were licensed to carry guns, but in the end it was “useless.”
“We need gun control RIGHT. NOW,” his message read, adding that his “biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn’t realize it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it.”
According to ThinkProgress, Keeter is the first musician that performed at the festival to openly call for gun control in the wake the tragedy.
So far, most seem to have taken an ostensibly apolitical, “thoughts-and-prayers” approach. Jason Aldean, who was closing the festival when the shooting began and fled from the stage as the gunman opened fire, posted as much on Instagram. The shooting was “beyond horrific,” he said, assuring his followers that he and his crew were safe. “My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night.”
The response to Keeter’s tweet was mixed at best:
While I'm glad you and yours are alive, it took a personal assault to change your mind? It's called empathy. You had none until today.
— Paul (@mondosalvo) October 2, 2017
I mean…really? CHILDREN were mowed down in their classroom. Six year olds. SIX YEAR OLDS. THAT didn't convince you? You had to
— t (@dopaminediscord) October 2, 2017
— Raven (@KazeSkyz) October 2, 2017
Sorry, cannot agree with you. You're speaking out of ignorance in your emotions.
— Alsoria (@Alsoriawow) October 2, 2017
I am sorry it took this to bring you to this place, but glad that you are here now. Please continue to speak out. The system is broken.
— The Wombat Resists (@UrsulaV) October 2, 2017
It takes strength to change course. I'm so sorry you were touched by this violence, Caleb, and grateful you've joined the fight to stop it.
— Rebecca Metz (@TheRebeccaMetz) October 2, 2017
Featured image via the Josh Abbot Band (Twitter)