More slaughter of innocents

The Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival was a family-friendly affair in Las Vegas that attracted over 20,000 fans.

Lasting three days, it was staged across Las Vegas Boulevard (aka “The Strip”) from Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in a converted parking lot. Revelers were preparing for the final act of the festival Sunday night when shots rang out.

Jason Aldean, CMA Entertainer of the Year, had just begun his first song when bursts of gunfire hit the crowd and the stage.

Within a short span, a lone gunman sprayed the festival area from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay. By the time the shooter killed himself, at least 58 innocent concertgoers were dead and over 500 were injured.

As we watched a video of the massacre, we could only think, “What is an individual doing with this kind of firepower? If these weapons are legal, the laws must be changed.”

One of the performers Sunday night, the Josh Abbott Band’s lead guitarist, Caleb Keeter, wrote on Twitter:

“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 (Concealed Handgun Licenses), and legal firearms on the bus. They were useless.”

He continued: “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. 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 just powerful enough that my crew guys just standing in close proximity of a victim shot by this f—ing 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 to not be among the number of victims killed or seriously wounded by this maniac.”

We agree completely with Mr. Keeter’s comments.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.