While the mass shooting in Las Vegas sparked a renewed call for stricter gun control, two survivors maintained their support for the Second Amendment, saying there was no way to prevent the attack.
Caren Mansholt and Rusty Dees were near the right of the stage when Stephen Paddock opened fire at a country music festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino on Sunday night.
Many of the concert-goers initially mistook the gunfire for fireworks and the scene soon erupted in chaos as the hail of bullets rained down for more than 10 minutes, ripping through victims while others tried to flee.
The deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history sparked a call for stricter gun control laws from late night hosts to Caleb Keeter, a guitarist for the Josh Abbott Band that performed at the festival hours before the shooting broke out.
Caren Mansholt, who spoke on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, said, “I do believe there is a time and a place for gun ownership. I believe that we have the right to protect ourselves as needed.”
Dees also made the case that stricter laws would not have been able to prevent the mass shooting.
“It’s a tragic cost of freedom, that people can do bad things….If you can find a gun law that would prevent this from happening I could sign up today but I am proud of our country’s Second Amendment rights and I’m glad we are allowed to defend ourselves,” he said.
Dees added, “The biggest problem for me and for many was that we didn’t hear anybody returning fire. I’m very concerned that we had no one outside to protect us.”
His comments were in stark contrast with Keeter’s after the guitarist issued a lengthy statement describing how members of his crew were useless, even though they were armed with legal firearms.
“We couldn’t touch them for fear police might think we were part of the massacre and shoot us,” Keeter explained.
He said, “I’ve been a proponent of the 2nd amendment my entire my entire life. Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was.”
“Enough is enough….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,” Keeter added.
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