This morning I woke up and opened Twitter as an easy start to my Monday morning. Within minutes I was crying, scrolling through tweets telling the horror story of what happened in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay hotel and Route 91 Harvest Festival.
As I write this, still choked up and feeling a pain in my heart, 50 people are confirmed dead and more than 400 are wounded or were taken to hosptial. This is the largest, deadliest mass shooting in the modern history of the United States. And it happened while thousands of country fans celebrated the music they love and the community and camaraderie that comes at music festivals.
I’m shook. I’m sad. I’m angry and confused and want nothing more than to believe that this is a bad dream or that it’s something so tragic and senseless that it will never happen again. But I know it’s not. Not long ago the music world mourned along with Manchester after the attack at Ariana Grande’s concert at the Manchester Arena. Before that we were outraged and saddened by the attack in Paris at the Bataclan theatre during the Eagles of Death Metal show. People will look at these three incidents and call them unrelated. They will point out the three different countries, the two continents, different genres of music, ethnicities and religions of the attackers, and a hundred other things that make them different from each other. But the pure, sad, hateful, honest fact is this – love, peace, and freedom were attacked in Las Vegas, just as they were in Paris and Manchester.
Note: If you are in Las Vegas, please take a moment to click here and check in as safe on Facebook. Your friends and loved ones will appreciate it and maybe breathe a little easier. xo
We don’t know why 64 year old Stephen Paddock brought multiple guns to a room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel and opened fire on Sunday night. It doesn’t really matter. The truth is that he spread terror. This was a cowardly, focused, hate filled, terrorist action that has taken the lives of at least 50 people, changed the lives of hundreds more, and has caused more fear and tears than we can truly comprehend in Las Vegas and around the world.
As music fans, concert goers, festival attendees, and members of multiple music communities, we are sad and scared. We have concerts coming up this week. We have plans to attend multiple fairs and festivals in 2018. We love what we do, and we love that hundreds and thousands of music fans feel compelled to come and sing along and dance and fall in love to the live music at the shows we’re at. And it’s terrifying to think that at any one of these events, one person could change everything.
We hope, pray, and trust that this will never happen. But it’s impossible to know.
Nobody thought that Jason Aldean’s set at the Route 91 Harvest festival would be interrupted by a nightmare come to life.
Without getting partisan, we would like to express our support for stricter gun control legislation in the United States that can help to prevent these tragic attacks in the future. We understand the second amendment and the rights it gives. But the facts and statistics are overwhelming… it’s time.
We will continue to watch the news reports roll in. And we will continue to send all of our love, positive energy, and prayers to the victims and families and communities who are feeling loss and pain today.