Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes claims that France’s strict gun control laws may have contributed to the carnage at the Bataclan night club during the November 13 terrorist attack.
On that date, 89 people died at the Paris concert hall alone and hundreds injured in a series of ISIS-related and coordinated attacks in the city on Friday the 13th. Terrorists killed 130 people in total, the deadliest attacks in the country since World War 2.
In a return to Paris, the Eagles of Death Metal band is performing tonight at the sold-out Olympic concert hall, which will include Bataclan survivors among the audience. “Hughes previously said Eagles of Death Metal will be the first band to perform at the Bataclan when it reopens. The owners of the Bataclan released a statement last week to announce that they were launching renovations and are expecting to reopen by year end,” Variety reported.
In a tearful, emotional interview with a French television station, Jesse Hughes made his feelings about gun control very clear, including that concert goers might have had a better chance to live if some of them were armed.
“Did your French gun control stop a single f***ing person from dying at the Bataclan? And if anyone can answer ‘yes,’ I’d like to hear it, because I don’t think so. I think the only thing that stopped it was some of the bravest men that I’ve ever seen in my life charging head-first into the face of death with their firearms…
“I know people will disagree with me, but it just seems like God made men and women, and that night, guns made them equal. And I hate it that it’s that way. I think the only way that my mind has been changed is that maybe that until nobody has guns, everybody has to have them because I don’t want to see anything like this ever happen again…”
“I’m not a hero, but if I had had a gun I could have changed something, and I would have been willing to do it… I’m pro freedom,” Hughes added, according to the New York Times.
Hughes apparently supports GOP front-runner Donald Trump for president.
Trump has made a similar point over and over, i.e., that absent France’s strict gun control laws, if audience members were able to shoot back, the attack could have been thwarted to some degree.
“I don’t go anywhere in America without a gun anymore. That sucks. And I’m not paranoid. I’m not a cowboy… but I want to be prepared,” Hughes, an NRA member, previously told Agence France Presse.
On hold since the Bataclan attack except for a brief, on-stage Paris appearance with U2 in early December, the Eagles of Death Metal resumed their world tour last Saturday in Stockholm. “I don’t want to let anybody down. For me, I can’t let the bad guys win,” Hughes said about tonight’s gig in Paris.
Hughes reportedly maintains that Bataclan was targeted because it may have Jewish ownership and that the venue supports Israel, MRC TV claimed.
Jesse Hughes is the subject of a documentary called “The Redemption of the Devil,” which chronicles the musician’s “journey from being a rocker to an ordained Catholic minister and shed[s] light on the singer’s pro-gun stance,” Variety noted.
Do you agree or disagree with Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes that guns in the hands of licensed, law-abiding citizens might have been an equalizer in the Bataclan terrorist attack?
[Photo by Jerome Delay/AP Photo]