Eric Church graced the cover of Rolling Stone this month and opened up about his feelings on the Las Vegas shooting. The shooting happened last October during the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival at the Mandalay Bay resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. The tragedy left 58 people dead and more than 500 wounded.
According to People, Church told Rolling Stone the following.
“There are some things we can’t stop. Like the disgruntled kid who takes his dad’s shotgun and walks into a high school,” he said. “But we could have stopped the guy in Vegas.”
Church performed at the festival only two days before the mass shooting and was no longer in Vegas. He headlined Friday and claims the show was great.
“It was one of the best shows I’ve had, everyone was smiling. I was trying to freeze that night, going, ‘This is it – hell of a year.’ I jumped down during ‘Springsteen’ and shook hands: ‘I don’t know when I’ll see you again, but thank you so much for this year and for my life.'”
Church claimed the shooting “wrecked him in a lot of ways.”
“It’s selfish of me. But my first thought was, ‘I hope it’s not our fans,'” he said. “We had a lot of fans there. We even promoted online travel options to make it easier for people to come. I felt like the bait: People come to see you play, and then all of a sudden they die?”
“It got dark for me for a while. I went through a period, a funk, for six months at least,” he said. “I had anger. I’ve still got anger. Something broke in me that night, and it still hasn’t healed. There’s a part of me that hopes it haunts me forever.”
The singer is a gun owner, but he still blames the “the lobbyists. And the biggest in the gun world is the NRA” for the shooting.
He told Rolling Stone that he does own a half a dozen guns. When the magazine asked if the Vegas shooting changed his opinion he said the following.
“A little. I’m a Second Amendment guy,” he says. “That’s in the Constitution, it’s people’s right, and I don’t believe it’s negotiable. But nobody should have that many guns and that much ammunition and we don’t know about it. Nobody should have 21 AKs and 10,000 rounds of ammunition and we don’t know who they are. Something’s gotta be done so that a person can’t have an armory and pin down a Las Vegas SWAT team for six minutes. That’s f***ed up.”
Fortunately, Church’s career continues to rise.
“The country-music superstar’s last four albums have each gone platinum, and he sells out arenas all over the country, playing three-hour shows from Brooklyn to Boise to L.A.,” according to Rolling Stone.
He also states he’s not “quitting anytime soon.”