Jason Aldean Weighs in on Gun Control: ‘It’s Too Easy to Get Guns’
Jason Aldean has mostly chosen to stay out of the debate that's going on over gun control in America after a series of mass shootings, but in a new interview, he reveals that he thinks there should at least be a more thorough vetting process required to purchase a firearm.
"It’s too easy to get guns, first and foremost," Aldean tells the Associated Press. "When you can walk in somewhere and you can get one in five minutes, do a background check that takes five minutes, like how in-depth is that background check? Those are the issues I have. It’s not necessarily the guns themselves or that I don’t think people should have guns. I have a lot of them."
The superstar was onstage in the middle of his set during the closing night of the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Oct. 1 when a lone gunman opened fire on the crowd from an adjacent hotel room. He says he's experienced a range of complex emotions in the aftermath of the experience, which left 58 people dead and hundreds more wounded. But he's been very cautious about getting involved in a public debate over gun control.
"It’s a no-win situation,” Aldean says. "I think no matter what you say, whether you’re for gun control or not, I mean, you’re setting yourself up to be crucified in the public eye or in the media."
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Aldean visited a number of survivors of the shooting in the hospital afterward, and while he was relieved that nobody in his band or crew were injured, he admits he felt a sense of guilt over the fans who died or got injured, since they were there to see him. He also feels a connection to the survivors of the more recent mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla. Some of those students have become gun control activists, and they recently helped head up a series of national and international marches called March for Our Lives.
"Unless anybody has witnessed anything like that or been a part of it, it’s really hard for people to really understand where you’re coming from on that stuff," he reflects. "It’s like the kids from the school in Florida, that shooting. I get it, man. I understand how they are feeling."
He admits he was stuck in a spiral of thinking about the shooting too much for a while after it happened. "You just sit there and relive it a thousand times a day," Aldean reflects. He says the birth of his son, Memphis — which took place on Dec. 1, exactly two months after the Vegas shooting — was a turning point in helping him recover from the trauma.
"Really to me, he just gave me something else to focus on. Something else to think about on a daily basis."
Aldean is set to release a new album, Rearview Town, on Friday (April 13). He'll be back in Las Vegas on Sunday (April 15) for the 2018 ACM Awards, which are set to air at 8PM ET on CBS. Aldean is nominated for Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year. He is also headlining at WE Fest in 2018 alongside Carrie Underwood and Florida Georgia Line. WE Fest runs from Aug. 2-4 at Soo Pass Ranch in Detroit Lakes, Minn.
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