Jesse Hughes, singer for the Eagles of Death Metal and survivor of the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, is finally speaking out against the French gun control laws he said not only failed to protect French citizens, but actually aided the attackers. In an interview with the French TV station iTélé, Hughes said that the concert at the Bataclan, where 89 people were killed when ISIS-affiliated gunmen opened fire, continues to be a nightmare for him.
“Did your French gun control stop a single […] person from dying at the Bataclan?” a tearful Hughes said. “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.”
Hughes, who founded Eagles of Death Metal with friend and fellow musician Josh Homm, is also a longtime advocate for gun rights. The singer says he routinely carries a concealed firearm with him on his tours, and some speculated that he stopped short of bringing one with him to the Bataclan due to French gun laws and the complications of international travel.
“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 previously told the AFP.
Hughes indicated that had some of attendees—or band staff—at the bataclan been armed, the outcome may have been different.
“I saw people die that maybe could have lived. I don’t know, but I wish I knew for sure that if they could have had a better chance, because there were some real angels, real wonderful people at that show,” he said during the interview.
You can see a portion of the interview below:
According to The Guardian, Hughes remembered bumping into one of the gunmen during the confusion of the attack. The musician had been looking for a staff member at the time and nearly ran straight into one of the terrorists.
“He didn’t see me. The door shut behind me and I was trying to back up, very sneaky—but he noticed me. And I thought I was dead,” he said in an interview with Sweden’s TV4. “I waited for the shot to hit me. When he went to pull his rifle down, the barrel of his gun hit the doorframe, thank god.”
Hughes said the band will be returning to Paris to finish the concert because not doing so would be like “letting the bad guys win.” The Eagles of Death Metal are set to play at Olympia Hall on Tuesday Night.