Country star Maren Morris no longer feels safe around guns after the Route 91 festival massacre in 2017.
The My Church singer performed at the Las Vegas event the day before a sick gunman opened fire on the crowd during Jason Aldean’s headlining set, killing almost 60 people.
Morris, who wrote the track Dear Hate in the days after the tragedy, admits she is still suffering from a “perpetual PTSD” following the massacre and now she feels it’s her job to promote an anti-gun message.
“I don’t think anyone needs to own a semi-automatic or automatic rifle,” Morris tells Esquire. “I’m from Texas and I’ve grown up around guns… but as much fun as that was growing up, do I feel particularly safe around guns now? No.”
She joins a growing group of country stars calling for gun control measures, and admits that conversations she has been having with fans about the problem are helping her get over the worst of the tragedy: “The only way that I’ve been able to continue touring and having confidence on stage is through conversations with fans,” she explains.
“If they went through that and they can still buy a ticket and show up and pay for parking and get in the door, then I can certainly walk out on stage.”
And she’s glad the song she wrote that was inspired by the Route 91 festival massacre has connected with so many survivors and victims’ families.
Appearing on news show Today on Friday (08Mar19), the Grammy Award winner admitted there isn’t a day that goes by when someone doesn’t acknowledge the song or thank her for writing it.
“Last night, I did a thing for YouTube, and there was a fan there that said she was there (at Route 91) that night and she lost her dad – that was their last concert together,” she said. “That song, Dear Hate, really helped bring some peace to their family. To have someone say that about a song you’ve written is unfathomable.”