World-renowned British rocker Rod Stewart has incensed some fans with a social media post that calls for gun control in the United States after Las Vegas suffered the country’s worst ever mass shooting. At the time of writing, nearly 60 people had been killed and more than 500 injured when Stephen Craig Paddock opened fire on a country music festival.
Stewart posted a simple black and white graphic to his Instagram account with the popular hashtag #PrayForAmerica and inserted words that would change the slogan to #PolicyChangeForAmerica.
“I have proudly made the U.S. my second home for the better part of 40 years – and enough is enough!” Stewart wrote to his 188,000 Instagram followers.
“I am not a Democrat. I am not a Republican. I am a father and an artist who cares deeply about the safety of my family and fans. Once again, I am utterly gutted to be grieving the mass murder of so many innocent lives,” he went on to write.
“I ask you, if not now, when? Now is the time to honor the lives lost by enacting urgently needed gun control.”
While some of Stewart’s fans, particularly those from countries with strict gun control, commented on the post with support for his passionate plea, there were just as many who took offence to his words.
“No, now is not the time to bring this up. They haven’t even identified all of the bodies. Let the families have time to even [process] what’s happened. This psychopath had weapons of mass destruction used only in the military or by police officers. Anyone who doesn’t believe this isn’t an act of terrorism, think again. Someone supplied him with those weapons. General public does not have access to them. I love you dearly Rod but now isn’t the time. Give it a bit of time,” [sic] one person wrote.
“Oh I love you Rod Stewart but no sir the guns did not kill anyone. The man pulling the trigger did. Please just keep singing and entertaining!!” [sic] another said.
“Oh dear Rod. I’ve loved you since I was a kid but you are so way off base here. Take away every gun in America, you won’t stop mad, insane people from committing heinous acts of terror. I’m very disappointed in your point of view here. Think I’ll forgo seeing your concert,” one person wrote.
There are many similar arguments on the post, which has so far attracted more than 3,500 likes and 200 comments, with more than one person saying that they’re no longer a fan of Stewart because of his views on gun control. It seems unlikely that public opinion will change the artist’s mind, however; the incident would have hit far too close to home for Stewart, who spent the spring and summer of 2017 in residence at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace with his show Rod Stewart: The Hits.