Singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne has canceled his scheduled show at the University of Texas at Austin because he’s disappointed with Texas’s new campus carry legislation. LaMontagne was expected to play Thursday, in promotion of his latest album.
LaMontagne took to Facebook to express his concerns over the new law that allows law-abiding citizens who have concealed carry permits to carry their guns with them on UT’s campus.
[Scroll Down for Video]
“I realize this is a controversial issue and there are strong feelings on both sides of it. But no matter how hard I try to understand the rationale for allowing guns on campus or more broadly, the ‘concealed carry’ law in general, I just cannot in any way support that ideology.”
Ray LaMontagne is hardly alone in his protest. At the end of August, students and faculty held a “Cocks not GLOCKS” rally. To raise awareness of the gun debate, the students passed out large rubber penises.
UT-Austin spokesman J.B. Bird released a statement to the Texas Tribune that expressed regret over the concert cancellation. He pointed out that state law allows “licensed permit holders to bring concealed handguns into many performance venues on public university campuses,” including UT-Austin’s Performing Arts Center.
The new Texas law took effect on the 50th anniversary of a 1966 shooting at UT-Austin. That shooter, who was not met by armed resistance from students, killed 14 people.
It is yet to be determined if LaMontagne will cancel any other shows where his audience is allowed to carry. He has two other shows scheduled in Texas, and hasn’t canceled either of those. And if he does perform, it will he play his song “Pick up a Gun?”
“There are a lot of things this country needs more of, but guns aren’t one of them,” he said. “On behalf of myself and the band, and everyone involved in the tour, I want to express our collective disappointment in the decision to allow guns on campus, and within the campus venue.”