Paris Attack Survivors Open Up Ahead of Tribute Concert, Talk Gun Control - NBC Bay Area
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Paris Attack Survivors Talk Tribute Concert, Gun Control



    Paris Attack Survivors Open Up Ahead of Tribute Concert, Talk Gun Control
    French Police officers, center, stand guard amid tourists at Trocadero Plaza next to the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, France, Wednesday on Dec. 30, 2015.

    Survivors of November's deadly Paris attacks opened up to a French terrorism commission ahead of a highly charged Paris concert Tuesday by Eagles of Death Metal — the U.S. rock band that was performing in the Bataclan concert hall the night extremist suicide bombers targeted sites around the French capital.

    The commission is meeting twice a week from now until June, tasked with establishing why and how the French government failed to stop the attacks that claimed 130 lives, most of them at the Bataclan.

    The Nov. 13 attacks came just 10 months after deadly jihadi attacks on a satirical newspaper and a kosher supermarket pushed the country into high alert, and forced French lawmakers to look for ways to further protect French citizens.

    One of the Bataclan survivors, Alexis Lebrun, questioned why there was scant security around one of Paris' biggest music venues given the heightened security in the city.

    "No security measures were seen. No military or police presence in front of the hall. No particular searches at the hall entrance," Lebrun noted.

    "How come the national security alert was at its highest level, yet there were no provisions to mobilize some guards in front of venues welcoming hundreds or thousands of people?" he asked.

    The Eagles of Death Metal are preparing to return to the Paris stage for a tribute concert in the Olympia theater Tuesday night. The concert will be attended by Bataclan survivors.

    Lebrun, describing himself as "very scared" said he would go the Olympia venue but will only attend the concert if he deems the security adequate.

    Speaking to i-Tele, band frontman Jesse Hughes broke down in tears, saying: "I don't know why God picked us to be the band." During the emotional interview, Hughes also argued for universal access to guns. 

    Questioned on whether his thoughts on gun control had changed after the attacks, Hughes – a member of the National Rifle Association – said gun control "doesn’t have anything to do with it," and he believes that restrictions on guns in France had helped to enable the terrorists.

    "Did your French gun control stop a single f------ person from dying at the Bataclan? And if anyone can answer yes, I’d like to hear it, because I don’t think so," Hughes told i-Tele, adding, "I know people will disagree with me, but it just seems like God made men and women, and that night guns made them equal.

    "And I hate it that it’s that way," Hughes said. "I think the only way that my mind has been changed is that maybe that until nobody has guns everybody has to have them."