Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Music Industry Unites Around A Common Sense Approach To U.S. Gun Nuttery


Ted Nugent, who was once part of the music industry, opposes gun control. He has advocated private individuals being able to own heavy military equipment, from bazookas to tanks. When I became president of Reprise one of the first things I did was begin laying the groundwork for dropping his truly dreadful band, Damn Yankees. But not everyone in the music business is as big an asshole as Nugent. Thursday more than 150 entertainers and music biz executives signed an open letter to Congress urging them to tighten gun laws. Published by Billboard on its cover, the letter was signed by such internationally respected luminaries as Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono, Michael Stipe, Bonnie Raitt, Melissa Etheridge, Iggy Pop, Alanis Morissette, Billy Joel, Stevie Nicks, Tori Amos, Wayne Coy, Beck, Barbra Streisand, Carole King, k.d. lang, Jackson Browne, Alicia Keys, John Mellencamp, Cher, Sting, Elvis Costello, Joan Jett, Britney Spears, Jeff Tweedy, Tony Bennett, Bob Weir, Trent Reznor, Eddie Vedder, and Lady Gaga.


As leading artists and executives in the music industry, we are adding our voices to the chorus of Americans demanding change.

Music always has been celebrated communally, on dancefloors and at concert halls. But this life-affirming ritual, like so many other daily experiences-- going to school or church or work-- now is threatened, because of gun violence in this country.

The one thing that connects the recent tragedies in Orlando is that it is far too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on guns.

We call on Congress to do more to prevent the gun violence that kills more than 90 Americans every day and injures hundreds more, including:

Require a background check for every gun sale
Block suspected terrorists from buying guns
Billboard and the undersigned implore you-- the people who are elected to represent us-- to close the deadly loopholes that put the lives of so many music fans, and all of us, at risk.
The editors of Billboard added that, "Like the rest of the country and the world, Billboard editors were horrified by the mass killing at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub on June 12, and by the murder of singer Christina Grimmie the night before. Both tragedies occurred where musicians and music fans gathered. And so faced with another gun-related tragedy, the staff organized this special “Open Letter to Congress” cover of Billboard. With the help of leading gun-violence prevention group Everytown for Gun Safety, editors reached out to those we cover in the music industry, and asked for their support and their signatures to help seek a sane and safe end to gun violence. Within minutes, Joan Jett was the first to sign on. Lady Gaga shortly followed. Within hours, and then in a matter of just a few days, nearly 200 top artists and executives-- pop stars (including Grimmie's friend Selena Gomez), rappers, rock gods, legends, Broadway heroes, even two Beatles and Yoko Ono-- lent their voices to the chorus of Americans looking to our political leaders for change. Billboard, artists and music-industry executives join so many members of the House and Senate this week proudly advocating for common-sense gun safety."

Nanette Barragán is running for Congress in an L.A. district (the 44th) that is far from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the music industry. But her district has been painfully aware of the scourge of gun violence-- and the people there want it ended and ended now. "When everyone," she told us this morning, "from Billy Joel and Tony Bennett join forces with Iggy Pop and Trent Reznor, you know that there is an incredible depth of support for an issue like common sense gun safety legislation. What’s equally clear is that Congress can’t seem to get its act together long enough to do something productive on this issue. That’s why this year it’s more important than ever that we break from politicians and politics as usual and elect leaders who are willing to take a stand on important issues." Please consider helping Nanette's campaign-- she won a slot in the November general against an establishment stooge generally considered the most corrupt legislator in Sacramento-- by tapping on the thermometer below:
Goal Thermometer

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