Lady Gaga, Questlove, Kesha, Paul McCartney and Pusha T are just a handful of the 100-plus musicians and music industry executives who have attached their names to a passionate and rational open letter from Billboard to Congress urging elected officials to pass stricter gun-control legislation. The letter was written in the wake of America’s latest mass shooting at the Orlando nightclub Pulse that resulted in the death of 49 clubgoers, most of whom were LGBT, while 53 others sustained injuries.
The editorial staff worked with leading gun-violence prevention group Everytown for Gun Safety, and prefaced a brief yet powerful call for action by addressing both the horrific tragedy at Pulse as well as the murder of popular 22-year-old singer Christina Grimmie. The letter targets the threat to safety that loopholes in gun-control laws have on music fans, pointing out that both of these tragedies occurred in entertainment venues:
“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.”
The Billboard letter serves as a high-profile reminder that gun violence is affecting all of us, and that action must be taken to prevent this from happening again. It continues by (rationally) calling upon our elected officials to pass legislation that requires background checks for every gun purchased, as well as laws that would prevent suspected terrorists from purchasing guns — despite the fact that the Senate voted down four partisan gun measures on Monday. But perhaps not all hope is lost; Democratic members of congress have attempted to effect change with their sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives, pushing for a vote on gun control.