Singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash is challenging her fellow country musicians to stand up to the NRA, just days after 59 people were killed from gunfire during a country music festival in Las Vegas.
In a powerful New York Times op-ed, Cash, eldest daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, said the NRA “funds domestic terrorism.”
“The people who write gun regulations are the very people who profit from gun sales. The NRA would like to keep it that way,” she wrote.
Cash said the NRA caters to the country music community by promoting the country lifestyle in their campaigns like NRA Country, for example.
A recent bill pushed by the NRA that the House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on would have loosed restrictions on gun silencers and armor-piercing bullets, Cash said. The vote was postponed indefinitely after the Las Vegas massacre.
“If the proposed law had passed before the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Sunday, and the rifles in the assailant's hotel room had been fitted with silencers, one could safely assume that the death toll would be much, much higher,” Cash wrote. “Those who ran from the concert and survived did so because they heard the gunfire. None of that matters to the NRA."
Cash said she’s been a proponent of gun control for more than 20 years and has been threatened and attacked for it.
“Every time I speak out on the need for stricter gun laws, I get a new profusion of threats. There’s always plenty of the garden-variety ‘your dad would be ashamed of you’ sexist nonsense.”
She warned that other country artists would be criticized for supporting gun control, too.
“Not everyone will like you for taking a stand. Let it roll off your back."
Very few country artists have spoken out about gun control since the biggest mass shooting in modern U.S. history took place on Sunday evening while Jason Aldean played at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, a three-day country music festival with more than 22,000 fans.
Stephen Paddock was identified by police as the perpetrator of Sunday evening’s mass shooting who opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers from his 32nd-floor window at the Mandalay Bay hotel. Police entered his room and found him dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. More than 500 people were injured and 59 were killed.
Josh Abbott Band guitarist Caleb Keeter wrote on Twitter Monday evening that he changed his mind about the second amendment after watching the massacre first-hand from the stage.
“I’ve been a proponent of the 2nd amendment my entire life. Until the events of last night,” Keeter wrote. “I cannot express how wrong I was.”
“We need control NOW,” he wrote.
Other country artists weren’t so clear in their reaction statements.
Jason Aldean wrote Monday night “the world is becoming a place I’m afraid to raise my kids in” and now is the time “to come together and stop the hate.”
Shania Twain, Keith Urban, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley and dozens of other big country stars also expressed their condolences on Twitter, but never mentioned gun control.