Sign up for newsletter
 

Cash calls country artists to support gun control

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 – Rosanne Cash called on her fellow country artists to push for stricter gun control laws in an opinion piece in the New York Times today.

A gun control activist for 20 years, Cash called on "more artists in country and American roots music to end your silence. It is no longer enough to separate yourself quietly. The laws the N.R.A. would pass are a threat to you, your fans, and to the concerts and festivals we enjoy. The stakes are too high to not disavow collusion with the N.R.A."

Cash's comments come a day after Stephen Paddock was accused of shooting and killing 59 people at the Route 91 Harvest Fest in Las Vegas and wounding more than 500.

Josh Abbott Band guitarist Caleb Keeter said in a Twitter post that he changed his opinion about the need for gun control after the shootings. The Josh Abbott Band played at the Festival on Sunday.

The NRA has promoted country artists through its "NRA Country" marketing effort. Artists include Luke Combs, Easton Corbin, Lee Brice, Florida Georgia Line, Jon Pardi, Michael Ray and Chase Rice.

Cash sharply criticized an alliance between the National Rifle Association and country artists. "That wholesome public relations veneer masks something deeply sinister and profoundly destructive. There is no other way to say this: The N.R.A. funds domestic terrorism."

The NRA has promoted country artists through its "NRA Country" marketing effort. Artists include Luke Combs, Easton Corbin, Lee Brice, Florida Georgia Line, Jon Pardi, Michael Ray and Chase Rice.

"A shadow government exists in the world of gun sales, and the people who write gun regulations are the very people who profit from gun sales," Cash wrote. "The N.R.A. would like to keep it that way."

"The laws we have in place to prevent the procurement of military-style weapons by mentally ill citizens are laughable by the standards of any civilized society. But even those pathetic restrictions would be eased if the N.R.A. had its way. Just this week, the House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on a measure that would loosen restrictions on gun silencers and armor-piercing bullets."

Congress postponed the vote in the wake of the Las Vegas shootings.

"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 said. "Those who ran from the concert and survived did so because they heard the gunfire. None of that matters to the N.R.A."

Cash said she knew country artist seeking greater gun control would be "bullied for speaking out. This is how they operate. Not everyone will like you for taking a stand. Let it roll off your back. Some people may burn your records or ask for refunds for tickets to your concerts. Whatever. Find the strength of moral conviction, even if it comes with a price tag, which it will. Don't let them bully you into silence. That's where their power lies - in the silence of rational voices and in the apathy of those who can speak truth to power."

"Patriotism and a belief in strong gun control are not antithetical. We need common-sense gun laws, and I hope my fellow occupants of the tower of song will join me in saying so. In unity, we can drown out the bullies."

Keeter wrote, ""I've been a proponent of the 2nd Amendment my entire life," he wrote. "Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was. We actually have members of our crew with CHL licenses, and legal firearms on the bus. They were useless."

"We need gun control RIGHT. NOW," he wrote. "My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn't realize it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it. We are unbelievably fortunate to not be among the number of victims killed or seriously wounded by this maniac."

He later tweeted, "That being said, I'll not live in fear of anyone. We will regroup, we'll come back, and we'll rock your fucking faces off. Bet on it."

More news

CD reviews

Until My Voice Goes Out CD review - Until My Voice Goes Out
Josh Abbott Band opens its album "Until My Voice Goes Out" with the title track, which features the unique combination of stately strings along with plucked banjo. In one respect, it's a love song about the desire for a specific woman. Couched within this plea, though, is a sincere wish for a life lived to the fullest. Abbott also sings "Ain't My Daddy's Down" at album's end, which explains the meditative nature of the record's opener. »»»
Front Row Seat CD review - Front Row Seat
Customarily Texas and Red Dirt artists have proudly existed outside of the mainstream, relying more on quality song writing and a defiantly traditional edge to their music, with fiddles and steel guitar prominent. Josh Abbott Band came from this scene and built a faithful fan base. Abbott boldly decided to create a concept album this time around. The disc is divided into five acts, which represent the stages of a relationship from courtship to the aftermath of a breakup, an idea very similar »»»
Tuesday NIght EP CD review - Tuesday NIght EP
The Josh Abbott Band's major label debut is a five-tune EP with mixed results. The opening track "Where's the Party" is an effectively amusing country rocker that finds the singer seeking a good time ("Low standards, high thrills/Crinkled up dollar bills/Y'all pitch in for smokes and a keg of Bud Light"), while the title track similarly revels in simple pleasures ("Every once in a while you need something to make you feel alright/Sometimes it's just »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Stuart turns up the honky tonk – Late in the afternoon before heading up to Penn's Peak, news broke that the venue was nominated by The Academy of Country Music as one of the top five small venues for 2018. This foreshadowed a special vibe for Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives on this night, playing for about 1,000 fans. The band, together now for 16 years, bedecked in... »»»
Concert Review: Trampled by Turtles overcome sad songs – There's light in the darkness of Trampled by Turtles. The latter is in the subject matter of the songs - there's a lot of doom and gloom in these relationships. There doesn't seem to be a lot of happy moments. As if to underscore that, the stage was often saturated in dark hues. So, where's the light? Well, despite the cup... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Tyminski goes dark Dan Tyminski (known simply as "Tyminski" on his 2017 release "Southern Gothic") has traditional music roots and unassailable bluegrass street cred especially given his membership in Alison Krauss' Union Station. He is also a powerful songwriter and has been writing songs for himself and others for years now.... »»»
Washburn, Fleck create "Echoes" Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have powerhouse individual talents; each has followed an estimable career path to where they find themselves today: making complex, but spare, records, writing music together and touring with their son Juno. Their new release, "Echoes In The Valley" features mostly songs written by Fleck and Washburn, banjos, Washburn's strong vocals and very little else.... »»»
Hillman bides his time Legends don't come any more legendary than Chris Hillman. The roll call of bands that comprises Hillman's half century in music reads like a wing exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, the Souther Hillman Furay Band, the Desert Rose Band,... »»»
The Cadillac Three creates its "Legacy" William Shakespeare noted a few centuries back that a rose by any other name would be equally aromatic, and that general idea has musical implications as well. The Cadillac Three knows a thing or two about maintaining a sonic identity after a name change;... »»»
With Stanley and Watson, sound isn't elementary Those aware of the late Owsley "Bear" Stanley likely know him for one of two reasons - his pioneering work manufacturing lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in San Francisco during the mid-to-late 1960s and his role as an innovative sound engineer. Most notably, Bear worked...... »»»
Hard Times Are Relative CD review - Hard Times Are Relative
Jason Boland and The Stragglers serve up the ninth helping of their unapologetic, get it or not, country, in the past 20 years. This appears to almost be two EP's with the first mostly being a hard country dance cd and the second being a little more "out there" mix of fun and contemplative tunes, much less easy to categorize. »»»
Life is Good on the Open Road CD review - Life is Good on the Open Road
After a four-year-break from recording, Duluth, Minn. sextet Trampled By Turtles return with its eighth studio release of edgy bluegrass and Indie folk/rock. Lead singer Dave Simonett wrote all of the mostly dark themed lyrics with the lone instrumental that showcases the band's topflight musicianship, "Good Land," credited to bandmate Erik Berry. »»»
Last Man Standing CD review - Last Man Standing
Willie Nelson is 123 years old and this is his 85th album. No, that's not right, He's 85 and this is something like his 123rd album. At a certain point, the years and the numbers don't mean much any more. The bottom line is Willie Nelson has been around for a long time and made a lot of music.  »»»
Graffiti U CD review - Graffiti U
It's telling how two songs on Keith Urban's "Graffiti U" album chug along to a reggae beat because pop rhythms and non-country elements are the obvious inspirations for this collection. Opener "Coming Home" may borrow (steal?) a guitar riff from Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried," but this is where that country road begins and ends. »»»
Voices CD review - Voices
Having a dozen or so original songs to make an album has never mattered to Tom Rush nor has the idea of churning out an album every year or two. The iconic '60s folk singer has spread out about 20 originals over the span of 11 studio albums. »»»
Mr. Jukebox CD review - Mr. Jukebox
Apparently someone to forgot to tell Joshua Hedley that country music has passed him by. Where does Hedley, aka apparently known as the Mayor of Lower Broad, come off to incorporating honky tonk, Texas swing, western swing and countrypolitan all in the first three songs of his debut?  »»»