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

Catching Fire CD review - Catching Fire
Releasing five albums and two EPs since 2008, the normally prolific Josh Abbott Band returns more to its roots after exploring new, more Nashville-type sound over the last two albums. This self-released effort shows maturity and confidence by remembering who they are and expanding their base at the same time. With the title cut, "Catching Fire," co-written by Abbott, serving as a bridge between their past musical exploration and their rootsy Texas sound, it is his distinctive voice »»»
She Remembers Everything CD review - She Remembers Everything
Rosanne Cash's "She Remembers Everything" kicks off with "The Only Thing Worth Fighting For," which features the opening line, "Waking up is harder than it seems." This admission foreshadows a mostly joyless collection of songs. (If) she remembers everything, well, here's to forgetting. Another entry, "8 Gods of Harlem," comes along two songs later and features Kris Kristofferson and Elvis Costello helping Cash sing about a boy killed by gun violence. »»»
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. »»»
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: For Brooks and fans, a most unusual change of pace – To say that this was a change of pace for Garth Brooks - not to mention his fans - would be an understatement of the highest degree. Brooks all but begged during the show to be playing next door at Gillette Stadium where the New England Patriots play. But, alas, Brooks exuded joy and excitement at the chance to play before about 500 people at a club,... »»»
Concert Review: LBT proves more than capable – If you have seen Little Big Town in the last decade, it could have been anywhere from a B stage at a Rib Fest to a 20,000-seat amphitheater as the opener for some of country's top acts. Their current "Nightfall" tour rightfully proves they are more than capable and well deserved being billed as a top headlining act.... »»»
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

The Mavericks "Play the Hits" When recording its album "Play the Hits," The Mavericks approached this covers album in much the same way the band creates any of its other studio albums. "Above all, we're always trying to reach a certain musical bar that we... »»»
Larue moves "Onward" The release of "Onward," his eighth studio album, finds veteran Texas Music/Red Dirt artist Stoney Larue at a crossroads. After almost two decades on the road, playing 200 shows a year across America and abroad, he has had success... »»»
Willis, Robison spin "Beautiful Lie" Eleven years ago, Kelly stepped away from music. She had just finished touring on 2007's exquisite "Translated From Love" and felt the angst of being a travelling musician with family at home. At that point, Willis and her husband, musician/producer Bruce Robison,... »»»
Chip Kinman celebrates brother, career on "Sounds Like Music" For a brief moment last summer, the news of Tony Kinman's death was, if not greatly exaggerated, then at least fortuitously premature. The roots rock icon, known for his work in The Dils, Rank and File, Blackbird and Cowboy Nation with his younger brother Chip, had been diagnosed with cancer in March 2018,... »»»
Shiflett learns "Hard Lessons" Until recently, Chris Shiflett took a somewhat obsessive/compulsive approach to his music career. For the past two decades, Shiflett has been the primary guitar foil for Dave Grohl in Foo Fighters; early in his tenure, Shiflett was so self-deprecatingly... »»»
Country Fuzz
It's not unusual for country artists to include a few party anthems on their albums. These tracks help lighten the mood among a record's heavier moments and make for fun concert numbers. The Cadillac Three »»»
LP5 CD review - LP5
John Moreland's plain, unpretentious title indicates more of the same, but those of you (most of you most likely) expecting another batch of great, but deeply sad songs may find a few surprises on "LP 5."  »»»
What I Came Here For CD review - What I Came Here For
James Steinle is an emerging Texas singer-songwriter, who is already being hailed by Ray Wylie Hubbard and compared to story telling greats like Robert Earl Keen. Given that Bruce Robison produced "What I Came Here For" speaks volumes »»»
Tornillo CD review - Tornillo
The band name may suggest Appalachia and in some respects their sound does, but Lil Smokies hail from Montana, and deliver "Tornillo," their third release, which is named for the town where the studio for this release, Sonic Ranch, is located. »»»
Nightfall CD review - Nightfall
Little Big Town gets billed as a country music vocal group, but "Nightfall" plays out more like a four-headed singer-songwriter effort. Many of these songs hearken back to some of the best '70s introspective songwriter efforts. »»»
Formations CD review - Formations
Hawktail features some of the finest players of a generation in traditional American acoustic music. The product of their collaboration, "Formations," is a testament to the musical milieu in which they create.  »»»