Members of Pearl Jam, Linkin Park, Radiohead, Fun., Nine Inch Nails and more than 150 other artists have signed an open letter to Congress asking the government to take steps to end gun violence. According to Consequence Of Sound, the letter comes following the murder of Voice contestant Christina Grimmie and the slaughter of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
Penned and organized by the editors of Billboard magazine, the letter is signed by Paul McCartney, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, all five members of Pearl Jam, Fun. members Nate Reuss and Jack Antonoff, all five members of Linkin Park, Stevie Nicks, Beck, Iggy Pop, Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, Michael Stipe, Courtney Love, Panic! At The Disco‘s Brendan Urie, Elle King, Casey and Sam Harris of X Ambassadors and dozens more.
- The letter reads in part, “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 dance floors 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 letter asks that Congress require a background check for every gun sale, as well as block suspected terrorists from buying guns.
- The letter closes by saying, “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.”
- Congressional Republicans, the current majority party, have refused to allow votes on a series of four gun control proposals, both last December and in the wake of the two Orlando tragedies. That led House Democrats to stage a 24-hour sit-in on the House floor on Wednesday and Thursday (June 22nd and 23rd).
CHECK IT OUT: Read the full open letter here and see the cover of next week’s Billboard below:
- Where do you stand on the gun control issue?
- Do you think it’s possible that the government would one day want to collect everyone’s guns?
- Should there be some restrictions on things like who can purchase, the kinds of weapons sold and the size of ammunition magazines?
- The shooter in the Orlando nightclub massacre was interviewed twice by the FBI because of his possible connections to terrorists. Should he have been flagged and prevented from buying weapons?