Roseanne Cash, in the NYTimes — “Country Musicians, Stand Up to the N.R.A.”:
I’ve been a gun-control activist for 20 years. 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, along with the much more menacing threats to my family and personal safety.
Last year, I performed at the Concert Across America to End Gun Violence with Jackson Browne, Eddie Vedder, Marc Cohn and the Harlem Gospel Choir, and we got death threats. People wanted to kill us because we wanted to end gun violence. That’s where we are: America, 2017.
For the past few decades, the National Rifle Association has increasingly nurtured an alliance with country music artists and their fans. You can see it in “N.R.A. Country,” which promotes the artists who support the philosophical, and perhaps economic, thrall of the N.R.A., with the pernicious tag line “Celebrate the Lifestyle.”
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.
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. The N.R.A. would like to keep it that way…
I encourage 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. Pull apart the threads of patriotism and lax gun laws that it has so subtly and maliciously intertwined. They are not the same…
Marissa R. Moss, in Politico, “How Las Vegas Shattered Country Music’s Consensus on Guns”:
… [W]hile there’s no reason to expect major country stars to suddenly risk their fan bases by speaking out in favor of new gun control legislation, the country music industry is changing, thanks to streaming services that are breaking radio’s stranglehold on the industry and a newer cohort of more under-the-radar Americana artists who are more outspoken than their mainstream counterparts.
For at least one mainstream country musician, Sunday night was in fact a turning point. Guitarist for the Texas-based Josh Abbott Band, Caleb Keeter, was at the festival on the day of the massacre, and living through the experience of a mass shooting firsthand was enough to make him rethink his own stance on gun control. “I cannot express how wrong I was,” he said in a Twitter post on Monday morning, still reeling from the shock of the attack after shielding himself from the gunfire on the floor of his tour bus. “We need gun control RIGHT. NOW. My biggest regret is that I stubbornly didn’t realize it until my brothers on the road and myself were threatened by it.”…