Country singer Rosanne Cash has penned an Op-Ed for the New York Times today, imploring the country-music community to support stricter gun-control measures and ripping the National Rifle Association, which she says “funds domestic terrorism,” in the wake of the massacre at a country-music festival in Las Vegas this weekend.
“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,” she writes. “The N.R.A. would like to keep it that way.”
Cash, the daughter of Johnny Cash and his first wife, Vivian Liberto Cash Distin, has been a vocal gun-control advocate for decades, particularly as a member of the Center to Prevent Youth Violence, an organization that aims to prevent gun violence among children. In her Op-Ed, she decries the inadequacy of U.S. laws meant to keep military-style weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill, and calls out Congress for its complete failure not just to tighten restrictions on who can purchase weapons and ammunition, but indeed for its work to loosen those very restrictions.
She cites a vote this week on Capitol Hill to potentially broaden access to gun silencers and armor-piercing bullets, writing, “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. Those who ran from the concert and survived did so because they heard the gunfire. None of that matters to the N.R.A.”
The NRA and America’s biggest gun manufacturers profit handsomely after mass shootings in the U.S., and vehemently oppose any effort to regulate the sale and ownership firearms, citing citizens’ Constitutional right to amass arsenals of military-style assault weapons that have no practical purpose in any walk of life apart from mass murder. American Outdoor Brands, the gun manufacturer that owns Smith and Wesson, donated $1 million to the NRA this past quarter, and its stock rose 3.74% in the hours after Sunday night’s shooting in Las Vegas, when a man opened fire on the outdoor Route 91 Harvest Festival, killing 59 people and injuring hundreds more.
One country musician who was present for the massacre on Sunday, guitarist Caleb Keeter of the Josh Abbot Band, announced Monday that the events in Las Vegas had led him to reverse his long-held position on the sanctity of the 2nd Amendment, writing, “I’ve been a proponent of the 2nd amendment my entire life. Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was.”
In the Times, Cash urges more of her fellow musicians to disavow the N.R.A., which has made concerted efforts over the years to advertise to the country-music community. “Patriotism and a belief in strong gun control,” she writes, “are not antithetical.” Read the entire article here.