Cam, Dixie Chicks and More Sign Open Letter to Congress Regarding Gun Violence
Cam, all three Dixie Chicks and a few other country artists and label executives are among those who put their signatures on an open letter to Congress regarding gun violence in the United States. The document, circulated by Billboard and which received nearly 200 signatures within just a few days, demands a change in laws to curb gun-related deaths and injuries.
Motivated by the recent Pulse nightclub tragedy and the death of singer Christina Grimmie, and the resulting debate over gun control in the U.S., Billboard and Everytown for Gun Safety asked artists and music industry executives to help advocate for change.
"Music always has been celebrated communally, on dancefloors 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 open letter reads. "The one thing that connects the recent tragedies in Orlando is that it is far too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on guns."
The letter goes on to specifically ask Congress to pass laws that require background checks for every gun sale, and to block suspected terrorists from buying guns.
"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," the letter concludes.
In addition to Cam and the Chicks, Bonnie Raitt, Rosanne Cash, Cyndi Lauper, kd lang, Melissa Etheridge and Elle King all signed the open letter, as did Big Machine Label Group's Scott Borchetta, Warner Music Nashville's John Esposito and UMG Nashville's Mike Dungan. Billboard reports that Joan Jett was the first to sign, with Lady Gaga following shortly thereafter.
On Wednesday (June 22), Democrats in the House of Representatives staged a sit-in to push for a vote on gun control legislation that would expand background check requirements for gun sales and curb the sale of weapons to those on government watch lists. Republicans, who hold the House majority, have adjourned for a Fourth of July holiday break, saying that no more votes on proposed measures will take place until after the holiday.
"We are going to hold the floor of the House of Representatives ... until we can get the majority to do their jobs and give us a vote," Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz tells CBS (quote via Reuters).
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