Billboard magazine has penned an open letter to congress calling for gun reform, in the wake of the tragic Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida.
The Orlando shooting was far from an isolated incident, with the shooting of former Voice contestant Christina Grimmie, as well as the gun death of singer Alejandro Fuentes – who was also a former Voice contestant – just two other recent incidences of gun-related violence towards musicians in the USA.
“With the help of leading gun-violence prevention group Everytown for Gun Safety, editors reached out to those we cover in the music industry, and asked for their support and their signatures to help seek a sane and safe end to gun violence,” wrote the editors of Billboard.
The letter itself calls on congress to do more to prevent gun violence in America – which is responsible for 90 deaths a day on average – and for congress to “close the deadly loopholes that put the lives of so many music fans, and all of us, at risk.”
Specifically, the letter suggests that mandatory background checks prior to every gun sale be brought into practice, as well as the blocking of suspected terrorists from buying guns.
The response from the music community has been nothing short of incredible, with almost 2oo signatures gained in a matter of days.
From Barbra Streisand, Beck, Calvin Harris, Cher, Iggy Pop, Lady Gaga and Mackemore to Pete Wentz, Questlove, Ringo Starr, Sia, Sting, Thom Yorke, Yoko Ono and Zayn Malik, artists from all walks of the industry have lent their names to the cause.
Read the letter, in full, below:
“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 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 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.
We call on Congress to do more to prevent the gun violence that kills more than 90 Americans every day and injures hundreds more, including:
- Require a background check for every gun sale
- 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.”