After two mass shootings targeting country music fans, the 2017 Route 91 Harvest festival massacre and the following year’s Borderline Bar & Grill attack, country music artists slowly began speaking out in favor of gun reform. The call for regulation only increased in August following mass shootings in Gilroy, California; El Paso, Texas; and Dayton, Ohio, with Kacey Musgraves leading her audience at Lollapalooza in a plea that “somebody fucking do something.”
In all three incidents, the guns used by the assailants were semi-automatic assault weapons. More than half of Americans favor a ban on such “assault weapons,” which some gun proponents argue is a misleading term. Americana singer-songwriter Jason Isbell disagrees.
“If you’re on here arguing the definition of ‘assault weapon’ today you are part of the problem. You know what an assault weapon is, and you know you don’t need one,” he tweeted.
Isbell’s back-and-forth with pro-gun enthusiasts eventually spawned a meme, when one Twitter user asked him how he should kill “30-50 feral hogs” that menace his kids. Isbell’s reply: “If you have dozens of hogs chasing your children around your yard, you have problems no weapon will fix.”
These artists in the country music and Americana worlds all support some form of gun control:
Let me be clear – I’m from Texas. I grew up around hunting and guns. There’s a time and place for that and even self protection in ways..but this is different. The system is majorly flawed and NOBODY NEEDS ANYTHING REMOTELY AUTOMATIC. PERIOD. They’re mass killing machines. https://t.co/C4JvQWykRO
— K A C E Y M U S G R A V E S (@KaceyMusgraves) August 5, 2019
If I see one more politician use their “thoughts & prayers” tweet template they have backburnered for every mass shooting, I’m gonna be sick. We need common sense reform, not 280 meaningless characters. I love you, Texas & Ohio. No one deserves this.
— MAREN MORRIS (@MarenMorris) August 4, 2019
“I don’t understand why we have to fear a group [like the NRA]. It’s asinine. Why can’t we come together and solve one part of this? Start with the bump stocks and the gun shows. Shut a couple of these down. I do think that will matter a little bit. I think it will save some lives.”
“There is some common sense that’s necessary when it comes to gun control. They want to make it about the Second Amendment every time it’s brought up. It’s not about the Second Amendment.”
“Military weapons should not be in the hands of civilians.”
Went to bed feeling sick for El Paso and woke up feeling sick for Dayton. To every person affected personally by these two acts of hate, I am just so, so sorry. But sorry isn’t good enough. We have to do better. Now.
— Kelsea Ballerini (@KelseaBallerini) August 4, 2019
On an average day, 96 Americans are killed with guns, 7 of those are children & teens. We can’t let this go on. I’m playing with some amazing artists in DC tonight to support gun violence prevention, in preparation for tomorrow’s #marchforourlives 💛 pic.twitter.com/zhbFEWqBIe
— Cam (@camcountry) March 23, 2018
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I still believe this is an important conversation that we can’t be afraid to have. Especially all of us who love our guns and want to protect our rights as Americans. Let’s get uncomfortable, address this issue, and really make this country a safe place to live. If we want to put an end to gun violence it has to start with us. We can make a change.
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Challenge proudly accepted, @thubbmusic •• Let’s #EndGunViolenceTogether – go to TOMS.com to send your Representatives a postcard demanding they take action on what more than 90% of Americans agree on: universal background checks. We’re proud to support @TOMS to #EndGunViolenceTogether
#ThingsMoreHeavilyRegulatedThanGuns Aspirin bottles. Cough syrup. Teeth whiteners. The cords on window shades. Fly fishing. The uterus.
— rosanne cash (@rosannecash) August 4, 2019
GUN REFORM NOW
— Margo Price (@MissMargoPrice) August 4, 2019
More than anything else, people who want to hurt as many innocent children as they can, use guns to do it. I wonder how long it will take our government to do anything at all. I wonder how loudly the voices of every mother in this country can scream til they do.
— Jennifer Nettles (@JenniferNettles) February 15, 2018
“Nobody needs a machine gun, and that’s comin’ from a guy who owns quite a few guns.”