Sia, Kesha, Kid Cudi and Nearly 200 Artists Pen Open Letter to Stop to Gun Violence
In the early hours of June 13, 49 people were killed during Latin night at the gay nightclub Pulse in Orlando, Florida. A man who was on an FBI terror watchlist legally purchased his weapon, an AR-15-style assault rifle, and proceeded to create terror and chaos in a space people believed to be safe. The Friday before, an obsessed fan shot and killed singer Christina Grimmie during a post-concert autograph session.
On Thursday, some 200 artists — icons like Cher and Joan Jett, pop stars like Lady Gaga and Kesha, hip-hop statesmen like Vic Mensa and Questlove, and Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr — published an open letter via Billboard to respond.
The letter, directed at Congress, has a simple message: "Stop gun violence now."
"Music always has been celebrated communally, on dancefloors and at concert halls," the letter reads. "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."
It continues: "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."
This week, the Senate failed to pass four separate gun control measures, prompting House Democrats to stage a (still-ongoing) sit-in, pushing for a vote on a controversial gun control measure. These celebrity voices are proof that the frustration and anger are coming from Americans of all types — and that maybe change lies somewhere down the line.