You won’t get gun control by disarming law-abiding citizens. There’s only one way to get real gun control: Disarm the thugs and the criminals, lock them up and if you don’t actually throw away the key, at least lose it for a long time… It’s a nasty truth, but those who seek to inflict harm are not fazed by gun controllers. I happen to know this from personal experience. – President Ronald Reagan
Per CNN.com (so, take it with a grain of salt)…
The massacre in Las Vegas was at once a national tragedy and a family one. When Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest Festival, he committed the largest mass shooting in America’s history and struck at the heart of country music and its fans — a community that often describes itself as family.
But in the wake of the tragedy in Las Vegas, some members of the country family are reflecting on the gun culture long associated with the music.
Plenty of debate
Since Sunday’s massacre, debate has taken place on the airwaves at country music radio stations, around dinner tables and on social media over gun control.
Caleb Keeter is a guitarist for the Josh Abbott Band, which performed at the 91 Harvest Music Festival.
In a social media post on Monday, Keeter wrote that the tragedy had changed his views on guns.
“I’ve been a proponent of the 2nd Amendment my entire life,” he wrote. “Until the event of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was.”
Crew members on Keeter’s bus had weapons and licenses to carry them, he said, but those “were useless” during the Vegas shooting for fear police would confuse them for the gunman raining bullets on the crowd.
“These rounds were powerful enough that my crew guys just standing in a close proximity of a victim shot by this f***ing coward received shrapnel wounds,” Keeter wrote. “We need gun control RIGHT.NOW.”
The late Johnny Cash was such a firearm aficionado that the National Rifle Association (NRA) shared the story of a Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver he is said to have given his friend, Gene Ferguson, on its site.
But Cash’s daughter, singer Rosanne Cash, has been an advocate for increased gun control measures for 20 years. She called on more people in the country music community to join her in a New York Times column published Tuesday.
“I encourage more artists in country and American roots music to end your silence,” Cash wrote. “It is no longer enough to separate yourself quietly. The laws the N.R.A. would pass are a threat to you, your fans, and to the concerts and festivals we enjoy.”
Close ties to the NRA
As evidenced by Tennessee Ernie Ford’s “The Shotgun Boogie,” Justin Moore’s “This Is NRA Country,” or Hank Williams Jr.’s 2016 single “God and Guns,” country music, in countless songs, has showcased support for the Second Amendment.
And the NRA has worked to cultivate that.
The gun lobbying organization’s NRA Country campaign features a roster of country music brand ambassadors, including Florida Georgia Line, Trace Adkins and Luke Combs.
“I kind see the similarities that run between what you guys do and what I do,” Combs said in a video posted on the NRA Country site when he was selected to join the campaign last year. “I enjoy going outdoors, shooting my guns, and stuff like that stuff.”
Combs, who performed at the festival in Las Vegas, announced he will play a song in honor of the shooting victims on an upcoming “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” show.
“Music is a healer,” Combs tweeted. “In this overwhelming darkness, I believe we will find hope when we rise together.”
Take a good look
The country music fanbase is not a monolithic group of gun-toting advocates.
Greg Bieck lives in Nashville and has worked as a country and pop music producer for almost 25 years.
He told CNN he would like to see the government step up and do more to curb mass shootings.
“It’s not the wild West anymore,” Bieck said. “People have a lot of money tied up in these weapons, and I think it’s worth it for the government to offer a buyback program for them. That would make everyone feel safe and be a win for both sides.”
Katie Toupal, a country music DJ in Minnesota, was present in Las Vegas during the shooting.
She told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin Wednesday that she believes the tragedy will have an effect on attitudes in the country music family.
“I do think some people will take a second look at it [gun control], especially after so many tragedies and the biggest one we’ve seen in our time happening on Sunday night,” Toupal said.
Dave Mann is a 31-year-old minister in Bellingham, Washington and a country music follower who considers himself to be a moderate when it comes to gun control.
He told CNN that while he doesn’t expect fans or the country music industry to become anti-gun after the Las Vegas tragedy, he believes reflection is in order.
“I think we need to take a good look at ourselves in the mirror and ask if we want to be so strongly aligned with the gun industry,” he said. “Is this the kind of world we want to live in?”
Bellingham, Washington? Seriously? Yeah, I’ll bet they listen to a lot of “Country Music” up in that Blue State. Their idea of Country Music is probably “The Dixie Chicks.”
Why didn’t they interview a Southern Baptist Preacher in Horn Lake, Mississippi?
I knew, as soon as I started watching the coverage on Fox News that fateful Monday Morning, that the Liberals would be all over this horrific massacre of innocent Americans like Rosie O’ Donnell on a donut, pushing for Gun Control.
David Mamet, in an article for The Daily Beast, published on January 25, 2013, wrote the following:
…where in the Constitution is it written that the Government is in charge of determining “needs”? And note that the president did not say “I have more money than I need,” but “You and I have more than we need.” Who elected him to speak for another citizen?
It is not the constitutional prerogative of the Government to determine needs. One person may need (or want) more leisure, another more work; one more adventure, another more security, and so on. It is this diversity that makes a country, indeed a state, a city, a church, or a family, healthy. “One-size-fits-all,” and that size determined by the State has a name, and that name is “slavery.”
The Founding Fathers, far from being ideologues, were not even politicians. They were an assortment of businessmen, writers, teachers, planters; men, in short, who knew something of the world, which is to say, of Human Nature. Their struggle to draft a set of rules acceptable to each other was based on the assumption that we human beings, in the mass, are no damned good—that we are biddable, easily confused, and that we may easily be motivated by a Politician, which is to say, a huckster, mounting a soapbox and inflaming our passions.
The Constitution’s drafters did not require a wag to teach them that power corrupts: they had experienced it in the person of King George. The American secession was announced by reference to his abuses of power: “He has obstructed the administration of Justice … he has made Judges dependent on his will alone … He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws … He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass out people and to eat out their substance … imposed taxes upon us without our consent… [He has] fundamentally altered the forms of our government.”
…The police do not exist to protect the individual. They exist to cordon off the crime scene and attempt to apprehend the criminal. We individuals are guaranteed by the Constitution the right to self-defense. This right is not the Government’s to “award” us. They have never been granted it.
…Will increased cosmetic measures make anyone safer? They, like all efforts at disarmament, will put the citizenry more at risk. Disarmament rests on the assumption that all people are good, and, basically, want the same things.
But if all people were basically good, why would we, increasingly, pass more and more elaborate laws?
The individual is not only best qualified to provide his own personal defense, he is the only one qualified to do so: and his right to do so is guaranteed by the Constitution.
Way back in February of 2013, I had a fascinating conversation with a quite Liberal young lady.
I had posted the following Tweet under the hashtag:
Move on down to Dixie, where everyone, Southern Belles or Southern Gentlemen, open or concealed carries.
The young lady replied to my Tweet:
therefore, according to your “logic”, there are no rapes down in ‘ole Dixie?
I, then replied:
I did not say that. However, statistics do prove that a well-placed bullet does prevent an attempted rape 10 out of 10 times.
Here is the rest of the discussion:
Her: If you want to use a statistic then give me a site to back it up.Me: Ummm…how would a perpetrator rape someone if he was incompacitated? Duuuh. Courtesy of the Kingsjester Institute of the Obvious.
Her: Suppose the rapist doesn’t want to wait ’til you draw your gun, aim and shoot?Or he comes from behind w/a knife to your neck?
Me: Shoot him in the foot.
Her: ok, but I think you’d have to walk around with your hand on your gun for that to work. Rapists are the worst kind of predators.Me: You can shoot through a purse or a holster. So, are you saying that you want to comply with what the Dem in CO wants you to do?
Her: I was trying to point out that a gun won’t stop a rapist unless you walk around with your hand on the trigger at all times.Me: You have no reflexes? Are you unaware of your surroundings? Are you a victim?Are you a fatalist? Would you not fight back?
Where you have the most armed citizens in America, you have the lowest violent crime rate. Where you have the worst gun control, you have the highest crime rate. – Ted Nugent
One man with a gun can control one hundred without one. – Vladimir Lenin