An open letter to Congress: Stop Gun Violence Now
Posted on August 20 2018
From the editors: On July 2, 2016, Billboard editors organized a special “Open Letter to Congress” magazine cover, in response to the senseless mass killing at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016. Fifteen months later, we woke on the morning of October 2, 2017 to news of another mass shooting in a space where music fans had gathered. There are at least 50 people dead and hundreds injured in Las Vegas today, after an attack on concertgoers at Route 91 Harvest Festival. It is unacceptable that so little in our country has changed, that our nation must continue to search for a sane and safe end to gun violence.
Below you will find the letter Billboard wrote with the help of leading gun-violence prevention group Everytown for Gun Safety, calling for reform in the wake of last year’s tragedy. Last summer, in a matter of just a few days, nearly 200 top artists and executives—pop stars, rappers, rock legends, Broadway heroes, even two Beatles and Yoko Ono—lent their voices to the chorus of Americans looking to our political leaders for change. We reprint it here now, while we mourn yet another shooting.
AN OPEN LETTER TO CONGRESS:
STOP GUN VIOLENCE NOW
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.