(courtesy billboard.com)

Here’s the background to billboard.com’s open letter to Congress for gun control. It was signed by dozens of Hollywood luminaries. Specifically, lots of corporate execs you’ve never heard of and Ringo Starr, Barbra Streisand, Beck, Britney Spears, Questlove, Pusha T, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Selena Gomez, Stevie Nicks, Tony Bennett, Trent Reznor, Kesha, Zayne Malik, Peter Tork and Katy Perry. Country music artists? Not so much. Click here to see the wall of shame.

From the editors: Like the rest of the country and the world, Billboard editors were horrified by the mass killing at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub on June 12, and by the murder of singer Christina Grimmie the night before. Both tragedies occurred where musicians and music fans gathered. And so faced with another gun-related tragedy, the staff organized this special “Open Letter to Congress” cover of Billboard.

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. Within minutes, Joan Jett was the first to sign on. Lady Gaga shortly followed. Within hours, and then in a matter of just a few days, nearly 200 top artists and executives—pop stars (including Grimmie’s friend Selena Gomez), rappers, rock gods, legends, Broadway heroes, even two Beatles and Yoko Ono—lent their voices to the chorus of Americans looking to our political leaders for change. Billboard, artists and music-industry executives join so many members of the House and Senate this week proudly advocating for common-sense gun safety.

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.

Sincerely,

92 Responses to Billboard Magazine’s Open Letter to Congress: Stop Gun Violence Now

  1. I don’t think these ass-clowns understand that another law will NOT stop a criminal from breaking the law.

    • No, these clowns have no practical knowledge about firearms, are oblivious to the Constitution, and live in a dreamworld where their liberal delusions are echoed by their friends and sycophants. And, of course, they live in high secured residences and have armed security at their side when they venture out into the real world where we live.

      • Well, said. I call people like this “cosmopolites”. What they have in common is 1. they tend to live in mega-cities and 2. they generally come from backgrounds where there was little, if any, practical knowledge about how to fix things. People who lack practical repair skills seem to be more vulnerable to the kind of utopian, magical-thinking that leads to ever more ridiculous gun-control fantasies.

        • Maybe Toby Keith can write a new song about gun rights. Maybe it could be called, “My gun rights are more important than some Hollywood yuppie’s opinion.”

      • Funny, didn’t recognize one name on the signature list from a country music perfomer…probably too busy cleaning their guns! Yessssss!

        • kd lang purports to be “country”, as does Roseann Cash. But yeah, country performers are noticeably absent.

        • brittany spears , ill promise not to show my gun in public ,if you quit showing off youre pu$$y in public ,,lol

      • And most if not many made millions selling and glorifying gun violence in film, tv and music sales.

        F them.

    • McCartney is not a US citizen and you can bet his bodyguards are well armed. He can go eff hisself.

    • Considering basic probability theory(AKA gambling odds), wouldn’t more laws of any type make it EASIER for a criminal to break the law?

  2. All we are saying, is give my piece a chance…

    FIFY

    Now STFU and go back to entertaining me…I don’t pay you for your opinions.

    • Are any of them really that entertaining?
      I recognized a few names, like Brittney Spears, Barbara Streisand, and Tony Bennett, that I don’t know if I’ve ever heard perform, and a few that I’d recognize the music of: the two Beatles and Peter Tork of the Monkees.
      But the rest are probably all purveyors of the bland, corporate pop music that inundates the airwaves. I for one can’t wait for the internet to destroy their business model and send them back to working the cash register at Burger King.

    • was it Peter Tork’s mom the one who ivented white out for type writers and made a fortune? The Monkees….is nothing sacred?

      • That was Mike Nesmith. Peter Tork was the drug-addled idiot who gave away all his money. And the least talented Monkee…sorry to Selena Gomez on the wall of shame(way to cute to this old man)lol

  3. Adding to my “if I ever get a time machine” list: finding whoever added “loophole” to the English language and kicking him square in the pills.

    In the case of Orlando, especially, there were no loopholes. Dude was legal right up until he wasn’t.

    Why don’t we worry about the terrorist and immigration loopholes?

    • It’s very simple, really. The Democrats have no vested interest in addressing terrorism and immigration loopholes because easily 90% of immigrants, if not more, will reflexively vote Democrat, thereby keeping them in power. They could give a shit about Orlando.

      Tom

      • The Democrats do not give a damn about anything but the optics that keep them in power — period.

        IF they really wanted to do something, they could pass a law to force an AG to actually lock people up for gun violations. A majority of time, gun laws are just used as a bargaining chip and few go to jail on an actual gun charge.

        During the CT public hearings for the bogus gun laws we now have, one of the pols on our side ordered a OLR Report (Office of Law Review). That report found that CT had arrested in the previous year over 500 people whose crime included a gun violation. Of the 500, 13 went to court with the gun charge. Of the 13, only 3 actually where sentenced for the gun charge in addition to other crimes. If they want to be tough on guns, they could force that gun charges not be waived away as they are today. A recent OLR report has shown that even with the “new” gun laws, the prosecutors are STILL pretty much simply using the new laws as bargaining chip and since the new law, only 2 have been charged.

        The optics are more important than the implementation. Nobody follows up on these things so they know they can ignore it. They then put stuff in their newsletters, but do not really care how effective the law is because who is going to check? The busy Soccer Mom or Dad are too busy. Mentally, should they care, they only read “law passed” mentally checked off — done.

        Many laws that are passed are pointless and never really enforced but the optics last forever because nobody really follows up.

    • Ironically, most dictionaries when talking about the origin of “loophole” make mention of the slit-like openings in castle walls that were used by archers (later, musketeers) to defend the castle.

      Today in means a way around a law.

      You will need to go back to 1585-1595 to find the origin of the word. Wish you luck that the flux capacitor you have can make the journey. While you are at it, outlaw the term “common sense”.

      • Hell yea, I hate that term now. Apparently there is a common-sense loophole that can be exploited using the terms common-sense and loophole

  4. Exactly the reason I do not support the music industry nor their propaganda award shows. If they want a bully pulpit, go to work as a politician or radio show host. The mix of music and politics is exactly why I do not have any music subscriptions.

    • I understand what you are saying, but music itself can be subversive and rebellious, and I support their opportunity for that. Let them write their message into lyrics and sell the product in the free market.

      What I think is stupid, however, is this notion that just because someone made some music at some point that their “intellectual” opinion matters outside that specific expressive realm.

      All this is an Appeal to False Authority. These people are not even ‘experts,’ just well-known names.

        • That’s fine; more power to her.

          And, more power to folks realizing it sucks and thus ignoring it beyond the first listen.

          Music (and writing and art in general) has throughout history been used in rebellion…folk music, anyway.

          One of my favorites…not the oldest, but…

  5. peter tork from the monkeys?….LMFAO…god damn crying i’m laughing so hard…well i guess i’ll add him to the list of no sees with my monzees…

  6. Some of these performers might actually be dim enough to believe this is a good idea, but…if you were in their position, in an industry as heavily left-leaning as this, would you DARE to refuse to sign this letter?

    I am reminded of a campaign in Dayton, OH, years ago where a bunch of local busybodies were on a campaign against the local porn theaters. (This was before video tape/DVDs.) Their strategy was to go to each of the top executives of local businesses and request they sign their petition to shut those theaters down. The kicker was that they not only published the petition with the signatures of those who were willing to sign, they made a HUGE deal of listing the people they contacted who refused to sign the petition.

    This letter above strikes me as the same sort of skullduggery.

  7. They still pretend they are worth some sh*t?

    Clowns, just keep doing whatcha doin’, and get your brainlessly entitled nonsense off our faces

  8. Said the Holly-wood crowd , from behind walls and gated armed compounds…….. piss off !

    California is in real trouble as these BAD anti gun bills skip appropriations and get pushed for signature.
    Where Is The N.R.A ….. ? NRA _ ILA ? …. Second Amendment Foundation …?
    Ca. and Jersey are test beds for confiscation !!
    https://www.firearmspolicy.org/act/

  9. Congressional Critters,

    I am a famous music type entertainer. I wholeheartedly support using the power of the State to limit the Bill of Rights I personally don’t think are important.

    Signed,
    Delusions of Importance

  10. Suppose that an amendment to the United States Constitution were to read:

    “A well nourished militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to grow and store food shall not be infringed.”

    Would the right to “grow and store food” belong to:

    Only people who were in the militia?
    Only people who weren’t in the militia?
    Everyone, whether they were in the militia or not?
    No one?

    • I like this question. For discussions with anti’s who are not phobic about firearms, this phrasing helps see the 2nd in a frame of reference they can identify, “food”. Once you secure the natural right to have food to only those in the militia, that interpretation starts to sound really lame. In fact, when you apply the wording to anything that a non-firearm owner would value, I think they would at least admit that the “right of the collective” v.s. the “right of the individual” is not consistent with all the other statements of liberty in the Constitution.

  11. Congress and letters and laws and prohibitions can stop violence?

    It’s like watching people flapping their arms while in free fall. They think they’re doing something until the next problem (the ground) surprises them. They do not live in the real world, just a comfort-seeking delusion where some authority figure can still make a decree that makes your fears go away. Congress, please kiss my boo boo and say it will be OK.

    Face fear, understand human nature, understand what is a threat and what isn’t. Grow up!

  12. Stop gun violence: arrest a democrat.

    I can not figure out how the opinion of persons who are the near equivalent of court jesters are supposed to effect my opinion of things?

  13. I’m confused. Aren’t all the mass shooters already passing their background checks? Why do we need more????

  14. Congress can’t seem to do much right.
    Why do these fools assume that congress has a clue how to stop gun violence?
    They seem to think that passing those recommendations would help but looking at past mass shootings, none of them would have helped at all.

  15. There are already enough drug and sex addicts tampering with my rights in Congress last thing we need is more drug and sex addicts piling on.

  16. Focus on the criminals. Two steps:

    1. Heavy penalties, no “deals”. May include death in response to deadly force attacks.

    2. Armed self protection for all law abiding citizens. Carry. See Step #1.

    • See while in principle heavy penalties for everyone who breaks a gun law sounds good I don’t think its great. You have people like me in CT, CA, MA, NJ, NY, MD, etc that live among a plethora of laws with many gray areas and areas of the law that are easily over looked (especially easy in CT as our gun laws are scattered throughout multiple sections of general statutes). There are laws that people break from pure ignorance with no malice and laws that good and honest people choose to break like ignoring a no carry here sign or having more than 10 rounds in their magazine. I’d be worried that extremely inflexible sentencing guidelines removes some of the wiggle room a good and honest person can use to get out of being caught for some bs law like carrying more than 10 rounds in a magazine or having one too many features on their “assault weapons”.

      The fact of the matter is that bs laws like that shouldn’t exist but they do. The discretion and wiggle room could be a saving grace for an honest person as much as it is for a criminal.

  17. Reduce all violence. STOP WALKING AROUND IN CONDITION WHITE!
    That’s right. I am victim blaming. There are hard targets and soft targets. You have a choice!
    Don’t talk to strangers. Neigh! Neigh! Stay away!
    Carry a gun. Know how to use it. Stay out of situations where you feel you may need to use it. When the threat leaves you no choice, deal with it. Do not fear guns. Fear people. People fear guns the way they feared learning to ride a bike or drive on the freeway for the first time. All fear of firearms goes away forever with experience.
    Fear of people should never end. Fear is God’s way of keeping you safe. I am afraid to jump from rooftop to rooftop ten stories high. Fear is good. That is the problem with Liberals. They think living without fear is a right. I say it is unnatural. FDR made the most ridiculous statement about fear. No Frank. We have a lot to fear. Now deal with it. Get your head out of your ass and deal with it. I am dealing with it. I am not forcing you to deal with it but stop trying to eliminate my natural right to deal with my natural fear. My fear of evil men who will attempt to harm others regardless of laws. One law conquers evil. Fight back. #ShootBack

  18. I read the comments on the billboard site. They’re running 99 to 1 pro-liberty. What’s up with that? I expected it to be a left wing echo chamber. It’s the exact opposite. I wonder if the author or staff read any of the comments?

    • I’ve noticed that same sort of thing in a few unexpected places recently. Either some pro-liberty folks are really increasing their online presence, or there’s an underlying shift in the attitudes of the general public, and more people are coming over to the liberty side.

  19. Peter Tork signed this? Peter Frickin TORK?! I’m crestfallen.

    Now, if Mickey Dolenz had signed it, I’d probably slit my wrists.

    • Sadly someone shouldn’t be raped to have this opinion. Bear in mind all these famous people live in nice neighborhoods with security systems. Most have armed guards.

  20. “I can sing/play an instrument/dance/act/or do some other shit, so you should heed my opinion.”

    HaHaHaHaHa.

    Just entertain me and stfu.

  21. I’m sad to see Trent Reznor on here. I guess he never listened to head like a hole. You figure he would have, being the author and all. oh well. I have no change of opinion from yesterday. Celebrities are just as stupid as everyone else.

  22. I don’t pay the Organ Grinder to have a political dialog with his monkey, I pay him to see his monkey dance around and make music for my entertainment.

    Shut up and play your guitar!

    -Your fans

    • deafening applause!!!!!….. for a very long time.

      They should not quit their day job of entertaining the masses. No one, except journalists have ever ask for their opinions. Why? because logical thought is not their forte.

      stfu monkeys and dance for our entertainment.

  23. What? I can’t hear their music over the sound of Combichrist – From My Cold Dead Hands and FGFC820 – Legion.

  24. No Ruth Buzzi? No Professor Irwin Corey?

    No worthless endorsement is worth its weight unless Yoko Ono’s name is attached to it.

    • Irwin Corey is 101 years old, soon to be 102, sells newspapers to make extra money and is still a flaming commie.

  25. I came here ready to proclaim that I was going to stop listening to the artists that signed the letter. Then I read the list of names and realized I don’t listen to them anyway.

  26. Ask Congress to do something about dangerous people and leave the rest of us alone. Now shut up and sing already.

  27. I work in the music industry this pack of morons couldn’t know less about guns and violence. I have been in the business for more then 25 years and have met many of the artists on this list. They are not constantly surrounded by guards, but are forever living in a dream and have little understanding if any of the value of self preservation. As my wife likes to say “some peoples children”

  28. Well, this argument seems to be: “These things aren’t working, so let’s do more of them.”

    – Orlando-confused passed multiple background checks, including at time of purchase, so … how does this help?

    – Neither was Orlando-confused on the terrorist watch list. After being referred for suspicious behavior, and investigated several times.

    How about we try to get the terrorists onto the “watch” list, then, you know, actually watch them?

  29. I wonder if Pusha-T realizes that he’s just a punctuation mistake or two away from being “Pu Shat”?

  30. Maybe these people should stop committing suicide before they tell OTHER people things about violence.

  31. Saw Courtney Love on the list. I wonder if the shotgun she used to shoot Kurt Cobain with was legally purchased?

  32. It seems we don’t have a gun violence problem. We have an inner city gang violence problem. Why do we have a gang violence problem? Several reasons, the cities where gangs are have tight gun control. Criminals don’t give a flying fuck about ink on paper, the words are empty and meaningless to them. So, if those cities lose the gun control and let the citizens enjoy their natural right to self-defense, gang crime would go down. Another way to lessen gang crime is to end this ridiculous war on drugs. Decriminalize not just cannabis, but ALL drugs. The money funding those gangs will dry up if people can just go a pharmacy to buy whatever drug they wish. Finally, it all boils down to economics. Taxation is theft, pure and simple. Either lessen the taxes to almost non-existence, or do away with them all together. If people are earning more of their own money, they invest in better security and create opportunities for those people in the city. See? Libertarianism isn’t just a 3rd party, it is an entire philosophy based on non-aggression, and voluntary interactions between people.

  33. How many of these clowns aren’t even Americans?
    How many are protected by guns, but it’s OK because they can afford to hire armed security?
    How many think you can order a gun on the Internet & have it shipped to your house?
    How many think guns can’t be bought on the street regardless of gun laws, bans, etc.?
    How many realize that none of their recommendations wouldn’t have stopped almost any of the high profile shootings over the years?
    How many realize that bombs, IED’s, vehicles, etc. can be used to kill as many (or usually more) than guns?
    How many realize that tobacco is 100’s times more deadly than guns?
    How many realize that alcohol claims 100`s times as many deaths as guns?
    How many realize that vehicles kill more people than guns?
    How many realize that something as specific as “drunk driving” kills 300% more people than “gun murder”.
    How many are total posers who only care about how they look to other left wing socialists?
    “Every clown for gun safety” = funded almost exclusively by Bloomberg.
    NRA = funded solely by millions of law abiding Americans.
    This is a total fail by a bunch of attention whores!

  34. BOOTLEG these people for ever, they are a enemy of the Constitution and they do not deserve another dime.

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