David Byrne Writes For Gun Control As Thom Yorke, Beck, Iggy Pop, Katy Perry & Many Other Artists Sign Open Letter To Congress
Thu, 23 Jun 2016 09:42:33
David Byrne has leant his voice to the rising number of citizens concerned by the gun violence problem in the United States. Moved by the mass shooting on June 12th at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL, in which 49 people were killed and a further 53 were injured, the former Talking Heads frontman addressed his concerns in an Op-Ed piece on his personal website:
"I believe the situation in the U.S. is unacceptable; more controls are necessary, and there is proof that they can work." As a model for gun regulation in the U.S., Byrne points to Austria, where many people own hunting rifles but far fewer die of gun homicides. If gun owners were required to meet the same standards as licensed and insured drivers, he argues, the U.S. would suffer fewer fatalities.
Byrne is not the first person to conceive of American gun violence as a public health problem, and he is joined by a host of other musical artists who co-signed an open letter from Billboard Magazine to the U.S. Congress, urging them to "Stop Gun Violence Now." The letter appears on the cover of this week's issue of the magazine.
Almost 200 music industry professionals including Paul McCartney, Thom Yorke, Alicia Keys, Beck, Britney Spears, Trent Reznor, Lady Gaga, Iggy Pop, Katy Perry, Yoko Ono, Michael Stipe, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Stevie Nicks, Pearl Jam, Wilco, My Morning Jacket, Courtney Love, Diplo, Kesha, Ringo Starr, Questlove, Pusha T, Rivers Cuomo, Sia, Selena Gomez, Talib Kweli, Wayne Coyne, Zayn, Andy Samberg, and Andrew Bird signed the letter.
The letter states that music, which "has been celebrated communally, on dancefloors and at concert halls," is now threatened due to gun violence. They ask Congress to address two matters to prevent gun violence: "Require a background check for every gun sale," and "Block suspected terrorists from buying guns."
Read the full piece at Byrne's website.
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—The ARTISTdirect Staff