Billboard has written an open letter to the US Congress demanding changes in gun safety after the tragic Orlando shootings and the murder of singer Christina Grimmie.
Almost 200 musicians and industry executives signed the entertainment magazine’s anti-gun violence manifesto released on Friday, June 24.
“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,” said the editors’ note.
Rock singer Joan Jett was the first to sign the Billboard open letter, while the second was fellow singer and actress Lady Gaga. Billboard’s manifestation now includes the signatures of several famed personalities in the US music industry, including Adam Lambert, Alanis Morrissette, Alicia Keys, Barbra Streisand, Bonnie Raitt, Britney Spears, Calvin Harris, Carole King, Charlie Puth, Cher, Christina Aguilera, Demi Lovato, Ellen DeGeneres, Jason Mraz, Jennifer Lopez, Joe Jonas, Katy Perry, Kesha, Linkin Park, Meghan Trainor, Michael Buble, Nick Jonas, Paul McCartney, Ricky Martin, Sara Bareilles, Selena Gomez, Shakira, Sia, and Zayn Malik.
The letter’s full text reads:
“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.” MC
Thumbnail image from Orlando Police’s Twitter account