After last Sunday’s tragedy when 58 innocent lives were taken as a result of America’s deadliest mass shooting, many celebrities have taken this opportunity to advocate on behalf of gun control or against it. While some celebrities demanded for something to be done, others stayed away from politics simply taking to social media in order to show their condolences and keeping their focus on the victims. These celebrities range from Harry Styles to Mariah Carey.
Among those most involved in the debate have been from the country music community. Jason Aldean, the country singer who’s performance was interrupted by the shooter, Stephen Paddock, released two statements to express his heartache over that night’s horrific turn. Knowing that most country artists are strong supporters of the second amendment, some country fans have asked these stars to change their stance on gun control. Ironically, Jason Aldean along with country singer, Luke Bryan, are co-owners of a hunting company named Buck Commander that sells hunting accessories including gun cases. When Luke Bryan was asked about his opinion on the matter on Good Morning America, the artist focused on the heartache of losing American lives on American soil, not mentioning how he felt about the gun debate. However, the debate has long since begun. Caleb Keefer, the guitarist for the Josh Abbott Band, who had performed at the Route 91 Harvest Festival hours before the shooting admitted his opinion on gun control had changed after experiencing such a dreadful night. “I’ve been a proponent of the 2nd amendment my entire life…until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was…We need gun control RIGHT. NOW” tweeted Keefer.
Perhaps the most heart-wrenching response has been from singer Eric Church, who wrote a song in honor of all the lives lost, specifically Sonny Melton who was shot to death while protecting his wife from gunfire. “And what I saw, that moment in time that was frozen there’s no amount of bullets that can take away. None. And that night, something broke in me, on Sunday night when that happened. And the only way I’ve ever fixed anything that’s been broken in me is with music. So I wrote a song…” –Eric Church The song is titled “Why Not Me.” His performance can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwDZ8uhqJg0
On the other hand, artist such as Phoebe Tonkin, Estelle, Mark Ruffalo, Lady Gaga and many others call for immediate action, using the hashtag #GunControlNow on social media. While on Good Morning America with co-American Idol Judges, Katy Perry stated “The one thing we have to remember is that prayer without action is powerless and we have to have some action,” she said. “We have to an unfortunate good hard look at what our rules and what our boundaries are with gun reform.” Along with those angered by the lack of gun control in the United States is Jimmy Kimmel, host of the late night talk show: Jimmy Kimmel Live! On his show following the shooting he displayed pictures of all the congressmen and women who voted against gun control laws after the Orlando mass shooting, claiming they essentially let this happen.