Along with the outpour of outrage and grief following the mass shooting in Orlando — America's deadliest yet — came renewed calls for sensible gun control laws. Yet, weeks later, nothing has been done.
Sen. Chris Murphy and his fellow Democrats launched a 15-hour filibuster to force a vote on gun control measures last week. When their Republican colleagues finally relented, legislation that would bar those on federal terror watch lists from obtaining firearms, and mandate background checks for sales at gun shows and over the internet, failed to muster enough votes in the GOP-controlled Senate to pass.
On Wednesday, House Democrats staged an overnight sit-in on the floor to protest what they saw as the Republicans' lack of action on gun control.
Background checks and prohibiting people on terror watch lists from buying guns are two measures that most Americans agree on.
On Thursday, an open letter to Congress urging lawmakers to "Stop Gun Violence Now" was published in Billboard, bearing the signatures of some of the music industry's most powerful and prominent players. The letter read:
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 dance floors 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.
The letter called for the two measures that had failed to pass the Senate vote: require a background check for every gun sale and prevent suspected terrorists from purchasing guns.
The signatories include Thom Yorke, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, James Corden, Demi Lovato, Trent Reznor, Beck, Iggy Pop, Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Yoko Ono, Michael Stipe, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Stevie Nicks, Pearl Jam, Courtney Love, Cher, Diplo, Kesha, Ringo Starr, Questlove, Pusha T, Rivers Cuomo, Sia, Selena Gomez, Talib Kweli, Wayne Coyne, Zayn, Alicia Keys, and Andy Samberg.
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