As headlines are written about yet another horrific gun-related massacre in the U.S., singer Roseanne Cash is speaking out about the seemingly endless cycle of gun violence that plagues our neighbour to the south.
Speaking with The Atlantic, the daughter of country music icon Johnny Cash explained you don’t have to look too closely to see that gun violence has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S.
“Step back and take the wide view and see that we have a systemic problem in this country,” she told the magazine, discussing the recent Thousand Oaks nightclub shooting. “These were college kids, right? We use young people as collateral damage for the Second Amendment, and it’s wrong.”
She added: “Shootings like Las Vegas happen in the equivalent of a musician’s office. That’s where we work. So for people to say, ‘Shut up and sing; you don’t have a right to talk about this’: Well, it affects us. This Thousand Oaks shooting happened just 15 miles from where I grew up in Ventura, California. To read that some of the survivors also survived Las Vegas, it’s incomprehensible — the trauma these people have endured.”
Despite being the daughter of a country music legend, Cash thinks that, “in some ways, I’m persona non grata in country music. The Americana community has embraced me; I love country music and used to be part of the mainstream, but not anymore.”
As a result, she’s unsure whether her voice is one that will make an impact on country fans, many of whom are staunch defenders of the Second Amendment. “So I can’t pretend to speak for country artists or that community,” she added.
In fact, Cash pointed out that country artists are scared of getting political, especially over such a polarizing issue. “There’s a lot of fear,” she admitted. “Particularly from younger artists who know the blowback they’ll get. Look at the blowback Taylor Swift got for just telling people to vote. I’ve gotten threats for speaking out… people wanted to kill us because we spoke out against gun violence. There’s a level of insanity that’s taken root.”
Cash is also quick to dispel the notion that her father was anti-gun control. “Oh, it’s so ridiculous, and I never use him to support my own agenda,” she said. “But he was on the advisory board of PAX, the anti-gun-violence-against-children organization. So, come on. He had hunting rifles and antique Remingtons, but he didn’t have an arsenal of military weapons, and he never believed in that.”