The bipartisan measure to pose strict background checks for U.S. gun sales was defeated in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday (April 17), failing to receive the required 60 votes needed to pass. The defeat of the measure has left some, such as former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, “furious,” while others, such as senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), continued to voice their opposition of the proposal, Shelby calling the measure “the first step in the erosion of my rights under the Second Amendment.”
Gun control legislation has been a hotly-debated topic among many groups, among them musicians. Ted Nugent, one of the more outspoken faces of the pro-gun rights movement, has called for strengthening detection of mental illness rather than introducing tighter gun laws, while musicians such as Tony Bennett, Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie, The Postal Service) and k.d. lang tweeted in favor of gun control legislation days before the Senate’s decision by urging followers to call members of Congress.
Post-decision, the Twitter accounts of a few artists have been rife with dismay after the Senate failed to vote in favor of the proposal. Two members of Portland folk rockers The Decemberists, frontman Colin Meloy and guitarist Chris Funk, tweeted their displeasure at the decision, Meloy calling Montana Senator Max Baucus a “coward.”
— colin meloy (@colinmeloy) April 17, 2013
“To do nothing while others are in danger is not the American way.”
— CHRIS FUNK (@MRCHRISFUNK) April 18, 2013
Meloy and Funk were joined by a few other musicians, among them John Legend and Bennett. Legend in particular called for his followers to “vote these cowards out next year.”
The Senate voted against background checks, ignoring the will of the American people. We will not stop until our voices are heard. #myvoice
— Tony Bennett (@itstonybennett) April 17, 2013
Shame on our senate. Wow. Vote these cowards out next year.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) April 17, 2013
Surprisingly, the Twitter account of Yoko Ono, who nearly one month ago tweeted a picture of John Lennon’s bloodstained glasses in support of gun control, has remained mum on any comments concerning the recent Senate decision.
On the other end, Nugent’s account has been quiet as well, but the rocker has come out in support of the proposal’s failure on newly-launched Conservative publication Rare.us, calling President Barack Obama “the NRA Man of the Year.” “But there is wonderful irony in the lies of our anti-gun president and his anti-gun henchmen,” wrote Nugent. “That beautiful irony is that President Obama is by far the greatest salesmen in the history of firearms.”
This isn’t the first time Nugent has made headlines this week. On Tuesday (April 16), the NRA board member compared the first responders in the recent Boston Marathon bombings to the NRA itself.
-Kevin Rutherford, Radio.com