Bob Schwartz

Rosanne Cash: Country Musicians, Stand Up to the N.R.A.

The wonderful and gifted musician Rosanne Cash, daughter of Johnny Cash, wrote an eloquent and stirring piece in the New York Times, Country Musicians, Stand Up to the N.R.A.  It is addressed to her fellow country artists. In part:

For the past few decades, the National Rifle Association has increasingly nurtured an alliance with country music artists and their fans. You can see it in “N.R.A. Country,” which promotes the artists who support the philosophical, if not economic, thrall of the N.R.A., with the pernicious tag line “Celebrate the Lifestyle.”

That wholesome public relations veneer masks something deeply sinister and profoundly destructive. There is no other way to say this: The N.R.A. funds domestic terrorism…

A shadow government exists in the world of gun sales, and the people who write gun regulations are the very people who profit from gun sales. The N.R.A. would like to keep it that way.

The stakes are too high to not disavow collusion with the N.R.A. Pull apart the threads of patriotism and lax gun laws that it has so subtly and maliciously intertwined. They are not the same.

I know you’ll be bullied for speaking out. This is how they operate. Not everyone will like you for taking a stand. Let it roll off your back. Some people may burn your records or ask for refunds for tickets to your concerts. Whatever. Find the strength of moral conviction, even if it comes with a price tag, which it will. Don’t let them bully you into silence. That’s where their power lies — in the silence of rational voices and in the apathy of those who can speak truth to power.

In case you don’t visit the NRA Country site, here are the citizens of NRA Country that Rosanne Cash is talking to.

Mysteries of Las Vegas

So many questions. Who is this man? Why did he do it? Who are the victims? Why them? Who are the loved ones who suffer? Who are the heroes who made things better and kept it from being worse? How can we lessen the chance of this happening again?

These and related questions are part of the media coverage and part of our own thinking about this tragedy.

But even if we answer every one of the questions to our satisfaction—which is unlikely—there will still be an ineffable mystery that goes beyond not having an answer. There is something about this for which we don’t have and can’t form a question.

In a time when so many are willing to tell you the answers, and when some of the more insightful are willing to first ask better questions, there are still some things that have neither questions nor answers. And in that standing mute and mindless in the face of mystery is a rare moment.