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Rosanne Cash Stirs Massive Gun Control Debate on Facebook

Erika Goldring, Getty Images

Rosanne Cash stirred a massive debate about the pros and cons of gun control with a post to her Facebook page on Friday (Oct. 2).

Chris Harper-Mercer killed nine people before taking his own life during a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., on Thursday (Oct. 1), according to CNN. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, who is very active in several political and social causes, called for her Facebook fans and followers to sign a new petition to reinstate the 1994 federal ban on assault weapons. Cash’s daughter, Chelsea Crowell, created the petition via We the People, and it requires 100,000 signatures in order to get reviewed.

“If you are as sick of gun violence in this country as I am, then let’s stop talking about it and just do ONE simple thing. Today,” Cash writes, adding, “It’s a very, very small step, but a first one.”

That touched off an intense debate in the comments section, with many criticizing both Cash and the notion of any gun control laws at all, while others weighed in to defend the idea that sensible gun control is a policy change the United States needs.

Cash followed up on Sunday (Oct. 4), reminding her followers to keep the debate civil and clarifying her position. “Those who tell me to ‘stay out of politics and stick to music’, or, in other words ‘keep your mouth shut’ are perhaps so obsessed with the Second Amendment that they haven’t noticed the First,” she writes.

The musician spent 10 years on the board of PAX, an organization dedicated solely to preventing gun violence among children. She says after a decade of meeting grieving parents, she finally had to resign.

“I couldn’t take the endless parade of innocent people with shattered lives. It was eating at my soul,” Cash says. “More pre-schoolers die by guns every year than police officers in the line of duty, and people seem to accept it as collateral damage for ‘freedom.’ Whose freedom are we talking about? Certainly not a classroom of first-graders lying in a pool of blood. And we’re not talking about the freedom of their parents either, whose lives are utterly destroyed.”

She reveals that her daughter was once held up at gunpoint and held for 20 minutes while working in a jewelry store. “Do NOT tell me that Chelsea ‘should have had a gun.’ If she had, she’d be dead,” Cash writes. “She is not physically or mentally able to coolly aim a gun at someone who is already pointing a gun at HER, and fire sharp-shooter style at another human being while terror-stricken. Nor am I. Nor are millions of other people.”

Cash ends by endorsing a Constitutional amendment to ban assault weapons, clarifying that she is not talking about handguns or hunting rifles. She asks her followers if it wouldn’t be worth it, if it saved just one innocent life.

“If the answer is no, or the answer is just more vicious rhetoric, then we should be ashamed,” she finishes. “That child could be yours. It was almost mine. So don’t tell me to keep my mouth shut.”

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