Here’s What Jason Aldean Has Said About Guns and Gun Laws
The lyrics to Jason Aldean's new song "Try That in a Small Town" deliver a low-key threat to anyone wanting to "round up" his guns. In real life, the singer isn't so definitive.
- "Try That in a Small Town" is embroiled in controversy partially because of a lyric that is pro-gun rights and a message that — at best — supports vigilante justice, and at worst, encourages gun violence.
- Additionally, some people feel the lyrics use racist dog whistles to attack urban life, a charge that Aldean has labeled as "meritless" and "dangerous."
- Since early last week, streams and sales of the song have jumped over 999%.
"Got a gun that my granddad gave me / They say one day they're gonna round up / Well, that s--t might fly in the city, good luck," he sings before the second verse.
Sheryl Crow's tweet to Aldean (above) is representative of the argument that Aldean is promoting violence. The singer was on stage when the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history started. On Oct. 1, 2017, he was performing at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas before 58 people were killed and hundreds more injured by a gunman.
Kurt Allison, Tully Kennedy, Kelley Lovelace and Neil Thrasher wrote "Try That in a Small Town," but Aldean has done nothing to indicate he's not all-in on the message. Still, his stated opinion on gun control is more nuanced.
"It’s too easy to get guns, first and foremost," he told the Associated Press in 2018. "When you can walk in somewhere and you can get one in five minutes, do a background check that takes five minutes, like how in-depth is that background check? Those are the issues I have. It’s not necessarily the guns themselves or that I don’t think people should have guns. I have a lot of them."
At that time, Aldean wasn't as forceful with his opinions on politics and society. In recent years fans have watched him give unbridled support to former President Donald Trump, amplify conspiracy theories regarding the Jan. 6 riots in Washington D.C. and undermine trans-health after his wife Brittany made a series of comments labeled as transphobic.
"It’s a no-win situation,” he said five years ago. "I think no matter what you say, whether you’re for gun control or not, I mean, you’re setting yourself up to be crucified in the public eye or in the media."