Singer and songwriter Rosanne Cash has always been known to speak her mind. Recently she did just that when she took a stand against gun violence on Facebook. On Friday, October 2nd, just one day after a gunman on the campus of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, killed nine people and injured several others, Cash calls her fans to take action.
"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," the Grammy-winning singer posted on her Facebook page. "Sign the petition on the White House website to reinstate the 1994 federal ban on assault weapons."
Cash explained that the petition was created by her daughter, Chelsea Crowell (a contributor for Rolling Stone Country), and would require 100,000 signatures for it to be reviewed. As of Tuesday afternoon, the petition has nearly 3,600 signatures. That initial post from Cash received thousands of "likes" and was quickly shared by Facebook users - it also spawned hundreds of comments representing all sides of the thorny issue.
After a heated debate broke out, on both sides of the issue, in the comments section of her post, Cash posted a follow-up statement on Sunday (Oct. 4).
Dear Followers and Likers - If you can't maintain basic courtesy on my page, please allow me to show you the door. This is my page, and I do have a right to my beliefs and convictions, as all of you do. I was raised to have the courage to stand behind those convictions, and it's too late in life for me to sacrifice my integrity by keeping the most passionate of them secret. 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.
The singer and activist, who for a decade served on the board of PAX, an organization dedicated to preventing gun violence among children, added, "I have as much concern for the safety of my children as any mother alive and if that makes me 'political,' so be it. I don't hurl insults because I think some of you have a bewildering attachment to military-grade weapons and a refusal to consider mandatory background checks. I'd appreciate the same civility."
Concluding her second Facebook post, Cash asks her followers if gun control would be worth it if it saved even just one innocent life.
"If the answer is no, or the answer is just more vicious rhetoric, then we should be ashamed," she writes. "That child could be yours. It was almost mine. So don't tell me to keep my mouth shut."