Kacey Musgraves was among those feeling she’d had more than enough following the massacres in El Paso and Dayton — and in a live performance at Lollapalooza and subsequent series of tweets, the native Texan let loose on the president for what she considered his feeble response to the tragedies.
“Don’t you hear us, @realDonaldTrump?” she tweeted in the early hours of Monday morning. “Don’t you hear our pain? You have the power to become a hero. Why don’t you take it?”
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She followed that with another message: “For a man who clearly loves being well-liked, it’s indescribably mind-numbing to see him blatantly and murderously ignore doing ONE THING that would not only make people happy but would SAVE PEOPLE’S LIVES. True leaders don’t stand back and watch the world burn.”
Musgraves continued conversing with fans — or adversaries — on Twitter and clarifying her position. Following one response that said “Stick to the singing Kacey. You do realize most of your fans are packing at your shows don’t you?,” she responded: “Let me be clear — I’m from Texas. I grew up around hunting and guns. There’s a time and place for that and even self protection in ways..but this is different. The system is majorly flawed and NOBODY NEEDS ANYTHING REMOTELY AUTOMATIC. PERIOD. They’re mass killing machines. …. I love keeping things about the music and usually stay out of politics publicly UNTIL it barrels past political party preference points and dangerously encroaches on fundamental human rights. It’s then not political issue anymore. It’s a matter of heart. Of humanity. Of survival.”
In response to another user who wrote “Just be a musician Kacey. Please,” she responded, “In case you forgot — I’m, too, a fellow human. The only difference is that I have to consistently do my job at places of mass public gatherings. What part of you is bothered with me being bothered that were consistently being slaughtered? Best of luck staying alive, ma’am.”
The country-pop star also retweeted a message from Katherine Clark, a congresswoman from Massachusetts, who addressed Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell in saying, “The House passed two gun safety bills months ago, but you continue to block them. Since you tweeted your prayers, another American community, Dayton, has been shattered by gun violence. Americans are dying, and you’re blocking us from helping them. Who exactly do you serve?”
In a Sunday performance at the Lollapalooza festival in Chicago, Musgraves exhorted the crowd in a chant after pointing out “the shit that’s happening in the last 24 hours — much less everything that’s happened in the last 200-and-f–king 15 days in America,” a reference to an oft-cited figure about 250 mass shootings in 215 days. “So, I don’t know what the answer is, but obviously something has to be f—ing done. Maybe somebody will hear us if we all yell together and say, ‘Somebody f—ing do something!'”
She then dedicated her song “Rainbow” to “everyone who has the bravery to even show up to a music festival.”
Ironically, in 2016, Musgraves had taken heat from some gun control advocates after a similar tragedy. “Crying as I read about Orlando,” she tweeted after the Florida nightclub mass murder. “I can’t believe it. I don’t understand. And especially at such a happy place!? Feeling sick. … Let’s go back to saloon days where every mutha—a is carrying a revolver and anyone walking in to disturb the peace might maybe think twice.”
But after getting blowback on that last sentiment three years ago, she quickly deleted it and followed it up by saying, “Look. Emotions are high today. Mine included. Just hating hate. Lots of opinions in the mix. LOVE is the only true answer. Hard subject tho. All I know is something isn’t working. That’s all. I love y’all and my true intent is peaceful.”
After speaking up at Lollapalooza Sunday night, Musgraves was applauded by many of her fellow performers. “Well done Kacey,” tweeted Brandi Carlile.