Musician John Legend – a Springfield, Ohio native – returned to his home state Sunday night to make the case for stricter gun-control laws.
Legend appeared at a press conference Sunday in Dayton’s Oregon District with Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.
“We’ve gotten to used to this. These are our communities, places where our families and our friends live, where our loved ones live, and as a native Ohioan it is so heartbreaking to see this gun violence exacting such a heavy toll so close to home,” Legend said, and thanked Moms Demand Action for their activism.
“We have to come together to make sure we do something about it. We don’t have to live like this,” he continued. “There are meaningful actions that we can all take to stop gun violence in this country. We’ve heard politicians send their thoughts and prayers while failing to act. We are done with that.”
He went to say Americans are “tired of bigotry and hate turning lethal because of easy access to guns.”
Legend then touted the policies of Australia, where politicians “banned semi-automatic and other military style weapons” while “the federal government of Australia prohibited their import” and “introduced a nationwide gun buyback program to encourage Australians to freely give up their assault style weapons.”
“This is possible here, too. We are not some distinct species of human that can’t stop shooting each other,” he said. “We know that restrictions on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines can help prevent mass shooting injuries and fatalities.”
He said it’s time for Congress to pass “background checks on every gun sale” and a “strong red flag bill.”
“The NRA claims to represent gun owners, but they really represent gun manufacturers,” he continued. “They want us to believe that the way to solve this problem is to arm people even more.”
Whaley thanked Legend on Twitter for returning to Ohio and “supporting our community.”
— Nan Whaley (@nanwhaley) August 12, 2019
Before leaving town, Legend play a small show for some of the survivors of the Dayton shooting.
“I just played a few songs to try to help bring comfort to some of the survivors of last week’s tragedy in Dayton,” Legend wrote on his Instagram. “My heart breaks for everyone who lost someone. I love how everyone rallies around one another during their time of grief. But our nation should not keep putting ourselves through these preventable traumas. Let’s fix this together.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image “John Legend Visits Oregon District” by WBNS TV10.