John Mellencamp on How to End Gun Violence: ‘Show America the Carnage’

February 18, 2024
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“I am not being callous, and I know it will be painful to see. But, sad to say, I think it’s the only way to shock America out of its stupor,” singer says

John Mellencamp, a longtime advocate for gun control, issued a statement Friday condemning gun violence and encouraging America to confront the “carnage” in order to end it.

“Excuse me for stating the obvious truth.  I do so out of love for this country and the pain of learning, once again, that children have been killed by gun violence,” Mellencamp wrote. 

“If we as a country want to find the collective will within ourselves to change our gun laws, let’s stop playing silly political games.  Show the carnage on the news.  Show the American people the dead children and others who have been struck down.  Show us what guns and bullets can do to the human body.”

While it’s unclear what prompted Mellencamp to make the statement, his words arrived a day after gunfire broke out at the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade, killing one person and injuring 22, more than half of whom were minors.

“The news media need to be brave enough to let Americans see what slaughtered children look like. Otherwise, I fear that too many perceive gun violence as an abstract; a story that’s repeated nearly every day to numbing effect,” Mellencamp continued.

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The singer — who questioned the Second Amendment on his 2023 song “Hey God” — likened the situation to the Vietnam War, where protests against the conflict only increased when footage of the brutality of the war was shown on news broadcasts.

“I say this as a father and a human being, with deep empathy for the parents whose children have had their lives ended so suddenly and so senselessly: Show America the carnage,” Mellencamp added. “I am not being callous, and I know it will be painful to see. But, sad to say, I think it’s the only way to shock America out of its stupor.”





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