Is Nashville becoming too much like Hollywood? It seems to be the case with a slew of major country singers and alleged country singers embracing gun control. In this instance, unlike Erick Church blaming the NRA for the Las Vegas shooting, singers Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line and Dierks Bentley have endorsed Toms’ #EndGunViolenceTogether campaign. It’s being put on by Blake Mycoskie of TOMS Shoes.
The former posted two posts on his Instagram urging fellow country singers to jump on board this campaign. Not surprisingly, he turned off comments for both posts.
On Nov. 29, Hubbard delivered an impassioned endorsement of the TOMS CEO’s new initiative. In a solemn video, he referred to the staggering statistics regarding the 307 mass shootings that took place over the last 311 days in the United States and said that he believes that “we can all come together and all agree that something has to change” by contacting congress and demanding stricter gun laws.
That statistic is highly suspect, as gun control groups label all shootings – with four or more people shot – as mass shootings.
Here’s Bentley’s more general call for action, without explaining why he supports it:
The Toms funds will go to organizations working to end gun violence in the U.S. by addressing issues such as urban crime, domestic violence, mental health and suicide. Campaign partners include: Moms Demand Action, The Black and Brown Gun Violence Prevention Consortium, March for Our Lives and Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence.
The aforementioned “gun safety” groups aren’t for gun rights nor offer remedies for true gun safety measures. They are outfits to elect and support pro-gun control members of Congress.
For supposed gun owners, Hubbard and Bentley need to read up on universal background checks.
John Lott explained in New York Times why this policy does nothing to deter crime:
The background check measures before Congress aim to improve enforcement of existing law and increase such reporting by imposing financial penalties on government officials whose agencies fail to provide required information. That’s a good goal, but any proposal should also fix another major problem with the background check system: false positives that stop law-abiding people from getting weapons that they might need to protect themselves and their families.
The background check system confuses the names of law-abiding individuals with those of criminals, resulting in thousands of “false positives” every year. Relying on phonetically similar names along with birth dates just doesn’t allow for much accuracy.
Even more people would face such problems if background checks were made “universal,” meaning to include the private sale or transfer of firearms, which are exempt from checks in most states. Many people consider this a common-sense policy, but there would be a cost: Background checks involve fees that drive up the price of guns in private sales and make it harder for poor people to defend themselves.
Donald J. Mihalek, executive vice president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, argued in a CNN column that fixing the NICS system to make it more robust would be more effective than universal background checks:
The system should be as robust and include the types of identifying, warning, cross checking and criminal and mental history information as the National Criminal Information Center (NCIC). NCIC is the repository of all local and state information related to arrests, criminal history, criminal activity like stolen cars and permits law enforcement to input danger, warning or safety notifications.
If NICS doesn’t have that same type of robust information, it may never be able to do what Americans demand — block prohibited people from legally obtaining firearms. Until it is, we may continue to see people who should be prohibited from owning a weapon turn a tool of protection into a tool of terror.
Also, when universal background type laws are implemented, they don’t work to deter crime—just look at Colorado and Washington State.
Hubbard and Bentley will likely alienate their fan base, especially with the former not having real country bonafides to speak for. Learn from Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood: don’t get political.