Sheryl Crow Asks Country Artists to 'Take a Stand' on Gun Control

Sheryl Crow makes her home just outside of Nashville, and released the country album, Feels Like Home, in 2013, but in many ways, Crow is a far cry from her Music City peers, especially when it comes to gun control. The singer is speaking out about the silence on the subject, especially in the wake of the deadly Route 91 Harvest Music Festival shooting in Las Vegas earlier this year, which killed 59 people and left more than 500 wounded.

“You would think after Vegas we would see some leadership from our country community,” Crow told the Guardian. “But all I can say about that is if there’s money involved, and fear, these conversations come to a screeching halt. There’s no one that I know of in the popular country world that is willing to step out and really to take a stand on this, and that’s really unfortunate."

Crow recently released a song, "The Dreaming Kind," in tribute to the 20 children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which occurred five years ago today (Dec. 14), in Newtown, Conn. The lyrics, which say, "Every child is pure until he learns to hate / They watch with innocence and imitate / They say that love can conquer all, but there is no time to wait / So I'm giving it all I got / Even if I cannot change a thing / I'm giving it all I got / Gonna fight to keep remembering / That we are beautiful inside / Maybe I'm just the dreaming kind, came to Crow after the Las Vegas shooting, when she wondered how to explain the violence to her two sons, ten-year-old Wyatt, and Levi, seven.

“It’s a horrible feeling for my kids to not even be able to know what happened at Sandy Hook,” Crow shares, “for fear they’ll walk into school and think they’re not in a safe place, or that mom will go to work and there’s a chance she may not come home if there’s somebody in the audience with a gun.”

Crow knows that advocating for stricter gun laws won't win her favor with many of her music fans, but even that knowledge won't make her back down.

“My stance on it is very unpopular,” she concedes. “I’m a person just like everyone else is, and I’m not above being really hurt ... I want to see us do better, I want to see us as the country we were meant to be."

The 55-year-old hopes that her voice will inspire other performers to speak out as well, even if it costs them album sales and radio air play.

“As artists, I feel like we really have to show up in this, in all the areas that are hard for us," says Crow. "We need to write songs that talk about these issues. We need to write songs about what’s happening in our communities – the injustices, the people who feel left out ... I hope there will be people who find a way out of their fear, who stick up for humanity as opposed to sticking with their fanbase or the money that can come along with having those large crowds.”

Proceeds from "The Dreaming Kind" will benefit Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit founded by several family members of the shooting victims that works to prevent gun violence and advocates for state and national gun control policy. Download "The Dreaming Kind" here.