THE FIGHT TO END GUN VIOLENCE
Important Upcoming Dates:
June 4: Gun Violence Awareness Day | June 4-6: Wear Orange Weekend
CALLS TO ACTION
Text ECHO to 644-33 to be connected with your Senators to demand stricter gun laws, including background checks on all gun purchases. You’ll get a text right back with next steps and a sample script you can follow once your call is connected – it’s simple and impactful.
Join one or all of the below mailing lists and follow these organizations on social media to educate yourself more on this epidemic.
Consider donating to one of the above organizations or the many others out there working to end gun violence. Every penny counts.
A Message From Michael:
In 2018, I put out a song and video about healing from the trauma of gun violence, called “The Flower” (below). To make the video, I travelled to several states and talked to over one hundred people who had been affected by gun violence. I met people who had family members killed at The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, the Route 91 concert in Las Vegas, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida, Sandy Hook, street shootings, police shootings, people whose family members had taken their own lives, and one man who had spent twenty-five years in prison for murder, who was now working every day on the outside to prevent killings. My biggest take away from it all was that gun violence has left no community untouched. Each of the family members I spoke with told me that they had painfully become part of a club they never wanted to be a part of – the rapidly growing community of gun violence victims’ families.
Over the past several years we have seen gun violence deaths in America continue to rise to nearly forty thousand annually. I live down the road from where the Golden State Warriors play basketball at the Chase Center, which has a game time capacity of eighteen thousand people. Imagine if more than two sold out arenas full of people were killed each year: that is the crisis we face in America today.
Recently we saw the killing of eight people at Asian owned businesses in Atlanta. Six more Asian women followed a few days later when ten people were killed at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado. While watching news coverage of the two incidents, I saw people interviewed in both cities who had strikingly similar comments, “It feels like no one is safe anywhere anymore.” Not at school, a concert, shopping, on the street, in a nightclub, at a massage parlor, in the city, in the suburbs; whether you are Black, White, LatinX, AAPI, or regardless of your gender or sexuality, there is a feeling out there that gun violence can strike anywhere at any time to anybody.
The song and video for “You Will Always Hear My Echo” (below), were put together as a response to what seems like a rise in the climate of hate and violence that we see taking place in the US today. I wanted to make the point that because gun violence leaves no community untouched, that it is up to every single one of us, gun owner or not, to do whatever we can to reduce the number of gun fatalities we see each year and lessen the number of families forced to spend the rest of their lives with the pain of losing a loved one. Every single one of us, gun owner or not, has a role to play in bringing these numbers down. It is time that those of us who are in support of America being a place where people of all ethnicities, genders, and experiences are welcome, respected, and treated with equity, begin to raise our voices for these values, and say no to the uptick in violence that we see today.
There is often an argument put forth against common sense gun laws, like universal background checks for all purchases. Gun advocates often say, “Guns aren’t the problem, people are the problem.” Well, if people are the problem, why give guns to “the problem” without ever looking into their history of violence? Why allow semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazine rounds that were designed for war time to be used by civilians, and then wonder why so many people were killed so fast in such short blasts of time. It is time that Americans take a hard look in the mirror and decide whether nearly forty thousand gun deaths annually are something we just want to “live with” and while we are at it, take into consideration those who have lost family members who they would give anything just to live with once again.
The video for “You Will Always Hear My Echo,” takes place in less than ten seconds. Almost every family I met with who lost a member to gun violence told me the same thing. Why did my son, daughter, father, mother, sister, brother have to be in that situation in that precise moment of time leading to their death? I hope the video provokes discussion about the fact whatever we have been doing so far to reduce gun violence, simply has not been enough to reduce the over one hundred people a day who die from gun violence in America. Let us listen to the echoes of those who have been lost, as heard through the voices of their family members, and work together to make sure fewer and fewer families each year become part of the club of survivors none of them ever wanted to be part of. We can do this!
FACING & ADDRESSING THE CLIMATE CRISIS + MUSIC CLIMATE REVOLUTION
CALLS TO ACTION
Click HERE to learn in less than 5 minutes what it means to offset your carbon footprint.
Sign Up for the Music Climate Revolution HERE or find out more about the Revolution HERE
Calculate and offset your carbon footprint by using this calculator powered by REVERB & Native Energy!
A Message From Michael:
For decades I have been aware of the ever growing climate crisis and am reminded daily that it is only getting worse. Too often, our impact on the earth and our local environment is less than friendly. I feel it’s our duty to become more educated on the environmental issues we face and how we can take action to save our planet. Today we are pledging to continue in this fight now more than ever to end the climate crisis. One way we are doing our part is by partnering with our longtime friends at REVERB in their new initiative, MUSIC CLIMATE REVOLUTION.
REVERB was started in 2004 by environmentalist Lauren Sullivan and her musician husband, Adam Gardner, of the band Guster. While living an environmentally-friendly lifestyle at home, Adam was becoming increasingly distressed by the negative impact touring and life on the road was having on the planet. And Adam was not alone. He heard similar concerns from other artists he spoke and toured with. Together, Adam and Lauren decided to do something about it, creating a nonprofit organization that was dedicated to reducing the environmental impacts of music while empowering fans to take action for the planet. Now, 18 years later, REVERB has been leading the sustainability movement in music, working on over 350 tours and 6,000 concerts. Its programs have eliminated over 180,000 tonnes of CO2 and 3 million single-use water bottles, supported over 4,000 environmental groups and 2,000 family farmers, and funded over 120 carbon-fighting projects.
Their new campaign, Music Climate Revolution, is unleashing the power of the music community – artists, fans, venues, festivals, industry professionals and more – to fight the climate emergency. Together, we’re taking immediate, ongoing, and increasing actions for the planet, helping fund global projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and using our voices to demand climate action.
To kick off our partnership with them, we are pledging to make all future tours of ours climate positive – meaning we will reduce our footprint and eliminate significantly more emissions than we create – and encouraging our fans to take action alongside us to reduce their carbon footprint in a big way! Check out our calls to action above to learn more on how you can do your part!