"Let’s stop playing silly political games. Show the carnage on the news. Show the American people the dead children": John Mellencamp issues powerful statement calling for gun control in America

John Mellencamp smoking a cigarette
(Image credit: Myrna Suare)

John Mellencamp has issued a blunt, powerful statement calling for gun control in America. 

Posting on his social media channels, the 72-year-old singer/songwriter writes, "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.

"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.

"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.

"When I was a teenager, there was a war in Vietnam," Mellencamp continues. "In the beginning, no one paid much attention to this problem in a foreign land until the media shouldered the responsibility and showed America how our sons were being slaughtered.  Once those images were shown on TV, there was overwhelming demand for that  war to be ended immediately."

His statement concludes, "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. 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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The angry comments beneath Mellencamp's statement are an indication of just how badly the issue of gun control divides US citizens.

One comment reads, "When I see what guns can do to children it makes me want to buy another gun to protect children from such carnage."

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.