Trace Adkins, one of several country artists standing by the NRA.

Trace Adkins, one of several country artists standing by the NRA.

Despite the hellish events in Las Vegas last week — at a country music festival — country artists remain adamantly opposed to gun control.  In fact, very little has changed in the country music world.

In the wake of the worst mass-shooting in US history, country artist Caleb Keeter reversed his position on gun control.  It took a mass shooting involving hundreds of victims to convince him that unfettered gun access and absolute 2nd Amendment protections might be the wrong path.

Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland also joined the call for more gun control.  And we’ve learned of a two country artists that have quietly severed their ties with the NRA since the Vegas tragedy.

But for the most part, country artists are either saying nothing or standing firm in their support of the NRA and 2nd Amendment.  And there’s a die-hard coalition that isn’t backing down.

In fact, a coalition of 37 artists are proudly listed on the NRA website, many posing with guns or NRA hats.

And of the 39 artists affiliated with ‘NRA Country,’ an NRA-sponsored support program for country artists, just two have left since Vegas.

Here are the 37 who remain ardent supporters:

  1. Trace Adkins
  2. Rodney Atkins
  3. Frankie Ballard
  4. Lee Brice
  5. The Swon Brothers
  6. Craig Campbell
  7. Luke Combs
  8. Easton Corbin
  9. Tyler Farr
  10. Colt Ford
  11. Kevin Fowler
  12. Lucas Hoge
  13. Angie Johnson
  14. Aaron Lewis
  15. LoCash
  16. Love and Theft
  17. Montgomery Gentry
  18. Justin Moore
  19. Craig Morgan
  20. Heidi Newfield
  21. Jon Pardi
  22. Eric Paslay
  23. Michael Ray
  24. Chase Rice
  25. Pete Scobell
  26. Granger Smith
  27. Big SMO
  28. Blackberry Smoke
  29. Tate Stevens
  30. Sunny Sweeney
  31. Josh Thompson
  32. Storme Warren
  33. Aaron Watson
  34. Drake White
  35. Chuck Wicks
  36. Hank Williams
  37. Gretchen Wilson

Rolling Stone reports that two artists removed themselves from the site after the massacre: Florida Georgia Line and Thomas Rhett.  They said they have no ‘active relationship’ with the NRA, but were previously allied with the group.

Luke Combs also said he had no affiliation with the NRA, but still remains on the site (wearing the hat).  Everyone else has been quiet, except for Love and Theft, who reaffirmed their support for the NRA.

These affiliations are part of a long relationship between the NRA and country artists.  And they’re probably financial deals.

In fact, it’s widely believed that the NRA is paying all of these artists for their support.  The result?  A positive bridge to most of the states and audiences that the gun industry needs.

“It’s no secret,” the Director of NRA Country once remarked. “If you poll our members, they love country music.”

All of which may explain why Caleb Keeter didn’t start a trend.  In fact, we’ve heard of a culture of fear affecting country music artists.  Most are petrified of losing their audiences over political issues, similar to the fallout endured by the Dixie Chicks back in 2003.

“I just feel like you’re so censored as a country artist,” indie artist Megan Lindsey told the AP recently.  She took a knee after performing the national anthem at an NFL football game. “I feel like the labels like to keep you that way. They don’t want you to speak out. They don’t want you to say things that would upset country music listeners.

“People worry about being Dixie Chick-ed.”

 


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