Will Hoge Slams NRA, ‘Shameful’ Politicians in New Song ‘Thoughts & Prayers’ [Listen]
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Will Hoge has had it with politicians who offer vague platitudes after each new mass shooting occurs in America. In a new song titled “Thoughts & Prayers,” the singer-songwriter slams the NRA and do-nothing political figures over their inaction or outright opposition to meaningful gun legislation.
Hoge began writing the song backstage at a gig he was scheduled to play on Nov. 5, the day a shooter opened fire at a church in Texas, killing 26 people. That shooting spree took place just over a month after the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and wounded more than 500 others, and Hoge says he could no longer stand to hear the pat phrases that always come after such events.
Hoge tells Rolling Stone Country he’s been “increasingly annoyed by the statement of ‘thoughts and prayers’ for some time. From my own experience, I know that phrase can be a kind and thoughtful way to express sympathy when there is no other way to help, but after these shootings, using that stock response from these cowards on Capitol Hill is incredibly insulting.”
“They have all the opportunities in the world to make a difference, but they do nothing,” he adds. “Then to just send out a phrase like ‘thoughts and prayers,’ as if we don’t all know that there is something they could do? It’s shameful.”
Hoge doesn’t soft-pedal his position in the least in the powerful song. “Another politician sitting far away / Doesn’t matter how many people got gunned down today / As long as you can keep your re-election bills paid / You’re just a whore to the pimp that’s called the NRA,” he sings.
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The singer-songwriter tells RSC that he takes no issue with country artists who don’t want to get involved in such a hot-button issue in public.
“That’s totally fine with me. The issue is the artists who do want to say something being chastised for it,” he states. “If someone has something to say that is well thought-out and educated and is going to provoke an actual conversation, they should feel comfortable doing that. To have a genre of music where people don’t even feel comfortable being able to have that conversation, whether they’re pro-gun or anti-gun, it’s a sad place to operate from as an artist. Hopefully that starts to change.”
Though few country music stars have taken a pro-gun control stance in public, Hoge says more are starting to talk in private, acknowledging that guns would have done them no good in Las Vegas. Himself a gun owner, Hoge says, “I’m not anti-gun, but there are just logical things we need to do.”
He is staunchly against the NRA, however, calling it a “fear-mongering, bully organization” and lumping it in with what he says are “grossly negligent elected officials.”
“They are the worst things about America,” he opines, “a rich organization, led by horrible people, preying on some of the best people in our country with fear and lies, just to grow their own profits. I’ve got to believe that at some point all responsible gun owners will see what a sham that organization truly is. So, if there are any hopes for me in this song, I’d suppose it is that: that maybe just more common-sense gun owners will speak up and stop being used by people who, in the end, care nothing about us or our families.”
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