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Not "Gaga" About the Guns

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Almost 9 million YouTube viewers have seen Beyoncé and Lady Gaga - scheduled to perform on the Grammy Awards this Sunday - in their recent music video, "Video Phone."

The music was fine, but I wonder why they went out of their way to glorify guns in their production. Beyond the sexual stereotype of guns in general, it's hard to understand why they are in the video at all.

What's more, Lady Gaga has been using fake machine guns as props in her live shows as well, pretending to shoot into the crowd.

Finally, rapper Dwayne "Lil Wayne" Carter was also announced yesterday as a Grammy Award show performer, just months after he pleaded guilty to a gun charge. He is scheduled to be sentenced in February and is expected to serve as much as a year in jail.

I can hear people say, "Hey, it's just show business," and that Beyoncé, Lady Gaga and Lil Wayne each put on a good show. I understand that.

Yet it is difficult to deny the influence that these entertainers have on our popular culture and the young people who absorb it. Guns aren't toys, even when they're made with pretty colors or sung about in rap songs, and it is dangerous to treat them that way.

To Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Lil' Wayne, the Grammy Award show producers, and CBS, I have a video that I'd like you to promote sometime that gives a different perspective on guns.

colin video - youtube portrait photo capture

Colin Goddard was shot four times at Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, and lived to tell his story to the world. In this video, he describes what it was like that morning, and asks us to call on our elected officials to make it harder for dangerous people to get guns.

Colin is no performer, but he knows that the reality of gun violence isn't pretty or entertaining.

It is a deadly problem that more of us - including celebrities - should take seriously.

(Note to readers: This entry, along with past entries, has been co-posted on bradycampaign.org/blog and the Huffington Post.)