LATINO VOICES
06/16/2016 05:04 pm ET

Ricky Martin Says 'BREAK YOUR SILENCE,' Calls For Gun Control After Orlando

The singer wrote in an op-ed about the Orlando shooting: "I am in pain, I am sad, I am angry."

The Orlando massacre has "proven that gun laws MUST change in this country," according to Ricky Martin.

The singer took a stand on gun control in an op-ed titled "I Will Never Cease To Fight For Love," published via Univision on Wednesday. Martin, who is openly gay and a father to twins, expressed his personal grief over the shooting.

"The tragedy that occurred in Orlando hurts me in so many ways," he wrote. "It hurts me as a man, as a human being, and as a gay person, because so many of the victims were brothers and sisters of the LGBT community. I am in pain, I am sad, I am angry."

The Puerto Rican star went on to discuss several facets of the "senseless act" and what led a gunman to open fire Sunday during Latin night at Pulse, a queer nightclub, killing 49 people and injuring dozens more. He also asked people to choose love over "hate, racism, and bigotry" in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Turning to the topic of gun violence in the United States, the singer then broke down why he felt current gun laws were antiquated and need to be reformed. 

Today, too many people continue to defend the indefensible. There are a series of issues in play here, but the United States of America has an undeniable problem with gun violence. How many more lives need to be lost before we do something about lax gun laws? How can a person previously tied to terrorism and interviewed by the FBI on several occasions be permitted to work as a security guard and still have the ability to legally purchase guns? How can we continue to stand by an amendment ratified in 1791 to justify an incomprehensible proliferation of firearms in the U.S? You know what else was permitted in 1791? Slavery, dueling as a way of settling arguments, consensual sex with children above 10 in most states (Delaware was 7), wife beating as a valid exercise of a husband's authority over his wife, and the list of absurdities goes on and on. Today, we know better as a society. We are more civilized. As President Obama stated, “To actively do nothing is a decision as well.” People continue to say it is their right to bear arms. What about our right to feel safe?

He went a step further and implored readers to act and use their power as constituents to make change happen.  

"I ask you to BREAK YOUR SILENCE and call each and every one of your congressman -- those you elected into power to represent you and your ideals -- 10 times each day until they act," Martin wrote. "Set a timer if it helps, but make the calls."

Martin's written plea came on the same day Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) embarked on a filibuster aimed at forcing Congress to act against gun violence. Murphy, with the help of other Democrats, held the Senate floor for nearly 15 hours and left only after leaders promised him at least two votes on gun bills. 

The singer ended his op-ed, saying he'd continue to speak out against hate for the sake of his sons. 

"I refuse to accept that this is the world my children will inherit," Martin wrote. "I will never cease to fight for love."

Read his full op-ed here

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
Orlando Shooting Victims
CONVERSATIONS