Perhaps the biggest misunderstanding between pro-gun advocates and gun-safety advocates is their proposed plans. In the wake of hundreds of school shootings and dozens of terrorist attacks, the most common false narrative spread around the US is that gun safety advocates want to ban guns entirely—as opposed to the more logical, and achievable, goal of tightening gun laws to prevent automatic guns from landing in the hands of sinister people.
In order to resolve this, there needs to be more discussion and clarification on both sides. Discussion, though it sounds simple on paper, is the first step toward getting the majority of Americans to agree on a plan to resolve disagreements. In the case of implementing gun safety laws, that needs to happen so everyone realizes increasing the pre-purchase paperwork will delay the process of fickle, violent acts running on rampant emotion. And it’s not just about the purchase process, either. Background checks, monitoring domestic violence, increasing mental health awareness, offering gun training, and more are vital to ending gun violence in America. But to get there, we need to talk. Discussion is important, and thankfully it can take place anywhere at any time. It can even happen onstage.
That’s what led local rock act Dutch Tulips and surf-bent rock band Today Junior to organize a fundraiser concert in the aftermath of more school shootings. This Wednesday, the band will be performing at ONCE Ballroom alongside Bruvs, the Furniture, and DJ C8. Their mission? Raise money for nonprofit organization Everytown for Gun Safety by donating all concert proceeds to help end gun violence and build safer communities. For a mere $10, it’s certainly worth the Somerville trek and the affordable tip.
The way bands like Today Junior and Bruvs see it, the fastest way to prompt change is to take action yourselves. By helping to draw fans out, they can do their part to help raise money to jump-start change, even if that money may seem like chum change to some.
“The increase in gun violence spreading into schools and small towns affects us on a very personal level,” says Harry and Mike O’Toole of Today Junior.“Our father was a public high school teacher for over 30 years in a small-community town on Cape Cod where we both grew up. There’s nothing more important to us than seeing communities of people come together to help raise awareness on how to solve these problems. The only way people are going to see real change is if we do something about it.”
“Gun safety is important to us because we believe guns are still necessary in certain situations and environments. There is too much evil in the world to get rid of guns, so we must find balance in the laws of firearms,” adds Zack Petti of Bruvs. “We try to create change in people by showing them what we have done or do to transform ourselves. Through writing and recording our own music, we have opened doors that we never saw and we’ve met people we never would have known existed, all through the power of art. We’ve made great friends, like Today Junior, literally because we decided to write an album, and someone liked that album and introduced us, and boom, instant positive and beautiful connection between human beings. We need to get people to realize how easy and accessible art is.”
It helps that the Everytown for Gun Safety concert for musicians against gun violence happens to feature some of Boston’s best bands. Fresh off the release of its newest album, Single Forever, Today Junior whips its way through jovial, sun-drenched, poppy punk. Meanwhile, Bruvs are getting busy making garage rock to blast through open car windows. Somerville act the Furniture yelps its way through amiable rock. Before all of that comes the crunchy rock ’n’ roll of Dutch Tulips and some mood-fitting music from DJ C8. Having all five artists on one bill is a hell of a treat.
So skip your morning Dunks and breakfast burrito to spend Wednesday night soaking up good music for an even better cause. Discussion leads to change, and that probably includes talking about a show that benefits gun safety somehow, too.
Online donations are also accepted to help raise funds for Everytown for Gun Safety. Please visit their website to do so.
TODAY JUNIOR, BRUVS, THE FURNITURE, DUTCH TULIPS, DJ C8. THU 4.12. ONCE BALLROOM, 156 HIGHLAND AVE., SOMERVILLE. 6PM/18+/$10. ONCESOMERVILLE.COM