Waylon Jennings, one of the Holy Trinity of Outlaw Country (including Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard), has been gone since 2002.
Jennings died of diabetes after a tough life of drug use and overcoming addiction, and to this day, he’s often talked about as the country music version of Dean Martin for his distinctive, smooth, and incomparable vocal abilities.
What people like Waylon have to say matters to a lot of fans, even though, if he were alive today, Jennings would probably be the first to say that it’s just his “two cents,” take it or leave it.
With school shootings on the news in the wake of yet another mass killing at an Oregon community college, this oldie was bound to find its way back to the limelight, and it comes to the Inquisitr‘s attention by way of Wide Open Country.
Before SpikeTV became the network’s national brand, The Nashville Network (TNN) frequently had guests to discuss issues of the day.
In one 90-second segment, someone put the question to Waylon Jennings on what he thought about the school shooting problem America was having at the time.
This particular question was in reference to the Columbine shooting of 1999 and appeared on the Prime Time Country TV program. Here’s the video if you’re in a place where you can listen to it.
If you were unable to watch the video, here’s what Waylon Jennings had to say.
“You know what, that’s a serious question, and I do have a serious answer. It’s not the guns, you know, because those boys, those kids were not supposed to have those guns at school. That’s against the law. So you can make all the laws you want to forever. Anybody that’s gonna shoot somebody don’t worry about the laws. I tell you who’s at blame. When you can get your picture on the front page of TIME Magazine, and when the television shows your face and tells them what your name is … England stopped that one time, England did not do that. I don’t now if they still aren’t doing it or not. But if you don’t give them that 15 minutes of glory, and that’s exactly what they’re looking for, there’ll be a lot less of it. We gotta stop giving them people publicity.”
In the wake of the Oregon shooting this past week, many media outlets have started to at least listen to what Waylon Jennings had to say on the issue of publicity.
Michael Daly of the Daily Beast, in a piece entitled, “Forget Oregon’s Gunman. Remember the Hero Who Charged Straight at Him,” focused on surviving hero Chris Mintz.
In the piece, Daly makes the case that the Oregon gunman isn’t worth a mention because that’s exactly what he was seeking from his attack.
America has started to respond to this idea as well. When the Inquisitr published a piece on Mintz that same day calling for America to make Mintz a millionaire, there was just $33,000 donated to his campaign. Through the efforts of many American people who’d read about Mintz on the Daily Beast and sites like this one, that number challenge was met with $700,000 in donations in a single day.
While Waylon Jennings’ views on school shootings still may not land with a good percentage of Americans, who want more gun control, the core point of his message does seem to be resonating.
Take away their fame. Find other places to focus — on the victims, the survivors, the heroism of the every day — and shooters will lose the driving motivation of such attacks.
Do you agree with Waylon Jennings?
[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]