Country singer Eric Church got personal and political in a wide-ranging interview with Rolling Stone.
The 41-year-old singer, husband and father of two addressed a number of political and social issues, including taking the National Rifle Association to task on gun issues after the mass shooting in Las Vegas in October.
On his own politics, Church said he voted for George HW Bush in 2004, Barack Obama in 2008, and didn’t vote in the 2012 and 2016 elections, adding that Obama did nothing to lose his vote in 2012.
“Hillary (Clinton) just bored me,” he said of the 2016 Democratic candidate. “I just didn’t see much.”
Church said his wife voted for Trump and tried to get him to do so, but he said that wouldn’t be happening.
“I don’t want to vote for somebody I’ll regret voting for,” he said.
If given the choice between Trump and Bernie Sanders, Church said, “I love Bernie ... I don’t know what I would’ve done. I would’ve at least thought about it more than I did.”
Church went on to say he is conflicted about President Trump.
“I like that he’s thrown a monkey wrench into things. I think that chaos is good. I enjoyed the North Korea thing. Why haven’t we talked to that guy? Tariffs, I don’t know yet. I don’t want a trade war, but I’ll walk with him down that road a little farther.” At the same time, “I have a ton of problems with him,” he says. “I don’t like the racial overtones. I hate the tweeting. It seems insecure, petty, not presidential.”
On other political topics, Church is fairly progressive, according to Rolling Stone, saying he’s pro-life, but doesn’t think the laws on abortion should change. On the NFL protests, he says, “I was taught by my father to take my hat off [for the anthem], but if somebody wants to do something different, it’s not my place to tell them not to.”
He’s pointed on current immigration policies: “I’ll tell you what I’m against. You never separate kids from their families. Never, ever, ever. You want to deport them, deport them. But this is wrong. It’s horrific. It’s child abuse, as far as I can tell.”
And after the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting in Las Vegas, Church blamed the NRA when asked why nothing has been done about mass shootings.
Church, an owner of rifles, pistols and shotguns himself, said the shooting changed his feeling some on guns.
“I’m a Second Amendment guy. That’s in the Constitution, it’s people’s right, and I don’t believe it’s negotiable,” he said. “But nobody should have that many guns and that much ammunition and we don’t know about it. Nobody should have 21 AKs and 10,000 rounds of ammunition and we don’t know who they are. Something’s gotta be done so that a person can’t have an armory and pin down a Las Vegas SWAT team for six minutes. That’s (expletive) up.”
Church said some of his first thoughts when he got a text about the shooting was about his fans. He had left Vegas two nights before the shooting.
“There are some things we can’t stop. Like the disgruntled kid who takes his dad’s shotgun and walks into a high school,” he said. “But we could have stopped the guy in Vegas. I blame the lobbyists. And the biggest in the gun world is the NRA.”
“I feel like they’ve been a bit of a roadblock. I don’t care who you are – you shouldn’t have that kind of power over elected officials. To me it’s cut-and-dried: The gun-show [loophole] would not exist if it weren’t for the NRA, so at this point in time, if I was an NRA member, I would think I had more of a problem than the solution. I would question myself real hard about what I wanted to be in the next three, four, five years.”
Church made it clear he is not and never has been a member of the NRA. As for potential fallout for his comment, Church said he doesn’t care.
“Right’s right and wrong’s wrong,” he said. “I don’t understand why we have to fear a group (like the NRA). It’s asinine. Why can’t we come together and solve one part of this? Start with the bump stocks and the gun shows. Shut a couple of these down. I do think that will matter a little bit. I think it will save some lives.”
Church’s interview with Rolling Stone can be read in full on RollingStone.com.
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