Katy Perry, the host of American Idol, recently broke down in tears on an episode of the show when a survivor of a school shooting auditioned. Trey Louis, a 21-year-old from Texas, auditioned for the show's 21st season and sang Whiskey Myers' song 'Stone' for the judges: Perry, Lionel Richie, and country singer Luke Bryan. Louis disclosed before his performance that he survived the 2018 Santa Fe school shooting, where eight students and two teachers were killed.
“I’m from Santa Fe, Texas,” Louis said to the judges and audience. “In May 2018, a gunman walked into my school. I was in Art Room 1. He shot up Art Room 2 before he made his way to Art Room 1. I lost a lot of friends. Eight students were killed. Two teachers were killed. It’s just really been negative. Santa Fe’s had a bad rep since 2018.”
Perry was moved to tears by Louis' story and expressed her outrage, stating that the country has "failed" them. She said, "This is not OK. You should be singing here because you love music, not because you had to go through that fucking bullshit." Perry further expressed her concern, "You don’t have to lose eight friends. I hope that you remind people that we have to change. Because, you know, I’m scared, too."
Richie also commented on the issue, saying, “We have tolerated this for so long… too long. It’s become the norm.” This statement highlights the pervasive nature of gun violence in America, and how it has become a routine occurrence.
In 2018, a gunman, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, opened fire at Santa Fe High School, killing 10 people and injuring many others. Following the incident, Travis Scott, a rapper from Houston, honoured the survivors at a Houston Rockets basketball game. During a short speech, he expressed his admiration for the students and said, "Y’all are the strongest people on this Earth. Thank you for being the heroes for all of us.”
Kelly Clarkson, another American Idol alum, also delivered an emotional plea for gun control following the shooting. In a speech at an awards ceremony, she called for a "moment of change" and advocated for stricter gun laws. "And mamas and daddies should be able to send their kids to school, to church, to movie theaters, to clubs — you should be able to live your life without that kind of fear," she said.
The prevalence of gun violence in America is a contentious issue. Advocates for stricter gun laws believe that these incidents are preventable and that the government should do more to protect its citizens. On the other hand, those who oppose stricter gun laws argue that the right to bear arms is a fundamental right protected by the constitution. This issue has become a partisan one, with Democrats advocating for gun control measures and Republicans opposing them.
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