Typically, the first things viewers will see at the Billboard Music Awards is an extravagant number performed by one of the day’s hottest stars, but this time around the ceremonies, airing two days after a 17-year old shooter killed 10 people and wounded 10 others at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas, it was host Kelly Clarkson who took to the stage to deliver on what producers had requested be a moment of silence.
“I’m a Texas girl and my home state has had so much heartbreak over this past year. And once again we’re grieving for more kids that have died for absolutely no reason,” Clarkson began in a brief monologue while fighting back tears.
Tonight, they wanted me say we want to pray for all the victims. We want to pray for all their families, but they also wanted me to do a moment of silence, and I’m so sick of moments of silence. It’s not working,” she declared.
“So, why don’t we do one with action? Why don’t we do one of change? Why don’t we change what’s happening? 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. So, we need to do better. …] I have four children. I cannot imagine getting that phone call or that knock on the door. So, instead of a moment of silence–I want to respect them and honor them—let’s have a moment of action. Let’s have a moment of change,” she concluded to much applause.
Clarkson’s sentiments echo the critiques of gun control advocates in the United States. In the current battle on gun control in the States, many are criticizing government officials for their willingness to always send “thoughts and prayers” to victims and their families following tragedies such as this without bringing about any significant legislative measures to prevent mass shootings in the country.