Pat Benatar is taking a stand by refusing to perform her biggest hit. She’s been compelled to skip the iconic song when performing live because of recent mass shootings, and recently explained her unique protest against gun violence.
In conversation with USA Today, Benatar and her husband/creative partner Neil Giraldo spoke about why she’s refusing to play any songs from her 1980 album Crimes of Passion. Specifically, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” She’s on tour now, and despite fans begging for her biggest hits, she’s adamantly refusing.
“We’re not doing ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot,’ and fans are having a heart attack,” she explained, “and I’m like, ‘I’m sorry, in deference to the victims of the families of these mass shootings, I’m not singing it.’”
She urged fans to just listen to the song on their own, and not pressure her to perform it. “[‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’] is tongue-in-cheek, but you have to draw the line. I can’t say those words out loud with a smile on my face, I just can’t,” she said. “I’m not going to go on stage and soapbox — I go to my legislators — but that’s my small contribution to protesting. I’m not going to sing it.”
Pat Benatar Isn’t the First Celebrity to Come Out Against Gun Violence, and She Won’t Be the Last
In June, Matthew McConaughey spoke up about gun violence when there was a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas. Residents of Uvalde urged him to make a statement regarding gun control, and he went all the way to the White House to make his statements.
He shared that he supports the recent bipartisan senatorial efforts to create new gun control measures. These include red flag laws and more comprehensive background checks.
“For the first time in 30 years, ‘something’ has happened,” said McConaughey. “The Senate has agreed on a bipartisan framework of policies. It can enhance gun responsibility in America and save lives.”
There are rumors that McConaughey will run for office in Texas soon, and so many people thought his statements didn’t do enough because he’s worried about his future campaign. For some, he’s beating around the bush of gun control, calling it gun responsibility instead. Someone killed children in his hometown, you’d think he’d be out in the streets protesting. But, while outright protesting is in Pat Benatar’s wheelhouse, it’s not really aligned with Matthew McConaughey’s sensibilities.
Though, many other celebrities have come out in opposition of gun violence, especially musicians, who use their talent and platform to protest and beg for reform. Artists like Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves, and Eric Church, Willie Nelson, Paul McCartney, and even Tony Bennett. Pat Benatar is doing a small act of protest, but it’s meaningful to her. What matters, is it can get the conversation about gun control started.