Amid the endless gun violence in the United States, Pat Benatar is taking a stand by choosing not to sing her 1980 hit, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” on her current tour.
“We’re not doing ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’ and fans are having a heart attack 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 said in a new interview with USA Today. “I tell them, if you want to hear the song, go home and listen to it. [The title] 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. I’m not going to go on stage and soap box – I go to my legislators – but that’s my small contribution to protesting. I’m not going to sing it. Tough.”
Benatar is, however, performing a cover of the Beatles’ “Helter Sketler.” When asked why, the musical icon replied, “Because I want to have some fun! We’re doing a lot of songs we don’t always play like ‘In the Heat of the Night’ and ‘I Need a Lover.'”
The Gun Violence Archive has counted at least 356 mass shootings so far this year, through the first three weeks of July, according to the New York Times. Of those shootings, 16 involved four or more deaths, including the most recent one in Highland Park on July 4.
692 mass shootings were recorded last year, with 28 involving four or more fatalities.