Neil Young wrote the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young protest anthem “Ohio” in 1970 in response to the Kent State University massacre that saw National Guard troops shoot and kill four unarmed students who were protesting the Vietnam War. Young has now debuted a new video showing him performing the song at a recent solo concert with the hope that it will inspire people to support “common sense gun reform.”
The clip, which is a collaboration with the folk-rock legend’s wife Daryl Hannah, begins with Neil discussing how he was inspired to write the song after seeing the famous photograph of a crying woman kneeling over the body of one of the murdered Kent State students.
The performance itself features Young onstage as photos and film footage from the massacre, recent mass school shootings, and anti-violence protests from yesteryear and modern times are projected behind him.
To accompany the new video, Neil has posted a message on Neil Young Archives discussing the song’s background and his support of the young students who are calling for new gun reform laws and the election of politicians who back such legislation.
“With no real laws protecting us from guns, and with politicians supporting the NRA because the NRA supports them, we are not well represented,” writes Neil. “Today’s students are brave, demanding change in violent times.”
He adds, “Support the students. Support our children. They want protection. Not more guns. Give us common sense gun laws that protect our people, our schools, in places of worship, in the workplace and on the streets. VOTE.”
At his YouTube channel, Young also includes a link to GunSenseVoter.org, which identifies candidates who support gun reform.
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