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Marilyn Manson Defended Using a Fake Assault Rifle Onstage

He sang into a mic attached to one, hours after Sunday's mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

by Lauren O'Neill
07 November 2017, 12:13pm

Photo via PR

Marilyn Manson may be incapacitated following an onstage accident but the God of Fuck hasn't allowed that to hinder his self-appointed duties as an arch provocateur. On Sunday 5 November, he played Knotfest Meets Ozzfest in San Bernardino, California. While performing single "We Know Where You Fucking Live," he used a microphone attached to a fake assault rifle, which meant that it looked quite a lot like he was pointing it at the crowd whenever he sang. His performance took place hours after a gunman killed 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and San Bernardino was also the site of a shooting which killed 14 in December 2015.

And yeah, while this is obviously pretty par for the course for a Marilyn Manson show, it's also possibly terrifying if you happen to be an audience member and potentially distasteful considering the scale of the shooting that had happened so recently. But, again, it is Manson. In a statement given on Monday he defended the stunt, saying:

In an era where mass shootings have become a nearly daily occurrence, this was an act of theatre in an attempt to make a statement about how easily accessible semi-automatic weapons are and how seeing them has become normalised. My art has always been a reaction to popular culture and my way to make people think about the horrible things that happen in this world. My performance was not meant to be disrespectful or show any insensitivity. The prop microphone I used on stage was handed to me with the approval of a police officer. My empathy goes out to anyone who has been affected by the irresponsible and reprehensible misuse of REAL guns.

Manson's entire M.O. is clearly about shock, and though his actions might sometimes raise an eyebrow, he is often on the right side of the debates he enters into. That's the case here, as we can see from his statement. I guess if singing into a gun onstage is his way of helping, then more power to him.

See footage of the concert below:

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