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Marilyn Manson says rifle stunt was “act of theatre” to highlight US gun control issues

By | Published on Wednesday 8 November 2017

Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson has issued a statement justifying his decision to point a fake semi-automatic rifle at the audience of his first live show since injuring himself on stage in September.

Manson was performing at the Glen Helen Amphitheater in San Bernardino, confined to a wheelchair after the accident where he was crushed by a gun-shaped on stage prop, which led to the cancellation of several tour dates. According to TMZ, he pulled out a fake rifle with a microphone in place of its scope while performing his song ‘We Know Where You Fucking Live’.

Critics of this act pointed out that fourteen people were killed in San Bernardino in a mass shooting in December 2015. The show also took place hours after 26 people were killed by a man with a military-style rifle in Texas.

However, Manson says that his use of the mock rifle in his show was intended to be a comment on America’s gun laws and the “nearly daily occurrence” of mass shootings in the US, and that the stunt had been sanctioned by police.

“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”, he said. “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”.

He added: “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 return to the live arena also sees him touring with a new bassist, Mars Volta’s Juan Alderete. As previously reported, former bassist Twiggy Ramirez was fired during Manson’s recuperation after a rape allegation against him came to light. The European leg of the tour begins this week, reaching the UK next month.