Marilyn Manson is in the headlines for a stunt in which he wielded a fake semi-automatic rifle and pointed it at a crowd of concert-goers during a performance in -- of all places -- San Bernardino, California.
Manson, who is known for using shock value and theatrics as the main drivers behind his performances, pulled out the prop gun and pointed it at the crowd during his song "We Know Where You F***ing Live," according to a video obtained by TMZ.
The sounds of simulated gunfire came from Manson's drummer while the song played.
Many people found the stunt highly distasteful, considering San Bernardino was the location of a deadly mass shooting a few years ago in which 14 people were killed and 22 others were seriously injured by a radicalized couple. The imagery also mirrored the mass shooting in Las Vegas, where a gunman armed with modified semi-automatics fired into a crowd of concert-goers.
Manson defended his stunt, saying, "In an era where mass shootings have become a nearly daily occurrence this was an act of theater in an attempt to make a statement about how easily accessible semi-automatic weapons are and how seeing them has become normalized."
"My performance was not meant to be disrespectful or show any insensitivity," he said. "My empathy goes out to anyone who has been affected by the irresponsible and reprehensible misuse of REAL guns."
"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.
So apparently, pointing guns at your audience and simulating a massacre is somehow a statement against gun violence. Makes sense.
Marilyn Manson is no stranger to criticism, but in this case, it's pretty reasonable to assert that this stunt was done in poor taste.
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