Rocker Marilyn Manson pulled another shocking move at a concert in San Bernardino on Sunday, but some say the stunt – aiming a fake rifle at the crowd – went too far.
The move came hours after 26 people were killed in a mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, while the concert was hosted in a city that saw it’s own mass shooting in December 2015 when 14 people were killed while attending a holiday party.
Still, Manson defended the use of the prop, which had a microphone affixed to the scope, in a written statement.
“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,” Manson wrote.
“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,” he continued. “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.”