Unless you’ve been away from a TV or computer screen for the past two days, then you’ve probably heard about what happened on Saturday, January 8 in Tucson, AZ. In an assassination attempt on Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (who is still in critical condition), 22 year old Jared Lee Loughner killed six individuals, including U.S. District Judge John Roll and a 9 year old girl, while 12 others were shot. Many in the press have pointed blame to the gun-themed rhetoric causally held by ultra conservatives and tea party members. However, conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh recently gave his reasoning on why the press shouldn’t blame tea partiers for Loughner’s actions.
What does this have to do with anything regarding metal? Well, The Huffington Post reports that among Limbaugh’s many points or arguments is that Loughner was a fan of heavy metal. “The guy listened to heavy metal, and some of that anarchist stuff. We’re dealing with an insane individual,” Limbaugh claimed. Apparently, it was discovered that Loughner is a hard rock/metal fan through his MySpace page, where he posted a comment about attending a concert of Fear Before (formerly known as Fear Before The March Of Flames).
I won’t go into further detail about his other points, because a majority of them only add into the political feud that some would argue has led us to such disturbing altercations. However, I will take issue with the one point I mentioned above by saying this: really? So being a metal fan automatically implies that one has psychotic tendencies? This is the same absurdness that made metal fans scapegoats following the Columbine shootings. It is unfair to blame a whole audience of a genre for the hate-filled and horrific actions of one sick individual. Our love and appreciation for a style of music has been far too often used as a scapegoat for whenever a young individual does an unthinkable act. So no disrespect, Mr. Limbaugh, but not all metal fans are depraved individuals who only care about bringing pain onto others. The typical long-haired metalhead isn’t any more inclined to violence than, say, a pill-popping, vitriol-spewing douchebag that’s been married four times.
On a side note, our best wishes go out to the families and friends of those who lost loved ones during this horrific event.