Speaking to the Independent prior to the release of Slipknot’s new album We Are Not Your Kind – and two days before the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio – Taylor said, “There are too many fucking guns in America. I could walk outside right now and find a gun within minutes. There’s a very toxic gun culture here, it’s a cult, and it worries me.”
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In the aftermath of the El Paso and Dayton shootings, politicians have once again put music, movies and video games under the microscope: Donald Trump tweeted about “violent video games” and “Liberal Hollywood,” while the fact that the Dayton shooter wore a metalcore band’s hoodie during the attack brought additional (and unfounded) scrutiny to music’s alleged role in violent incidents.
“Music is an easy target because [people in authority] don’t understand it,” Taylor added. “There’s a complete lack of effort to try to understand it, and a lack of willingness to take any portion of the blame for these events.”
Taylor’s comments to the Independent were tragically prescient considering that, just two days later, the El Paso and Dayton shootings claimed 31 victims combined.
Taylor continued, “If you’re looking for a certain kind of rhetoric, whether it’s hating black people or gay people or whatever, there are thousands of sites with people posting about it. We’re seeing the repercussions of a failure to address that. They still wanna blame the fucking music, and it’s been happening since the Sixties to ‘85 with Tipper Gore…”
In the aftermath of the Dayton shooting, Taylor slammed a journalist who attempted to place blame on the Acacia Strain, the metalcore band whose hooded sweatshirt the shooter wore. “No. You don’t get to fucking do that. This isn’t about a fucking t shirt. And the Acacia Strain are not a hateful or vengeful band. Blame the KILLER; not the fucking WARDROBE. You Ghoul,” Taylor tweeted.
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