Rock star points fake gun at audience days after mass shooting (pictures and video)

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Shock rocker Marilyn Manson returned to the stage on Monday, following an injury he received from a stage prop last month. Performing in San Bernardino, California, the site of a terrorist shooting in 2015, and just two days after another shooting massacre in Texas, Manson debuted a new stage prop – a fake semi-automatic gun rigged to his microphone, which he pointed at the crowd.

As he sang “We Know Where You (Expletive) Live,” Manson was handed the prop gun, which reportedly had an obvious orange tip. As a rapid drum beat played, Manson held the gun to his shoulder and aimed at the crowd (see pictures and video below).

The symbolism of the prop was also chilling considering that just a month ago, a crowd of concertgoers in Las Vegas was mowed down by a gunman during a live show.

Manson often aims for a provocative concert performance, but reportedly some of his fans in the crowd thought the gun stunt was “lame.” As more critics voiced their opinions, Manson released a statement defending his choice to use the gun during the show.

He explained that it was an “act of theater,” that police officers had approved the stunt, and that his “performance was not meant to be disrespectful or show any insensitivity.”

“My empathy goes out to anyone who has been affected by the irresponsible and reprehensible misuse of REAL guns,” he wrote.

Manson’s full statement is included below:

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 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. 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 was recently injured when a double pistol stage prop fell and broke his right leg in two places. He was on stage Monday with the help of a wheelchair/Segway-like contraption that allowed him both to stand, sit and maneuver 360 degrees.

Video of the maneuver is available for viewing below (explicit language warning):

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