It seems one of my past articles on Blog Critics has been dug up now that another mass shooting has been reported. Specifically, an article about how for some reason some of us out there actually think it’s reasonable to cast blame upon musicians for the actions of others. Further, it’s usually a “goth” or “metal” type like a Manson or an Osborne that gets the blame. Some people out there actually insist that because a teenager wears a trenchcoat and listens to Manson they must be getting ready to shoot someone, or at least they must be thinking about it.
Music doesn’t have that absolute power of contol. Music may assist in re-enforcing a given point of view, but it is not responsible for that point of view. Music doesn’t load a gun and shoot it. Music isn’t responsible for poor gun control laws in the United States. Music doesn’t perpetuate the N.R.A. Music doesn’t make anyone do anything. If music really could totally influence someone that much, George W. Bush would likely be recording an album called “Four Legs Good, Two Legs Bad” all about how fascism is great and therefore we should all just shut up and take it and/or go blow up another country outside the North American border.
What irks me the most is that while Manson gets blamed for these shootings, no one pays much attention to Tu Pac and 50 Cent and their gun toting lyrics. Why is that? Perhaps because up until recently that type of music was predominantly listned to by African Americans? What if the Columbine shooters had not been “goths”, what if they were African Americans that listened to N.W.A. and Snoop Dogg? Would we even hear about what was in their disc men on the way to school. I don’t really think we would. I think it would be reported as some “black” kids shooting up a high school. Just a thought.
Either way, I’m imploring you to think before you start blaming all this shooting business on a couple af musicians expressing themselves via their right to freedom of speech. Wasn’t it John Stuart Mill who said every opinion is worth hearing. Censorship is wrong. Laying the blame on an easy target is wrong too.