Update: Marilyn Manson Claims He Pointed a Fake Rifle at San Bernardino Audience to Make a Statement About Gun Violence

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One month after Marilyn Manson broke his leg in an onstage accident involving large prop guns falling on him, he returned to performing last night with even more fake weapons. During his set on Sunday at Ozzfest Meets Knotfest in San Bernardino, where a mass shooting two years ago killed 14 people, TMZ notes that Manson pretended to shoot his audience with a toy gun. Singing from a wheelchair and in a hospital gown, Manson sang into a microphone attached to a fake semi-automatic rifle that he then pointed at the crowd throughout his song “We Know Where You Fucking Live.” The performance took place just hours after a mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, left 26 dead. It does not appear that Manson acknowledged the shooting during his set.

Update, 4:45 p.m.: In a statement to Variety, Manson says his use of a fake gun was an “act of theater” meant to make a statement about gun violence. He claims he had permission from a police officer to brandish the rifle.

“In an era where mass shootings have become a nearly daily occurrence,” he wrote, “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.”

Marilyn Manson Pretended to Shoot Audience With Fake Rifle