Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Anti-Flag is Accused of Inspiring the Tragedy in Arizona

After Jared Loughner opened fire on a crowd in Arizona, and tragically killed 6 people, and critically wounded congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, everyone, including the media are looking for reasons why someone could commit such an atrocity.  So the media looks at every single angle possible, they interview friends of the murderer, dig up school and work history, and analyze every single aspect of the scumbags life.

As the media machine continued to turn its wheel, an interview with a former classmate of Loughner's revealed that he was a fan of Anti-Flag.  Anti-Flag is a long standing punk band, who are very outspoken against issues like government bailouts, and they support organizations such as:  Democracy Now, and Greenpeace amongst many others.

The band was brought up on local news stations in Arizona, and Alternative Press interviewed frontman Justin Sane for his reaction.  So the question that is being posed is, should musicians and entertainers be held responsible for acts of violence?

When the Columbine shootings took place in 1999, I was in 8th grade.  I was definitely not part of the in-crowd.  Those kids loved to go to dances at school, and listen to lots of hip-hop.  I much preferred the more angst-filled music, bands like the Offspring, Orgy, Korn, and of course Marilyn Manson.  Manson was one of the most controversial artists of the time, his satanic inspired music drove millions of parents absolutely crazy.  When those two nuts decided to murder their classmates, word got around that they were fans of Manson.  The media took the bait, and Manson became the scapegoat for every psychotic teenager in America.  Manson was simply an artist, who liked to push the envelope with his music.  Manson was not telling kids to buy guns and kill each other.

As time passed, the media and the general public moved on from that absurd notion.  My question is, why does the media always attack musicians?  It is like saying Tupac and Ice Cube are responsible for every gang-related murder that has taken place in Los Angeles, or Ozzy Osbourne is responsible for teenagers committing suicide.  This notion is absolutely absurd.

When examining an individual who commits such a heinous crime, they usually say the person is some kind of desolate loner.  You almost never hear of a charismatic psychopath, there is usually a very specific pattern.  Perhaps the parents are to blame.  They are the biggest influence on any of our lives, and in many instances, they help shape the people we become. 

Anyway you look at this situation, it is silly to blame Anti-Flag, or any musician for contributing to a murder.  Especially a ban who openly protests violence, and is firmly against war.  If the classmate told media members that Loughner was a Josh Groban fan, would Groban be a pariah.  The band and the murders have no correlation, and the media should just find another scapegoat.

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