Randy Blythe Calls Out Gun Violence in Wake of Virginia Beach Mass Shooting
In case you missed it — and we certainly wouldn’t blame you given how common mass shootings have become in America — 12 people were gunned down by a shooter at a government building in Virginia Beach, VA on Friday, leaving people in the area (and America at large) once again searching for answers.
The very next day, before folks had even begun to process the latest gruesome entry in an American epidemic, some civilians carrying rifles and costumed in camo gear showed up to the Richmond, VA monument of Confederate Civil War army commander Robert E. Lee to salute the man who fought to preserve slavery in America. Never one to sit on the sidelines when it comes to social issues, especially in his home state, Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe was understandably seething with anger at the incredibly insensitive gesture and took to Instagram to vent his frustration:
“Yesterday 12 innocent people were gunned down & died in Virginia Beach, just 2 hours away from me. People in Va Beach are insane with grief, trying to understand this violence, but today, these people from out of state who somehow don’t realize that the Civil War ended over 150 years ago couldn’t even wait ONE DAY to come parade with their guns by the Lee monument, because that is their goddamned legal right here in Virginia. They had enough firepower to wipe out an entire neighborhood in seconds, & my tax dollars are paying for the cost of the extra police who have to show up & make sure it doesn’t turn into a bloodbath. Forget about whether or not you agree or disagree with their ’cause’- coming here with all those guns shows that they have NO CLASS. People across America getting blown away at work, at school, at church… but it’s legal for these wanna-be GI Joes to walk around here strapped like Rambo, & nothing fuckin’ changes. I saw a line in an article about yesterday’s shooting that said ‘This was the worst mass shooting since… November.’ Do y’all realize that that is a completely INSANE sentence? Think about it…
Comments on Randy’s post are surprisingly civil and 100% supportive (although it’s possible he’s been taking out the trash), including virtual high-fives from Machine Head’s Robb Flynn, who offered a simple “Speak brother SPEAK!,” and Slayer/Exodus guitarist Gary Holt, who called the folks in the photo “thoughtless idiots” and compared them to the Westboro Baptist Church.
Thank you, Randy, for once again being unafraid to use your platform to speak about issues that most metal artists view as taboo. You are one of a kind, and the metal world could use more artists like you.