Don't hate me, but can we get past the guns?

SuburbanDad's picture

Don't hate me, but can we get past the guns?


I am wondering if you might consider moving beyond all the gun imagery (and lyrics).

Before anyone posts an angry reply, please read the following

1. I'm a 51 year-old guy who has listened to your music and thinks it's great.

2. I have a fifteen-year-old daughter who thinks that you all are more than just great, and introduced me to your music.

3. We haven't and won't censor what she listens to, hangs on her walls, or wears (she's got a fair assortment of MCR merch). Short of online hate speech--which should be moderated to protect a community's members--I can't think of anything I'd ever try to censor.

4. I know you guys are not promoting violence, and I don't think people who shoot people have been influenced to do so by your or anyone else's music.

5. I'm not some out-to-lunch middle-aged guy with a comb-over who thinks that music should be happy. I've got a BFA in photography and a Ph.D. in English and understand that art, literature, and music aren't about sunshine and roses. Without conflict or tension there is no story, there is no music.

6. I've listened to, liked, and sometimes still like music that has guns/death in it--from band names (Sex Pistols) to song titles (Psycho Killer), to album titles (Combat Rock). So I'm not asking you to commit to never again putting out anything that refers in any way to guns.

What I am asking is this: would you consider adding the creative restraint of not using gun images or lyrics in your next project?


Because I think you're sophisticated enough to find new metaphors, for one.

Because your fans might like to broaden their wardrobe beyond pistols, knives, and M-16s.

Because the steady stream of weapons just doesn't do justice to the complexity of who you are, as a band.

One of the MCR T-shirts that my daughter wears has a colorful ray-gun print. The design is so stylized as to make it hard to see that it's even guns (and deliberately goofy ray-guns at that). But a lot of your T-shirts aren't so benign. I am trying to imagine my daughter walking into any public place wearing a T-shirt with a pistol or a shot-up target on it. Even if every one of your songs is about how evil guns are, the mother whose teenage son was killed by a bullet through the neck won't know about MCR's "real" intentions when she sees my daughter at the mall smiling and wearing a detailed depiction of a 9mm.

I understand the allure. Guns = Power and power is the one thing that people feel an acute lack of--especially when you're young. I'm convinced that you are all perfectly nice guys who wouldn't hurt a flea. But if your songs really are opposed to guns (or if you use them only as a metaphor, or for some other literary/musical purpose) why celebrate them so much?

There's a difference between artistic freedom and sensationalism, right?

I'd like to hear what you think about this.

And I'm still trying to figure out a way to get that Conventional Weapons boxed set for my daughter. Some of the discs just sold out too quickly.