During a recent Megadeth concert in Singapore, frontman Dave Mustaine went full tilt goo-goo for Satan when he asserted to a confused crowd that U.S. President Barack Obama staged the tragic shootings in both Aurora, Colorado and at The Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek. This, according to Mustaine, was so that the President could justify a ban on guns. In the video taken from the concert, which you can watch below, Mustaine expressly states that the President planned these murders.
“Back in my country, my President is trying to pass a gun ban so he’s staging all these murders like the Fast and Furious thing down at the border and Aurora, Colorado, and all the people who were killed there and now the beautiful people at the Sikh temple.”
Mustaine goes on to say that he doesn’t know where he’s going to live if “America keeps going the way it’s going,” stating the the country is “turning into Nazi America.” The crowd appears to disagree with Mustaine judging from the tone of its roar, which included a few boos. One audience member can even be heard shouting, “Hey, we love America!” Mustaine’s response to the crowd’s reaction: “Be quiet.”
So let’s dissect Mustaine’s claims with a few facts, lest anyone out there get the idea that these remarks are anything other than completely deranged.
Operation Fast and Furious was just one part of a much larger initiative of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (or the ATF) called Project Gunrunner. It began in Laredo, Texas, in 2005 as a series of endeavors to trace automatic assault weapons across the Mexican border by authorizing local gun dealers to sell their guns in what would normally be illegal transactions. The idea was that this would lead the ATF to bigwigs in the Mexican drug cartel. It didn’t.
On December 14, 2010, border patrol agent Brian Terry was killed in a gun battle with suspected illegal immigrants. While two of the assault rifles recovered at the scene were actually traced back to Operation Fast and Furious, the bullet that killed Terry was too badly damaged to conclusively say that it came from one of the guns that had been sold through the gunrunning sting. As always, people tend to draw their own conclusions from this, assuming positions based on who they’d rather blame. Mustaine and other right-wing extremists prefer to blame everything on the centrist leader of the free world, President Obama.
On July 20, 2012, James Eagan Holmes donned a Kevlar suit, a gas mask, and bright red dyed hair before opening fire on an unsuspecting audience during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises at a Century movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. After killing 12 people and injuring 58, Holmes was apprehended immediately as he casually strolled away from the carnage. In what must have been a totally chaotic scene in the darkened theater while a violent shootout scene played on the giant screen, eyewitness accounts as to how many gunmen there actually were do vary a bit, an overwhelming majority of the survivors state that they only saw one gunman.
Ditto the above paragraph in the case of known white-supremacist and U.S. Army veteran Wade Michael Page, who stormed the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin on August 5, 2012 armed with a semiautomatic handgun. Page shot six worshippers to death and critically wounded a police officer before shooting himself in the head.
Does this sound like the handiwork of a Harvard-educated lawyer, community organizer, and current President of the United States of America? Okay, maybe you’ve seen a little movie called Wag the Dog, in which a phony war is staged by spin-doctors in order to divert the country’s attention away from a Presidential sex scandal and now you feel that everything an administration does is suspect. Okay, fine. But there is also a system of checks and balances in this country, not to mention a whole lot of people with big mouths – people who like to be on TV. A lot.
Furthermore, could you even guess how many people would have to be involved in order to pull off a ginormous feat as staging these seemingly random lone gunman shootings just to ban guns? If we all put on our thinking caps for a second, we’ll see how dangerously stupid the idea is. The idea sounds even stupider when said to an audience in front of a live mic. And even stupider still when repeated in the media 80 trillion times, as the most salacious stories are these days.
In an interview with George Stroumboulopoulus on Canadian TV back in March, Mustaine made it quite clear that he’s also a birther, or one who believes President Obama was not born in the United States, by stating, “I know he was born somewhere else than America” and asking “How come he was invisible before he became whatever he was in Illinois?” Well, we could start by checking records, but apparently birthers do not believe records are enough. Um, what else is there?
Whether you agree with Dave Mustaine or not, the takeaway here is that those who are in a position to reach and influence the masses should count to ten before opening their mouths. Hate speech is on the rise once again in this country and I’m pretty sure it’s not being generated by community organizers. I don’t want to hate on Mustaine. I just want us all to research what we hear from those we admire and then form our own opinions.