The Devil Wears Prada’s ‘Transit Blues’ > American’s shitty opinions on gun control.
The gun control debate in the U.S. rages on as fierce and as frequent as it ever has these past few weeks. All on the back of a horrible school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 people dead – mostly teenagers – and 16 others injured.
This recent school shooting, one of the world’s deadliest thus far, has seen an utter wave of responses to it. From NRA-backed politicians sending out their totally-always-helpful “thoughts & prayers”, Florida trying to actually pass a new bill around gun control, CNN and Donald Trump blaming violent video games like it’s the 90’s all over again, students of the Parkland high-school raising their voices, to even All That Remains‘ Phil Labonte joining Milo Yiannopoulos on Info Wars to discuss a video he made regarding the gun control debate. (And no, that last one isn’t satire either). Simply put, there is just so much buzz happening lately on the topic.
Which brings us all right to the now. Earlier this week on Monday, The Devil Wears Prada released a limited ‘Lock & Load’ T-shirt run, with 100% of the profits made going towards a planned protest called March For Our Lives that’s happening in Washington, D.C. on March 24th.
In a statement about this new charity T-shirt, the band nobly put their money right where their mouths are, saying:
“We wish brave students didn’t have to work so tirelessly for their lives and for the gun reform this nation so desperately needs. We wish we didn’t need to write Lock & Load a few years ago. More than anything we wish so many hundreds hadn’t lost their lives needlessly. With that we’ll have this tshirt for sale the week of March 5th through the 9th at TDWPstore.com. In support for the march coming up towards the end of the month and that which it stands for, 100% of profits go to #MARCHFOROURLIVES.”
Of course, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to Devil Wears Prada fans… or those who at least use their ears and their brains while listening. Many will know where the group stands on the matter of gun control and gun violence via a single listen to ‘Lock & Load‘ – cut from 2016’s rather solid LP, ‘Transit Blues‘ – with the Chicago band’s view firmly being stated by said song: that this epidemic must end soon, that more can be done by the government, and that tighter gun control laws and that stricter background checks be put in place.
The genuinely powerful piece tells you all of this immediately, with key lyrics like “It’s hard to name a tragedy when it keeps repeating/It’s hard to name a tragedy: constantly defeated” and “Buy it background check free, on and on and on“. A song and lyrical meaning video of TDWP’s vocalist, Mike Hranica, discussing the song’s theme was also released back in November 2016 along with the release of the original track.
The heavy track even ends with a brief audio sample from pro-gun-reform Illinois representative, Robin Kelly, which in response to how the U.S. Congress, media and people sadly handle these events, said: “…we give our speeches, we hold our moments of silence, and then we wait for the national buzz to fade“.
Not only that but in a previous statement about their home city’s gun violence issues, Hranica stated that:
“I’m so nervous about this gun culture song because I was determined not to sound like we’re downplaying our military and the brave men and women that serve us. We’re a liberal lot coming from Chicago where gun violence and murder is unbelievably rampant, so this was inspired by a mass shooting. But there’s been so many that I can’t remember which one. I firmly stand behind this song’s message – common sense and background checks
So, yes, there has been plenty of evidence over the past year and a half as to where TDWP stand on this particular issue. But that seems to have flown right past a large amount of the band’s American-based gun-loving supporters, people who are now angry at the group’s stance even though it was publically outlined almost 18 months.
The responses on the band’s Facebook status range from the usual “liberals just do not understand” comments, to the silly “B-but you guys own guns too” argument (which the band have already addressed accordingly before), to the ever-so-trite “stay out of politics, stick to music” BS. As if musicians cannot have thoughts beyond the musical realms and as if music has never been key in political movements and cultural change around the world over within the past century – to which I can only laugh at.
And I’m laughing especially harder at comments like:
- “And done supporting this band“
- “Album is so much better after deleting this song 🙌 besides the silly lyrics it’s just a tiresome song“
- And, “Good thing you guys didn’t post this while you were still good. That woulda been a bummer. lol RIP TDWP“.
Amongst the shit present, there were a couple actually reasonable and mature comments, such as:
- “People seem to be completely blind to the irony of saying “TDWP’s political opinion sucks!” while simultaneously spewing a half-assed political opinion“
- And, “I respect the bands opinion, however i disagree with their message. Keep making awesome tunes. I will not boycott, i will humbly disagree and jam out“.
Though, really, much of this thread was all neatly summed up by one Jeff Turner, who wrote:
“how DARE you have a viewpoint, contrary to my own particular set-in-stone religious-imean-“political” doctrine!!!! I shall now ragepost and insult anyone else who dare disagree with me!!!!!“.
You win this one, Jeff.
Now, to leave this piece off, what I will say is that America – by their very own Second Amendment and their country’s ease of access and sheer frequency of firearms – is just too far gone now. To the point that doing what the Howard government did here in 1996 with gun buyback and our National Firearms Programme Implementation Act 1996 (the restriction of private ownership of semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic shotguns and pump-action shotguns as well as uniform firearms licensing) following the Port Arthur massacre most likely won’t work for the U.S. Simply because their issue is on a much larger scale, has far too many voices diluting the actual conversation, has the NRA to deal with, and if anything was going to have changed, it should’ve happened directly following the Columbine massacre in ’99.
Either way, something really needs to happen to help fix this problem, obviously. But sending “thoughts & prayers” out to victim’s families, irrationally screeching about your right to own and use guns, and getting mad online at a metalcore band for standing up for the right thing won’t do shit.
Obligatory link to *that* article from The Onion over here.