People.com Entertainment Music Marilyn Manson Defends Pointing a Fake Rifle at San Bernardino Crowd Following Texas Massacre "My empathy goes out to anyone who has been affected by the irresponsible and reprehensible misuse of REAL guns," Manson said By Karen Mizoguchi Published on November 7, 2017 12:55 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Marilyn Manson is defending his use of a fake rifle during a recent concert, calling the act a part of his “theater.” The singer, 48, performed a show at Knotfest Meets Ozzfest in San Bernardino, California, on Sunday, just hours after at least 26 people were killed during a morning service at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, when a gunman walked into the sanctuary and opened fire. San Bernardino is also still healing after a mass shooting in December 2015, left 14 people dead. “In an era where mass shootings have become a nearly daily occurrence, this was an act of theater in an attempt to make a statement about how easily accessible semi-automatic weapons are and how seeing them has become normalized,” Manson said in a statement to Variety. “My art has always been a reaction to popular culture and my way to make people think about the horrible things that happen in this world. My performance was not meant to be disrespectful or show any insensitivity,” he continued. Mauricio Santana/Getty Manson, who was confined to a wheelchair due to injuring his leg in an onstage accident in September, pointed the prop rifle rigged as a microphone toward the audience while singing his song “We Know Where You F—ing Live.” The prop rifle featured a bright orange cap marking it as fake. He concluded his statement: “The prop microphone I used on stage was handed to me with the approval of a police officer. My empathy goes out to anyone who has been affected by the irresponsible and reprehensible misuse of REAL guns.” Manson’s Knotfest gig was the artist’s first concert since he was hospitalized and had to cancel nine shows after a stage prop crushed him mid-show.