Eddie Vedder + M. Shadows Weigh in on March for Our Lives
Emotions were running high over the weekend as tens of thousands of people took to the nation's capital Saturday (Mar. 24) for the March for Our Lives event. Many musicians commented on the rally to advocate stricter gun control spurred on by the Florida school shooting last month, including Eddie Vedder and Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows.
“Today in the United States is a very important day because all the youth took to the streets in the millions in order to claim that they have the right to be safe in their schools from gun violence," Vedder says in a video, which can be seen below, during the final show of Pearl Jam's South American tour at Lollapalooza Brasil Saturday. "In this world, they are so ready to take on, and they are changing that world for the better, and we are so proud because up to this point no one's has been able to do it, and finally they have been able to gather, and they have the support of many many of the adults as well to push this through; finally, we're going to see some change in the United States based on how many guns are out there, and how safe they are at all times, and how safe we can feel on the streets."
"We are so proud of them, my family was there in Washington D.C., and I’m so proud of them," Vedder continues before dedicating the band's latest single, "Can't Deny Me," to those who marched. "It had to happen, and I know that our countries are a little bit similar, we have a little bit too much of that shit going on, and it’s got to stop. It’s such a beautiful life, with such beautiful people, and such a beautiful fragile planet, we have to do everything we can to protect it. We dedicate this one to them.”
Earlier in the week, Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows was interviewed on Rock 106.9’s The Stansbury Show and commented on the movement and protest, which has been led by primarily by the youth who are still in school.
“They’re the future, and they’re the ones that are sitting targets in these schools," Shadows said last Monday (Mar. 19). "I think they have a right to protest. There’s a lot of logistics that go on, obviously. I think technology can solve a lot of our problems. No one’s talking about that. If my iPhone can open from just looking at my face, then we can get guns that work in a similar fashion."
Given the band's conservative sentiments expressed in the past, it was a bit surprising that Shadows would be so vocal expressing his support. He stressed that proponents on both sides of the issue aren't open to changing their agenda, but when widespread shifts do happen, "it's usually the kids" who start it.
"There has to be some give on both sides, and both sides right now are just not willing to give at all," he said. "Right now, it’s just so polarizing. No one wants to give up anything. It’s tough, but I respect these kids, and I love that they’re doing that. As youth, they have to care. They’re the ones that are getting shot in these school. I respect them. This is how the country works, and always has. There’s always the generation which, we kind of look back on these kids and we have to assess what we really feel about what they’re doing - if they’re doing it and it makes sense, or do they just want to skip school? And I feel this is how the country changes. This has always been the forward progress of America, and that’s why we live in a great country where you can do stuff like this and we can have this discussion, and there are going to be new ideas. There are a lot of ideas that people still aren’t talking about - right now, it’s black and white, and there is a compromise in the middle somewhere where no one really wants to budge. I get it, but this is how the country changes. It’s usually the kids.”
March for Our Lives rallies took place throughout the United States and around the world Saturday day in response not just to the Feb. 14 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., but all of the related tragedies both recent and in the past. What's different about these protests, according to organizers, is that they are led by the youth who want to enact stronger gun control legislation.
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