"It's insanity at this point": the metal world reacts to Texas school shooting

M Shadows and Zacky Vengeance of Avenged Sevenfold, Machine Head's Robb Flynn and Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler
(Image credit: Rebecca Sapp/WireImage/Getty Images; Travis Shinn; Jason Bollenbacher/Getty Images)

Numerous metal figureheads have reacted to yesterday's shocking mass shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas that is thus far confirmed to have left 19 schoolchildren and two teachers dead. 

The shooting, which took place at the Robb Elementary School, around 80 miles west of San Antonio, is the deadliest to take place at a US elementary school since 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook in Connecticut in 2012 - though it is just the latest in dozens of mass shootings to have already taken place in the States in 2022 so far.

"Absolutely heartbreaking," commented Machine Head guitarist Robb Flynn. "As a parent [of] 2 boys I can only imagine what those families are going through. We’ve got to stand up to the gun lobbyist now. The same people who claim to be pro life, will do nothing to stop the senseless murder of children."

Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler underlined the hypocrisy of gun and alcohol laws in the United States, Tweeting: "Here we go again - another U.S. president giving his useless ‘thoughts & prayers’ to the victims while doing nothing to stop 18 year old kids from legally buying ASSAULT RIFLES, for the purpose of killing. God forbid they buy alcohol at that age. #WhatAreWeDoing."

Avenged Sevenfold guitarist Zacky Vengeance Tweeted: "I am not just sad. I am fucking angry. Fucking do better people. Fuck your thoughts and prayers." Frontman M Shadows responded to his bandmate's sentiment, adding: "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Gotta look at mental health, guns, education, security…. but we won’t." "Kids trust us to protect them," replied Vengeance. "We have to do better. It’s truly insanity at this point."

"Imagine if it were illegal to possess a machine gun in this country like it's illegal in every other country on the planet Earth," said former Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach, later adding: "I ask you every true Rock and roller are you with kids or are you with guns? I'm getting tired of not naming names." 

Testament guitarist Alex Skolnick compared the lack of action on guns to the hysteria surrounding heavy music in the 80s, noting on Twitter: "When I was in school, Congress made an effort to “protect” kids from, yes, song lyrics (bipartisan, so anyone who claims “It was all Tipper & Dems!” GTFO). Point being: IF ONLY THE SAME CONCERN ONCE SHOWN FOR “PROTECTING” KIDS FROM MUSIC (??!) WAS APPLIED TO ASSAULT WEAPONS TODAY"

Some artists expressed cynicism at the idea that the latest mass shooting might finally provoke a change in US gun policy. "And after today, no laws or anything will change…" said Miss May I frontman Levi Benton.

"I have nothing to add to this conversation around gun violence in the US that I haven’t said or hasn’t been said by someone smarter than me," offered Bad Wolves guitarist Doc Coyle. "I’ve given up hope that anything will change. I’m sorry for my pessimism.

Epica singer Simone Simons shared a simple graphic on her Instagram story that read: "Schools should be safe places where children can learn without fear of gun violence."

Beartooth frontman Caleb Shomo shared a widely viewed video of Steve Kerr, head coach of NBA team the Golden State Warriors, who used his team's post-match press conference to angrily denounce the inaction of US politicians in the wake of continuing gun violence in the States.

Meanwhile, Public Enemy's Chuck D noted on Twitter: "I’m just getting to todays news after a day of shutting off everything and this is fkn crazy. Here’s a land looked upon from the rest of the modern world as a gun laden asylum right now. A war in itself."

An 18-year-old suspect was shot dead at the scene.

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Simone Simons' message on her Instagram in response to the shooting

(Image credit: Simone Simons / Instagram)
Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.