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Marilyn Manson Courts Controversy With Fake Gun In Stage Return

SAN BERNARDINO, CA (CelebrityAccess) — Rocker Marilyn Manson returned to the stage over the weekend, performing at the Ozzfest Meets Knotfest festival in San Bernardino, CA on Sunday.

The show marked the first performance for Manson since he suffered a serious on-stage injury after he was pinned underneath a toppled piece of stage set at Hammerstein Ballroom in New York on Sept 30th and saw Manson performing in a leg cast and from a wheel chair.

Manson took the opportunity to court controversy and his performance on Sunday included a mock assault rifle that he pointed at the audience. The prop, which included orange safety caps on the barrel, was also affixed with a microphone that Manson used during the show.

Some observers, including the San Bernardino Sun, thought the stunt was tasteless, particularly as it was employed on the same day as a deadly mass shooting in Texas,and according to the Sun, some members of the crowd described the gun stunt as 'lame.

Manson, however, defended his stage art, and in a statement released after the performance, he said:

"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. 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. 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."