I have been a Pearl Jam fan since the early 90’s. I’ve seen countless shows. I’ve spent gobs of money buying PJ’s albums. I’ve written glowing reviews of documentaries about the band. I’ve found ways to promote its videos through my blog. And so, I find it rather odd that Eddie Vedder goes out of his way to say incredibly mean things about me, my friends and all the other Pearl Jam fans out there who also happen to be staunch defenders of the Second Amendment.
Here is what Mr. Vedder said in an interview with professional surfer Mark Richards:
“I get so angry that I almost wish bad things upon these people,” Vedder said. “But I don’t have to because it seems like they happen anyways. It seems like every week I’m reading about a 4-year-old either shooting their sister, their dad, their dog, their brother or themselves, because there’s fucking guns laying around. But I guess it’s ‘fun.'”
Break down Vedder’s logic, and what you get is a man who is so angry that he can’t even see how twisted he is. “I don’t have to” wish sorrow and misery upon people who disagree with me because there are enough bad things already happening to them that I can sit back and stew in my schadenfreude with like-minded surfers. Vedder essentially admits that dying children are a sick salve that soothes his inner frustration and prevents his mind from traveling down darker roads of intention.
If the members of Pearl Jam really want to change minds, do they think Eddie Vedder musing on the “bad things” that he “almost” wants to happen to gun owners will accomplish that goal? Is “almost” wishing pain and misery on someone like being “almost” pregnant? One could argue that divorce wreaks more havoc on society’s children than hand guns ever will, but I would never “almost” wish that upon those who I disagree with on social issues.
Perhaps even more bizarre is that Mr. Vedder can not see that his opposition to guns might stem from his own personal demons; he wants laws meant for mentally unstable individuals that he would apply to himself to now apply to an entire population of law-abiding Americans.
“If I didn’t have music to kind of at least get some of the aggression out or take the edge off, you wouldn’t want me having a gun either.”
Now we get to the heart of the matter: Eddie Vedder doesn’t trust himself with a gun. He has weird aggression issues, so the rest of us should pay the price with thousands of new local, state and federal regulations to pile on top of the thousands that are already in existence.
Question for Mr. Vedder: Are guns or NSA programs supported by gun-control advocate Sen. Diane Feinstein more dangerous to the nation? I would argue that the woman who a.) wants to limit access to guns on a large scale while b.) simultaneously arguing that she must spy on innocent Americans because they “might” become a terrorist “in the future,” deserves more of Pearl Jam’s attention than me — the former Army guy who loves his country and believes in the rule of law.
Finally, I’ll refrain from commenting at length about Mr. Vedder’s assertion that “90%” of the population want new gun laws, when it can be debunked with one question: “How many politicians do you know who would vote against a bill that 90% of their constituents supported?”
I really wanted to get excited about Pearl Jam’s new album. I was hoping to catch a show with my brother or my wife. Since Eddie Vedder had decided that needlessly alienating long-time fans is going to be a part of his promotional strategy, I think I’ll be sitting this one out. Sad.