Few musicians understand the fear of armed attacks better than Jesse Hughes, who was performing with his band Eagles of Death Metal in Paris when terrorists stormed the Bataclan theater in 2015, killing 89 at the venue and a total of 130.
Not many musicians have been as outspoken against gun control either, and Hughes confirmed that reputation on Sunday when he verbally attacked protesters who marched in Saturday's national March for Our Lives initiative.
Writing a caption alongside an unprintable comic he posted on Instagram, Hughes characterized the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., as "pathetic and disgusting" for what he claimed was "exploiting the death ... of our fellow students for a few Facebook likes and some media attention."
He went on: "As the survivor of a mass shooting I can tell you from first-hand experience that all of you protesting and taking days off from school insult the memory of those who were killed and abuse and insult me and every other lover of liberty by your every action."
This isn't the first time Hughes has drawn controversy. In a 2016 interview about the Bataclan massacre with Vice magazine co-founder and right-wing firebrand Gavin McInnes, Hughes claimed to have seen "Muslims celebrating in the street during the attack. I saw it with my own eyes. In real time! How did they know what was going on?"
Hughes' Instagram post over the weekend drew immediate condemnation in the comments section. "Jesse, you can have your views, you've earned them, but there is absolutely no need to disparage those who've also gone through the same thing and have different views. This post is pretty disappointing," one commenter remarked.
Added another: "[You're] down one more fan my friend, good luck."
The Los Angeles Times has reached out to Hughes' representatives for comment, but has yet to hear back.
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