Anti-Flag have released an official statement in response to allegations that their music inspired Arizona shooting suspect Jared Lee Loughner. The 22-year-old opened fire on a crowd while trying to assassinate U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords earlier this month. Six victims died and 13 more were injured. A former classmate of Loughner’s was quoted as saying,
[Loughner] was a pot head & into rock like Hendrix, The Doors, Anti-Flag. I haven’t seen him in person since ’07.
Anti-Flag express firm opposition to Loughner’s actions and assert that their message has always been one of peace. The statement says,
For well over a decade Anti-Flag has endorsed non-violent progressive change and has lobbied for peace, equality, justice, and health care (including mental health care) for all people of America and the world. Anti-Flag unconditionally condemns the heinous actions of Mr. Loughner and our heartfelt condolences and best wishes go out to every single person affected by Mr. Loughner’s senseless act of violence. Our message is and always has been very clear, violence in any form is unacceptable.