Music

Eminem's Latest Music Video Mixes a Graphic Reenactment of Las Vegas Shooting With a Sappy Call for Gun Control

The song and music video amount to grotesque, self-obsessed celebrity activism.

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If you like graphic reenactments of mass shootings, gun control, and rap, Eminem's latest offering might just be for you.

Just after midnight, the Detroit rapper released a music video for his new song "Darkness" which portrays the 2017 Las Vegas shooting from the perspective of Stephen Paddock, who fatally shot 58 people attending a country music concert from his Mandalay Bay hotel room.

The video cuts between shots of Eminem rapping to the camera and a solitary Paddock, quaffing pills and alcohol before opening fire on the crowd below, and then ultimately killing himself as police burst through the door.

The lyrics transition (less than) seamlessly between a narration of Paddock's final thoughts and overt messages about gun control, with lines like:

Finger on the trigger, but I'm a licensed owner
With no prior convictions, so loss, the sky's the limit
So my supplies infinite, strapped like I'm a soldier

This heavy-handed message is reinforced at the end of the video when we see the rapper watching TV news about gun violence before he words "When will this end? When enough people care" appear on the screen. This is all capped off with an explicit exhortation to register to vote and "help change gun laws in America." The webpage for the music video on Eminimen's website also includes links to a number of gun control organizations.

The message for viewers is that if only they cared as much as Eminem and voted to make gun laws more restrictive, these atrocities would stop happening. Yet, mass shootings don't continue to happen because Americans are fine with them. Mass shootings happen for the same reasons that most types of illegal violence happen, which is that twisted people are not easily deterred by laws and regulations.

And despite what gun controllers might say, there does not exist a handful of common-sense policies we can just adopt to stop these atrocities from reoccurring.

As Eminem's song notes, there was nothing in Paddock's background that would have flagged him as a person who would go on to be a mass murderer. The existence of would-be shooters who do not raise red flags with people in a position to stop them before they kill has led gun control advocates to argue that legislators should limit the types and number of weapons available to people, or pass blanket restrictions on everyone's right to own firearms.

Yet mass shooters are often able to kill a lot of people with simple handguns and shotguns, not just so-called "weapons of war." It's true Paddock had 24 guns with him, some of which were equipped with bump stocks—a hack that increases a weapon's rate of fire at the expense of its accuracy. Yet he was also in a locked hotel room above a dense crowd of unsuspecting people, and he ceased shooting over an hour before police stormed his hotel room. It's entirely possible he could've killed and injured nearly as many people using guns that would remain legal under most of the gun control schemes that were proposed following his rampage.

What's more, the emotionalism and policy action that Eminem says is missing from our reaction to these violent incidents was, in fact, on full display after the Vegas shooting, with the Trump administration issuing a legally dubious ban on bump stocks.

Perhaps what the rap artist wants then is an O'Rourkian mass confiscation of firearms, so that no one can own any weapon of consequence.

That preference presents a whole host of other civil liberties issues that Eminem's fellow rappers seem to grasp much better: firearms are an effective tool for self-defense, particularly against the biggest gang in town, and laws that restrict them create more opportunities for racist police harassment and abuse.

"The right to bear arms is because that's the last form of defense against tyranny. Not to hunt. It's to protect yourself from the police," said rapper Ice-T in a 2012 interview with the New York Sun.

Or as Killer Mike said on Bill Mahar's show in 2018, "African-Americans to align themselves with the gun-law lobby stop and have a conversation with your allies and say this: these laws are going to affect us worse and they are going to affect us first."

America has a constitutionally protected right to gun ownership, and infringing on that right requires infringing on our rights to due process and to not be subjected to unreasonable searches and seizures. That nuance is absent from Eminem's "Darkness" video.

Music is a powerful thing. Following a mass shooting, it can tell the stories of victims, provide catharsis for those who survive, and maybe even provide an emotional outlet for people otherwise tempted to commit violent acts. But we don't see that in the video for "Darkness." The victims of the Las Vegas shooting get little attention, save for a brief montage of faces toward the end of the video. Focusing on Paddock's own psychodrama and then illustrating that with flashy first-person shots of him blasting away does more to sensationalize than to condemn him.

Here's the full video:

NEXT: The Impeachment End Game, II

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  1. No one cares about Eminem.

    Report on what is happening in Virginia.

    Get your shit together.

    1. Seriously.
      Reason hits a new low every day.
      Gun control article about fn eminem, while silence on Ds declaring martial law in VA to disarm citizens.
      What a bunch of water carrying pieces of shit.

    2. Exactly.

      We can talk about guns when Eminem raps about them, but not when the State is declaring a state of emergency over peaceful protest.

      They’ve threatened to use the National Guard for fucks sake, who gives a fuck about a music video.

    3. I think they should continue to not say anything about it just to piss you off.

      Besides, who gives a shit about the opinion of a bunch of useless progs that write for a garbage website? Right?

      1. Besides, who gives a shit about the opinion of a bunch of useless progs that write for a garbage website?

        Masochists, apparently. That being said, even just a mention of the situation in VA in the roundup would be nice.

    1. Calling the people responsible for 19 years dopes seems mild.

    2. This is the guy that Reason (lite) says is a warmonger:
      “One example given is that he heard the word “base” during the lesson, which sparked him into launching a tirade about how “crazy” and “stupid” it was that the U.S. paid to build and maintain bases overseas.

      His first grievance was reportedly against South Korea, when he suggested charging rent for a $10 billion missile-defense system the U.S. built there to protect South Korea and American troops. He then complained about NATO, saying it was in “arrears” to the U.S. for not spending enough money on defense—a complaint he’s repeatedly raised during his presidency.”

      1. “Trump is then said to have complained about President Barack Obama’s Iranian nuclear deal, and the length of the war in Afghanistan. Each time, his generals reportedly tried to gently explain why his view of these complex geopolitical issues might not be entirely accurate. It was reportedly during a conversation about Afghanistan that Trump blew his top.

        The president reportedly called Afghanistan a “loser war,” and told his military leaders: “You’re all losers… You don’t know how to win anymore… I want to win… We don’t win any wars anymore… We spend $7 trillion, everybody else got the oil and we’re not winning anymore.” It’s reported that Trump was so angry at this point that he wasn’t breathing properly.

        In his most incendiary comment, Trump—a man who, remember, managed to get out of military duty in Vietnam due to a supposed bone-spur problem—is said to have told the assembled forces, “I wouldn’t go to war with you people… You’re a bunch of dopes and babies.”

        Trump’s right

  2. its questionable if the Las Vegas shooter actually acted alone, to many questions not answered by to many people

  3. Good for Eminem. I appreciate celebrities who have the courage to advocate social change. Because as longtime libertarian activist Michael Hihn has explained, supporting comprehensive gun safety legislation is actually the correct libertarian position.

    #LibertariansForGunSense

    1. I’m bored. What this site needs today is a good ol’ Hihnfection.

      1. See the impeachment threads

        1. Hihnsanity!

    2. Yeah, real libertarian.

  4. did Marshall make sure all Dre’s guns are registered?

    1. See below, dude was convicted specifically because he didn’t make sure the gun that he hit someone with in public was registered.

      It’s like David Duke releasing a PSA that says people should try to avoid inciting a riot.

    2. Getting a gun control rant from a drug addict with multiple assault arrests, and a few convictions, is a bit much. Though I agree that Marshall Mathers shouldn’t be allowed to own guns.

      Though if his music causes more previously unknown revelations about the massacre to be uncovered, good for him.

  5. If you think this TDS is bad you should read Suderman and Dalmia.

    At least Eminem creates original content to go with his leftist drivel

  6. So does Enema have armed bodyguards? I suspect he does. Yeah, I know: “that’s different!”

  7. Remember when Eminem pistol whipped a guy and pleaded ‘No contest’ to carrying a concealed weapon without a permit?

    Neither do I.

    Remember later, when he rapped about it in a couple of songs?

    Neither do I.

    1. Sorry, missed your post about it. I added link, so 🙂

  8. Someone doesn’t want the ladies to have a level playing field against the back of his hand.

    1. Hypothetical Kim might still be alive if she’d have had a lyrical firearm.

      1. You literally made me spit out my coffee on that retort.

  9. I didn’t even have to use my AK. Today was a good day.

    1. AK, Boomer.

    2. Lakers beat the SuperSonics.

      1. Get me on the court and I’m trouble
        Last week fucked around and got a triple double

        1. Even saw the lights of the Goodyear Blimp
          And it read, “Ice Cube’s a pimp”

  10. Didnt Eminem plead guilty to illegal weapon possession years ago?

    Yup. 2001, he pistol whipped some person kissing his now ex-wife.
    The rapper pled guilty to the concealed weapons count on February 14th. In exchange, prosecutors dismissed a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon

    Always chasing that fake street cred Marshall Bruce Mathers III.

    1. So I crunch rhymes, but sometimes when you combine
      Appeal with the skin color of mine
      You get too big and here they come trying to
      Censor you like that one line I said on “I’m Back” from the Mathers LP
      One when I tried to say “I’ll take seven kids from Columbine
      Put ’em all in a line, add an AK-47, a revolver and a nine”

      -“Rap God” by Eminem, 2013

  11. Eminem? Figures. I heard he flunked out of the 8th grade several times before he became a rap star.

  12. Just another self-absorbed hollywood brat.

  13. Will Smith don’t gotta cuss in his raps to sell records;
    Well I do, so fuck him and fuck you too

    1. I preferred Eminem when he was rapping “about homosexuals and Vicodin.” His demo certainly is (or at least, wasn’t) so sophistically leftist as he has become.

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  16. I always wondered about singers why they never care students nither they sing a song for students nor colleges i think students are getting burdened day by day due to homework who will do a burdened of work. but I love Eminem

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