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Linkin Park's Chester Bennington Responds to Arizona Shooting

Following Saturday's tragic attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' life that claimed the lives of six people and wounded several others in Tucson, Arizona, this has been a time for all people of all stripes to think hard about the implications of words and actions.

County Grind is not a political blog, by any means, but I did have a unique opportunity Monday to open up a line of dialogue with Linkin Park vocalist Chester Bennington, who was born in Arizona, and has spent a good portion of his life there. Most of the conversation centered around the typical topics -- the band's latest album, and opening its North American tour in South Florida next week -- but at the end, I decided to ask Bennington to reflect on a tragedy that hit close to his home. Although our time was up, he insisted to stick around and make a statement -- one that turned out to be quite moving -- which we have printed below.

New Times: Did you want to say something about the situation in Arizona, with the tragic shooting?



Chester Bennington: "I admit I don't watch the news very often. I knew she got shot, but I don't know the reasons why behind it. We live in a crazy world. There's no explanation for it. I personally feel that violence and war and murder are primitive, and I think that we've evolved as a species beyond that. Unfortunately some people still feel that's a means to an end.

"Peace and love and communication are the way that we all resolve our issues with each other. There's a non-violent way to express yourself and get your point across -- regardless of what you're saying or what your point is. In a free society, people have a right to believe whatever they want to believe. That's their business and they can speak their mind.

"But nobody, even in a free society, has the right to take another person's life. Ever. That's something that we really need to move beyond."



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