Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider Reveals if He Would Support ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ as Anti-Assault Weapon Anthem
The Twisted Sister anthem "We're Not Gonna Take It" has been co-opted for a number of campaigns and causes over the years, sometimes with and sometimes without the approval of the band. But with another school shooting in Nashville making headlines this week, frontman Dee Snider answered a fan on Twitter who suggested using the song as an anthem for an assault weapons ban campaign.
Snider remains one of the more active musicians on Twitter, interacting with his fans, and when one recently suggested, "Dee, if we organize and demand an assault weapons ban, may we use your anthem?," the singer responded, "I am a gun owner ... that said, HELL YEAH YOU CAN USE 'WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT' AS YOUR ANTHEM!"
Snider continued, "Assault weapons were never meant for anything but combat!"
Gun control remains a major and often times divisive issue in the U.S., so it's not a surprise that Snider's comments yielded a wealth of response from his Twitter followers on both sides of the issue and some debating what exactly constitutes an assault weapon.
Snider even answered some of the comments, with the singer telling one fan, "Assault weapons are for people who can't aim." He later went into more detail with other followers about the guns that he and his wife own.
Dee Snider Has Weighed in on Gun Control Previously
This is far from the first time that Snider has weighed in on the issue of gun control. In 2019, after mass shootings in Texas and Ohio over a short period, Snider engaged in a lengthy social media discussion.
"I am 'gunned up.' (My wife says that I'm too gunned up). I feel i am prepared for any emergency situation that might arise. I do not own an assault rifle or automatic weapon," he told one Twitter follower. He later added, "All I know is being from New York the laws there are so strict it made it very difficult for me to get every gun that I have. I HATED the process...but it things like that make it more difficult for assholes to gun up, then so be it."
"Case in point: El Paso. In a crowded Walmart in an open carry/conceal carry city & NOBODY was able to stop that asshole. He walked into an armed Texas town and had his way with a store full of people. And you gotta admit it sucks our kids need to be trained for active shooters. Using an AK or AR is like shooting fish in a barrel. The skill level required to inflict catastrophic damage with them is minimal (from experience at a range). Handguns require marksmanship. At least unarmed victims would stand a reasonable chance of getting away. #sadbuttrue
Then, in 2021, after mass shootings in Georgia and Colorado, Snider was once again openly discussing guns on social media. The singer called out politician and pro-gun activist Lauren Boebert, responding to one of her tweets to start his discussion. Boebert had tweeted, "The people who think we need more gun control are the same people who think the 'AR' in 'AR-15' stands for assault rifle," to which Snider replied, "I thought it stood for "You AR a fucking idiot!" - sincerely, Dee Snider. Proud gun owner, 2nd amendment advocate AND BELIEVER IN INTELLIGENT GUN CONTROL!!! If you need an AR-15 for self defense...you are a terrible shot."
READ MORE: 20 Artists Who Told Politicians to Stop Using Their Music
Dee Snider Has Supported and Criticized Past Uses of "We're Not Gonna Take It"
With a song as defiant and with as strong a message as "We're Not Gonna Take It" has, it's become a go-to anthem for plenty of political campaigns, social causes and other issues. But Snider has not always agreed with how it is being used, and he's not been afraid to speak his mind when he's taken issue with the song's usage.
In 2016, Snider recorded an acoustic version of the song to support music industry workers that were seeking fair compensation. That same year, the band privately asked Donald Trump to stop using the song as he campaigned for president.
In 2019, he threw his support behind pro-choice politicians that wanted to use the track. That same year, Twisted Sister took legal action against Australian politician Clive Palmer who re-wrote the track for usage in his ads to re-enter Australian parliament. Palmer was ordered to pay $1.5 million Australian dollars ($1.1 million U.S. equivalent) for the infraction.
Just last year, he said he would approve of Ukrainians who wanted to adopt the song as their anthem as they fought against Russia. And he shared his support of a protest in New York's Times Square in July 2022 opposing cell phone plan rate hikes.
The vocalist also shared his dismay at far-right politicians campaigning with the song in 2022, but added that he wouldn't stop them from doing so noting that he had written the song to be designed for everyone. "I can't cherry pick who can & can not sing it."
The comment was made in reference to Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, but he then endorsed one of Lake's challengers suggesting the politician use the song with his blessing. He also later called out MAGA politicians and Qanon conspiracy theorists, explaining in a heated tweet, "Every time you sing 'We're Not Gonna Take It' remember it was written by a cross-dressing, libtard, tree hugging half-Jew who HATES everything you stand for. It was you and people like you that inspired every angry word of that song! SO FUCK OFF!"