U2 TACKLE FIREARMS ISSUES

The band have been quoting the NRA president's views on firearms control from the stage in the US...

U2 have declared war on Hollywood legend CHARLTON HESTON over his views on gun control.

The Irish four-piece have got the ‘Ben Hur’ and ‘Ten Commandments’ star in their sights due to his position as president of America’s powerful gun lobby, the National Rifle Association.

During their current ‘Elevation’ tour of North America, the band have been showing footage of the screen legend defending his views on firearms as a somewhat sarcastic introduction to their song ‘Bullet The Blue Sky’.

Heston’s comments are used as a stark contrast to a clearly anti-gun film that features documentary footage of gun and war violence and plays on video screens behind the band while they perform the popular song from ‘The Joshua Tree’.

During the segment, Heston, a staunch defender of the US Constitution’s Second Amendment which allows citizens the “right to bear arms” is seen saying: “There are no good guns. There are no bad guns. Any gun in the hands of a bad man is a bad thing. Any gun in the hands of a good person is no threat to anybody, except bad people.”

This is followed by stark footage of a small child playing with a gun and violent scenes from Vietnam and other conflicts.

U2 are currently 11 dates into a 50-date North American tour which started in Miami on March 24 and will see them visiting 32 cities in the US and Canada before concluding in New Jersey on June 22.

Although the ‘Bullet The Blue Sky’ introduction was warmly applauded by fans at the Tacoma Dome, just outside Seattle on Thursday (April 12), it may not play quite so well in the American south or mid-west.

While no one could be contacted for comment at the NRA’s head office, due to the Easter Holiday, a staff member said he was sure they would be “very happy” to comment on the issue next week.

The Elevation 2001 tour is U2’s first major outing in four years. Following the North American leg the band will start a European jaunt on July 6 in Copenhagen. The UK leg comprises eight dates, starting at the MEN Arena in Manchester on August 11, concluding with a four-date stand at Earl’s Court.

The tour, during which the band will perform 80 dates to an estimated two million people, wraps up at Slane Castle on August 25.