Political Animal


December 18, 2012 6:03 PM It’ll do you damage, it’ll do you harm

By Kathleen Geier

One of the greatest of the British post-punk bands, Gang of Four, had a song about the Armalite rifle. Someone reminded me of it, in the wake of the awful news about Newtown, and the fact that the killer used an AR-15 Bushmaster to commit the massacre.

The song is posted below. I’m sharing it to commemorate a great band, and to protest a heinous crime against the humanity of us all.

Kathleen Geier is a writer and public policy researcher who lives in Chicago. She blogs at Inequality Matters. Find her on Twitter: @Kathy_Gee


  • Nal on December 18, 2012 6:29 PM:

    The killer used a Bushmaster .223, not an AR-15.

  • c u n d gulag on December 18, 2012 6:48 PM:

    Jayzoos H. Keerist, waking up like Rumplestiltskin after a multi-decade nap - The Gang of Four!!!

    Another great song of theirs was, "Love Will Get You Like A Case of Anthrax."

    I saw them in some Punk club in the Village back in the late 70's!
    They were great!
    Now, where was it? CBGB's, The Palladium, The Roseland Ballroom? Aargh! I can't remember.

    Thanks, Kathleen!
    You brought back a long, long, forgotten memory - just not all of it.

  • joyzeeboy on December 18, 2012 8:11 PM:

    I LOVE the Gang! I saw them 5 or 6 times, a few at King Tuts in Trenton, once in New Brunswick, I was hooked when the first fuzzed out cord of Paralyzed was played.

  • suitworld on December 18, 2012 9:16 PM:

    Great song, great band. Joyzeeboy--I was probably at King Tut's with you at some point (old friends of mine, Regressive Aid, opened at one of those). I am getting a little tired of fielding weird pro-gun arguments online, but rebutting on I go.

  • Geds on December 19, 2012 10:33 AM:

    Nal: The killer used a Bushmaster .223, not an AR-15.

    The Bushmaster .223 is an AR-15. The AR-15 is simply the name given to the civilian version of the M-16 assault rifle. The platform is licensed to a large number of different weapons manufacturers who then build and sell their own version.

    Bushmaster, for the record, is basically the Wal-Mart grade of AR-15 manufacturer. There are an awful lot of Bushmaster .223s floating around out there. I went with a friend to a gun shop once and witnessed him purchasing one. I later put a couple magazines through it.

  • joyzeeboy on December 27, 2012 12:12 PM:

    Suitworld, if you saw Regressive Aid then you and I definitely were in the same space MANY times.
    I will to the same high school as Billy Tucker.
    It was at a show where RA was an opening act that I got hooked on the Gang. When the first fuzzed notes of Paralyzed were played I was HOOKED.