Gun song triggers concerns

"All the other kids with the pumped-up kicks, You better run, better run, outrun my gun. All the other kids with the pumped-up kicks, You better run, better run, faster than my bullet."
Dec 31, 2012


These lyrics are from a song titled “Pumped Up Kicks” by the pop band Foster the People. The song was written, according to lead singer Mark Foster, to bring awareness to the issue of gun violence against youth.

If you didn’t know that, it would be easy to misconstrue the meaning of the refrain of the song — especially in light of the recent school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

The song seems especially inappropriate for a school function, yet those chilling verses — “You better run, better run, outrun my gun … You better run, better run, faster than my bullet” — echoed throughout the gymnasium at Mona Shores High School prior to the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame girls basketball tournament last week.

It seems a terribly inappropriate choice of music to play less than a week after 20 young children were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The song talks of a troubled youth, "Robert," who “found a six-shooter gun in his dad’s closet, with the box of fun things.”

The band’s claim that the song is meant to bring awareness to violence — as opposed to promoting it — seems legitimate. One of the band members was bullied during his time in school, and another has a close relative who survived the school shooting in Columbine, Colo.

But to play this song at a school function is unforgivable.

It speaks to a larger problem that school administrators face every day. Many kids on athletic teams listen to music that is entirely inappropriate. They then want that music blared over the loud speakers as they warm up for their football, soccer, basketball or volleyball contest.

Coaches and administrators must be diligent in monitoring these songs. Music that an 18-year-old high school senior listens to with his or her friends is not appropriate for the elementary school students sitting next to mom and dad prior to a ballgame.

And at no time should music with lyrics that could be misconstrued as promoting gun violence ever be played at a school.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



This song has been out for nearly two years! And now, it's big news. Time for media to wake up!

Walking Alive

You missed the point. Learn to read the article b4 you knee jerk. They played the crap at a school gymnasium filled with families. I guess anything goes for an 18 yo., but there is peace in restraint. Believe me, teenagers know NOTHING, but think they have the world by the cohos. Time for a true ADULT to take over the sound system at that school.


I did read the article. It was played at a basketball tournament. It does not say amything about families complaining or the age of the sound system operator! One person, the writer of this biased article, was offended at the time.
My POINT is blaming the media for bringing this song up now. It was a song that needed to be stopped when it was released. I don't agree with the song, I thought it was horrible the first time I heard it. Songs are not the problem, letting kids set and shoot/cut/kill people in video games for hours on end is. How many of our/your kids got video games like that over the past decade??? So, before you KNEE JERK...


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