In the extended video chat with Artisan News, Mustaine said: “From the outside it looks real simple: let something really bad happen with guns, and then we’ll get the American people to say, ‘We don’t want any more guns.’
“I have guns. I’m keeping my guns.
“We need to keep our arms because that’s how you keep government from overtaking the people. It’s part of our Constitution – we have to follow the law or we’re criminals.”
He compared himself to fellow controversial musician and arms enthusiast Ted Nugent, saying: “We’re not very similar, but we do have things in common. I try to be a little more hospitable with trying to explain stuff.”
Mustaine admitted he was worried about the future of his nation – but also queried whether anyone should listen to his opinions.
“If I say how I really feel people are going to not want to come see us in concert, not want to buy our records,” he reflected. “But I’ve been talking about how I feel about government since my first record. I don’t like government. The government works for us and I think people have forgotten that.
“I’m a musician. What I say about politics doesn’t matter at all. It matters to me in my little world, and who I vote for. I don’t think anyone should make their decisions based on what I say.
“What I think about the president and the job he’s doing –– does it really matter if I say how I really feel? I’m going to get blackballed, people are going to talk bad about me, my career’s going to suffer. That itself is a shame. Since when in America can’t you talk freely? Why should I have my business taken away from me because I don’t like something?
“I travel internationally a lot. They don’t know what it’s like to be sitting at a table in Paris and have someone say I hate Americans. And it’s not the American people – it’s the politicians.”
He distanced himself from both the Republican and Democrat parties, insisting he was his own man and adding: “instead of voting for the best man I have to vote for the lesser of two evils.”
He expressed bewilderment that former president Bill Clinton could have been impeached for “inappropriate behaviour with an intern” and yet much more serious allegations had been raised about the current administration and yet nothing had been done.
Mustaine said: “It’s so hard to say how I really feel. Right now, America, to me, seems like it’s become distracted. We’re so busy chasing the American dream that we’re not watching the politicians ‘lawyer away’ all those dreams we have.
“It’s funny to think that one disgruntled person can make enough noise to have things that are part of the foundation of our country taken away from us. It’s because the majority are like, ‘I don’t have time to sit in a line, sign a protest, call my congressman…’”