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WACKEN OPEN AIR FESTIVALIf taking back our horns is the first step, the second has got to be the reestablishing of the proper usage of the Metal Horns.  There are definite limits to where they are allowed to be used.

First and foremost, the Metal Horns can and should be used at all heavy metal shows.  This is where they were first used and this is still where they are used best.  Whether they’re in the smallest clubs or biggest stadiums, this is the one place where the Horns can be thrown with abandon.  The more often the better.

Second...when listening to heavy metal music.  It’s the next best thing to being there and there is no reason that spontaneous throwing of the Metal Horns can’t be done along with the music...or at the very end as a sort of victory symbol.  Whether you driving in your car, out in a public place (even better actually), in your house or garage, alone or with friends, if the music is heavy...the Horns can be thrown!

Which brings me to “hard partyin’.”  Definitely a solid opportunity to whip out the Metal Horns and let ‘em fly.  Especially if it’s right after a metal concert!  Of course, heavy music should always be playing in all party situations.
The next scenario for acceptable Metal Horn use is in communication between headbangers.  It has often been said, a picture is worth a thousand words, and the Metal Horns fired off in the direction of a seemingly like minded individual, or individuals can say more in a instant about who you are or who you suspect they might be, than you could say over a beer or coffee.  If the Horns are returned, you have made an instant connection and potentially a friend for life (until you discuss specifically what type of metal you’re into and discover you’re nothing alike).  Now if the recipient of your gesture reels in horror at the Horns...even better.  With a gesture, you have determined that person is not someone you need associate yourself with.  Bonus.

When a headbanger’s back is against the wall, and he or she needs to show their “metal,” so to speak, it is the perfect time to throw the Horns.  With the exception of the middle finger, there is nothing that says defiance quite as well.  And while the middle finger can literally get you into more trouble, even arrested, the Horns, though infuriating to the recipient, are technically not illegal or morally offensive. (Though if your recipient is stronger than you, it could lead to a bigger ass kicking, but at least you’ll still have your metal pride.)
Other acceptable instances for a headbanger to throw the Horns are if you’re engaged in fast driving or motorcycle riding.  Motorcycle riding in and of itself is “metal” so speed does not matter (note: The term “motorcycle” does not include scooters, mopeds, electric carts for old people, Segways or any bike under 750 cc’s).  As far as cars go, except when driving a hot rod or muscle car, the Horns may not be thrown unless you are driving at an excessive rate of speed.  There is nothing less metal than a mini van filled with kids, obeying the posted speed limit...I don’t care what kind of music you’re blasting.

Now I’m not recommending, suggesting or even encouraging this next Metal Horn throwing opportunity, but if you do happen to get into any issue at all with John Law, the Metal Horns should definitely be considered an option.  This directly connects to both the defiance aspect of Metal Horn usage and the fast driving element as well.  I mean, a true metal head can’t be blasting down the highway with the music cranked and throwin’ the Horns out the window, then completely wimp out if he or she gets pulled over by the cops.  You gotta throw the Horns!  Of course the odds are this will infuriate the officer and worsen your situation, but once again...Metal Pride.
Ronnie James Dio
Lastly, the Metal Horns can be thrown in any of the previously mentioned situations if photos are being taken.  Our metal exploits must be well documented and sometimes the content of the photograph is not enough to reflect the metal moment that was.  Throwing the Horns in the shot will always relieve any possible misperceptions.

And it should go without saying, that none of the “do’s and don'ts’” of Metal Horn use apply to actual heavy metal rock stars.  They can (and should) throw them indiscriminately in any situation they want to.  It’s their metal god given right!  And if you’re Ronnie James Dio...feel free to walk around holding out the damn Horns like your waving a flag.  We owe it all to you, man.