Rapper turnt documentarian Ice T waded into the gun control debate–or perhaps lack of debate–with his comments to the UK press yesterday. Speaking to Channel 4 London’s Krishnan Guru-Murthy Ice essentially joined ranks with Mike Huckabee, the NRA and others on the right who have resisted any attempt to make a linkage between lax gun control laws and tragedies like the one which occurred in an Aurora, Colorado movie theatre on the opening night of new Batman epic The Dark Knight Rises. As excerpted on the Meditate blog, Ice energetically denied any link between gun rights and the Colorado shooting:
“It’s legal in the United States,” the rapper said. “The right to bear arms is because that’s the last form of defense against tyranny. Not to hunt. It’s to protect yourself from the police.”
“And do you see any link between that and this sort of instance?” Guru-Murthy challenged.
“No. Not really,” Ice-T responded. “If somebody wants to kill people, they don’t need a gun to do it.”
“Makes it easier though, doesn’t it?” the host pushed back.
“Not really. You can strap explosives on your body. They do that all the time.”
As Meditate correctly points out, that argument (as far as it goes) strongly echoes the comments of Alan Gura, the lawyer who argued for the gun-owners in the Supreme Court’s McDonald v. Chicago case:
“No criminal is going to say, I was gonna hold up that liquor store, I was gonna hold up that couple in the park, but I couldn’t get the permit to get the gun, so I’ll give up.”
However, since the essence of Ice’s argument seems to be that we need guns to shoot back at the police (he went on to quote from the “you’re never going to have justice on stolen land” portion of KRS-One‘s “Sound of Da Police“–perhaps a more moderate choice than his own “Cop Killer” anthem with Body Count!) it seems unlikely that he’ll receive much in the way of reciprocation from his fellow gun-rights advocates on the right.
Ice’s position–tied as it is to the tradition of self-defense in the black nationalist mode championed by Malcolm X–seems to complicate the problem, at least as it fits into the usual red-state/blue-state talking points. But I’m going to go ahead and speak for myself and call bullsh*t on him. To say that gun control will deter gun purchases by law-abiding citizens but not the illegal gun trade ignores the reality that lax gun laws make it easy to purchase weapons in some states and transport them to other locales which apparently have a higher supply of people that need to get shot–notably New York and my hometown of Detroit. I’m sure somebody on here will take up the Malcolm/KRS side of the debate so I will let this conversation move to its natural habitat in the comments section, and just add a few choice quotes from other rap-dudes (after the jump) weighing in on the Colorado shootings, for use as you know what.
“Rappers: Please don’t reference the tragedy in Aurora in ya fake gangster songs. That’s considered hoe shit. The OG has spoken. Carry on.” -Bun B via twitter
“It’s getting a lot of attention. But, I also hope that, as much attention that the media is giving that tragedy, they’re doing the same in New Orleans, and they’re doing the same in New York, and they’re doing the same in Chicago. That’s happening every weekend. Not at the movies; just every weekend. Twenty people are getting killed here. Fifteen people are getting killed here. It’s happening weekly—and you don’t hear about that at all.” - Lupe Fiasco, speaking to JAM’N 94.5.
“He think he in a movie. As I watch him sit in the courtroom…now he dazed. With all the pictures that was leading up to the event he was smiling and doing this and that and now you dazed. Yeah, don’t be dazed now. We need you to be focused when this come down on you.” – Rick Ross, speaking to KMEL.