Following the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colo., where lone gunman James Holmes opened fire on a movie theater, killing 12 people and wounding 50, the debate over gun control has once again been thrust into the forefront of American politics. He reportedly used an AR-15 assault rifle, a .40 cal Glock handgun and a 12 gauge shotgun to carry out the killings.
Some have argued that the country's gun laws helped Holmes carry out his killing spree and those on the hard Left have even called for an outright ban on assault weapons.
Others, though, have defended the gun rights of Americans, cautioning Americans against blaming a lack of gun laws before a motive in the case is even determined. One of those people, believe it or not, is rapper and actor Ice-T.
Talking with Channel 4 London's Krishnan Guru-Murthy just hours after the news of the shooting began to surface, the legendary rapper shot down claims that the Aurora tragedy should be linked to gun rights.
"I'd give up my gun when everybody else does," Ice-T 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 these sort of incidents?" Guru-Murthy asked.
"No. Not really," the rapper added. "If somebody wants to kill people, you know, they don’t need a gun to do it."
"Makes it easier though, doesn’t it?" the host said.
"Not really. You can strap explosives on your body. They do that all the time."
Ice-T said the anti-gun lobby is not going to be able to change America's gun laws as a result of the Aurora shooting. He argues America is "based" on guns and "it's not going to change."
As Mediaite points out:
This sounds a lot like a quote from 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.”
Ice’s comments ring particularly true when you think of the unintended consequences of prohibitions of any kind. Strict laws aimed at ridding the streets of recreational drugs, adult prostitution, and gun possession are all well-intentioned, but they ignore the economics of prohibition: most law-abiding citizens are deterred by strict laws, but the people who put a higher premium on possessing those illicit goods will find a way around the law.
When someone is as hell-bent on massacring people at a movie theater as the Aurora gunman was, it is safe to assume they would have gone as far as needed to obtain the proper weapons for such a murderous toll. If not guns, perhaps explosives; if not explosives, perhaps other means of chaos.
Watch Ice-T's segment with Channel 4 London here: