OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 31: NBA analyst Charles Barkley of TNT rides onto the set in Thunder Alley on a hose before the San Antonio Spurs take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 31, 2012 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. (Credit: Getty Images)
Reacting to Bob Costas' controversial halftime gun control lecture on Sunday night, retired NBA all-star Charles Barkley (and outspoken Republican critic and Obama supporter) said he carries "a real gun" because he feels "safer with it."
Barkley, appearing on "Costas Tonight," said he doesn't think the nation has a "gun culture" but rather a "crime culture" especially "in the black community."
"You know, we as black people always, we don't have respect for one another. You know, we've got more black men in prison than we do in college and crime in our neighborhoods is running rampant," Barkley said. "And I know everybody reacts when something like the Belcher thing happens, but being black, this is something you deal with all the time. And it's just sad. I'm a guy, I carry a gun. I carry a gun."
Costas then pointed out that Barkley lives in Arizona where he can "legally carry a gun."
"Even when I lived in Philadelphia, I've had a gun, I've carried a gun in my car every year in my life since I was 21, 22. Never had to use it," Barkley added.
"Are you packing right now?" Costas asked jokingly. "Just being sure."
"No, no no. I can beat you and John," the Hall-of-Famer replied.
Like many responsible gun owners, Barkley went on to explain that he hopes he never has to use his gun, but having it makes him feel "safer" and gives him a "sense of peace."
"I just feel safer with it because we have jocks who get robbed all the time," he said. "Road rage and things like that, I feel a sense of peace when I have it when me. But it would take extreme circumstances for me to even touch it."
Watch the clip via NBC below:
Tennis great John McEnroe disagreed with Barkley, saying he feels safer without having a gun. He then praised New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for trying to get as many guns off the street as possible.
Barkley was unmoved and said it was his "personal choice."
"I just feel safer with it," he reiterated.
Featured image via AP
(H/T: Fox Nation)