In the wake of tragic school shootings such as the Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre, rap mogul T.I. still hasn’t softened his stance on gun ownership. In an interview with Reuters, rap mogul Tip “T.I.” Harris discussed his upcoming role in a comedy film, “Identity Thief”; his current album, Trouble Man; and his plans to use social media to stay relevant. But it’s his views on gun control that’s getting the most attention on the blogs. In response to a question about gun ownership, T.I. said “Having a firearm is just as common as having bottled water” and “bullets are just as common as sticks of gum.”
REUTERS: With gun control being a hot-button topic today, and with your own experiences with firearms, what are your thoughts on gun ownership?
TIP: “I can’t possess a firearm (due to previous convictions), so whether they make them illegal or not is gonna be the same thing for me. But I see a need for them. I’ve been in circumstances where I’ve had them every day and nothing happened. I’ve been in circumstances where I didn’t have them, and I needed them. In certain areas of society, having a firearm is just as common as having bottled water.”
Q: In what way?
A: “If you’re a shopkeeper, a barbershop owner, a convenience store owner and you handle cash in and out of this area, if everyone knows that you don’t have a firearm, then you are basically prey. In these areas, bullets are just as common as sticks of gum, you know what I’m saying? So I think I speak for those people.”
Q: You’ve just released your eighth album, “Trouble Man II: He Who Wears the Crown.” You also have a your own urban fashion line, A.K.O.O. What else do you need to check off your to-do list?
A: “Just to remain relevant and meaningful to the cool young consumer of today. The cool kids are out there being admired by others in their peer group, so you want to find ways to continue to put yourself on their minds.”
Q: How do you do that?
A: “(Social media) is a big aspect for those kids. … So with Instagram, if you take pictures it has to be a picture worthy of showing. If you say something on Twitter, it has to be something that’s worthy of listening to.”
T.I. is welcome to his opinions, but it’s been a while — well, probably never — since a bottle of water or a sticks of gum killed anyone. The problem is that these weapons of mass destruction are too readily available in our society.