All across the nation, people from all walks of life are still reeling from the mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school last Friday. During a recent interview with MTV's RapFix Live, T.I., who was sharing a couch with his Grand Hustle artist and recent survivor of gun violence Trae the Truth, shared his thoughts on the tragedy.
"It was tragic. You cannot be a human being with a heart that pumps blood and not feel somethin' about that," he said.
Reflecting on Sandy Hook and the personal backlash that Trae received after his own shooting incident, T.I. argued that perceptions about who is dangerous in America need to be adjusted.
"I just really believe you can't judge a book by its cover," he said. "Right now you may have a stereotype in your mind of what danger looks like. But to be honest with you, in recent history, the look of danger has changed ... It might be about time to change our thinking about that."
T.I. went on to share his thoughts about why the shooting in Connecticut, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six teachers, was particularly devastating and demands a response.
"I just feel like children are off limits because they're perfect. They ain't done nothin'," he said. "And to cut off the lives of so many future teachers and politicians ... people who could have led us into the next generation ... Their opportunities have been cut short because of some cowardliness. And I think that needs to be addressed in a major way."
Tip remains skeptical about the appropriateness of one such response, however. In a separate interview with Hot 97, he said he disagreed with the assault-rifle ban supported by the president and Senator Dianne Feinstein of California.
"This is my problem with the banning of anything: What that does is, that means only the criminals will be allowed to have this particular item," he said. "Right now, it's the criminals that can't have assault rifles or pistols but they got them and they know they can't have them. So if they ban them, what it's gonna be double-illegal for me now? I'm still gon' carry mine. So if the illegals have them, I think the legals must have them."
T.I. said he believes there are certain places in America where possessing assault rifles are necessary for protection.
"The need for assault rifles depends on the area of the country," he said. "It don't make sense for you to walk around with it, but it makes sense for you to have it because when you hear that door kicked in in the front room and you know these folks around here are playing with AKs and ARs [assault rifles] ... if you're military trained you could have a standard .40 issue [pistol] and get yours off, but for the most part them folks coming in are spraying everything, man. Fifty rounds in the drum. I know how they play because I was playing with them. So if I know how they playin', then guess what? I'm gonna have to play like that, too. I'm gonna have to be prepared."
Watch the full Hot 97 interview over at HipHopDX.
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