Killer Mike Makes A Passionate Argument For Why Blacks Should Be Gun Owners (Video)

Last night (May 11), Killer Mike appeared on Real Time With Maher. He sat beside former Secretary of Labor and author Robert Reich. The two men, along with participation from Maher, debated gun control reform.

Looking back to his video interview with the National Rifle Association, Mike describes being at the “whipping post.” Notably, the video, which released on March 24, the same day as the March For Our Lives demonstration, included an introduction by NRA TV host Colion Noir criticizing the protestors. Reactions to the video were strong.

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While many were critical of Killer Mike’s NRA association, the timing of the video, and his longtime pro-gun ownership stance (as it applies to being African American husband and father), others agreed. On Real Time, the OutKast affiliate and Run The Jewels co-founder points to April 11 Washington Post editorial, “Why Killer Mike Is Right: African-Americans Should Own Guns” by Ameer Hasan Loggins and Christopher Petrella. “It specifically highlighted why, over the last 300 or 400 years, how gun laws were not only used against African-Americans and indigenous populations but [were] created to control them.”

On TV, Mike points out that in history, blacksmiths could not legally work on Native American firearms. He continues, “They literally deputized all white citizens in Florida to go into Black homes and take guns out, arbitrarily.” He quotes US Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ February remarks praising the “Anglo American heritage of law enforcement.” Mike charges, “So pretty much if I’m a white man in America, you’re telling me by owning a gun that I am part of law enforcement. What happens because of that? You kill Black children because their music is loud. What happens when you’re that emboldened? You track a Black boy behind a building, you engage him in a fight, you begin to lose, you murder him, and then you’re let off the hook because of ‘stand your ground.'” Mike then describes (and later promotes the release of) Siwatu-Salama Ra, a 26-year-old Detroit, Michigan community leader who allegedly brandished an unloaded pistol during an escalating road rage incident. “She’s now in jail for two years, while seven months pregnant. She didn’t engage; [the drivers] were engaging one another. She didn’t track a child, she didn’t murder that child. She’s not free,” contrasts Mike. “So what I was saying on NRA TV and any other TV that would have heard me is that for African-Americans to align themselves with the gun law lobby, stop and have a conversation with your allies and say this: ‘these laws are going to affect us worst and they’re going to affect us first.’ If you put more police in schools, you’re going to see more African-American children engaged by police in a violent manner, the same way a little girl was slammed at a pool party. I’m simply saying to our allies: wait, and let’s talk about it because laws that are introduced are going to affect my community worst and first.

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Robert Reich responds to Mike in agreement with many points. However, the former White House cabinet member and author stresses, “We have to get rid of assault weapons; we have to have universal background checks.”

Killer Mike points to widespread comparisons of President Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler and the labeling of the current administration as a tyranny. “When you do that, to my community, I must take it seriously. I must take it seriously because not only am I seeing gun violence around crime and poverty in my community; I’m seeing officers of the state murder my children, murder my women. So when we start to say, ‘tyranny could never happen,’ if you’re African-American, tyranny is happening now! Not potentially happening—we are being murdered at a higher rate and engaged by agents of the state and when we say ‘assault weapon,’ we ignore that the 2nd Amendment said ‘in case of tyranny.’ If a soldier or a cop can own a version of an AR-15, I’m not feeling comfortable in a country where I’m being asked to de-arm, and they are not.”

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Reich points to 1994’s Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, which expired a decade later. The author points to a 42% decrease in mass-killings during that period as evidence why the nation must return to that thinking. “We had a law, let’s go back to that law!” says Reich. Mike responds, urging people to gather all the facts before a bill is put into law. He alludes to The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, the same year as the Assault Weapons Ban, and points to its predatory drug penalties on people of color. According to Mike, that bill treated small amounts of crack cocaine equally to large quantities of powder cocaine. Before the debate ends, Mike stresses that people take time and educate themselves before banning anything.