Rapper Ice-T has defended firearms laws in the U.S. in the wake of the Colorado massacre, insisting, "America is based on guns."
The hip-hop star is adamant a backlash from campaigners demanding the U.S. outlaw firearms will have no effect on the majority of public opinion, as the current laws are designed to protect citizens from the threat of "tyranny".
In an interview with the U.K.'s Channel 4 News, he says, "I'd give up my gun when everybody else does. Don't that make sense? I mean, if there were guns here, would you want to be the only person without one?... It's legal in the United States. It's part of our Constitution. You know, the right to bear arms is because that's the best form of defence against tyranny. (It's) not to hunt. It's to protect yourself from the police."
Asked if he sees a link between liberal gun laws and murder sprees like the massacre in Colorado last week (ensd30Jul12), he replies, "No. Nah, not really. You know what I'm saying? If somebody wants to kill people they don't need a gun to do it... You can strap explosives on your back, they do that all the time."
And referring to the "inevitable" backlash from the anti-guns lobby, he adds, "That's not going to change anything in the United States. The United States is based on guns, you know?... It's not going to change."
The rapper was speaking out after a gunman shot 12 cinemagoers dead and injured 58 others during a rampage at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado on Friday (20Jul12).