While most of the entertainment world reacted to Thursday's massive shooting spree at a Colorado theater with urgent calls for gun control, one music star had quite the opposite message. Big Boi (real name Antwan André Patton), one half of the rap outfit OutKast, took to Twitter and defended individuals' right to bear arms.
Presumably, the 🔫 is an image of a gun specific to his Twitter app, Echofon. Patton then went on to quote lyrics from an OutKast song:
Unlike insular journalists such as Piers Morgan and Roger Ebert, Patton understands there are dangerous places in this world and dangerous people for whom the only effective suppressant is superior force. When criminals would take the life of innocent families, no amount of feel-good dialogue and negotiation has been statistically proven as effective as gun ownership to prevent those murders.
Patton later retweeted a follower who points out that historically, the purpose of gun control was to oppress free blacks.
As Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas declared in his McDonald v. Chicago opinion, gun control laws were part and parcel of white-on-black oppression during the Reconstruction era. So if the left wants to squeal that voter ID laws are Jim Crow reborn, let's have this conversation.
Why do Piers Morgan, Salman Rushdie, Roger Ebert, DL Hughley, Michael Moore, and John Leguizamo want to take away blacks' right to defend themselves? Why do they want black Americans defenseless in high-crime areas? Why would they pass laws that have historically led to higher rates of gun crime, knowing that black youths are already disproportionately affected by gun violence?
This same follower sent out another link detailing the racist history of anti-gun laws.
Of course, famous as he is, Patton is bound to attract criticism, which he handles with dry humor:
Yes, the old, "You don't need [x type of weapon]." Nobody needs to run their own newspaper, either, but that extreme manifestation of speech is protected by the First Amendment. And, while he may not have meant it that way, Big Boi's "Deer Hunters" quip cuts to the heart of the issue: the Bill of Rights isn't meant for the government to allow us to do what we need. It's meant for the government to protect us doing what we can. And if you want to hunt deer with an assault rifle, by gum, it's your constitutional right (after jumping through all the hoops required to buy Class III weapons, that is).
Patton then retweets another follower who uses the example of Switzerland to demolish the myth that private citizens owning automatic weapons results in more crime:
And finally, Patton reveals that he entered this conversation not for any pet issue of his but for the rights of everyone.
On a day when progressive celebrities responded to a national tragedy with their sanctimonious default position -- that elites must make more decisions for the unwashed masses -- it was a satisfying end to the day discovering Big Boi's Twitter missive. For all the typos and neologisms, his was the entertainment industry's most eloquent defense of liberty against aggressive statists out to exploit death.