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School Shootings; Tech N9ne Weighs in on ‘Guns in America’

Steve Mack, FilmMagic

Another day, another school shooting. While the story at Lone Star College in Houston, Texas — where a gunman reportedly opened fire today — is developing, we’re moving forward at AOL with our Guns in America initiative, attempting to dig deep into the firearm issue that is plaguing the country. To that end we spoke with Kansas City-bred rapper Tech N9ne, who is no stranger to gun violence. In June of 2011, Michael Jones — a member of his touring party — was shot six times while chatting on his cell phone outside of the crew’s tour bus after a show in Reno, Nevada. He subsequently died from his injuries. Last week, we picked Tech’s brain on the issue of gun control in the United States.

On the Sandy Hook shootings.

Discipline starts at home. If your mom has guns like that in the basement, what the fuck is your mom doing? Is she with the militia? You know those are [Adam Lanza's] mom’s guns right? I’ve got three [children]. I’ve got two 18-year-olds and I have a 13-year-old. When they were growing up I had them listening to Tech N9ne. I let them listen to Eminem. I talked to them about they problems at school, people, everything. Now, these kids being neglected. Why would Adam Lanza even know how to work these guns if his mom was paying attention?

On pegging the shootings on poor mental health.

People want to use the psychotic card, or whatever, but I’m telling you it all starts at home. If there was respect at home, it will carry over. Where was Adam Lanza’s mamma? Where was James Holmes’ parents, man? Guns don’t kill people. You know the saying — stupid people with guns kill people.

On guns in the entertainment industry

It’s fucked up that you have to carry a gun because we’re in a pit full of demons here in this world. When you talk about the rap community or the basketball players that have to protect themselves from the people that are jealous, that’s fucked up. A lot of these motherfuckers have records. Some motherfucker might have a felony and can’t get the motherfucking gun registered. [The] carry and conceal license, they can’t get it so they have to get it illegally to protect themselves. You know, basketball players carrying guns, football players carrying guns, everyone’s got to protect themselves from demons. It’s like a fucking trap. You want to do it the right way. Some n—–s can’t do it the right way so they have to protect themselves and it’s like a never ending fucking cycle.

On the black market for guns

You have to protect yourself from people because you never know when it’s going to go down. You want to go see Batman and some n—a come running in and starts shooting. You’re not expecting that. If I would have been in there, I’d have had my piece and been shooting back at that n—a. You never know where it’s going to come from so, n—a’s is getting guns illegally. I think it’s fucked up because it’s a trap. They’ll put us in jail if we get caught with it but what can you do if you’ve already been in trouble and you’ve still got to protect yourself out here.

On the name Tech N9ne and how it can be taken the wrong way.

I’ve been [dealing] with that my whole career. It’s never been the fans that have had something to say. It’s always been BET or MTV. Those blocks, those borders, those obstacles that we get. “Your name is a gun, we can’t support that. That’s what they used in Columbine, the Tec-9.” But as you get bigger you see that people are just being assholes that you weren’t paying enough money. It ain’t about that. Because Mack 10 was everywhere. Now, I’m on the BET Cipher as Tech N9ne. I’m on Hip-Hop Squares as Tech N9ne up there. Because my persona don’t say — even though I come from a Blood neighborhood or gangbang past — my persona don’t say “I’m the big blood tough n—a.” I ain’t trying to disrespect nobody. I know what that does. Motherfuckers ain’t looking at me like the super gangbanging dude.

On music being an escape for troubled kids.

What we see all the time is “Thank you, Tech. I was going to kill myself, but you make me think anything is possible. They talked bad about you, the black dude with the red hair, the painted face and the bishop’s robe. They called you devil worshiper and everybody laughed at you. You kept on moving. You give me motivation to keep being me. And that there’s something else than just being depressed because don’t nobody love you.” I keep it real to myself. And just me excelling after it’s been so hard for me to get into any circle… they love to see me excel. And when I excel it makes them want to push.

Watch Tech N9ne’s ‘Who Do I Catch’ Video

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