Ice-T recently offered his own stance about gun control, an issue that has sparked fresh public debate due to last week's deadly mass shooting at a Colorado theater during a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises."
The 54-year-old rapper, who plays a police detective on NBC's "Law & Order: SVU," made his comments to the UK's Channel 4 network in an interview posted online on Saturday, a day after the shooting. It is unclear when it was filmed. The interviewer, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, said that he asked Ice-T about his opinion about guns and the right to bear arms as news about the massacre was coming in.
"I'd give up my gun when everybody else does," Ice-T said. "Doesn't that make sense? if there were guns here, would you want to be the only person without one?"
"You have a gun at home?" Guru-Murthy asked.
"Yeah, 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 last form of defense against tyranny. Not to hunt ... It's to protect yourself from the police."
Ice-T, whose real name is Tracy Marrow, rose to fame with his 1991 album "O.G. Original Gangster." He drew controversy over his song "Cop Killer", which he says was a reaction to police brutality.
Jason Alexander, best known for playing George Costanza on "Seinfeld," recently sparked a debate over gun control with his Twitter followers following a Tweet about the massacre, which claimed the lives of 12 people and injured 59 others.
Guru-Murthy asked Ice-T: "Do you see any link between that and these sort of incidents?""No. Nah. Not really. You know what I'm saying. If someone wants to kill people, you know, they don't need a gun to do it," he said, adding: "You can strap explosives on your body. They do that all the time." "The United States is based on guns," he said. "It's not going to change."
Ice-T gave the interview to promote his new hip hop documentary, "Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap."
The rapper and actor later took to Twitter to elaborate about his remarks, following replies from fans and critics.
"If you go into the jungle.... Will you NOT get eaten because you're a vegan??" he Tweeted, later adding on Tuesday: "My comment on guns got a lot of press.. They call me 'Gangster' don't forget 'US Army Vet.'"
Ice-T, who was born in New Jersey, served for several years in the U.S. army after attending Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles."I love how people are soooo SHOCKED to hear something thought provoking said by a rapper," Ice-T Tweeted. "Hip Hop has changed to POP .. Nobody says (expletive)."