Bill Cosby Says Guns to Blame For Trayvon Martin Murder, Not Racism

April 17, 2012  |  

The legendary comedian made several appearances on television last week, including stopping to do “Press Pass” (an extension of “Meet the Press”) with David Gregory, and also sat down for an interview with CNN. For both interviews, he talked about his thoughts on the murder of Trayvon Martin, among other things, and let it be known that the real problem in this situation is gun violence in general, not racism and racial profiling.

While on “Press Pass,” this is what he had to say on the topic:

“It’s about the gun. It’s about this gun. Guns in this country…When you have a gun, you may not realize it, but you put it on your person and you mean to pull this and kill somebody. That’s what you mean to do…You provoke with a gun. You have this power. You have this thing on you. It heightens what you’re supposed to be looking for.

You’re going to profile anyway, if you’re going to profile. But if you have this, it provokes a feeling.”

And when he sat down with CNN, he let it be known that he feels a gun in the wrong hands is what is responsible for this young man’s death, and calling Zimmerman a racist doesn’t change anything.

“When a person has a gun, sometimes their mind clicks that this thing will win arguments and straighten people out. In the wrong hands and the wrong mind, it’s death…What is solved by saying, ‘He’s a racist. That’s why he shot the boy.’ What solves that?”

And while he’s not trying to take away anyone’s rights to have a licensed firearm, he believes those who want to own guns need to be trained beforehand on how to use them and be “checked” out. Clearly, not everyone is capable of handling one and being responsible with said firearm.

“You’ve got to protect yourself in your own home, but I also believe that when you tell me that you’re going to protect the neighborhood that I live in, I don’t want you to have a gun,” Cosby said. “I want you to be able to see something, report it and get out of the way.”

After Cosby shared his comments earlier last week, some folks weren’t feeling them. They felt saying the race equation needed to be taken out of the picture was irresponsible, especially since a lot of evidence seems to point to the fact that Martin’s race was why Zimmerman found him to be suspicious. Writer and television personality, Touré, who says Bill Cosby is “rather misguided about the black community,” went on MSNBC recently and said that Cosby’s comments were very dangerous.

“Trayvon Martin was clearly profiled as a criminal black man…that’s why he [George Zimmerman] pulled his gun and used it on Trayvon. When a person of Bill Cosby’s stature comes out publicly and says it’s not a race issue, it’s a gun issue, it gives fuel to all those who misunderstand the situation…And he’s giving fuel to those people to say, “See look, even Bill Cosby agrees with us.”

But Cosby might have a point. Of course, racism is still an issue in this case, but I think we all know guns, both illegal and legal, are doing more harm than good these days, making them a huge problem as well.  And Cosby knows the effects of gun violence, as his son, Ennis, was shot and killed while trying to change his tire in a robbery attempt in 1997. Guns make the weakest people brave, as was the case with Zimmerman. He thought he was going to be able to handle the situation, despite the dispatcher saying NOT to follow Martin, but if he hadn’t had the gun, how would this incident really have turned out?

Do you agree with Cosby or do you agree with Touré in saying that Mr. Cosby has it backwards? Check out clips from their performances below:

Cosby on “Press Pass.” Fast forward to around the 11:30 mark:

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On CNN:

Touré on MSNBC:

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