'Dark Knight' Shooting Sparks Gun Control Debate in Hollywood: Rapper Ice-T Vs. Jason Alexander
In the wake of the tragic Aurora, Colorado, mass shooting at a Dark Knight Rises midnight showing, the highly-contentious matter of gun control has hit American consciousness once again.
Elected officials and activists alike have been broadcasting their highly-politicized stance on bearing arms — and now Hollywood is jumping on the bandwagon.
Rapper Ice-T has shared pro-gun sentiments, saying "United States is based on guns," on London's Chanel 4. “The right to bear arms is because that’s the last form of defense against tyranny," he reasoned. "Not to hunt. It’s to protect yourself from the police."
"And do you see any link between that and this sort of instance?” the host prompted, referring to suspected gunman James Holmes' indiscriminate massacre of moviegoers.
“If somebody wants to kill people, they don’t need a gun to do it," Ice-T retorted. "You can strap explosives on your body. They do that all the time.”
But not everyone in Hollywood falls on the support side of the heated debate.
Following in the footsteps of left-leaning New York City Major Michael Bloomberg, Jason Alexander bemoaned lax gun control laws following the massacre that left 12 dead and 58 injured. Alexander first tweeted his horror at the early Friday morning incident: “More innocent lives taken. Peace and prayers to the families.”
"I cannot understand support for legality of the kind of weapon in this massacre," Alexander tweeted. "It's a military weapon. Why should it be in non- mil hands?"
That statement sent off a fiery debate, with many tweeting support and hate of Alexander. The actor clarified his thoughts in a extended tweet.
“Clearly, the angry, threatened and threatening, hostile comments are coming from gun owners and gun advocates," he wrote. "Despite these massacres recurring and despite the 100,000 Americans that die every year due to domestic gun violence - these people see no value to even considering some kind of control as to what kinds of weapons are put in civilian hands.”
“Military weapons … belong in accountable hands, controlled hands and trained hands," he explained. "They should not be in the hands of private citizens to be used against police, neighborhood intruders or people who don’t agree with you. These are the weapons that maniacs acquire to wreak murder and mayhem on innocents. They are not the same as handguns to help homeowners protect themselves from intruders. They are not the same as hunting rifles or sporting rifles. These weapons are designed for harm and death on big scales.”
Kim Ledger, the father of Heath Ledger who famously starred as The Joker in Dark Knight, was of the same mind. "It's terrible — the whole circumstances," he told the Herald Sun. "It's diabolical. I am appalled."
And instead of blaming Batman or pop culture as the catalyst, the late actor's father thinks this tragedy to shift the spotlight to America's gun control laws. "I think what America should be doing is restricting the availability of ammunition or revisiting their gun laws," he said.