21 Savage has an idea about how to solve America’s gun violence and police brutality issues: Get rid of guns.
“It’s one simple thing that would get rid of all the problems in the world,” the 21-year-old rapper said in a July interview with FADER. “If no Americans had no guns, there wouldn’t be no police killing people. That’s the easiest and simplest way to solve it. To take everybody’s guns, not just the civilians. Take the police’s guns too.”
Police have killed 633 people in the U.S. this year and 156 of them were black, according to a tracker from The Guardian.
Many politicians and gun owners have voiced similar sentiments, calling for a ban on assault rifles and for common-sense gun laws such as universal background checks before gun purchases. As far as disarming police goes, other countries have had success with gun-free police forces: Officers in England and Wales are not armed, and from March 2012 until March 2014, they didn’t kill any civilians. Norway armed its officers for a year and is now working to disarm them. Granted, gun restrictions for civilians are significantly tighter in those countries, which don’t have the right to bear arms written into their constitutions. And as Noah Berlatsky writes for Quartz, there are millions of guns, both legal and illegal, on the streets stateside, which makes it harder to advocate for a disarmed police force.
21 Savage also said he doesn’t believe the protests against police and gun violence are doing much to change anything ― but he understands the purpose and necessity of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Not all lives are being taken, so that’s why people are saying Black Lives Matter. You don’t really see police gunning down white men every other day,” the rapper said. “Or gunning down Indian people every day. It’s young black men who are getting gunned down a lot. That’s why people say Black Lives Matter. But all lives matter. Everybody’s life’s important.”
Check out the entire interview at The FADER.