Stevie Wonder called for tighter gun control following the shooting death of Nipsey Hussle, cautioning that when it comes to a lack of legislation to stop the violence, “It’s almost like the world is becoming blind.”
“We still are living in a time where ego, anger, jealousy is controlling our lives,” the musician, who lost his eyesight at birth, said during a speech at the rapper’s Los Angeles memorial service Thursday. “It is so painful to know that we don’t have enough people taking a position that says, ‘Listen, we must have stronger gun laws.’ It’s unacceptable.”
Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, was killed at 33 years old on March 31 outside his Marathon Clothing store in the city’s Hyde Park neighborhood.
According to police, the alleged gunman, 29-year-old Eric Holder, opened fire on Hussle, injuring two others, after getting into an argument with the artist. Holder was charged last week with murder.
“Enough of people being killed by guns and violence,” Wonder said.
The carnage continued on the day of the rapper’s memorial service as a drive-by shooting targeted a crowd gathered near the route of Hussle’s hearse, killing one and injuring three. Authorities suspect gang activity was involved.
“We must stop this senseless violence,” South Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said in a statement.
In a letter to Hussle’s friends and family, former President Barack Obama praised the rapper’s efforts to revitalize his hometown despite the bloodshed that marked it during his lifetime.
“While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and see only gangs, bullets and despair, Nipsey saw potential,” Obama wrote. “He saw hope. He saw a community that, even through its flaws, taught him to always keep going.”