Vic Mensa is one of the most vocal rappers in hip-hop when it comes to important issues. In March, he attended March For Our Lives and told MTV News, "With gun reform, what I'm screaming is, 'Ban assault weapons. Ban the AR-15, point blank.'" In a new Rolling Stone op-ed, the Chicago rapper delves deeper into how gun violence has affected his life, describes why he is in favor of banning AR-15s, and briefly touches upon being arrested for gun possession in March of 2017.
"I was 18 when Cam died," Mensa wrote. "Too young to buy a handgun or Hennessy, but old enough to buy an AR-15 or be shipped off to war. In the wake of the recent influx of mass shootings, I have come to question Brian’s words. Must we accept the devastation of gun violence as the reality of life as an American? Or can we reject that terrible fate?"
Cam was a close friend of Mensa's who was killed as a result of gun violence. He has memorialized him on songs like 2017's "Heaven on Earth." Later in the op-ed, he touches upon why his opinion is still valid, despite being convicted for a firearm offense. Last year, Mensa was pulled over in Beverly Hills and told cops he was carrying a gun and a concealed-carry permit, which was registered to him in Illinois, but not California. He is currently serving a two-year sentence of informal probation.
"I write these words understanding and acknowledging that many people in our nation will regard my opinion as completely invalid, due to a conviction for a firearm offense in 2017," Vic continued. "As someone who clearly supports gun ownership, I believe it is time we stop allowing distractions to divert our attention from the single most important piece of gun control legislation currently possible: a widespread ban on assault rifles."
Read Mensa's entire op-ed at Rolling Stone.