Ice-T: From "Cop Killer" to Second Amendment Hero


It's funny to think that for millions of Americans, Ice-T is best known as a television cop on the hit show Law & Order: SVU, rather than as a pioneering gangster rapper who achieved special infamy when his thrash metal band Body Count released the song "Cop Killer" back in 1992. Told from the perspective of a violent criminal, "Cop Killer" was widely denounced at the time by both police organizations and various conservative activists, most famously including the actor and future National Rifle Association leader Charlton Heston, who attacked Ice-T and his record label for "every vicious, vulgar, dirty word they were selling." Body Count ultimately dropped the song from later versions of their debut album.

But what a difference a few decades can make. In an unsigned editorial yesterday, the conservative New York Sun lauded Ice-T as a Second Amendment hero for his comments in the wake of the horrific movie theater shootings in Aurora, Colorado, where the rapper defended gun rights and told a British interviewer, "I'll give up my gun when everybody else does." As Ice-T pointed out, "it's legal in the United States, it's part of our Constitution." Furthermore, he continued, "The right to bear arms is because that's the last form of defense against tyranny. Not to hunt. It's to protect yourself from the police."

I'm a little surprised that Ice-T's connection between tyranny and the police went down as smooth as it did with the Sun's editors. Yet rather than chiding the rapper for his negative take on the boys in blue, the Sun favorably compared Ice-T's arguments to those of Founding Father Elbridge Gerry, who said the Second Amendment was "intended to secure the people against the mal-administration of government." I hope the author of "Cop Killer" enjoys his new reputation as a constitutional originalist.

Watch Ice-T make the case against gun control below.

NEXT: A. Barton Hinkle on Why the FDA Is Trying to Give Food Stamps to People Who Don't Want Them

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  1. ?I got my twelve gauge sawed off.
    I got my headlights turned off.
    I’m ’bout to bust some shots off.
    I’m ’bout to dust some cops off. ?

    1. Page one says open
      Page two says fill
      page three says cock
      page four says kill.

      And we got stuck with freaking Maya Angelou as our poet laureate? Puh-leeze.

      1. Ready for the chumps on the wall
        The chumps are acting ill because they’re full of eight ball
        Gunshots rang out like a bell
        I grabbed my nine all I heard was shells

        Am I doin’ it right?

        1. How the hell am I supposed to know. I only listen to black metal and death metal.

          And blackened death metal, but don’t tell anyone.

          1. Does blackened death metal include a little accordion?

            1. Does blackened death metal include a little accordion?

              VERY little.

              1. TMBG – the blackest, deadliest metal.

        2. Ice T =! Vanilla Ice

          1. Awesome! I got away with it for 7 whole minutes. That’s like my best troll since Slapdick McGee made his brief appearance.

            1. I have to admit, Slapdick McGee was good trolling.

            2. Oh, Slapdick McGee. Will you ever learn?

              1. Oh, Slapdick McGee. Will you ever learn?

                Man, that takes me back.

                BTW, we’ve got 9 returners for FFL so far. Any others that you can recall that we want back who haven’t answered the e-mail? I was thinking about opening the invites back up to interested parties and kicking the other people off. I want to get it full by the end of next week.

                1. sloopy, I would like to play. I haven’t done the ffl before but I did some of the other leagues you set up. In fact I’ve only ever played fantasy baseball so I should be easy pickings.

                  1. Joined! Prepare to lose to beginners luck.

                2. I want in the league.

                    1. Invite me, dick.

                    2. OK. It’s sent you whiny ass bitch.

                    3. Sloop I want in how do I go about joining?

                    4. send me an e-mail to and I’ll send you the invite.

                    5. Just send me an email to and I’ll send you the linky.

                    6. sent

                    7. Thanks, mate. Time to watch The League and figure out who’s still in the NFL.

  2. Proud that Ice-T has finally said what most other have been afraid to say. The guns arent for hunting but to protect you for when the government comes a knocking. Please feel free to come by the following site to discuss fully voice and video capable.

    1. Colored Liberty? Racist?

      1. I’m going to just posit that the website owner may be reclaiming that word.

        1. Is it like Because if so, you can’t take it back.



            1. Isn’t white a color too?

              1. Isn’t white a color too?

                No, white is the absence of color.

                1. No. Black is the absence of color. White is the combination of all colors.

                  1. sorry John.

                    I forgot the /sarc tag.

                    1. Sorry I missed that. Ptah

                  2. Only with light. With paint, black is the mixture of all colors.

                  3. In the light spectrum, yes, but in the other visible spectrum, black is the combo of all colors.

              2. According to my crayon box, I’m flesh color.

                1. I’m more Piggy Pink.

          2. Well listen to you! Telling me I can’t do something because of the color of my skin! You’re the racist! I’m taking it back, you watch!

    2. If someone criticizes him, then they are racist.

      That makes it doubly delicious for me!

      1. He’ll just be a self hater who wants to see his fellow blacks get killed.

  3. In a sane world black people would be the ones who hated government the most. What a tragedy white people have made them dependent on it instead of mistrustful of it.

    1. What a tragedy white people have made them dependent on it instead of mistrustful of it.

      How so, I did not make them dependent on anything. They did that to themselves.

      1. How so, I did not make them dependent on anything. They did that to themselves.


        I was walking down the street and you violently shoved that occupational licensing form in my hand! Don’t deny it!

    2. Deny agency much?

      1. So the government isn’t an agency? The worst Bull Connor racist could not have dreamed up a better plan to fuck black people than the combination of welfare and the drug war.

        Admitting the obvious point, that paying for dysfunction and dependence has the totally predictable effect of producing more dysfunction and dependence, is not denying agency, just the opposite actually.

        1. Uh, I meant you were implying that the recipients played no part in it. You are robbing them of their portion of their culpability.

          1. We are speaking in the aggregate. Sure the individuals made their choices. But the government did what it did knowing that it would produce the results it did. If I threw a few hundred thousand dollars onto a crowded train platform, sure the resulting riot would be the result of the people choosing to go insane trying to get the money. But that wouldn’t relive me of the responsibility for causing it.

            1. But the government did what it did knowing that it would produce the results it did.

              Then blame the government, not whites. I agree that if the drug war hit whites as hard as it hits blacks, it would have ended long ago.

              1. Fair enough. It wasn’t all the whites. It was the government. And if the drug war hit the middle and upper class whites like it hits the black community, it would end very quickly.

                1. And if the drug war hit the middle and upper class whites like it hits the black community, it would end very quickly.

                  As I said above, I agree totally with you on this fact.

                2. I don’t believe that it is the drug war as much as it’s the entire LBJ presidency and his Great Society bullshit.

      2. It’s the White John’s Burden.

  4. I remember the hysteria over that song. Good times. Of course, N.W.A. paved the way with “Fuck the Police”.

    1. Ah yes, Gangster Rap:1990’s = Jazz:1920’s

      1. Only if you ignore the fact that 20s Jazz musicians were some of the most technically skilled musicians in history.

        1. Yeah, NWA just rose to fame on one of the best beat mixers/producers who ever lived.

          1. Maybe so. But he isn’t any Louis Armstrong. Classically trained elite musicians still can’t reproduce some of the stuff he did with a trumpet.

          2. NWA just rose to fame on one of the best beat mixers/producers who ever lived.

            And by that, you mean George Clinton….right?

          3. Not to mention production on those classic PE albums were amazing.

        2. Too bad they used their powers for evil.

  5. Shit, now I’m gonna have to see if I still own the Body Count album. Probably not as I believe I ad it on tape. It was good juvenile fun for the most part.

  6. I don’t think he was the dumb thug he played to sell records, he cannily joined the one percent by selling the gangsta lifestyle to the masses.

    1. He was never dumb (and I don’t think he ever played dumb). However, he was a member of the Crips and pimped, robbed banks and dealt drugs in his early, pre-rapper career.

  7. I remember when Gangsta Rap scared the shit out of middle America.

    Now Ice-T is on a network cop drama, Ice Cube does family comedies, Dr. Dre is a headphones mogul, and Snoop Dogg is a living punchline.


    1. In the mid 1980s, the LA gangs went out all over the country and started recruiting people and selling their lifestyle. Places like Omaha and Oklahoma City all of the sudden developed gang problems where none had been before. It is an interesting question how much the music glamorizing the gangster lifestyle made the gang’s jobs easier.

      1. I wouldn’t chalk up the “gangster lifestyle” to the coordinated efforts of the LA Gangs Public Relations Department. Instead look to EMI records and other big time music companies who recognized that bored middle class white kids would trip over themselves trying to buy this album so they could pretend they were tough guys. And they were right.

        Most inner city black kids didn’t have enough money to buy all these albums. But the white kids did in droves. Gangster Rap became successful because white kids bought the albums like crazy.

        1. Yeah. Rap was a black thing mostly in the early 80s. It was only when they started selling it to bored middle class white kids that it started making big money. Rap replaced heavy metal as the official middle class white kid way to annoy your parents.

          1. And holy fuck, did it work!

            I was in to gangsta rap in the late 80s/early 90s, and that really bugged my parents, but not as much as Two Live Crew did. I grew up in Miami during the time they were being arrested for obscenity and were plunging forth winning free speech cases and such. I loved it. Parents hated it.

      2. Money, John. They couldn’t and wouldn’t have done so if there wasn’t money in it.

    2. Snoop Dogg records with Katy Perry and does TV commercials.

  8. I think there was an audible “thud” when Ice T’s responses landed on the interviewer’s desk.

    1. Yeah there was. I always find it amazing how English and Europeans seem so mystified by Americans who are so vehemently in support of the Second Amendment.

  9. It almost seemed me there was a coordinated effort to hem up Ice T with the good life after the body count album. Kind of like building him a soft prison to put the muzzle on his ‘dangerous’age ideas. It’s good to see him still drop the same ideas albeit in a calmer tone.

  10. That’s messed up.

    -Ice T in SVU

  11. It’s to protect yourself from the police.

    Nice theory ya got there…

  12. From ‘cop killer’ to second amendment hero.

    You act like those are mutually exclusive. I can see a case for overlap in a few instances.

  13. Yeah, I was with him right up to the ‘stolen land’ bit. Hmmm.

    Outside of antartica, find me one square inch of land that isnt ‘stolen’.

    1. Didn’t we try to get Toledo as the consequence of losing a war?

    2. Gilligan’s Island?

    3. Were there any inhabitants on Pitcairn before the HMS Bounty made its way there?

  14. I’ll give up my guns when everybody else does.

    This. I’ll toss my guns into the incinerator when the cops and the professional military give up theirs.

    And a shout out to KRS-One! Woo!

    1. Remember that cops are professional liars. It is their job to lie to you in order to get you to do things or say things. Then they lie some more on the report and in court in order to get a conviction.
      Deception is a tool of the trade, along with their club and gun.

      So if they give up any guns, you can be sure that they’ve got more.

  15. I actually still have an original Cop Killer CD. Somebody once actually offred me $500 for it even though it’s not in mint condition.

  16. Ice-T, that is one heroic mulatto. Met him once shortly after the Cop Killer controversy. Music journalist friend of mine got an interview while he was on tour with Body Count and the bum needed a ride cross the state to conduct it. He talked about the inevitability of riots in LA. Funny, I was barely even paying attention at that point (I was hugely tired after 48 hours without sleep, not that Ice-T was boring).

  17. He DID make The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech in direct opposition to Tipper Gore/the PMRC. It’s not at all surprising he supports more than just the first amendment.

  18. Watch Ice-T’s fellow Law Order cast member show what a great President he would be:

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