The famous entertainer Bill Cosby, 74, has said the debate following the killing of African-American teen Trayvon Martin should focus on guns and not race.
Speaking in an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, Bill Cosby said calling George Zimmerman a racist missed the point. He asked: "What is solved by saying, 'He's a racist, that's why he shot the boy'?" According to Huffington Post, he argued that the relevant point in the case was why Zimmerman was carrying a gun and whether he was trained how to behave when carrying one.
NY Daily News reports Cosby had spoken about the Trayvon Martin case earlier in the month and emphasized that the case shows there is need to "get guns off the streets." Last week, he told NBC's David Gregory: "When you have a gun, you may not realize it, but you put it on your person and you mean to pull (the trigger) and kill somebody."
ABC News reports he also told The Washington Times that neighborhood watch volunteers should not be allowed to carry guns. He said: "We've got to get the gun out of the hands of people who are supposed to be on neighborhood watch. Without a gun, I don't see Mr. Zimmerman approaching Trayvon by himself. The power-of-the-gun mentality had him unafraid to confront someone. Even police call for backup in similar situations. When you carry a gun, you mean to harm somebody, kill somebody."
He said, during the CNN interview: "When a person has a gun, sometimes their mind clicks, that this thing will win arguments and straighten people out. I'm not saying you can't have it in your home to protect yourself... you've got to protect yourself in your own home. But I also believe that when you tell me that you are going to protect the hood that I live in, I don't want you to have a gun. I want you to be able to see something, report it and get out of the way."
Cosby admitted during the interview that he once owned a gun but he no longer does.
According to NY Daily News, Cosby has in the past been outspoken on issues affecting black and other minority communities, including violence, parenting, education and drug use.
His son Ennis was shot and killed by a Ukrainian restaurant worker while changing a flat tire on the side of a Los Angeles highway in 1997.