Rapper Common joined a panel discussion Tuesday on the show Now with Alex Wagner in order to discuss poverty and gun violence in America.
“I really feel that we need to restructure the black family,” Common said. “Within the inner cities, we don’t have a lot of correct parenting and we have to change that. We have to figure out what we can do to change that. We know we’re starting from a deficit right now. We have to figure out what we can do as elders and as young people to support each other.”
Common also said that he disagrees with the NRA Executive Vice president Wayne LaPierre who said the only way to stop tragedies like the one that happened in Newtown, Connecticut is to put an armed officer in every school.
“I think the biggest issue for our young people is to have opportunities to dream, to have guidance, to have love and support,” he said. “More guns are never the solution. Putting more guns in there is not going to solve anything.”
Common, a native of Chicago, talked about his own experience growing up.
Last year alone, Chicago reported 506 homicides, leading it to be known as the murder capital of the country, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Though he was able to grow up in what he called “a black middle-class Chicago neighborhood” Common said he did experience a certain amount of poverty and “street elements.”
He continued saying that role models like President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are people that youth can look up to.
“That’s the best image we can see for young, black and Latino people,” Common said. “I remember I had the opportunity to do a film and some young people saw that I was gonna play a superhero and they were like ‘wow, that’s the first time that we’ve ever seen a black guy playing a superhero. It’s a beautiful thing for us to see outside of entertainment to see the president and first lady in office, I mean that’s what we need.“
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