Growing up in the streets of Long Beach, I’ve seen lots of homies fall victim to gun violence. Whether they were the ones behind the barrel or in front, in the end it never worked out. As I hear more and more stories in the news about violent acts of terror and school shootings that leave innocent kids dead, it makes me upset to live in a world full of negativity. Now more than ever, I feel the need to speak up and encourage our youth to come together to stop gun violence. That’s why I started my "No Guns Allowed" movement, inspired by my song of the same name that features my nephew Drake and my daughter, Cori B.
From my new album Reincarnated, the song "No Guns Allowed" is a call to action for people everywhere to come together and help end the senseless gun violence that claims lives every day. I’m not saying I’m against guns, but I’m saying that people need to think about their actions and be responsible for them, ya dig?! A lot of the people pullin’ the trigger haven’t lived long enough to experience a long life full of love, but I know there’s still time for them to walk in the path of peace.
As part of this “No Guns Allowed” movement, I’m honored to be working with MTV and Jewelry For a Cause. We’ve created these one-of-a-kind bracelets engraved with a serial number of an illegal gun recently turned in through a gun buyback in Newark, NJ. A portion of the proceeds from each sale benefits the Newark Police Department gun buyback programs and can be purchased here.
It’s also cool that an organization like the League of Young Voters Education Fund has created a non-violence campaign of their own in the spirit of 'No Guns Allowed.' Through their online petition on Causes.com they’re looking to push universal background checks and funding for violence prevention programs. I’m getting’ down with the League and encouraging everyone to use a #NoGunsAllowed hashtag on social media to share their personal stories about how gun violence has affected them.
For more on this subject, I will be joining Congresswoman Maxine Waters and others for No Guns Allowed: Disarming Violence in Our Community, a BET Awards weekend roundtable discussion on the impact of gun violence in urban communities. Click here to register for BET Experience and attend the event on Saturday, June 29, at 3 p.m. at the JW Marriott L.A.
Let’s end all this negativity and violence and move forward in peace and love with #NoGunsAllowed! Jah Rastafari!