Bill Cosby blames "that gun" for Trayvon Martin's death in February -- forget racism or self-defense.
"I'm a person who believes that that gun, that gun, all around this United States -- when a person has a gun sometimes their mind clicks that this thing is, it will win arguments and straighten people out, and then in the wrong hands and the wrong mind, it's death," he said on CNN in an interview that aired Sunday.
He said he wasn't talking about having a gun for self-defense in the home, but made the point "that when you tell me that you're going to protect the neighborhood 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. ... I don't want you to get hurt, and I don't want to hurt anyone."
Deciding racism is involved in a situation -- Cosby never mentioned George Zimmerman by name -- doesn't solve anything, he said. If a person is scared to death, whether he's a racist matters little if he's carrying a firearm at the time, Cosby said.
The stand-up comic beloved for his well-known routines as well as his turn on "The Cosby Show" lost his son Ennis Cosby to gun violence in January 1997. Mikael Markhasev was sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing the 27-year-old during a holdup while Ennis was fixing a flat tire near a freeway offramp.
Martin, 17, was fatally shot by Zimmerman while walking to his father's house from a nearby convenience store. The 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer had called police to report Martin as a suspicious person and followed him. After Martin's death in a fight that ensued, Zimmerman claimed self-defense.
After national outrage over the local police department's allegedly insufficient investigation of the crime and failure to make an arrest, Zimmerman was booked into jail last Wednesday on second-degree murder charges brought by a special prosecutor assigned to the case.
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— Christie D'Zurilla
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Photo: Bill Cosby in April 2011. Credit: Frank Franklin II / Associated Press