Actor, writer, producer Steven Seagal.
In an interview about his career and his views on current events, particularly terrorism and firearms, actor and martial arts expert Steven Seagal said he firmly supports the 2nd Amendment and the U.S. Constitution and noted that when Hitler wanted to “annihilate” his enemies, “the first thing he did was take away their guns.”
Seagal, a 7th degree black belt in Aikido, said the 2nd Amendment exists to allow people to protect themselves from “foreign invaders” and from “evil governments,” and that “every man has the right to defend” his family.
He added that “guns in and of themselves don’t kill people – people kill people."
In the “Worlds Apart” interview on Russia Today, host Oksana Boyko asked Seagal, “Both in your acting career and I guess in your work as a police officer, you had to do -- to deal with lots of guns…. What attracts you in guns? Is it engineering, is it the sense of power, something else maybe?”
Seagal said, “I mean, I believe in, you know, the sport, the Olympics, the shooting in [the] Olympics, long-range shooting, all these things. But I also believe that every country has the right to defend its own country. Every man has the right to defend his own wife and children and home, and I also believe that right should triumph over evil.”
“And so, I don’t have anything against guns because guns in and of themselves don’t kill people,” said Seagal. “People kill people. So, a gun is just like a plant or a tool, you know, and you can either do good with it, which is to protect and nurture humanity, mankind, or destroy -- and I’m here to nurture and protect people.”
Boyko then asked, “[W]here do you stand on the issue of gun control in the United States?”
“Well, first of all, I believe in the Second Amendment and the Constitution more than anything in the world,” said Seagal. “And I think that Adolf Hitler, for example, when he wanted to annihilate the people of Germany, the first thing he did was take away their guns.”
“And the right to bear arms wasn’t just to protect the people from foreign invaders, it was to protect them against evil governments and anyone that would violate their inherent rights as a human being,” he said. “So I believe in the Second Amendment. And I believe that -- I hate to say this -- a lot of these mass murders and all this funny stuff that’s going on, I believe a lot of this is engineered.”
The host then said, “And yet, in the aftermath of the, I think it was, Newtown shooting, you were engaged in a Connecticut program, I think, to teach children in self-defense. Do you think those skills would be helpful if they were faced with somebody who was armed to the teeth?”
Actor Steven Seagal. (AP)
Seagal answered, “Well, first of all, I wasn’t teaching children to defend themselves, I was teaching what’s called ‘the posse,’ which are sworn officers to come in and defend schools. And so these are people that have had training with firearms. They have had police training, they’re just not on my level, but they are, you know, sworn –”
Boyko interjected, “But you still thought that that engagement was important, and that there’s something [that] has to be done about the gun situation within schools and universities?”
“The most precious gift we have from God is our children,” said Seagal. “Why can’t we spend money and time to protect our schools and our children? They have armed guards at every bank and every jewelry store. If you go around Champs-Elysées, you go around France and Monaco and Beverly Hills, there’s all these armed guards everywhere protecting money and jewelry. Why can’t we protect our children?”
As for the guns in Hollywood films, Seagal said he did not think the movies glorified gun violence.
“I don’t,” he said. “I think that, you know, the more important thing we need to look at here is mental health because there are mentally insane people in every country, and God knows we have our share in America. And I think this is the most important thing to learn there.”
“Look at -- I think statistically it’s sort of proven that, you know, in Japan, for example, where they have the most violent movies on Earth, they have almost zero crime,” said Seagal. “What does that tell you? It’s not really the movies as much as it’s mental health issues and how these people can get help.”
Steven Seagal. (AP)
“And it’s also parenting,” he said. “You know, if you have parents who love the children, spend time with their children, teach their children right from wrong, and they have real parenting, you won’t see any of this.”
Boyko mentioned that surveys seems to indicate that American kids can easily access guns and do not spend a lot of time with their parents.
Seagal responded, “To be honest with you, my opinion is that the economy is so bad in America, and the common people are spending every waking moment just trying to survive, to the point where many of them feel like they really don’t even have the luxury to spend time with their children.”
Steven Seagal, 64, was born in Lansing, Michigan. He has acted, stunt-choreographed, written, and/or produced more than 50 films, including Never Say Never Again, A View to a Kill, Above The Law, Machete and Under Siege, as well as the A&E reality show Steven Seagal: Lawman.