Since Saturday's original posting ("Got My Lawyer Paid Up...") about his arrest, I've read a wide range of opinions & comments regarding why a millionaire such as T.I. would have such an arsenal of firearms. It lead me to think about some of my own choices & life experiences. I've always had a thing for guns and I've said that plenty of times. Some of it was mere fascination, while at other times, it was warranted.
I remember one New Year's Eve, my pops and I stood out busting shots. He pulled out a .22 rifle and I had out a Glock 23 and a small .25. Next, he pulled out a .38 snub that popped while I let my Glock go. But since his .38, which I've always envied/admired rang a little louder than my Glock, I went to my trunk and we proceeded to let my Desert Eagle go. Literally and figuratively taken aback by the noise and recoil, my old man asked me, "Damn, boy, you going to war?"
Truth was, I guess I was. Alone and with my crew, I had been into quite a bit of mischief in the months previous to that.
Thinking forward, I remember going to my homeboy A-Dog's house and he had a Mac, several handguns & a high-voltage stun gun laying on his bed, along with a bulletproof vest. I've never been fearful of guns but even I was thrown off. I found myself asking A the same question my pops asked me. That was around November of that year.
By March the following year, A was killed, by the gun of course.
While some seem to keep criticizing T.I.'s actions in light of his recent arrest, something tells me, as one streetwise individual to another, that Cliff wasn't amassing guns just to continuing to live up to the persona of thugged out entertainer, using the weapons as props. Nor do I think he was still in the traps of Atlanta.
Honestly, I believe he felt threatened. Paranoia? Extortion? Get back from his man Phil's murder? Whether those threats are perceived or reality remains to be seen.
But again, I'm just speculating. That's what the innernuts love to do isn't it?
Personally, I'm a little weary of everyone casting T.I. away as moron for knowingly having firearms in his possession while being a felon.
There are legal and moral choices we all have to make for the safety of families and ourselves. Remember when he was on Punk'd? T.I. was well aware of his legal standing as a felon & the terms of his parole...yet he still violated the rules of his parole, knowing he was risking his career?
Don't get it twisted. It wasn't T.I. or T.I.P. but only Clifford making decisions he thought he had to make. It doesn't reek of publicity stunt, moreso of a man feeling the shadows drawing closer in around him.