One of possible GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson’s problems is his mixed message on the Second Amendment. In some discussions he seems to be for restrictions and in others says he is 100 percent supporting of the right to bear arms. And this weekend at the NRA convention Carson is again trying to “clarify” his stance on guns.
Over the past year, neurosurgeon Carson has said things that brought criticism from gun rights advocates and caused some to even wonder if he knows how guns even work.
Only a few weeks ago, for instance, Carson told Glenn Beck that he felt that guns should be restricted in urban areas but not rural areas. He also felt that Americans have no right to semi-automatic weapons.
“It depends on where you live,” Carson told Beck. “I think if you live in the midst of a lot of people, and I’m afraid that that semi-automatic weapon is going to fall into the hands of a crazy person, I would rather you not have it.”
In Dec. of 2013 Carson again angered gun supporters when he intimated that guns should be treated like drivers licenses and some “intelligent” restrictions should be enacted.
In his December op ed, Carson conflated a Constitutional right to driving, which is not right.
But Carson has also tried to spin his way out of the gun control argument by also saying that the Second Amendment was created as a serious check on the power of government. In March of 2014 he used this tactic when he said that guns in the hands of the people might help keep government from turning toward tyranny.
A few months later he was again saying that guns allowed the people to “protect themselves from an overly aggressive government.”
Now, this weekend as he addressed the National Rifle Association’s annual convention being held in Nashville, TN, Carson again leaned on the originalist idea that the Second Amendment is a guard against tyranny.
“For the record let me make it extremely clear that I am extremely pro-Second Amendment and that I would never allow anyone to tamper with that right,” Carson told the skeptical crowd.
“We will never let the right to keep and bear arms be removed from those [generations] who follow us in this great nation,” he added.
Regardless of his repeated attempts to mollify gun rights supporters, though, he will continue to be looked on with suspicion on the issue because he has shown his lean toward restrictions just as often as he’s tried to say that he is a supporter of the Second Amendment. After all, it should be noted that even as he’s danced around the matter at times, he’s never refuted his past ideas that restrictions are warranted.