Reversal? “I am a very strong believer in the Second Amendment,” says Ben Carson

posted at 11:21 am on May 28, 2014 by Allahpundit

Via CNS, the question mark’s in the headline because I can’t tell if he’s actually changed his mind on gun policy or if he’s just choosing his words carefully in restating his prior position. Carson has two big vulnerabilities as a presidential candidate. One, which he’s stuck with, is his lack of political experience. Pundits like to navel-gaze about how that might be an asset to him, positioning him as the fresh-faced outsider untainted by Washington crapulence, but have a look at where “never held office” falls on this chart of potential candidate traits. The only trait viewed more negatively is, er, atheism. The other vulnerability is one he can do something about — namely, he told Glenn Beck last year that your right to own a semiautomatic should depend on whether you live in an urban or rural area, a remark that hasn’t gone unnoticed among gun-rights advocates. If he’s going to run as a Republican (which would be silly given his chance to fill the Perot niche against Clinton and Bush as a third-party protest candidate), he needs to get right on guns. Is this good enough?

“I do believe that it is necessary for people to begin to have rational discussions about things – what kinds of weapons,” said Carson. “You know, I don’t think tanks, for instance, would be a very good thing to be keeping in your garage. But you certainly should have access to any kind of weapon that you want for recreational purposes or to protect yourself. There really shouldn’t be a lot of restrictions on that.”

He continued, “You do need to have a discussion about how we deal with situations where there is a tremendous amount of crime and easy access to the kinds of weapons that can create a lot of damage quickly. But that needs to be done in context of always preserving Second Amendment rights.”

Listen to the clip for his full answer. The last bit sounds like he does still see an urban/rural distinction, but the part about always preserving gun rights is hard to square with what he told Beck. Maybe he’s come around on semiautomatic pistols in cities but would restrict rifles to less populated areas? Or he’s okay with revolvers in cities but not semiautomatics? He might as well be specific the next time he’s asked about this. It’s going to come up if he runs, early and often.

Interestingly, he’s written not one but two columns for National Review in the past eight days urging conservatives not to conduct purity purges against perceived RINOs but to join hands with them in protecting the stuff that really matters, like fiscal sustainability and Christian values. Hmmmm.


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Re-educated

Schadenfreude on May 28, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Course correction.

Bmore on May 28, 2014 at 11:23 AM

If you don’t agree with Dr. Carson you are racists.

Schadenfreude on May 28, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Not ready for primetime.

weedisgood on May 28, 2014 at 11:25 AM

The NRA got to him!!!!

/libtard

CurtZHP on May 28, 2014 at 11:25 AM

I’d like his thoughts on the existence of letters of marque and reprisal.

rogerb on May 28, 2014 at 11:26 AM

I’ve never been worried about this to be honest. Let’s say Ben Carson is somehow elected President as a Republican(this country ain’t electing a third party candidate). Does anyone really believe for one second that he’s going to ram through any sort of gun control legislation? I’m pretty sure he’ll be more than a little preoccupied with the economy, health care, and foreign policy thanks to the mess his predecessor is leaving behind.

Doughboy on May 28, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Sorry, I don’t trust this Carson guy anymore than I trust the White House Marxist.

bgibbs1000 on May 28, 2014 at 11:28 AM

“I do believe that it is necessary for people to begin to have rational discussions about things – what kinds of weapons,” said Carson. “You know, I don’t think tanks, for instance, would be a very good thing to be keeping in your garage. But you certainly should have access to any kind of weapon that you want for recreational purposes or to protect yourself. There really shouldn’t be a lot of restrictions on that.”

Carson is trying to be politically correct but it is my opinion based on that statement above that he does not understand the second amendment or it’s purpose. “There really shouldn’t be a lot of restrictions on that” certainly does not equate to “Shall not be infringed”.

Oldnuke on May 28, 2014 at 11:28 AM

You do need to have a discussion about

Usually, leftists say they want ‘discussions’. But, they mean ‘edicts’.

faraway on May 28, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Carson just dropped off my list. If he can’t grasp the second why would I believe he’d protect the others?

Oldnuke on May 28, 2014 at 11:29 AM

The NRA got to him!!!!

/libtard

CurtZHP on May 28, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Richard Martinez is going to be furious.

Bitter Clinger on May 28, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Not ready for primetime.

weedisgood on May 28, 2014 at 11:25 AM

We don’t care about your marijuana plants.

NotCoach on May 28, 2014 at 11:30 AM

and he was born in this country!

dbilly76 on May 28, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Interestingly, he’s written not one but two columns for National Review in the past eight days urging conservatives not to conduct purity purges against perceived RINOs but to join hands with them in protecting the stuff that really matters, like fiscal sustainability and Christian values. Hmmmm.

RINOS and fiscal sustainability are mutually exclusive terms, Dr. Carson.

Bitter Clinger on May 28, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Dr. Carson is an admirable man, intelligent and accomplished, but I don’t think he’s ready for the political big leagues. I believe Dr. Carson gives somewhat incoherent and inconsistent responses to policy-related questions because I doubt he’s given comparatively much thought to political problems and issues. Seems to me that neurosurgeons would typically think about neurosurgery. It is an incredibly demanding profession requiring near-superhuman skill and intellect, with little room for anything else.

troyriser_gopftw on May 28, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Let’s stipulate that Ben Carson is not qualified to be President. But what about Secretary of Health & Human Services? Surely his talent and medical experience would be an improvement over what we have now? Or maybe he could clean out the Augean Stables that are the Veterans Administration?

Getting the “Right Guy” into the top job is not enough. What’s really important are the people with whom the President surrounds himself. How good is their advice? I think Ben Carson would make a good Cabinet member.

potkas7 on May 28, 2014 at 11:33 AM

but to join hands with them in protecting the stuff that really matters

The 2nd Amendment really matters unless you’re one of those people who likes to wipe their crack with the Constitution, aka leftist trash.

Bishop on May 28, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Not ready for primetime.

weedisgood on May 28, 2014 at 11:25 AM

You really should wait until a little later in the day to start chooming.

VegasRick on May 28, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Dr. Carson w/b the best and most qualified Surgeon General or Sec. of HHS, ever.

Schadenfreude on May 28, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Seems to me that neurosurgeons would typically think about neurosurgery. It is an incredibly demanding profession requiring near-superhuman skill and intellect, with little room for anything else.

troyriser_gopftw on May 28, 2014 at 11:32 AM

He’s retired. All that intellect and skill can be focused on other things now.

HotAirian on May 28, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Dr Carson is a brilliant man. But he is not a politician. I certainly hope he knows he doesn’t stand a chance at running for any political office

Dr Carson is too smart

Redford on May 28, 2014 at 11:37 AM

He needs a good slogan, like 9-9-9.

faraway on May 28, 2014 at 11:38 AM

already playing political games.

sorry no, flip flopping on 2A plus pro amnesty. very nice guy, but I will not vote for him.

Garyinaz66 on May 28, 2014 at 11:41 AM

This man has earned a little space to get his political legs.

The GOP needs his voice – and his presence in the 2016 primary campaign.

jake-the-goose on May 28, 2014 at 11:42 AM

No Ben Carson. Because, when the chips were not down, he dissed the 2nd Amendment. And when the dreams of running for elective office gleamed in his eyes, he flipped.

chuckh on May 28, 2014 at 11:42 AM

I kinda fear that would be interpreted as a “racist dog whistle” but can someone name me one good African American politician who is intelligent, accomplished, understands what conservatism is about, and is not a walking gaffe machine. Much as I raked my memory, I could only name Tim Scott, and mostly because I don’t hear much from him lately. Allen West was a painful disappointment with his Pigford endorsement and a subsequent loss, and Mia Love failed to win a R+29 district. Help me here, maybe?

Rix on May 28, 2014 at 11:44 AM

My dream scenario would be for him to primary Hillary and then when he lost, be chosen the Republican vice presidential candidate.

John Deaux on May 28, 2014 at 11:46 AM

He’ll never be president, so what does it matter?

rickv404 on May 28, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Dr Carson is a brilliant man. But he is not a politician. I certainly hope he knows he doesn’t stand a chance at running for any political office

Dr Carson is too smart

Redford on May 28, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Do we really need another politician in the WH?

Tater Salad on May 28, 2014 at 11:56 AM

potkas7 on May 28, 2014 at 11:33 AM

Dr. Carson for HHS or Surgeon general? Absolutely!
Perry for President.

annoyinglittletwerp on May 28, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Do we really need another politician in the WH?

Tater Salad on May 28, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Do you need another plumber when the first was so incompetent as to ruin your pipework? Every job requires a pro to be done properly. The problem is that a good pro is awfully hard to hire.

Rix on May 28, 2014 at 12:02 PM

I’m not a single issue voter, but this is one single issue on which most of the others hang… Worrisome.

I hope he doesn’t get tagged with “Flip Flopper” like Romney did.
I Like Dr. Carson, I hope I am not disappointed.

-Wasteland Man.

WastelandMan on May 28, 2014 at 12:03 PM

There are only two ways to save the Republic.

Article V

Amendment II

ConstantineXI on May 28, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Do we really need another politician in the WH?

Tater Salad on May 28, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Do you need another plumber when the first was so incompetent as to ruin your pipework? Every job requires a pro to be done properly. The problem is that a good pro is awfully hard to hire.

Rix on May 28, 2014 at 12:02 PM

I want somebody who knows how to lead, run things, and get stuff done. That isn’t necessarily the definition of a politician.

Tater Salad on May 28, 2014 at 12:15 PM

I’m keeping an open mind on Dr. Carson. I actually LIKE that he’s about as far from being a political careerist as he is. A thorough parsing of his earlier words on the 2A gave me no particular cause for concern. After a long career consumed by, and cloistered in medicine, he’d probably never given 2A issues a whole lot of deep study or consideration, it just wasn’t one of his issues. Medicine was.

I do think that since he’s been away from medicine, out and about and talking to a lot of people for whom the 2A is the paramount issue of our times, he’s been influenced in the right direction. He’s NOT a poll-driven ‘politician’ like the current rabble we’ve become accustomed to, who change position with the latest Gallup numbers. He’s just not wired that way. I’d say give him time. He is new to this, but he’s a quick study.

Harbingeing on May 28, 2014 at 12:15 PM

He has another year or so to get his act together, to organize his conservative ideals in a manner appealing to voters. Of course, it would be nice if there was someone who, say, already had these things figured out, someone who didn’t have to walk back, change their mind, clarify later…etc. It would be nice if there was someone who’s comfortable in her…um, their conservatism enough without having to dial things back sheepishly in front of the MSM.

Dongemaharu on May 28, 2014 at 12:18 PM

“Believes in the Second Amendment”, what a concept! The Bill of Rights is unalienable …

Fat Hubie on May 28, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Carson has lost me. He has too many qualifiers. He starts off talking about invasion and out of control government, but then we hear his real thinking about rational discussion and weapons for recreation and self defense.

First, I don’t believe the 2nd is only for guns. Second, who is going to decide what’s rational? The govt? That’s a conflict of interest. Finally, what’s this context he’s talking about? Am I less protected by the 2nd if I live in a city than if I live in the country?

Flash in the pan…

freedomfirst on May 28, 2014 at 12:20 PM

No Ben Carson. Because, when the chips were not down, he dissed the 2nd Amendment. And when the dreams of running for elective office gleamed in his eyes, he flipped.

chuckh on May 28, 2014 at 11:42 AM

That^.
I heard him in his own words exactly what he thought of the 2nd.
To paraphrase. “It depends on were you live. If you live on a ranch or in the county, I have no problem. If you live in another environment, I don’t think you should have a semi-automatic firearm. You don’t need it.”

Mimzey on May 28, 2014 at 12:26 PM

This is why we have a primary process. Either he’ll survive it, or he’ll implode.

CurtZHP on May 28, 2014 at 12:27 PM

There really shouldn’t be a lot of restrictions on that” certainly does not equate to “Shall not be infringed”.

Oldnuke on May 28, 2014 at 11:28 AM

What does he have to do for some of you, come into a press conference with guns blazing into the air, yelling “Yeehaaah!!”

He’s an intelligent, honorable, thoughtful man. No, he doesn’t have political experience, but neither does the marxist in the White House now. I’d say Dr. Carson is the anti-Obama.

Sterling Holobyte on May 28, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Ben needs to be a governor or senator first before he runs for the presidency. Presidency is not the job for first time executive just look at Barack.

BroncosRock on May 28, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Dear Dr. Carson,

The language structure and syntax is quite clear, there are numerous examples of how the passive and active voice are used in the Constitution and it is written in English. Do you know the difference between passive voice and active voice clauses?

Can you give examples of each in the US Constitution and the Amendments?

What is the difference between passive and active voice clauses?

When the Amendment II says ‘shall not infringe’ is this a passive or active voice speaking about who shall not be infringing the right to keep and bear arms, about who is it talking about not doing the infringing?

Get back to me when you have answers on these topics, OK?

ajacksonian on May 28, 2014 at 12:40 PM

Also problematic, Ben Carson is for illegal alien amnesty:
http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/60920

In the book, America the Beautiful, by Ben Carson, p.102, the author touched on a subject that is of great interest to me when he said this about the immigrant population in this country, “I believe we have taken the moral low road on this issue. Some segments of our economy would virtually collapse without these undocumented workers—we all know that—yet we continue to harass and deport many individuals who are simply seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Is there a way to apply logic to this issue and arrive at an intelligent solution?”

bluegill on May 28, 2014 at 1:23 PM

There are only two ways to save the Republic.

Article V

Amendment II

ConstantineXI on May 28, 2014 at 12:04 PM

As long as the invoking Article V leads to the repeal of the 17th Amendment….. I’m with ya

Conservative4Ever on May 28, 2014 at 1:26 PM

potkas7 on May 28, 2014 at 11:33 AM

You’ve hit on something I’ve been considering for some time.

We have a lot of bright conservatives, yet all of them are being pushed to be the top dog, by taking out the others.

Truth is, our nation’s problems are so big that we really need a working dream-team. It would be nice of all these conservatives got together and formed a plan on how to tackle the issues together.

Instead of tearing each other down, agree to build each other up… and whoever wins the primary, pulls the others in as cabinet members aligned with their expertise. We don’t need one out of a field, we need the whole field. In other words, form the dream team.

Imagine how flustered the liberal media would be when they tried to pin down a candidate about his competitor, and the candidate said only good things about his competitor and even stated that everyone (including the reporter) should vote for him? Can you imagine the confusion among the media? It would be glorious to see…

dominigan on May 28, 2014 at 1:29 PM

It’s simple Mr. Carson. The more the crime and violence–the more one needs to protect oneself. Disappointed you can’t see the obvious, since I agree with so much of what you otherwise say.

Don L on May 28, 2014 at 1:35 PM

I suppose he’ll be off to Europe soon on a listening tour….build up some FP bonafides.
Why you guys humor these poor dudes is beyond me.
At least with Trump it’s entertaining.

verbaluce on May 28, 2014 at 1:51 PM

The only way I would go back to the original state election on senatirs is if we also elected each house seat to represent only 100,000 population so the people , still have an equal and fair vote in congress that doesn’t punish states or citues witl latge populationd by giving more power to the rural areas because urban seats represent more people than rural seats

redyoshii on May 28, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Don’t count out Bobby Jindal!

John the Libertarian on May 28, 2014 at 1:56 PM

One, which he’s stuck with, is his lack of political experience.

Never a problem before.

The other vulnerability is one he can do something about — namely, he told Glenn Beck last year that your right to own a semiautomatic should depend on whether you live in an urban or rural area, a remark that hasn’t gone unnoticed among gun-rights advocates. If he’s going to run as a Republican (which would be silly given his chance to fill the Perot niche against Clinton and Bush as a third-party protest candidate), he needs to get right on guns. Is this good enough?

It’s actually quite understandable that a neurosurgeon working in Baltimore would be antigun. Must be tiring draining hematomas at 3am. Should have stuck with his first answer. Now he comes across as less believable, like a liberal.

WryTrvllr on May 28, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Listening tours sure beat apology tours.

WryTrvllr on May 28, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Carson is a good man but he is not presidential material. Period.

We need someone experienced with managing government bureaucracy and prepared to take an axe to most of the federal bureaucracy.

novaculus on May 28, 2014 at 2:06 PM

I tend to take people – especially political neophytes not used to speaking in focus group nonsense – at their word the first time they speak on an issue. When Dr. Carson said what he said about gun rights way back when he was telling you what he honestly thought and now that he’s realized there’s a serious political liability there he’s trying to backtrack and convince us what he said before wasn’t what he said. Well sorry, Dr. Carson, I’m not stupid enough to fall for it.

Apart from that, after our experience the past few election cycles with unpolished candidates not accustomed to dealing with 24/7 media why would we even give this guy a thought as a presidential candidate? I’m not saying Carson is as dumb as Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell or Richard Mourdock; he’s obviously not, but for the first time in a very long time we might have a whole flood of very attractive, battle-tested conservative candidates to select from. Why take an unnecessary chance on someone who’s never been in the spotlight?

alchemist19 on May 28, 2014 at 2:08 PM

we also elected each house seat to represent only 100,000 population

redyoshii on May 28, 2014 at 1:52 PM

So you want a House with 3,000 representatives in it?

dreadnought62 on May 28, 2014 at 2:13 PM

What does he have to do for some of you, come into a press conference with guns blazing into the air, yelling “Yeehaaah!!”

Sterling Holobyte

Well of course. Clearly if you don’t accept a guy’s stupid comments on the Second Amendment, you’ll only accept this reaction as an alternative. Because everyone knows it’s a well known fact that those are the only two options one can choose when it comes to this issue.

xblade on May 28, 2014 at 2:27 PM

How exactly does he differ from the democrats as far as the invasion of illegal aliens and the second amendment?
Somebody ask him about his thoughts on “economic fairness”.

Mimzey on May 28, 2014 at 2:28 PM

to join hands with them in protecting the stuff that really matters, like fiscal sustainability and Christian values.

That right there is either really good propaganda level narrative or he’s as incredibly naïve about the position of RINOs.

RINOs plans for fiscal Conservatives, in the form of the TEA party, is to “crush them”. And traditional values gets sold out every time RINOs decide it isn’t politically expedient for them to support traditional values…because BigTent!!!

lineholder on May 28, 2014 at 2:30 PM

Why take an unnecessary chance on someone who’s never been in the spotlight?

alchemist19 on May 28, 2014 at 2:08 PM

Because he talks pretty and says soothing things?

Mimzey on May 28, 2014 at 2:30 PM

While Carson was busy being a brilliant doctor, what were his political views? Who did he donate money to? Did Carson oppose or support people speaking up when he was practicing medicine?

RayBacliff on May 28, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Interestingly, he’s written not one but two columns for National Review in the past eight days urging conservatives not to conduct purity purges against perceived RINOs but to join hands with them in protecting the stuff that really matters, like fiscal sustainability and Christian values.

RINOs are Christian?

Dusty on May 28, 2014 at 5:05 PM

We’re not going to slash and burn our way back into power. We’re just not. The right has the right arguments but we’re not ever going to all agree on everything. It’s going to take someone like Ben Carson. He’s not a hateful bitter person. Something you have to be anymore to participate in the political discussion. FTS

mike_NC9 on May 28, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Mr. Carson needs to FULLY RETRACT his statement where he said a CITY should be able to regulate firearms further than what the federal law is at the time.

Big cities are not entitled to different gun law.

TX-96 on May 28, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Mr. Carson needs to FULLY RETRACT his statement where he said a CITY should be able to regulate firearms further than what the federal law is at the time.

Big cities are not entitled to different gun law.

TX-96 on May 28, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Cities operate under state law. And correct me if I’m wrong fellow Hot Airheads, but don’t all 50 states have an equivalent to the 2nd amendment in their respective state constitutions?

gryphon202 on May 28, 2014 at 7:18 PM

It’s funny that you people are still looking for a savior in the political arena. Good luck with that, America.

gryphon202 on May 28, 2014 at 7:19 PM

already playing political games.sorry no, flip flopping on 2A plus pro amnesty. very nice guy, but I will not vote for him.
Garyinaz66 on May 28, 2014 at 11:41 AM

is it really flip flopping if you once thot a certain way because you really didn’t dwell on the topic but gave your gut opinion anyway. Then after understanding the topic more completely, arrived at a totaly different conclusion? I don’t think so. In the former, he was never anti gun to begin with, just thot that maybe a rural v urban divide made sense. And now his thot process has evolved. Evolving is fine, if one can point to the steps that led him to the change in position.

How many of you pro 2nd amendmenters believe felons should be denied the right to own guns? Raise your hand and explain why.

I used to feel/think the same way but came to a realization that “shall not be infringed” means exactly that. Anyone – citizen that is – may own gun (s) if they so wish. But if they commit a crime with it then by all means throw the book at them. But to deny them their right merely because they’re a felon? Certainly not. Before you weigh in on felons, as in murderers, owning guns, I ask you to consider the fact that most gun grabbing laws make no distinction in the crime that lead to being classified as a felon. Or that a divorcee can be denied the right to own guns merely on the say so of a hostile ex-spouse and signed off by a judge with no judgement whatsoever as to guilt?

I’ll even be ok with gangbangers legally owning guns, just so they know that the minute they use them to break laws they will be dealt with. But for this principle to work, we really need to flush out the progressives from within the justice/legal system.

AH_C on May 28, 2014 at 8:04 PM

Well of course. Clearly if you don’t accept a guy’s stupid comments on the Second Amendment, you’ll only accept this reaction as an alternative. Because everyone knows it’s a well known fact that those are the only two options one can choose when it comes to this issue.

xblade on May 28, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Don’t put words into my post. I never said there are only two options.
I just call them as I see them. And some posters simply can’t accept someone who doesn’t immediately follow and shout from the rooftops their rigid, rabid opinion. People like that, even if they are on the right, are no better than the intolerant left.

Sterling Holobyte on May 29, 2014 at 1:24 AM