If we had any doubts that Ben Carson was running for president, I’m pretty sure they can be laid to rest now. A person who planned on either continuing their work as a neurosurgeon, going into the ministry or just retiring wouldn’t be hosting a conference call ahead of a trip to Iowa to assure everyone that he’s on board with Second Amendment rights. The confusion and accusations arose from a 2013 interview that Carson did with Glenn Beck where he was asked about who should be able to own a semi-automatic rifle.
“It depends on where you live,” Carson told Beck. “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.”
Yeah… sorry Ben, but that’s not going to fly. Let’s see how he cleans this one up.
“There seemed to be group of people—I don’t know exactly who they are—who seize upon one part of something that I said,” Carson said on the call, which Bloomberg Politics was allowed to dial into. “Sometimes people just hear one little thing and they don’t hear anything else.”
Carson said that he could have been more precise in his answer to Beck.
“Perhaps I didn’t convey it appropriately,” he said. “I wanted to convey that, you know, I’ve lived in urban areas. I’ve worked in urban areas. I’ve seen a lot of carnage, and I’d prefer a situation where the kinds of weapons that create that kind of carnage don’t fall to the hands of criminal elements or insane people. But that is secondary to the desire to always defend the Second Amendment.”
Carson said that “under no circumstances” would he “allow a bureaucrat to remove any law-abiding citizen’s rights for any kind of weapon that they want to protect themselves.”
Well, if that’s where he’s putting his stake in the ground he will at least be on the record on the correct side of the issue. Later in the call, while taking questions, he also came out against reinstating the so called “assault weapons” ban and is absolutely not on board with any sort of handgun ban. I’m still not entirely sure where he stands on the whole federal background check / gun registry thing because the few comments we’ve found on record are a bit ambiguous sounding.
All of this should be clarified by January at the latest. By then I expect that Carson will be at the prospective candidate forum hosted by Congressman King in Iowa and this is one subject which will certainly be at the forefront. If he wants to try to stay squishy on gun rights to run toward the center, we’ll know soon enough.