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From bad to worse: Dr. Ben Carson cannot be trusted on gun rights

Outdated anti-tank cannons are presumably also on Carson's 'not approved' list
Outdated anti-tank cannons are presumably also on Carson's 'not approved' list
Photo © Oleg Volk. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Dr. Ben Carson, potential contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, has been enjoying near "rock star" status in ostensibly conservative circles. If that continues, "conservatives" had might as well give up trying to cast themselves as representing the "pro-gun" position, because Carson's stance on guns is one that would probably not displease the Brady Campaign.

Carson first raised gun owners' hackles in March, 2013, when he blithely told Glenn Beck that the right to own semi-automatic firearms is contingent on where one lives. From Mediate:

But when asked whether people should be allowed to own “semi-automatic weapons,” the doctor replied: “It depends on where you live.”

“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,” Carson elaborated.

However, if you live “out in the country somewhere by yourself” and want to own a semi-automatic weapon, he added, “I’ve no problem with that.”

How generous of him. He has "no problem" with your ownership of one semi-automatic firearm--if you're a hermit.

Last December, in an apparent effort to redeem himself, he wrote an op-ed in the Washington Times purporting to explain why the Founding Fathers "gave" us the Second Amendment. At first, it looked like an improvement in his understanding of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms. Nothing that would cause anyone to mistake him for a pro-rights firebrand, but he was at least sounding some of the right platitudes. The problem is, he kept talking (writing), implying that what is needed is for gun rights advocates and the gun ban lobby to compromise--with that "compromise" looking a whole lot like abject surrender on the part of gun rights advocates.

Many of them ["gun control" jihadists] want to see significant restrictions on the distribution of firearms in our nation, and others want to restrict types and quantities of ammunition. Some would be happy just to make sure that all guns and gun owners are registered ["just" to impose registration, and what registration leads to?], and most reasonable people certainly are not in favor of allowing criminals and mentally unstable individuals to purchase firearms.

And what about us reasonable people who subscribe to the belief that "anyone who can't be trusted with a gun can't be trusted without a custodian"?

In March, he tried again, and again, he started off showing a bit of promise in his speech at the New York Meeting. In that speech, according to Breitbart, he acknowledged having once believed in the necessity of gun registration, but had changed his mind. OK, fine--there's nothing wrong with learning from one's acknowledged mistakes. The problem is with the reason for his "evolution":

On Monday at The New York Meeting, Dr. Ben Carson said he does not believe in gun registration because America's massive debt could transform the nation into a third-world country in which martial law may be imposed.

Apparently, in other words, he has edited the Second Amendment to state that, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed, except by a federal government that maintains a sound fiscal policy."

And now, apparently in response to the mass stabbing and shooting atrocity last Friday in Isla Vista, California, he is expressing willingness to "talk about" banning so-called "assault weapons" (a class of firearm that has exactly zero to do with the killings). From Salon:

Less than a week after Elliot Rodger killed six people in Santa Barbara and left dozens wounded, conservative hero Dr. Ben Carson questioned whether the right to bear arms should include assault weapons.

“I think there’s some weapons that probably are not appropriate, like tanks. And I’m not sure that people should have a rocket-launcher in their bedroom [neither tanks nor rocket launchers were used in the stabbing/shooting],” Carson said during a speech at the National Press Club on Wednesday. “But conventional weapons, I don’t have any problem with.”

Well, some private individuals do own tanks, Carson, and best of luck finding even a single example of those tanks being used for evil. As for rocket launchers, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is not yet willing to rule out the possibility that the Second Amendment does protect their private ownership, and indeed, the reason we the people should have rocket launchers is that the government does own tanks and warplanes.

He continues:

“What I have said, which some people have misinterpreted, is that in places where there’s a lot of crime with assault weapons that keeping the Second Amendment on the table and always protecting it, we should be able to engage in conversations about it,” Carson said.

You want a "conversation," Carson? Then listen closely: keep your filthy claws off our guns--or face the consequences. Conversation over.