Any doubts Ben Carson left about his commitment to the Second Amendment stemmed from “political inexperience,” the famed neurosurgeon told TheBlaze.
Carson, who is among the leading Republican presidential candidates in most polls, said in 2013 shortly after the public began calling for him to run for president, that the right to own a semi-automatic weapon depended on whether someone lived in a rural or populated area.
“Early on, when I entered the political arena and I was asked the question about guns, I didn’t know at that time that you always start that off by saying how important the Second Amendment is and that you will never compromise that,” Carson said.
“Instead, I started out talking about something that concerned me a lot and that was having dangerous weapons in the hands of mentally-ill people and where that was most likely to occur. That was simply a matter of political inexperience,” Carson continued. “It has nothing to do with the fact that, I think the reason we still have our freedom is because of the Second Amendment.”
In 2013, when Glenn Beck asked about the right to own a semi-automatic weapon, Carson said:
“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 might fall into the hands of a crazy person, I would rather you not have it. If you live out in the country somewhere by yourself, I have no problem.”
Asked during that 2013 interview if the federal of local government decides, Carson said, “It would probably be a local.”
However, on Monday, Carson told TheBlaze he does not believe in limits on semi-automatic weapons or that gun control is a local option.
“Totally not,” Carson said Monday. “What I was trying to get across is that the place where dangerous weapons are most likely to fall into the hands of crazies are crowded places. They are not likely to happen in some remote place. But in no way do I think we should restrict the rights, particularly the rights of law abiding citizens to have guns.”
He pointed to the purpose of the Second Amendment being so that people could defend against an overly aggressive government, or to take up arms and aid the military.
“It doesn’t do any good if people can only have peashooters,” Carson said. “They need to have something that they can protect themselves.”