Potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson used a conference call with supporters Wednesday to tackle an albatross that has hovered over him since an interview with Glenn Beck last year, and set things straight on where he stands on Americans' Second Amendment rights.
Carson, who caused a furor last year when he told Beck that people's right to own a semi-automatic weapon depends on where they live, said on the conference call, "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. Sometimes people just hear one little thing and they don't hear anything else," Bloomberg News reported.
Carson had said to Beck, who asked if people should have a right to own semi-automatic weapons, "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. If you live out in the country somewhere by yourself, I have no problem."
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Carson said on the conference call, "Perhaps I didn’t convey it appropriately. 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."
He said that if elected, "under no circumstances" would he "allow a bureaucrat to remove any law-abiding citizen's rights for any kind of weapon they wanted to protect
themselves," including semi-automatic and fully automatic firearms, Bloomberg reported.
It's not the first time Carson has corrected himself over the Beck interview. At the Western Conservative Summit 2014 in Denver in July, he said that the Second Amendment is "vitally important and I would never compromise the Second Amendment in any way. It was put there for a very specific reason, so that the people could act in support of the military in case of an invasion but, more importantly, so that people could protect themselves from an overly aggressive government if that ever happened.
"So we absolutely cannot compromise that because all we have to do is look back through history and see what happened when various dictators rose to power. One of the first things they always did was confiscate the weapons.
"We don’t ever want to allow that situation to occur. We don’t even necessarily want them to know who has weapons. You have a right to have weapons."
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Carson, former director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and author of six books, including "One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America's Future," still supports finding a way to keep weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill "without compromising any provision of the Second Amendment," CNS News reported.
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