WASHINGTON, June 5, 2015 – A recent letter from the Georgia Gun Owners to its membership concerning Dr. Ben Carson’s stand on the Second Amendment shows both the strength and the weaknesses of the Internet. Online communications provide an easy way to send information, even when it is inaccurate or out of context, and to get a reaction.
A great deal of what purports to be accurate information is not.
Glenn Beck interviewed Carson in 2013 and asked him about the Second Amendment. Here’s what Carson had to say, according to the letter:
“But when asked [by Glenn Beck] 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.”
The Gun Owners letter immediately concludes:
“There you have it, in his own words. He thinks Second Amendment rights apply to us based on where we ‘live.’”
The inconvenient truth is that is not what Dr. Carson said, and research reveals it is most certainly not what he meant. The conclusion of the Gun Owners is neither logical nor supportable based on other stands taken by Dr. Carson. The author of the letter misleads readers, and does them a disservice on an important issue.
Dr. Carson’s stand on the Second Amendment is clear:
“It was no accident that our Founding Fathers enshrined the right to own firearms as the 2nd element of the Bill of Rights, immediately after establishing our free speech rights. I cannot and will not support any efforts to weaken The 2nd Amendment.
The 2nd Amendment is a central pillar of our Constitution. Our Founding Fathers added it explicitly in order to protect freedom in the United States of America. It provides our citizens the right to protect themselves from threats foreign or domestic.”
An objective observer can only conclude that Dr. Carson is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.
As the letter from the Georgia Gun Owners states, all candidates should face close questioning on these issues, and citizens must be satisfied with the answers before they give their support.
But before making decisions, let’s start with the facts and responsible reporting.