Earlier this month, Ben Carson spoke at the “Bridging the Gap Quarterly Leadership Series” in Spartanburg, South Carolina, an early primary state, where he fielded a question about his previous statement that people in cities don’t have the right to own semi-automatic weapons. The likely GOP presidential candidate insisted that the NRA — whose convention he recently addressed — straightened him out on such views.
Carson said that people in cities need guns to defend against Big Government gun confiscations and potential attacks, even going so far as to suggest that ISIS wouldn’t have made such advances in Iraq if there were more firearms in the country.
He also claimed that Thomas Hobbes, the philosopher and “Leviathan” author, knew that tyranny “would never occur in America because American citizens have guns and they won’t let it happen.” Hobbes, of course died in 1679, a century before the U.S. was established:
Actually, as I’ve stated, that was expressed with the wrong emphasis. Because I don’t have any problem with any American having any weapon that they can legally have, that’s what the Second Amendment is for and that’s what it talks about. What I was referring to all the carnage I’ve seen and all the operating that I’ve seen that’s been caused by those weapons falling in the wrong hands. But I subsequently had multiple conversations with the NRA leadership and a lot of people who knew a lot more about it than I did and I tried to make it very clear to people that the second amendment is there for a very important reason.
Number one, to make sure that the citizens could assist the military in case of invasion, and to think that that is farfetched, all you have to do is go to the Middle East and see some of the things that are happening there. I have a friend who is a missionary doctor, called me two weeks ago quite distressed, he was over in Iraq, went back to one of the villages that they had helped in before and it was desolate, ISIS had gotten there before them, killed all the men, taken the women captive, I mean, if those people had the ability to defend themselves maybe that wouldn’t have happened. To think that we are completely isolated from that I think is silly, particularly knowing that there are cells in this country right now.
But the most important reason for the Second Amendment is so that our people could protect themselves in case our government went off the rails and started thinking it could dominate the people. You know, we think that that is farfetched but you know you look at what has happened historically to nations where the government did become tyrannical and what did they do first? Get rid of people’s guns. Get rid of people’s guns rights. It was Thomas Hobbes, the English philosopher of the 17th century when talking about tyranny in Europe, he said it would never occur in America because American citizens have guns and they won’t let it happen.