On the October 25 airing of Meet the Press, Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson stressed the important role an armed citizenry plays in preventing tyranny, saying, the government finds it “much more difficult to dominate people who are armed.”
That statement came after host Chuck Todd revisited Carson’s past comments about how he believes European Jews could have limited the scope of the Holocaust had they been armed. It was October 8 when Carson said, “I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed. I’m telling you there is a reason these dictatorial people take the guns first.”
Todd asked, “So you believe, if the Jewish citizenry were armed during the ’40s that they would have been able to stop the Holocaust?”
Well, look at the whole context in which I’ve said that and in which I’ve written about it. I wrote about societies–that before tyranny could take root, the tyrants tried to rid the people of their mechanism to defend themselves. So it was set in the context. And I think it is generally agreed that it is much more difficult to dominate people who are armed than people who are not armed.
Todd then tried to get Carson to go on record saying there is some limit to Second Amendment rights, but Carson refused to capitulate. Instead, Carson pointed again to the threat of tyranny that awaits unarmed people and said, “We should never compromise the Second Amendment.”
Todd narrowed his approach–describing the varieties of guns and weapons someone might pursue under the guise of self-defense–and asked Carson for a concrete line on weapons that people should not be able to buy. Carson responded by saying that when the Second Amendment was “put in place, state-of-the-art weaponry was a musket, but the principle was that the citizenry should have access to whatever they needed in order to protect themselves from an overly aggressive government.”
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