Beware of Carson and his stance on the Second Amendment. From Cheryl Chumley
Ben Carson is a terrific pick for Donald Trump’s administration. But there is one point to watch, if he’s confirmed as secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development: Gun control.
Stay with me on this.
Carson is a staunch defender of gun ownership rights. But he has made a couple of statements in the past that have raised eyebrows among the Second Amendment crowd. Namely, this in March 2013, during a broadcast discussion with Glenn Beck.
OnTheIssues.org records the remarks, from March 3, 2013:
“Appearing on Glenn Beck’s radio show this past week, Carson took a vastly different stance from most conservatives on the issue of gun control, claiming you shouldn’t be able to own semi-automatic weapons in large cities.
“Asked by Beck for his thoughts on the Second Amendment, Carson gave the popular pro-gun argument: ‘There’s a reason for the Second Amendment; people do have the right to have weapons.’
“But when asked 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. ‘However, if you live ‘out in the country somewhere by yourself’ and want to own a semi-automatic weapon, he added, ‘I’ve no problem with that.'”
Get that? Carson’s then-view: Semi-automatics OK for country-dwellers; not OK for city folk.
In the years since, Carson seemed to recant this watery mantra to become – thankfully – even more pro-Second Amendment. In an op-ed for the Washington Times in October, 2015, for instance, Carson wrote: “he right of individual American citizens to own and maintain legal arms is absolutely paramount, and that right can in no way be violated – any attempt to dissolve said right should be strongly opposed by ‘we the people.'”
He also said in October 2015 during a “Meet the Press” interview, according to OnTheIssues.org once again, that he didn’t want any limits on gun ownership, including what types of weapons citizens can lawfully purchase, except in cases of the mentally unstable.
In this same interview, Carson then clarified: “Well, my point being we should never compromise the Second Amendment. Of course, we should be thinking about what we can do to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of mentally unstable people. The two things are not incompatible.”
And here’s the money quote. When asked during the “Meet the Press” discussion about limitations on types of weapons citizens could buy, Carson said this: “Of course [no limits]. You know, when we put this [2nd] amendment in place, you know, state-of-the-art weapon was what? 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.”
Right. All true. All good.
So Carson seems strong on the Second Amendment – now. But just a few short years ago, he nonetheless saw sense in banning what would be considered semi-automatic weapons from within city boundaries. And that, you have to admit, is a pretty large ding to the Constitution.
So now we circle to why it all matters.
Remember when former president Bill Clinton used his HUD under Henry Cisneros to regulate gun ownership in public housing?
If you don’t, here’s one headline from the Los Angeles Times, from April 17, 1994, that read: “Clinton Calls for Steps to Rid Projects of Guns.”
The issue took such heat it was reviewed at length in an October, 2011, St. John’s Law Review piece, entitled, “The Second Amendment Under a Government Landlord: Is There a Right to Keep and Bear Legal Firearms in Public Housing?”
On top of that, the Clinton years saw other left-leaning figures like Andrew Cuomo, who took over the HUD secretary slot from Cisneros, oversee federal gun buy-back programs for those living in public housing – a taxpayer shell-out that was fiercely opposed by the National Rifle Association in part, because members saw it as a backdoor play for gun control.
So the takeaway, if you’ve not yet guessed, is this: HUD’s head has some serious authority over policies and regulations regarding public housing. And Carson’s a great guy, an intelligent guy and a bold conservative who’s not afraid to take on a mainstream media just itching to thwart the incoming administration’s agenda – someone who could bring a limited government perspective to a federal agency that, truth be told, isn’t really a constitutional entity in the first place.
But even Founding Fathers were steadfadst on this point: You can’t trust government. Our rights come from God, not the public servants who were entrusted to guard them. Moreover, the Constitution is clear: Second Amendment rights apply equally to all, no matter the postal address.
So let’s not become so enamored with the figures Trump appoints that we forget the watchdog duties we’re all tasked by founders, and by Christian duty, to perform.