‘Some people have gotten the wrong impression,” Dr. Ben Carson began his speech to those assembled at the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meeting in Nashville.
Carson stands out among the potential GOP presidential contenders speaking here today: The accomplished surgeon has no prior career experience in politics or government, meaning he’s never been rated by the NRA, and never voted on a gun-control bill, or any other bill for that matter.
And Carson’s previous public comments had left some Second Amendment advocates wondering if the doctor was at least a casual supporter of gun control, or a wishy-washy backer of gun rights.
In a March 2013 interview with Glenn Beck, Carson said, “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.”
Today in Nashville, Carson set out to dispel any doubts.
“This isn’t any evolution of my views, just that I’ve learned how to express myself,” he said, to a seemingly sympathetic chuckling from the audience.
#related#“I assumed everyone knew what I was talking about when I was saying something . . . but the world of politics is different from the world of medicine. Just recently, Chris Cuomo was trying to trick me and he ended up looking like a fool,” Carson said, and a vigorous applause assured Carson that this crowd, at least, is convinced that Cuomo doesn’t just look like a fool.
“Just for the record, let me be extremely clear, I am extremely pro–Second Amendment, no question about it,” Carson said. He shared a tale of his difficult childhood in some of Detroit’s roughest, most crime-ridden neighborhoods:
“Both of my older cousins, who we lived with, were killed. I remembered the drug dealers many of whom we liked, because they would bring us candy. As a surgeon, I spent many a night operating on people with gunshot wounds to their heads. All of that is horrible. It is not nearly as horrible as having a population that is defenseless against a group of tyrants who have arms. And that is what we have to bear in mind.”