During an interview on Glenn Beck‘s radio show this past week, Dr. Benjamin Carson suggested that you shouldn’t be able to own semi-automatic weapons in large cities.
When asked by Beck whether people should be allowed to own “semi-automatic weapons,” Carson 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 explained.
If you live “out in the country somewhere by yourself” and want to own a semi-automatic weapon, Carson said, he had “no problem with that.”
The neurosurgeon’s explanations make this more a lesson about caution than about breaking news.
Carson became a conservative hero of sorts after upstaging President Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., last month.
With the president sitting just a few feet away, Carson spoke of his disdain for political correctness and America’s moral decay and criticized the nation’s debt and current fiscal policy. He even criticized Obama’s taxing and health care policies.
And he was instantly loved by conservatives for doing so, in part because he was giving voice to issues that resonate with the right. Just as importantly, as a black American, he is immune — at least somewhat — from the now-standard charge of racism hurled by a protective media at anyone who dares to criticize “their” guy.
We saw that protective reflex during the 2012 Republican presidential primary, when after four years of seeing this country devoid of true leadership, conservative Americans were desperate to rally behind someone they felt would challenge Obama and expose him for the charlatan he is.
Bouncing from one candidate to the next, driven by the desire to get behind a “fighter,” the media took delight in making conservatives look foolish as they took out each emerging hero they felt may be a threat.
It was a phenomenon Carson is experiencing as we speak, with MSNBC already building the narrative that he is an Uncle Tom and betrayer of his race, just as we saw with Herman Cain.
Carson shows many signs of strong, competent leadership, but there is much we don’t know about the man. This is his first foray into the national spotlight, and as Sarah Palin discovered, the heat can be intense.
As desperate as we may be to fill the void created by Obama, conservatives should tread carefully and learn more about any potential candidate before professing their undying love and devotion.
An assessment of Carson begins with whether his view on semi-automatic weapons betrays a weak understanding of the Constitution, which can be corrected, or whether it exposes a “progressive” mindset where government is seen as the final arbiter of what is best for us.
A good place to start would be in analyzing Carson’s own words: “My politics are extremely well laid out in all the books that I’ve written and particularly in the last book, ‘America the Beautiful,'” which still sits atop The New York Times bestseller list.
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