Here’s My Problem With Ben Carson – I Just Can’t Trust Him

Dr. Carson’s prescription for gun control | RedState

And when it comes to gun control, everyone with proper reverence for the Second Amendment lives in fear of the Republican squish who will give it away.  No matter how badly gun control has fared at the ballot box, we all know the prevalent political and media culture strongly favors it.  Just as we view our Second Amendment rights as a crucial element of our independence, the Left thinks the right to keep and bear arms is an insult to the power and wisdom of their beloved super-State.  You’re supposed to do as you’re told, and when you get in trouble, you’re supposed to await rescue from the State and its operatives.  The implication that the State probably can’t save you, and can never stumble upon some magic formula for regulating crime out of existence, makes liberals very angry.  They could get a lot done with the aid of a prominent, beloved Republican leader who came out in favor of their agenda.

So if Carson wants to run for President, he’ll need to clear all this up.  Interestingly enough, he has been taking steps to do so.  On Monday, he declared himself opposed to gun registration, saying he “used to think they needed to be registered, but if you register them, they just come and find you and take your guns.”

And by “they” he means “pretty sinister internal forces.”  He went on to address his earlier comments about the difference between urban and rural gun ownership, saying he would “never advocate anything to interfere with Second Amendment rights,” affirming that “law-abiding American citizens absolutely should have gun rights.”

He’s spoken of his fidelity to the Constitution many times, so unless you’re inclined to think his further thoughts are just elaborate posturing to conceal a deep gun-control agenda, it sounds like he came to exactly the realization I mentioned above: the need to separate what he thinks free people should discuss among themselves, and what sort of legislation he would be willing to support.

Personally, I’m a diehard Second Amendment absolutist who is extremely nervous around guns – I am quite willing to exhaust myself fighting for your right to keep and bear arms.  Maybe Dr. Carson has similar personal reservations about firearms.  But if he truly believes in the Second Amendment, and can capably articulate the ramifications of that belief, shouldn’t that be good enough?  My guess is that some will remain uneasy because they know how hard the dominant political and media culture will hit him on this issue, either during the campaign to trip him up, or after he gets elected to squeeze support from gun control from the new President.  He’d best be ready to wrestle bears and wolves to protect our gun rights.

A little more than a year ago (not as long ago as the founding of social security, as some idjit flack posted in response to an earlier post I made about this), Dr. Carson told Glenn Beck on The Blaze that,

“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.”

Now, as noted above, Carson has recently been trying to walk this one back, without explicitly walking it back.  But look at what all this shows about him.  He’s supposed to be an intelligent man, and yet he could say something as stupid as that about “semi-automatic weapons.”   In other words, as recently as a year ago, he didn’t seem to think that the right to keep and bear semi-autos, the most popular firearm in America, was or should be protected by the Second if you live in an urban area (and god alone knows what he thought a semi-auto actually was – probably a machine assault gun rifle or something).

Second, he “used to like” the notion of gun registration.  That’s a remarkably ignorant (of the history of firearms, liberty, and even the origin of American gun control laws as a way to keep firearms out of the hands of blacks threatened by whites) thing to say.  Okay, he’s changed his mind.   But why didn’t he already know all this stuff?

And then, of course, there is this:

When it comes to guns, Dr. Ben Carson still doesn’t get it – St. Louis gun rights |

We do, however, require that anyone driving a car on the streets of our nation have a license to do so, indicating the successful completion of adequate training. We do not grant licenses to certain categories of individuals who would be deemed unsafe drivers. This is done for the safety of the public at large.

Hmm . . . perhaps Carson does have some responsibility to answer for the “license to operate” illustration. He appears to be asking us to preemptively surrender to the other side on the issue of the requirement for the licensing of a fundamental human right.

Finally, in the last paragraph, he makes clear that he actually does believe that rights are “granted” by the Constitution, rather than merely affirmed by it (emphasis added):

Perhaps instead of getting into our corners and screaming at each other, it is time to engage in intelligent conversation about our desire to preserve the rights granted to American citizens by our Constitution while at the same time ensuring the safety of all of our citizens.

If Carson does make a presidential run, and if he wants the gun rights advocate vote–and it’s hard to imagine him getting far without it–he has a great deal to learn, and not much time in which to learn it.

He’s showing not only a fundamental misunderstanding of the source of our unalienable rights, but a basic misunderstanding of the role of the Constitution itself – as a guarantor, not a grantor, of liberty.  He’s also showing a willingness to infringe the RKBA guaranteed by the Second on the basis of “ensuring the safety of our citizens.”  Because basic civil liberties are just like driving cars.

Given that this is all recent stuff, I’m going to have to assume than any changes now would be cosmetic, for the purpose of aiding his run for the White House, and not because any of his basic understandings and beliefs have changed in any significant way.

In short, I don’t trust him.  And so I won’t vote for him for President, or support him otherwise as a candidate for that office. 

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About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


Here’s My Problem With Ben Carson – I Just Can’t Trust Him — 3 Comments

  1. The drivers license analogy breaks down completely when you realize a gun is not fired every day inches from others who are also firing. Operating a car has infinitely more occasions for things to go wrong by its nature, and should be a privilege awarded by merit. If anything, it exposes how negligent we are in training drivers.

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