Ben Carson on 2nd Amendment: People Can 'Protect Themselves From an Overly Aggressive Gov't’

By Michael W. Chapman | July 22, 2014 | 1:07pm EDT

Dr. Ben Carson.

( – Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and the author of six best-selling books, said the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution was put there so Americans could support the military, if needed, during a domestic invasion but “more importantly, so that people could protect themselves from an overly aggressive government, if that ever happened.”

Carson added that gun rights under the 2nd Amendment are “vitally important,” that he “would never compromise the 2nd Amendment in any way,” and that one of the first things dictators do is confiscate people’s weapons, which “we don’t ever want to allow” in America.

Carson, awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008, made his remarks on July 19 at the three-day Western Conservative Summit 2014, sponsored by Colorado Christian University and held in Denver, Colo.

Initially stating that he has argued with some people on the conservative side about the issue, Carson then said,  “I feel, first of all,  that the Second Amendment is vitally important and I would never compromise the 2nd Amendment in any way. It was put there for a very specific reason, so that the people could act in support of the military in case of an invasion.”

“But more importantly, so that people could protect themselves from an overly aggressive government if that ever happened,” he said.

“So we absolutely cannot compromise that because all we have to do is look back through history and see what happened when various dictators rose to power,” said Carson.  “One of the first things they always did was confiscate the weapons. So we don’t ever want to allow that situation to occur.”

“We don’t even necessarily want them to know who has weapons,” he said.  “You have a right to have weapons.”

Woman shooting a handgun. (AP)

Dr. Carson’s latest book, One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future, is a New York Times best seller.    His 2012 book, America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great, was also a NYT's best seller.

In explaining his one concern about guns, Dr. Carson continued, “What I have said, which has caused some people concern, is that there are areas of our society where there is an inordinate amount of gun violence, and sometimes very heavy weaponry is utilized. What we need to be able to do is to sit down and have a discussion about, is there a way to ameliorate that situation?”

“And also, is there a way to keep weapons out of the hands of people who are mentally ill without compromising any provision of the 2nd Amendment,” said Carson.  “That’s what I’ve said. We need to be able to do that.”

Carson is the former director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, and a former professor of neurosurgery, plastic surgery, oncology, and pediatrics. He and his wife, Candy, established the Carson Scholars Fund to provide scholarships for hard-working students, "academic role models," in grades fourth through eleventh, who also demonstrate humanitarian qualities.  The program has aided more than 5,000 scholars in all 50 states.

The Western Conservative Summit, which occurs annually, is a three-day event that hosts leading conservative speakers and conducts workshops for citizen-activists and students interested in learning about the conservative movement.

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