Mass Shootings

Did Ben Carson Really Say the Second Amendment Is 'More Sacred' Than Murder Victims' Blood?

The New York Times, in a not-so-subtle slam against gun rights, says he did.

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Gage Skidmore / Wikipedia

Yesterday on Facebook, Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, addressed the question of whether last week's massacre in Oregon had changed his position on the Second Amendment. Here is the relevant part of his answer:

I grew up in the slums of Detroit. I saw plenty of gun violence as a child. Both of my cousins were killed on the streets. As a Doctor, I spent many a night pulling bullets out of bodies. There is no doubt that this senseless violence is breathtaking—but I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away. 

Here is how New York Times reporter Alan Rappeport translated that comment:

Ben Carson…has intensified his defense of gun rights in response to last week's Oregon campus massacre, arguing that the Second Amendment is more sacred than spilled blood.

The headline for Rappeport's story on the paper's home page today reiterated that gloss: "Gun Rights More Sacred Than Spilled Blood, Carson Says."

Rather than comparing the Second Amendment and the blood of murder victims on a scale of sacredness, Carson said depriving people of the right to armed self-defense would be more "devastating" than any given murder. Granted, neither of those statements has a precise meaning, but Rappeport's reframing suggests that people who defend the Second Amendment have an irrational, quasi-mystical faith in it that blinds them to the real-world consequences of allowing widespread gun ownership. It is like matter-of-factly stating that people who defend the free-speech rights of racists view the First Amendment as "more sacred" than the safety of hate crime victims, or that people who criticize warrantless surveillance view the Fourth Amendment as "more sacred" than the lives of children killed by terrorists. In short, it is the sort of demagogic attack on civil liberties that you would not expect to see in a news story dealing with constitutional rights that are more popular among New York Times reporters.

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  1. the Second Amendment is more sacred than spilled blood

    A lot of blood has been spilled in defense of the Second Amendment. Just sayin’.

    1. BREAKING NEWS: Rich Claims Rebel Blood Is More Sacred Than Victims’ Blood

      1. It’s more sacred blood all the way down!

  2. Wait, a reporter for a Team newspaper deliberately misquoted someone on the other Team? I am stunned.

  3. Wow. First he nails the point that if we value our constitutional freedoms, electing a Muslim president is a bad idea, then he nails the point that yes, the second amendment is a key right that is not to be blithely thrown away.

    Big government types hate the second amendment not because it actually causes death, they hate it because in the end it is the final stop on runaway government power.

    Carson speaks the truth again. He’s not my favorite candidate by a long shot, but on these two things he’s not wrong.

    1. Runaway government power? Why is that a bad thing? Government is The Will of The People. Everything that government does is blessed by Representation. Who are you to question government? You may as well question the divine right of the king, blessed by God himself.

      1. Don’t forget…’SOCIAL CONTRACT!’

        1. Now, let’s get back to complaining about how the Koch brothers have stolen are democracy and turned this country into a plutocracy.

          You know: “will of the people” style.

      2. The morals we all share… enforced together.

    2. Big government types hate the second amendment not because it actually causes death, they hate it because in the end it is the final stop on runaway government power.

      Wait…I’m confused.

      I thought Republicans loved the second amendment?

      1. Touche’

        Ok, I should have worded that “Progressive Big Government types”

        1. Many establishment GOPers don’t particularly like the 2nd Amendment either. It’s just that they understand that enough money on defense, and an insurgency can be squashed, with a little bit of ruthlessness and enough boots on the ground.

          1. Many establishment GOPers don’t particularly like the 2nd Amendment either

            I think a lot of people don’t realize that there is a lot of support for current gun laws among mainstream Republicans. There is a large contingent of people who believe we have more or less just the right amount of gun control, and many of them are Republicans.

            On a related note, I have had conversations with solid Republican voters who more or less espouse pro-regulatory positions on various different matters. To them, fewer rules would result in anarchic chaos, but more rules would create severe problems. They are the embodiment of Goldilocks as a political philosophy, if you will.

  4. Are you implying that just because Carson didn’t say sacred or even imply it, that he didn’t secretly mean it in his heart? The NYT knows that black people are very spiritual.

    1. Exactly. You know how they call each other “Blood”.

  5. The stopped clock ticks.

    1. No, it doesn’t.

  6. You know who else believed in that blood needed to be spilled for sacred rights…

    1. The Aztec?

    2. Not the NYT. Better to just bend over.

    3. Anton LaVey?

    4. Stannis Baratheon?

      1. That hot chick with Stannis Baratheon?

    5. Thomas Jefferson?

    1. Many Northern whites concluded that the combined policies of emancipation and conscription meant that they would be forced to risk their lives in a war to free black slaves.

      Man, those idiots. It’s not like that is exactly what happened.

  7. I object to the notion that the abundance of liberty results in greater amounts of victims’ blood. Who thinks like that?

    1. Who thinks like that?

      Idiots.

      (IOW, 96.2% of the population)

  8. KNowing that the media is not his friend, why can’t Carson simply respond ‘No. The tragedy has not changed my mind’.

    1. Carson has a touch of the Trumpitis. His steady hand as a neurosurgeon is most often employed in expertly shooting himself in the foot.

      1. Jim: Look at my hand.

        [raises hand and holds it level]

        Bart: Steady as a rock.

        Jim: [raises his other hand, which is violently trembling] Yeah, but I shoot with this one.

      2. What are you talking about? Carson gave a perfectly reasonable and thoughtful answer to the question. It is the NYT that mangled it.

      3. What are you talking about? Carson gave a perfectly reasonable and thoughtful answer to the question. It is the NYT that mangled it.

    2. They’d attack him for being callous. There was nothing wrong with the answer he gave.

      1. Pretty much. They’d attack him no matter what answer he gives, so might as well state his case and the principles behind it and hope enough people see through the media’s bullshit.

      2. Yeah, the media war crapping their pants about him saying a Muslim President would be a bad idea.

        Yet the people were all like, “yep that would be a bad idea”, and some were even thinking “too late”.

  9. Well that was almost eloquent. He should have gone on to point out that Hillary would have black people in jail over illegal firearms possession even if they only had the gun for self-defense and aren’t actual criminals.

    1. Matt tried that on Maher the other day. Nobody is listening. When you start to speak of things that run too far counter to the narrative, they just hear the Teacher from Charlie Brown. Wha-wha wha wha-wha whaaaa.

      1. Well, it’s either that, or, if you put a lot of black people in jail, it confirms their bias towards disparate impact theory and the inherent racism of the criminal justice system. It has nothing to do with too many laws being enforced more strictly in the more highly policed areas that just happen to have over representation of minority groups.

  10. Progs are experts on the sacredness of victims. Their bodies make great pulpits .

  11. The First and Fourth Amendment parallels are spot on and exactly where I come down. We should be invoking those types of arguments more often.

  12. It is like matter-of-factly stating that people who defend the free-speech rights of racists view the First Amendment as “more sacred” than the safety of hate crime victims, or that people who criticize warrantless surveillance view the Fourth Amendment as “more sacred” than the lives of children killed by terrorists.

    I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see some asshat from the NYT make these exact same arguments. Actually, I suspect that some progtard (or neocon in the 4th ammendment case) somewhere has already done it.

  13. Wait, waving a bloody shirt is not an argument?

    Also, can you please tell me what constitutional rights NYT writers do like these days, because I am not aware of any?

    1. It seems they value the Amendment that enshrines slander and libel.

  14. Carson steps on his dick again while being right. The guy is not very politically savvy and nutty as hell, but I just can’t bring myself to dislike him.

    1. Because all black guys have big dicks, right? You disgusting rac… Wait, this isn’t Huffpo?

  15. the Second Amendment is more sacred than spilled blood

    This statement is self evidently true.
    It’s absolutely pathetic that so many people find it controversial.

  16. “There is no doubt that this senseless violence is breathtaking?but I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away.”

    As a libertarian, I’d like to expand on that.

    The right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment and the right not to be forced to testify against yourself are more important to me than preventing terrorist attacks through the use of torture. The right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure is also more important to me than preventing terrorist attacks by monitoring our communications without a legitimate warrant.

    The right to assembly is more important–even if it means disgusting neo-Nazis get to march past the homes of holocaust victims in Skokie, Illinois.

    The right to freedom of religion is more important to me–even if it means the children of the Amish don’t go to school past the 8th grade.

    The right to a jury trial, the right not to be forced to testify against yourself, the right to an attorney, and the right to confront the witnesses against you are all more important to me–even if it means child molesters, arsonists, bank robbers, murderers, and rapists sometimes go free.

    1. Did I say that’s because I’m a libertarian? Scratch that, it’s because I’m an American. All of those rights and liberties were more important to me than the horrors violating those rights supposedly prevented–long before I started calling myself a libertarian–and that’s the way it is for untold millions of other Americans, too.

      Those American principles are a big part of why I’m proud of the Constitution and proud to be an American. It’s what millions of Americans are really talking about when they talk about freedom.

      The New York Times should be ashamed. There are words for people who would have us all sell our Constitutional rights and liberties short–out of expediency or fear. Those words are “traitor” and “coward”.

      1. Me, too.

        So what?

        I’m not standing up for them. I’m standing up for the First Amendment.

        1. It is a movie quote. Put on your sunglasses and read it again.

  17. Rather than comparing the Second Amendment and the blood of murder victims on a scale of sacredness, Carson said depriving people of the right to armed self-defense would be more “devastating” than any given murder. Granted, neither of those statements has a precise meaning

    Excuse me, but Carson’s statement has a very precise meaning: That you can’t argue against personal rights by relying on anecdotal evidence. That would be tyranny.

    Instead, what the New York Times is doing is engaging in tergiversation.

    1. Oh no, Old Mexican–everyone who isn’t willing to sell out their principles on the basis of fear is a wild-eyed extremist!

      Why can’t you accept that freedom is insane?

  18. *Yokeltarians adjust seat position to make room for stiffening gun-boner*

    Careful now, he’ll say something stupid to deflate it soon enough.

  19. Obama: Mass shootings are ‘something we should politicize’

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-…..oliticized

    1. You hear the expression, they couldn’t even wait for the bodies to get cold before trying to score political points. Perhaps one of our more medically knowledgable posters can weigh in on this, but If you look at the time when the gunman killed those people and when Obama literally said this issue should be politicized, it may be literally true that the bodies were still warm.

      He’s all class that guy.

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