Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson doubled down Sunday on comments in which he said an armed Jewish population could have stopped the Nazis from carrying out the Holocaust.
Carson said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that many Jewish people, including rabbis, have told him he was “exactly right.”
“I think, you know, some of the people in your business quite frankly who like to try to stir things up and try to make this into a big, horrible thing,” he said. “If I say something about something that we don't want to become and we never even want to get close to it, then I'm comparing it and I'm saying we're there. That's what they do. And, of course, for people who aren't really thinking deeply, you know, that resonates. But, you know, the fortunate thing is a lot of people really do think for themselves, as you can see, you know, from the poll numbers here.”
"Look at the whole context in which I have said that and which I have written about that,” he added. “I wrote about societies, before tyranny was able to take root, that the tyrants tried to rid the people of the mechanism to defend themselves. So it was said in that context.”
It is “generally agreed” that it’s much more difficult to dominate an armed population than an unarmed one, explained. “You know, some people will try to take that and, you know, make it into an anti-Jewish thing, which is foolishness.”
Carson said the Second Amendment must not be compromised.
“Noah Webster said that America would never suffer under tyranny because people were armed. So we need to keep that in mind. Of course, we should be thinking about what can we do to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of mentally unstable people. The two things are not incompatible,” he added, but noted that a “state-of-the-art” weapon when the Second Amendment was put in place was a musket.
“The principle was that the citizenry should have, you know, access to whatever they needed in order to protect themselves from an overly aggressive government,” he said. “I don't think you can get a surface-to-air missile legally in this country,” he added. “And we have laws that, you know, take care of that.”
Carson made his original comments on guns and the Holocaust in early October: