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Condi on gun rights

Posted by Richard on May 14, 2005

Yesterday, Instapundit pointed out this AP story describing Condi Rice’s strong pro-gun remarks in an interview on "Larry King Live":

WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, recalling how her father took up arms to defend fellow blacks from racist whites in the segregated South, said Wednesday the constitutional right of Americans to own guns is as important as their rights to free speech and religion.

Only when Countertop checked the CNN transcript of the show, those remarks weren’t in there. Turns out that CNN didn’t air that part of the interview. Why am I not surprised?

The entire interview transcript is available at the Secretary of State’s site. Go read it all, she makes lots of good points on a broad range of issues. But here’s the section on gun rights (emphasis added):

 MR. KING: By the way, what do you think about gun control?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, Larry, I come out of a — my own personal experiences in which in Birmingham, Alabama, my father and his friends defended our community in 1962 and 1963 against white nightriders by going to the head of the community, the head of the cul-de-sac, and sitting there armed. And so I’m very concerned about any abridgement of the Second Amendment. I’ll tell you that I know that if Bull Connor had had lists of registered weapons, I don’t think my father and his friends would have been sitting at the head of the community defending the community.

MR. KING: So you would not change the Second Amendment? You would not —

SECRETARY RICE: I also don’t think we get to pick and choose in the Constitution. The Second Amendment is as important as the First Amendment of the —

MR. KING: But doesn’t having the guns, while it’s protection, also leads to people killing people?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, obviously, the sources of violence are many and we need to get at the sources of violence. Obviously, I’m very much in favor of things like background checks and, you know, and controlling at gun shows. And there are lots of things we can do. But we have to be very careful when we start abridging rights that our Founding Fathers thought very important. And on this one, I think that they understood that there might be circumstances that people like my father experienced in Birmingham, Alabama, when, in fact, the police weren’t going to protect you.

MR. KING: Did you see him take the guns?

SECRETARY RICE: Oh, absolutely. Every night, he and his friends kind of organized a little brigade.

MR. KING: How old were you?

SECRETARY RICE: I was eight — eight years old.

MR. KING: You remember that?

SECRETARY RICE: I remember it very, very well.

MR. KING: Did you understand it, as an eight-year-old why —

SECRETARY RICE: I understood that something was deeply wrong in Birmingham, Alabama, when I didn’t have a white classmate until we moved to Denver, Colorado. I knew that these were separate societies. Our parents — I grew up in a very nice, sheltered little middle-class community in Birmingham. My mother was a schoolteacher. My father was a minister and a high school guidance counselor. And I’m still friends with a lot of the kids from that community. And we recognize that we had very special circumstances.

Our parents told us, "All right, it may be that you can’t have a hamburger a the Woolworth’s lunch counter, and it may be that you can’t go to this amusement park, Kiddieland, but don’t worry, you can do anything you want. Your horizons should be limitless in America."

MR. KING: Did you believe that?

SECRETARY RICE: And we believed it.

OK, she’s not perfect on the 2nd Amendment (that "controlling at gun shows" remark made me wince). But I think you can count on someone who came to their beliefs on this issue through the experiences she had. And reading that left me teary-eyed.

Condi for President. [Update: Like an idiot, I forgot to add the obvious link at left. Corrected.]

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One Response to “Condi on gun rights”

  1. Philip Dryer said

    I agree and admire Condileeza Rice for saying this. I will be blunt with you because I think people like you are very important to the discussion. I am a Liberal Jew from the East with relatives in Israel but I will not automatically condemn Bush because unlike Liberals he is not a coward. He really is a true politician but time will tell. I graduated from a Jesuit University.

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