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Ben Carson thinks gun ownership could have prevented the Holocaust

October 9, 2015, 2:08 PM UTC
CPAC 2015
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 26: Dr. Ben Carson speaks to address the crowd at CPAC in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 26, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Photograph by Bill Clark — CQ-Roll Call,Inc./Getty Images

Dr. Ben Carson has shot up the polls for the Republican presidential nomination in part through his willingness to say things that outrage many Americans, but just sound like common sense to others.

Last month, Carson said he wouldn’t support a Muslim person as president, a statement that incensed many, but one that led to a flood of money from small donors congenial to that point of view.

The latest such comments that could have the very same effect came in an interview Thursday, in which said:

I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed . . . . I’m telling you there is a reason these dictatorial people take guns first.

Advocates for gun rights have long pointed out that totalitarian rulers usually prevent their populations from owning guns. At the same time, many democratic governments all over the world have strict gun control, so there’s no reason to think that the two are causally related.