Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson stirred up a fair bit of controversy Thursday when he referenced Nazi Germany while discussing gun control. But it's hardly the first time Carson has made polarizing comments about guns.
In an interview with CNN Thursday, Carson declined to walk back points made in his recent book, "A More Perfect Union." He wrote, "through a combination of removing guns and disseminating propaganda, the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance," ABC News reported.
The candidate polling second nationally for the GOP nomination was asked to clarify his remarks by CNN. Carson held steady in his stance. "I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed," he said. "I'm telling you, there is a reason these dictatorial people take the guns first."
The comments were condemned by the Anti-Defamation League, and its director, Jonathan Greenblatt, said, "'the notion that Hitler's gun-control policy contributed to the Holocaust is historically inaccurate."
Carson, 64, has repeatedly commented on guns and gun control, a debate that has taken on a renewed fervor after U.S. President Barack Obama called for more gun regulation after a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon that killed nine people last week. Below are six recent comments from Carson about gun control:
1. During a Fox News segment, Carson said he would not have let the attacker at the Oregon community college gun people down. "I would not just stand there and let him shoot me," Carson said Tuesday. "I would say: ‘Hey, guys, everybody attack him! He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all.'"
2. He later drew criticism for saying that he was once held at gunpoint in Baltimore at a Popeye's restaurant and redirected the gunmen to the cashier. "Guy comes in, put the gun in my ribs, and I just said, 'I believe that you want the guy behind the counter,'" Carson said on Sirius XM Radio Wednesday, via the Baltimore Sun. "I redirected him."
3. Carson previously commented on the mass shooting at Umpqua, calling it "senseless violence," but he reiterated his stance on the Second Amendment during a Facebook question-and-answer session. "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," he wrote.
4. In an interview with USA Today's Capital Download, Carson suggested that arming teachers might help stop violence and saying more people should own guns -- especially security personnel at school. "If I had a little kid in kindergarten somewhere, I would feel much more comfortable if I knew on that campus there was a police officer or somebody who was trained with a weapon," he said. And on arming teachers, he added, "If the teacher was trained in the use of that weapon and had access to it, I would be much more comfortable if they had one than if they didn't."
5. In a 2014 interview with Breitbart, Carson said he did not support gun registration for law-abiding citizens. He said, he "used to think they needed to be registered, but if you register them, they just come and find you and take your guns.”
6. Carson has become a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, but in 2013, he said in an interview with Glenn Beck that he would like to see limits on purchasing semi-automatic weapons in urban areas. “It depends on where you live," he said. "I think if you live in the midst of a lot of people and I’m afraid that that semi-automatic weapon might fall into the hands of a crazy person, I would rather you not have it. If you live out in the country somewhere by yourself, I have no problem."