Thursday, May 12, 2005

Condoleezza Rice: Gun Rights as Important as Free Speech and Religion

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said last night on CNN's Larry King Live that the right to bear arms is as important as freedom of religion or speech. Rice said she feels that way because of her personal experience as a girl, when her father, a black minister, and his friends armed themselves to defend the black community in Birmingham, Alabama, against the White Knight Riders in 1962 and 1963. She said if local officials had had lists of registered weapons, she didn't think her father and others would have been able to defend themselves.

Although saying she favors background checks and controls at gun shows, Rice said, "We have to be very careful when we start abridging rights that the Founding Fathers thought very important." She said they understood, quote, "there might be circumstances ... like my father experienced ... when, in fact, the police weren't going to protect you." Rice further explained, "I also don't think we get to pick and choose from the Constitution. The Second Amendment is as important as the First Amendment."

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