Thursday, May 12, 2005

SoS Rice: "The 2nd is as important as the 1st."

MR. KING: What do you make, Madame Secretary, of violence as an answer? Well, we were born in violence, right? We had a --

SECRETARY RICE: Yes.

MR. KING: That fellow: "When in the course of human events."

SECRETARY RICE: Right, yes.

MR. KING: We have a Second Amendment. People can own guns.

SECRETARY RICE: Yes.

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.

FULL TRANSCRIPT