(JTA) — Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson again defended his claim that gun control helped enable the Holocaust, saying even some rabbis backed his assertion.
Appearing Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Carson reiterated his claim that gun control in Germany that began in the late 1930s was a factor enabling the Nazis to perpetrate genocide against the Jews.
“[I]n the last several weeks, I’ve heard from many people in the Jewish community, including rabbis, who said, ‘You’re spot on. You are exactly right,'” Carson said on the news program after host Chuck Todd observed that “the minute you talk about the Holocaust, people stop listening.”
“And I think, you know, some of the people in your business quite frankly who like to try to stir things up and try to make this into a big, horrible thing,” Carson told Todd.
Carson said it is “generally agreed that it’s much more difficult to dominate people who are armed than people who are not armed. You know, some people will try to take that and, you know, make it into an anti-Jewish thing, which is foolishness.”
He first made the claim about gun control and the Holocaust in person in an interview on CNN.
“I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed,” Carson said on Oct. 8, echoing statements in his latest book.
Carson has previously defended his comments: “It’s not hyperbole at all,” Carson told CBS on Oct. 11. In a Jerusalem Post Op-Ed published Nov. 14, he wrote that he never intended his words to “diminish” the Holocaust.