From today's Washington Times Inside Politics Column:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recalled last night for CNN how her father took up arms to defend fellow blacks from racist whites in the segregated South and said the constitutional right to keep and bear arms is as important as free speech and religion.
In an interview on CNN's "Larry King Live," Miss Rice said that her minister father and his friends armed themselves to defend the black community in Birmingham, Ala., against nightriders in 1962 and 1963.
She said that if local authorities in segregated Birmingham, where Miss Rice was born in 1954, had lists of registered weapons, she did not think her father and other blacks would have been able to defend themselves.
Miss Rice said, "We have to be very careful when we start abridging rights that the Founding Fathers thought very important."
She said they understood "there might be circumstances that people like my father experienced in Birmingham, Alabama, when, in fact, the police weren't going to protect you."
"I also don't think we get to pick and choose from the Constitution," she said in the interview, which was taped for airing last night. "The Second Amendment is as important as the First Amendment."