Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday that she defends the Second Amendment because her father used his gun to help protect their neighborhood from Ku Klux Klan members during the Jim Crow era.
Rice, who led the State Department in the George W. Bush administration, explained on ABC's "The View" that growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, showed her the value of private gun ownership. At the time, Theophilus Eugene "Bull" Connor was the commissioner of public safety, and he notoriously mistreated black Alabamians.
"Let me tell you why I'm a defender of the Second Amendment. I was a little girl growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, in the late '50s, early '60s," Rice said. "There was no way that Bull Connor and the Birmingham police were going to protect you."
"So when white night riders would come through our neighborhood, my father and his friends would take their guns and they'd go to the head of the neighborhood, a little cul de sac, and fire in the air if anybody came through," she added, saying she did not recall them ever shooting anyone.
Rice explained that the way her father and his friends protected the neighborhood depended upon law enforcement not being able to round up their guns easily.
"I'm sure if Bull Connor had known where those guns were, he would have rounded them up," she said. "So I don't favor some things like gun registration."
Rice called for a national conversation about guns, arguing that no single policy can prevent shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida, last month. She then said that discussion should focus on whether "military weapons" should be in civilian hands and whether age minimums should be imposed.