In 2011 during a speech to the U.S. Army War College, U.S Army veteran Mike Durant, currently a candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama, recounted a 1993 U.S. military operation in Mogadishu, Somalia, to disarm the public.
The point Durant was apparently attempting to make in the speech captured on video was a path to "law and order" came by disarming the public.
As an aside, however, Durant added that disarming the public in "some of our U.S. cities" might also have the same effect.
"[F]rom a military perspective, the first thing that needs to be done is disarm the population," Durant said. "Let's face it, if we could do that in some of our U.S. cities, that would be a pretty good step toward law and order. But you ever ask yourself, why don't we do it here? Because it's hard. It can result in rioting and widespread rebellion and, you know, making the situation worse than it already is. But for some reason, we sort of hand-wave all that kind of stuff and go head and hand all those missions down to our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines. And that's what happens here."
Those 2011 remarks resurfaced on Saturday, leading some to question Durant's stance on the Second Amendment.
On Monday, Durant appeared on Huntsville radio WVNN's "Rightside Radio," hosted by Alabama Policy Institute's Chief Policy Officer and general counsel Phil Williams, and discussed his 2011 comments.
Durant told Williams that his remarks were mischaracterized, and he maintained he is "absolutely pro-Second Amendment."
"Well, you know, Phil, I've talked about Somalia for 30 years," Durant said. "And I've probably done that presentation 500 times. What I typically try to do at that point is to make people understand how difficult that mission is. That mission actually occurred before I got to Somalia.
"But you know, it's mischaracterized. I'm absolutely pro-Second Amendment. I've been a hunter my whole life. I've got my own collection of weapons. It pales in comparison to some of the folks' collections that I've seen, but, you know, I certainly do have one. I was an attack helicopter pilot in special operations aviation. I shot more rounds every month than most people shoot in their lives."
Durant said this type of attack is typical in a political race, with opponents digging up something from 10 years ago and taking it out of context.
"I guess if you analyze every word someone has said for 30 years, you're probably going to find something that gets misunderstood or mischaracterized," Durant said. "Like I said earlier, what I always try to do at that point in the presentation is explain to people that if you actually try to do this -- go house-to-house, weapons search and seizure, which was what was going on in Mogadishu at the time, you're going to end up creating more trouble than you are probably bargaining for."
Durant added that the tactic in Somalia led to massive casualties and said he was not arguing for it but against it.
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