_Rudy Giuliani . . . said Tuesday the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and a recent court ruling framed his current defense of a right to own guns.
"You have to look at all of these issues in light of the different concerns that now exist, which is terrorism, the terrorists' war on us," the Republican presidential contender told The Associated Press in an interview. He also mentioned immigration and border security.
He said his thinking on gun rights also was influenced by a federal appeals court decision that overturned a 30-year-old ban on private ownership of handguns in Washington on the grounds that the Constitution gives individual citizens the right to own guns.
"It is a very, very strong description of how important personal liberties are in this country and how we have to respect them," he said of the ruling, adding it "sort of maybe even did more to crystalize my thinking on the whole gun issue in light of Sept. 11."
"I think, after Sept. 11 — I mean I probably would have had the same impression before, I'm not sure — but after Sept. 11, all that seemed much more powerful to me," Giuliani said._