Carson Scoffs at 'Silliness' Over Ore. Shooting Comments
Says he wasn't judging victims' actions, just looking at the 'big picture'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2015 11:13 AM CDT
Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson looks on as he's introduced at a town hall meeting Friday in Ankeny, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

(Newser) – Ben Carson is doubling down after catching flak for comments he made about gun control after last week's UCC shooting in Oregon. Reaction to the ensuing hubbub:

  • In a Facebook Q&A Monday, Carson said, "There is no doubt that this senseless violence is breathtaking—but I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away." He's also reiterating that gun-free zones are useless, saying that shooters "tend to pick places that are gun-free zones," per USA Today. "They aren't likely to go into a place where they are likely to get shot." (Mother Jones has disputed that claim before.)
  • "I would not just stand there and let [the gunman] shoot me," Carson said in a Fox & Friends interview Tuesday. "I would say: 'Hey, guys, everybody attack him! He may shoot me, but he can't get us all.'" Tuesday night on The Kelly File, Megyn Kelly noted "you appeared tone deaf and ... callous in the laughter about a massacre." Carson's response: He was just laughing at the "silliness" in that accusation and wasn't judging the victims, but simply looking at the "big picture" so that he can "plant the seed in people's minds so that if this happens again ... they don't all get killed."

  • Tuesday on The View, Carson discussed arming kindergarten teachers. "Not all kindergarten teachers," he noted. "People who are trained and understand all the implications, and ...the weapon would be secured in a place where kids can't get to it." When Joy Behar asked him how someone would be able to get to the weapon in time to protect the classroom, Carson replied, "I want that teacher trained in diversionary tactics."
  • Donald Trump came to Carson's defense Wednesday, tweeting, "Ben Carson was speaking in general terms as to what he would do if confronted with a gunman, and was not criticizing the victims. Not fair!" Lindsey Graham didn't concur, saying Wednesday on CNN's New Day, "I think Mr. Carson has no idea of what he would do. … You don't know what's going to happen … you're overwhelmed"—a theory backed by a Nation article in which combat veterans decimate the "NRA's heroic gunslinger fantasy." And a spokesman for the DNC tells the Times, "It's not brain surgery. Fewer guns in the wrong hands equal fewer deaths from gun violence. Ben Carson should stick to what he knows."