Ben Carson defends his Oregon gunman comments – CNN
“To me that doesn’t sound like a very controversial thing, but when you take it out of context and you try to make it look like I’m criticizing the victims, that’s when it becomes controversial,” Carson told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, adding, “I would much rather go down fighting.”
Carson said earlier this week on Fox News after the shooting in Oregon that he would’ve done more to prevent the gunman from going on a killing spree.
“Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me,” Carson said. “I would say, ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all.'”
Carson said the student who responded negatively to Carson’s statement did so because he was “probably fed” some misinformation about his position, suggesting the media coverage has misconstrued his original intent.
“I suspect he probably has had it fed to him by somebody who misconstrued it and I think if he had heard the complete explanation I gave, he’d know that I’m not complaining about any of the victims,” Carson said.
Carson said arming teachers could help prevent shootings.
“Whether it’s a kindergarten teacher who is well trained or a retired policeman or someone who can stop the carnage, I think it makes sense,” he said.
The Holocaust would have been less deadly had more people in Europe been armed, he said.
“I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed,” he said. “I’m telling you there is a reason these dictatorial people take the guns first.”
The presidential candidate has since looked to clean up his remarks, saying that he was “not judging (the shooting victims) at all.”
But Carson recounted Wednesday a story about being held at gunpoint where he reacted differently amid backlash over his earlier comments.
“I have had a gun held on me when I was in a Popeye’s organization” in Baltimore, the retired neurosurgeon told Karen Hunter on Sirius XM Radio, referring to the fried chicken fast-food chain.
“Guy comes in, put the gun in my ribs. And I just said, ‘I believe that you want the guy behind the counter,'” Carson said.
In wide ranging interview, Carson also appeared to break with fellow GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush when the former Florida governor said he would not reauthorize the Voting Rights Act.
“Of course I want the Voting Rights Act to be protected,” Carson said, adding he wanted to know Bush’s rational. “Whether we still need it or not or whether we’ve outgrown the need for it is questionable.”