On October 6, Ben Carson took heat from GOP establishment candidates and liberal political action committees for saying that he would “not just stand there” and let a gunman shoot at him unchallenged.
Some of the criticisms leveled at Carson tried to make it appear as if he were disrespecting those shot in the gun free facilities of Umpqua Community College (UCC).
For example, on CNN reported that GOP establishment candidate Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) mocked Carson for acting like he would stand and fight and The New York Times quoted American Bridge 21st Century president Jessica Mackler suggested Carson showed disregard for “children” endangered by “gun violence.”
But on October 7, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump took a different tact. He stood by Carson’s comments and explained that Carson was not disrespecting the victims. Rather, he was disrespecting the gunman; he was saying students should be armed to shoot back if confronted with a gunman in a situation similar to that seen at UCC.
Trump tweeted this defense of Carson: “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!”
Carson made it very clear that his goal was to encourage others to be prepared to defend their lives, should the need arise. He said, “[As] these incidents continue to occur. I doubt that this will be the last one. I want to plant the seed in people’s minds so that if this happens again, you know, they don’t all get killed.”
Breitbart News previously reported that Carson told The Christian Science Monitor that gun-free campuses lead to danger. He said students need to be allowed to be armed for self-defense because “[gunmen] aren’t likely to go into a place where they are likely to get shot.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.