On October 6, 2015, Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson appeared on the Fox News program “Fox & Friends” to discuss President Barack Obama’s planned trip to Roseburg, Oregon to visit families impacted by the recent mass shooting there.1
When host Brian Kilmeade asked Carson if he would visit the families if he were President, Carson responded, “Probably not … I would probably have so many things on my agenda that I would go to the next one.” Asked how he might have responded had he been in Snyder Hall when Chris Harper-Mercer’s attack on Umpqua Community College began, Carson laughed, stating, “Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say, ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me but he can’t get us all.'”
Since the interview, Carson has doubled down on his remarks, telling ABC News while “chuckling,” “I would ask everybody to attack the gunman because he can only shoot one of us at a time. That way, we don’t all wind up dead.” He also told Megyn Kelly of Fox News,”I’m laughing at [those criticizing him for his remarks] and their silliness.”2
These comments come in the wake of a remark Carson made during a question and answer session on Facebook Monday night, when he stated, “I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away.”3
In the wake of recent mass shootings, pro-gun activists and legislators are increasingly blaming victims for their own murders. This rhetoric is cowardly and beyond the pale. It is also hypocritical, as pro-gun advocates like Dr. Carson are the first to lecture others about focusing on the actions of criminals when it comes to gun violence.
Tell Dr. Ben Carson: Apologize to the survivors and families of the Umpqua Community College mass shooting victims in Roseburg, Oregon.