Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson won’t back down from his comments about fighting off a gunman if he were in a situation like that of the Oregon college massacre, which left 10 people, including the alleged shooter, dead.
"Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me," Carson said shortly after the tragedy. "I would say, 'Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can't get us all.’"
Carson’s comments were negatively received by some, including a survivor of the attack, Mathew Downing, who told CNN that he was “fairly upset” with Carson’s remarks. “Nobody could truly understand what actions they would take like that in a situation unless they lived it,” he said.
In a separate interview with CNN, Carson said Downing was misinformed about his comments. "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.
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He also said his comments were not meant as a criticism of the victims.
The presidential candidate also suggested arming teachers to 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.
Carson went on to say that less people would have died in the Holocaust had they been armed. "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."