Victim Blaming? Ben Carson Says He Wouldn’t “Just Stand There” During Oregon Massacre, Defends Controversial Comments

Presidential hopeful Ben Carson is defending comments he made Tuesday that, in the vein of victim blaming, suggested those injured and killed in the Oregon community college shooting last week didn’t do anything to stop the massacre.

During an appearance on Fox News’ Fox and Friends, the Republican presidential candidate said he “would not just stand there and let him shoot me,” referring to the gunman — identified as Chris Harper-Mercer — who killed nine and injured multiple people when he stormed Umpqua Community College in Roseburg and opened fire.

“I would say, ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all,’” Carson told Fox.

That night, Carson appeared on The Kelly File to explain his comment, claiming he in no way meant to judge the victims.

From CBS News:

“The accusation there, Dr. Carson, is that you appeared tone deaf and that you seemed callous in the laughter about a massacre and what you would have done,” Fox News’ Megyn Kelly said.

“I’m laughing at them and their silliness,” Carson responded.

“Who?” Kelly asked.

“The people asking that question. Of course, you know, if everybody attacks that gunman, he’s not going to be able to kill everybody. But if you sit there and let him shoot you one by one, you’re all going to be dead,” Carson said.

When asked if he was judging the victims, Carson said he was looking at “the big picture.”

“Not judging them at all. But, you know, 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,” he said.

He continued defending his comments Wednesday morning, telling CBS News that he wants to “plant in people’s minds what to do in a situation like this.”

“Unfortunately,” Carson said, “This is probably not going to be the last time this happens.”

While Carson’s comments drew ire from gun control advocates, he garnered support from another presidential contender — Donald Trump.

President Obama is set to visit Oregon to meet the families of the victims Friday. When asked if he would do the same, Carson responded “probably not,” saying that if he did take the trip, he would attract “less negative attention because I wouldn’t be picking and choosing which groups I sympathize with,” CBS writes.

This isn’t the first time Carson has made statements or jokes at the expense of victims. Just last week, Carson used police brutality as comedic fodder when he told a story about throwing rocks at cops as a youth, “back in the day before they would shoot you.”

You can read about it here.



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