When Fox and Friends asked presidential candidate Ben Carson about the tragic shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College, the retired neurosurgeon said he would have charged the gunman and encouraged others to do the same. Critics skewered him for being insensitive to the situation.
Yet, when Fox News’ Martha MacCullum asked Carson Tuesday morning to elaborate on his comments about Umpqua, he repeated his initial statement.
“Why would you sit there and wait?” Carson asked.
Carson's headline making comments mark the second time in recent weeks that he has received backlash for his perceived “controversial” opinions, the first being when he suggested a Muslim should not be president.
MacCullum asked how he is dealing with having to “keep cleaning up these comments.”
“I don’t deal with it, to be honest,” Carson coolly responded.
“You have a group of people…they’re just trying to cause more division,” he continued. “I believe the American people are smarter than that.”
Nevertheless, MacCullum continued to press, asking if Carson perhaps needs to polish his language, “Do you need to get better at saying what you mean?”
“I’m not going to change and become a manila envelope that they can accept,” he said. “They’re never going to accept. I’m going to be who I am.”
The Fox News host then asked Carson, in light of the mass shootings at schools, how he would make schools safer for students.
“We need to be studying the shooters and gathering information about early warning signs in their lives,” he suggested.
Noting that many of these school shooters have psychiatric problems, he said we need to “empower our mental health professionals.”
He also had some recommendations as to how students can avoid being targets.
“Give kids scenarios,” he said. “You have to train them how to react.”
As for how to make schools safer, he offered a proposal that is popular with many conservatives:
“We need to have people in schools who are armed and trained.”
Retired police officers can fill those roles, he suggested, as well as certain teachers with the “right disposition.”