Ben Carson, who is in second place in the polls for the Republican presidential nomination, is continuing to stir controversy over his response to the recent shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.
During an interview with CNN on Thursday, the neuroscientist-turned-presidential candidate again pushed back against the need for more gun control, telling host Wolf Blitzer that if the German people were armed in the 1930s the chances of Hitler accomplishing genocide "would have been greatly diminished."
The surprising pronouncement raised new questions about Carson's seriousness as a presidential contender and comes on the heels of a number of other widely derided claims he has made since the shooting.
When asked to explain his opinions about the event, at various points Carson has appeared insensitive, even laughing at interview questions. During an appearance on The View, Carson suggested that the best way to prevent shootings in schools would be to arm teachers. "I want that teacher trained in diversionary tactics," he said.
In another instance, the candidate suggested that he would have rallied students against the shooter and charged. "Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me," he said on Fox and Friends on Tuesday. "I would say, 'Hey, guys, everybody attack him! He may shoot me but he can't get us all.'"
Carson also recently revealed that he himself was once held up by a gunman. "I have had a gun held on me when I was in a Popeyes," the candidate told SirusXM radio host Karen Hunter, according to the Hill. Rather than lead a brave charge, Carson admitted that his actions were less than heroic: "I just said, 'I believe that you want the guy behind the counter.'"
Running for president isn't exactly brain surgery, but Carson probably wishes it was.