“I want to plant in people’s minds what to do in a situation like this,” Carson said on CBS's "This Morning" of the attack at Umpqua Community College. “Because unfortunately, this is probably not going to be the last time this happens.”
The GOP presidential contender has faced a firestorm following his comments in an interview Tuesday that under the same circumstances as the Oregon victims faced, he would have fought back.
"I would not just stand there and let him shoot me," the GOP presidential candidate said on "Fox and Friends" Tuesday morning. "I would say: 'Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can't get us all.'"
That remark was one of several Carson comments on that shooting that appeared to reflect his struggle to balance sensitivity with his steadfast support for the Second Amendment. In answering questions on Facebook on Monday evening, the retired neurosurgeon wrote that he had operated on many bullet-riddled bodies as a doctor, but "I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away." This week Carson has also called for training and arming kindergarten teachers, and he has criticized President Obama for planning to travel to Oregon to comfort the families of those killed.
In an interview on the "The Kelly File" on Fox News Tuesday night Carson explained that he in no way meant to judge the shooting victims and instead wanted to "plant the seed in people's minds" that this is what they should do when confronted by a gunman.
"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. "And, you know, maybe these are things that people don't think about. It's certainly something that I would be thinking about."
Trump came to Carson's defense Wednesday morning in a tweet that read: "Ben Carson was speaking in general terms as to what he would do if confronted with a gunman, and was not criticizing the victims. Not fair!"
Trump seldom comes to the defense of his fellow Republican presidential hopefuls, opting to instead sling insults about his rivals' stances, records and even looks. But Trump has come to Carson's defense twice in two weeks, even though Carson has been gaining in the polls and appears to be a threat to Trump's commanding lead.
In late September, Carson was criticized for saying that if a Muslim wanted to become president, that person would "have to reject the tenets of Islam." Soon after, Trump defended Carson in an interview on Fox News: "Look, he's speaking his opinion. That's his opinion... We talk about freedom of speech -- he feels very strongly about it."