Ben Carson says that less people would have been killed at an Oregon community college if they sought to attack the shooter. (Tannen Maury/EPA)

Ben Carson sparked some serious controversy when he said Tuesday morning that the victims of the Roseburg, Ore., shooting could have defended themselves more strongly.

“I would not just stand there and let him shoot me,” Carson said on “Fox and Friends.” “I would say, ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all.'”

The neurosurgeon said much the same thing on his Facebook wall the previous night: “As a Doctor, I spent many a night pulling bullets out of bodies,” he wrote. “There is no doubt that this senseless violence is breathtaking – but I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away.”

He added: “The Left would prefer to use these tragedies to advance a political agenda. To me, that is also devastatingly sad,” he added. “The Left would have you believe that a man that asked Christians to stand up (and then executed them one by one) would obey ‘new gun laws.’ That kind of logic explains many of the problems we find ourselves in today.”

Our analytics partner, Zignal Labs, recorded a spike yesterday in Carson chatter across Twitter, print and broadcast media following the comments. They tracked more than 57,000 mentions of the retired neurosurgeon on those platforms, though it’s unclear how much reflected positive versus negative sentiment. That buzz is more than any other GOP candidate except Donald Trump. But about 20 percent of those stories and tweets also mentioned the Oregon comments.

Here’s an hour-by-hour chart showing all Carson mentions over the last seven days:


And here is a word cloud tracking what people are saying: