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Faced With A Real Life Gunman, Hypocrite Ben Carson Didn’t Heroically Rush The Shooter

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has made a fool of himself when trying to discuss the Umpqua Community College mass shooting. He has repeatedly shown a lack of empathy for the shooting victims. Furthermore, he has made a series of bizarre comments that depict him as a live action hero should he ever be confronted with such a situation himself.

Tuesday, appearing on Fox & Friends, Carson cast himself as a brave would be citizen hero, when he told the cast:

Not only would I probably not cooperate with him [the shooter], I would not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say, ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all.’

Given a chance to clarify his rather cavalier remarks, Carson doubled down instead on Wednesday, telling a CBS reporter:

I would ask everybody to attack the gunman because he can only shoot one of us at a time. That way, we don’t all wind up dead.

By Wednesday evening, the retired neurosurgeon still couldn’t stop talking about how he would handle being confronted by a gunman, but instead of dealing with hypothetical situations, he recalled his own encounter with an armed robber.

According to Carson, while he was at a Popeye’s chicken restaurant in Baltimore, an armed robber accosted him at gunpoint. In that situation, Carson did not try to heroically disarm the assailant. Instead, he helpfully suggested that the gunman point his weapon at the fellow working behind the counter. Carson retold the story as follows:

I have had a gun held on me when I was in a Popeye’s in Baltimore. [A] guy comes in, put the gun in my ribs. And I just said, ‘I believe you want the guy behind the counter.’

There is a clear difference between an armed robbery and an active shooter situation. Since they are not analogous situations, it can even be argued that Carson essentially did the right thing, by pointing out that the person behind the counter might be the person who can open the cash register, give the robber the money, and send him on his way.

However, this relatively passive act of compliance and cooperation with the robber, portrays Carson in a very different light than the courageous citizen hero who is going to bum rush an active shooter and save the day. Instead of taking one for the team, Carson instead told a real life gun man to aim his gun at someone else’s head instead, so that Carson could get himself out of danger by putting another person in the line of fire.

Given his real life experience, Carson should probably stop trying to convince people he morph into a live action hero in the midst of a crisis. Instead, maybe he could focus more on empathizing with the shooting victims, and work on some solutions to reduce our nation’s rate of gun violence.

Keith Brekhus

Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master's Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick's successful re-election bid in Arizona's 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.

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