Ben Carson Wants To Arm Kindergarten Teachers

October 7th 2015

Alex Mierjeski

Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon and Republican presidential primary contender, faced criticism after saying that he would be "much more comfortable" if kindergarten classes had weapons to protect against shooters.

Carson's remarks follow the deadly school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon last week that left ten dead, including the gunman.

"If I had a little kid in kindergarten somewhere [I] would feel much more comfortable if I knew on that campus there was a police officer or somebody who was trained with a weapon. I would feel more comfortable," Carson told USA Today on Tuesday. "If the teacher was trained in the use of that weapon and had access to it, I would be much more comfortable if they had one than if they didn't."

On ABC's "The View," Carson defended the point. "You obviously are not going to have a weapon sitting on the teacher's desk," Carson added, "but be secured in a place where kids cannot get to it."

In numerous media appearances following the shooting, the rising GOP candidate has made a series of controversial remarks. Following the White House's Monday announcement that President Obama would meet privately with the victims' families during a routine fundraising trip, Carson criticized the president for politicizing the issue and saying he would not visit the Southwestern Oregon town.

"When do we get to the point where we have people who actually want to solve our problems rather than just politicize everything? I think that's what the American people are so sick and tired of," Carson told "Fox and Friends" on Tuesday, adding that had he been in the presence of the shooter, he would have taken a stand. "Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, 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.'" Watch the segment below.

Carson remains a popular candidate, with one new Quinnipiac University poll showing him as a credible threat to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in three key swing states: Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. If the election were to happen today, Bloomberg reported, Carson would beat out Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, and Senator Bernie Sanders in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and Sanders again in Florida. Winning at least two of those three states has been key for each president since 1960 to win the general election, reports Bloomberg.

Related: Here's How Many School Shootings Have Occurred Since Sandy Hook

Related: Pres. Obama's Reaction to the Oregon Shooting Is Worth Your Praise