In an interview with Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday Dr. Ben Carson took on the subject of Darren Wilson and Michael Brown, and promptly ticked off Second Amendment supporters for a third time (my bold below).
HH: Dr. Carson, was justice done to Michael Brown yesterday?
BC: Well, you know, there are a lot of different ways to look at it. The way I’d prefer to look at it is, is there anything good that can come out of such a tragic situation. And I think there is. First of all, I don’t think that the police officer did anything wrong. Nevertheless, there probably are additional techniques and knowledge that he could have been given. So all along, we probably need to beef up the instructions for police officers in general so that they don’t place themselves in such dangerous situations. And then as far as the community is concerned, I suspect a lot of people woke up today and said what did we just do? We burnt down establishment from people in our own community, people who have worked hard to do that, because we let a bunch of outside agitators come in here and get us riled up. And you know, I hope people will think back to the days of Dr. Martin Luther King, who was faced with a bunch of people who thought violence was the way, and somehow he convinced them that peaceful demonstrations and conversation and demonstrating to people what was going on would have a better effect. And in fact, it did. It had a profound effect on our nation. But violence is never going to help anything. And the people who came in and agitated are probably sitting up in their hotel rooms sipping wine and eating steak.
HH: Now you say I don’t think that the police officer did anything wrong. So you have reviewed and have come to the conclusion that the officer in fact should not have been charged with anything?
BC: Yeah, he had every right to protect his life. But I do think that there are probably other techniques that could have been used.
HH: All right, now if there were other techniques that could have been used, doesn’t that suggest he did something wrong?
BC: No, that suggests that he perhaps has not had the maximum training.
BC: You know, for instance, in a lot of places, police officers aren’t even allowed to go into the more dangerous areas by themselves. They’re always paired. Or you know, people use tasers, people learn how to shoot people in the legs to stop them from charging, things of that nature. And I seriously doubt that he’d been given that information.
Carson asserts that Wilson was not properly trained, and that there is some “secret knowledge” that Mr. Miyagi could have passed along to “Darren-san.” This is both arrogant, and ignorant.
The evidence from the grand jury investigation shows that Darren Wilson was a fully-accredited officer who was up to date on his training. This includes training on what force you may legally use, and in which situations you may use force.
We covered in detail the tools that Officer Wilson had at his disposal as 6’3″, 292 lbs Michael Brown struck him in the head with full-power blows as Wilson was trapped in the driver’s seat of his police SUV.
Pepper spray is not viable inside a vehicle, as it would incapacitate the Wilson. He could not reach his ASP baton, and even if Wilson could reach it, it could not be deployed effectively in the close confines of the car. Wilson did not have a taser.
Michael Brown was attempting to beat him unconscious, or even kill him as he was trapped in his vehicle. Officer Wilson’s only viable tool for self defense was his firearm. He fired it twice, striking Brown with a contact wound to his hand. Brown then momentarily fled, before turning on Wilson, and then charging him, according to mutiple eyewitnesses.
Carson them absurdly suggests that Wilson should have attempted to shoot the charging Brown—who only seconds before had tried to shoot Officer Wilson with his own gun—in the legs. This goes against not only against a basic self-defense training, but is also potentially illegal, as “shooting to wound” suggests that an officer is using deadly force (a firearm) in a situation where life isn’t in imminent danger.
I think Dr. Carson is a wonderful human being. I think he might make a wonderful statesman.
But for all his conservative-populist appeal, Carson has now shown for the third time that he does not—on a very basic and foundational level—understand the principles of armed self-defense, nor apparently have any real appreciation for the Second Amendment.
Dr. Carson was a long-shot for the Republican nomination. I think that this latest error might have extinguished any hope he has of winning the support of a majority of American gun owners.