If you're ever the victim of a gunshot wound, surely you'd rather have a highly successful surgeon like Ben Carson working to save your life than a writer like me.
But when it comes to preventing bodies from being riddled with bullets in the first place, trust me when I say you don't want Carson anywhere near the policy-making apparatus of the United States.
Carson took to Facebook Monday night to answer a question about whether the recent mass shooting in Roseburg, Oregon, changed his thoughts about the Second Amendment.
"There is no doubt that this senseless violence is breathtaking," Carson wrote, "but I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away."
Try, for just one moment, to put yourself into the mind of the man who wrote that. According to the same Facebook post, he's seen first-hand the devastation bullets can do to the human body. Imagine seeing those bodies, operating on them, sewing them up, watching some of them die – and then saying that taking away a gun is somehow more devastating than gun violence itself.
Every time we see a tragedy like Roseburg, we watch politicians like Carson twist themselves into pretzels of illogic to justify their near-religious worship of guns. Faced with multiple dead bodies and powerful calls for action, they argue – contrary to all available evidence – that restrictions on gun ownership would do nothing to prevent these mass murders. They'd rather throw up their hands and do nothing, except maybe put a few more guns out on the street to compound the deaths.
"The Left would prefer to use these tragedies to advance a political agenda," Carson wrote on Facebook – and he's not wrong. President Obama called on the American people to elect representatives who would finally take action on gun control legislation, after his calls for this Congress to do something fell on deaf ears.
Of course we should politicize these tragedies; politics is how we try to solve problems. How do we not point to the dead bodies in a place like Roseburg and beg our elected officials to do something – anything – to stop violence like this from happening again and again?
How could anyone look at a tragedy like this one, or at the 20 dead children in Newtown, Connecticut, or the nine dead in a church in Charleston, South Carolina, and not want to take action? How could anyone's first instinct – or second or third – be to protect the guns that caused the deaths, instead of preventing the next shooting?
Ben Carson looks at the people who died, and their grieving families, and decides the most important thing is keeping the Second Amendment intact. The surgeon who's actually operated on the bodies of gunshot victims. He's stopped their bleeding; he's sewn them shut.
And the carnage he faced is somehow less ugly to him than taking steps to keep guns out of the hands of people responsible for that carnage. He accuses "the Left" of playing politics, and indeed we should – we should do whatever it takes to keep Carson and anyone else who denies the human suffering caused by this nation's senseless gun laws out of the White House.