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GOP presidential candidate Ben CarsonBen CarsonBiden has an opportunity to win over conservative Christians Ben Carson dismisses 25th Amendment talk: 'As a nation we need to heal' A vaccine, a Burrito and more: 7 lighter, memorable moments from 2020 MORE on Thursday said further gun control is not the best solution to Wednesday’s mass shooting at a church in Charleston, S.C.

“The heart of the matter is not guns,” Carson told host Megyn Kelly on Fox News’s “The Kelly File” on Thursday evening.


“The heart of the matter is the heart,” he said, “the heart and soul of people.”

“You know, this young man didn’t wake up yesterday and suddenly turn into a maniac,” Carson said of Dylann Storm Roof, 21, the suspect in Wednesday night’s shooting.

“Clearly, there have been things in his background, in his upbringing that led to the type of mentality that would allow him to do something like this,” he added.

“And one of the things that I think that we really need to start concentrating on in this country is once again instilling the right kinds of values, particularly in our young people.”

Reports emerged on Friday that Roof had confessed to the attack at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The massacre there on Wednesday night left nine dead, including Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a South Carolina state senator.

Carson urged Americans on Thursday to focus on their similarities rather than their differences in the wake of the shooting.

“It’s destroying our nation,” said Carson of America’s cultural divides.

“You know, we have a war on women, race wars, income wars, age wars, religious wars. Anything you could imagine, we have a war on it,” he said. “And we’re giving people a license to hate people who disagree with them.”

“Well, I hope that we, the American people, can come to the understanding that we are not each other’s enemies,” Carson added.

“The enemies are those who are stoking the flames of division, trying to divide us into every category and weakening us as a society.”

Roof allegedly uttered racial epithets before opening fire on congregants at Emanuel AME on Wednesday evening.

Carson argued on Thursday that the incident should not prevent Americans from seeking greater harmony.

“You know, we have succumbed to the purveyors of division in all those different categories, including race,” he said. 

“And it’s going to be up to us the people to begin the focus on the positive things, on the things that we have in common, and stop listening to those who stoke the fires of division,” Carson said.