Monday, October 05, 2015

Stuff Happens

I wasn’t going to talk about that shooting out in Oregon because I don’t care. I mean, I care, I do, but what will happen if I walk about it? We’ll all agree that something needs to be done, but then we’ll go back to doing whatever it is we were doing before the gunfire and that will be that.

We don’t demand our politicians do anything about it. We shake our heads in agreement as they say we should pray for those that were shot, and pray for the families who lost loved ones because an idiot with a gun opened fire at a fill in the blank.

But, maybe that will start to change after Jeb! … Bush, you might remember … was visiting us here in South Carolina and spoke at length about the shooting, though this remark is the most telling:
"I had this challenge as governor. Look, stuff happens, there's always a crisis. And the impulse is always to do something and it's necessarily the right thing to do."
And now I’m fuming. ‘Stuff happens.’ Okay, I’d say that about an earthquake, or a flood, hurricane, tornado, because they actually do just ‘happen.’ But this shooting didn’t just happen. It happened in a country that loves its gun, in a country here the NRA owns Congress, in a country where the NRA isn’t funded by gun-owners but by weapons manufacturers.

Stuff like Umpqua and Aurora and Chattanooga and Charleston and Newton and Columbine and Fort Hood and Isla Vista and Lafayette and Washington DC and Santa Monica and Brookfield and Minneapolis and Oakland and Tucson and … and … and  …. Stuff happens because we let it and we let politicians like Jeb Bush make it sound like it’s nothing and nothing can be done about it.

I want Jeb Bush to walk up to one single family that has been affected by mass shootings, or gun violence of any kind, and look them in the eye and say, “Stuff happens.” That’s presidential? And then howsabout this? In the same quote he says:
“[T] here's always a crisis. And the impulse is always to do something and it's necessarily the right thing to do."
That sounds like a scene out of the news way back in 2001 when former President, and Jeb’s brother, lest he’s gotten you to forget that, George Bush sat reading books to children while terrorists were flying planes into buildings. There’s an impulse to do something … like finish the story you’re reading and then, well, stuff happens.

And the scariest part of all is that Jeb! Bush doesn’t get it. Even after people began questioning his remarks he said:
"No, it wasn't a mistake, I said exactly what I said. Explain to me what I said wrong. Things happen all the time. Things. Is that better?"
No, Jeb! It’s not; it shows you have no sense at all, no compassion for those who lost their lives, those who lost loved ones, because, what the hell, stuff happens, people die, guns are sold to anyone who wants them, we don’t regulate or license or insure gun-owners. Stuff happens.

The slight goods news is that after Jeb! said these things, his poll numbers tumbled to just 4 percent. The bad news is that GOP frontrunner Donald [t]Rump, when also asked about the Oregon shootings, said “these things happen” and his numbers haven’t changed.

Luckily, for the moment, we have a president with a heart and a brain and the nerve to say what he thinks and feels. President Obama, when asked about Jeb’s remarks said this:
"I don’t even think I have to react to that one. I think the American people should hear that and make their own judgments based on the fact that every couple of months we have a mass shooting. And they can decide whether they consider that 'stuff happening.'"
Stuff happens. So far in 2015, we’ve had 274 days and 294 mass shootings. Stuff happens.

And it will keep happening until we stop letting it happen.

12 comments:

viktor kerney said...

He has no class

the dogs' mother said...

my parents live the next county south,
everyone is reeling.

John Gray said...

We Brits will never understand the cultural difference the US has relating to guns.
We, I , just dont " get it"

Michael Dodd said...

Saw a comment recently along the lines of, "Imagine how different life would be in this country if people were as concerned that everyone have access to health care as they are that everyone have access to a gun." Or access to a decent education. Or access to the right to vote. Or ...

anne marie in philly said...

@squire gray - we live here and even WE don't understand the gun nuts!

@bob - that pix of jeb...reminds me of w during hurricane katrina..."duh, what do I do now, dick?"

Bob Slatten said...

@AM
The stupid doesn't fall far from the Bush.

anne marie in philly said...

@bob - ain't THAT da truth!

Sadie J said...

I'm related to a bunch of gun nuts, and I still don't get it! I think the NRA must put something in their kool-aid. I've gone so far as to block a few of them on FB-- we've already had one murder/shooting in the family. How many does it take before they can even recognize common sense?

Ms Sparrow said...

Jeb can be flippant about people getting gunned down because it has never happened to anyone in his extended family. He has no frame of reference to the pain and anger it inflicts on everyone!

Helen Lashbrook said...

And then there's the 11 year old in Tennessee who has access to his father's shotgun and thinks it's okay to shoot dead an 8 year old because she wouldn't let him see her puppy; what kind of parent allows an 11 year old access to a shotgun?

Bob Slatten said...

@Helen
Some American parents, sadly.

Mark in DE said...

I've been saying for months and maintain the sad reality: nothing will change until a Republican congress member's family is shot and killed. Only then will they be forced to confront their surviving family members and promise to start the mighty fight against the NRA who is funded by arms manufacturers, as you revealed.