Jeb Bush on Oregon Shooting: "Stuff Happens"

Jeb Bush on Oregon Shooting: "Stuff Happens"
via The Onion

Yesterday, nine people lost their lives in just the latest act of senseless mass gun violence carried out in America. 

Today, presidential candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush responded to the national tragedy by exclaiming, "Stuff happens." 

"I had this challenge as governor — because we had — look, stuff happens, there’s always a crisis," Bush said during a campaign stop in South Carolina. "And the impulse is always to do something and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.”

Bush was later asked if perhaps the phrasing was a mistake. He confirmed that it wasn't, and that in extension, critiquing his remarks can't be written off as taking things out of context or lazy, soundbite journalism. He stands by his remarks. 

“No, it wasn’t a mistake," he replied. "I said exactly what I said. Why would you explain to me what I said wrong? Things happen all the time — things — is that better?”

Nine families are grieving the loss of loved ones, but, hey, stuff happens, according to Jeb Bush. 

This is the 45th school shooting in America this year alone. The nation is averaging more than one mass shooting a day this year. Lone gunmen are literally claiming multiple lives every single day in America. 

Stuff happens, though, says Bush — or things happen. Whether you consider the loss of people's lives "things" or merely "stuff," well, Bush can confirm that it certainly happens. 

This is a man who is running for president of the United States of America, a job that requires leading the nation through national tragedies and tough times. That involves healing wounds and bringing people together to solve difficult problems. Bush, though, replies to the senseless deaths of American citizens with, "Stuff happens."

The current president didn't even want to touch the remarks. 

Bush should know better, but he increasingly doesn't. The last man to run for president on the GOP ticket had his chances completely derailed by his unwise "47 percent" quote. Now here's Bush, on the heels of implying African-Americans merely want free stuff, reacting with the verbal equivalent of shrugging one's shoulders to a massacre. 

The problem is that this "stuff" has been happening all too frequently in this country, and, well, we haven't done anything. Stuff isn't happening when it comes to stopping this "stuff."

Bush's remarks are somehow even more mind-boggling than this satirical Onion headline we've all seen on our Facebook feed anytime a mass shooting occurs in America — which is too say a shocking number of times, since it was originally published less than a year-and-a-half ago. 

Jeb Bush on Oregon Shooting: "Stuff Happens"
Photo by Michele Eve Sandberg

The right always claims that the left's call for more gun control after a mass shooting is a crass "politicization" of a tragedy. 

And yet, it's hard to imagine anything more crass and politicized than playing off people's death as "stuff" that "happens" in order to explain why we don't need gun control. 

“We’re in a difficult time in our country and I don’t think more government is necessarily the answer to this," he said. "I think we need to reconnect ourselves with everyone else. It’s very sad to see.”

This "stuff," he admits, is "very sad to see," but it happens, and there's nothing the government can do to stop this "stuff." The governor who signed "Stand Your Ground" doesn't really have any concrete plans about how to stop this "stuff." 

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