Jeb Bush on Oregon Shooting and Tighter Gun Control: ‘Stuff Happens’
A day after another act of mass violence, Republicans say no additional gun control needed.
As the United States mourns after another mass shooting -- Chris Harper Mercer’s Thursday massacre of nine people at Oregon's Umpqua Community College -- 2016 GOP hopeful Jeb Bush dismissed tighter controls on guns, telling an audience in South Carolina “stuff happens.”
As the United States mourns after another mass shooting — Chris Harper Mercer’s Thursday massacre of nine people at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College — 2016 GOP hopeful Jeb Bush dismissed tighter controls on guns, telling an audience in South Carolina “stuff happens.”
According to ABC News, Bush called the shooting “very sad,” then added, “Look, stuff happens, there’s always a crisis and the impulse is always to do something and it’s not always the right thing to do.” The comments at the Conservative Leadership Project in Greenville came just a day after President Barack Obama, whose time as president has been plagued with numerous acts of mass gun violence, called for stricter controls on American firearms.
Obama, asked about the comment at a White House press conference Friday, snapped that “I don’t think I even have to react to that one.”
“I think the American people should hear that and make their own judgements based on the fact that every couple of months we have a mass shooting,” he said. “And they can decide whether they consider that ‘stuff happening.’”
Obama added that he would continue to talk about gun control “on a regular basis.”
“I will politicize it because our inaction is a political decision that we are making,” the president said.
Bush is the latest Republican candidate to dismiss calls for additional gun control after the Thursday shooting . Speaking in Iowa Friday, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said, “I can tell you that I always find it interesting that the reflexive reaction of the left is to say we need more gun laws. Criminals don’t follow gun laws. Only law-abiding people follow gun laws. And there is just no evidence that these gun laws would prevent these shootings.”
This echoed Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas. On CNN, he said Friday, “I keep waiting for someone to tell me what new gun law can we past that would have prevented this shooting or Sandy Hook or Aurora or Charleston,” Huckabee said, referring to three sites of mass shootings. “Just tell me what gun law that is because I’ve yet to have somebody tell me what that is.”
Trump, for his part, also said additional gun laws would not prevent what happened in Oregon.
“You’re going to have these things happen and it’s a horrible thing to behold, horrible,” Trump said Friday on MSNBC. “It’s not politically correct to say that, but you’re going to have difficulty and that will be for the next million years, there’s going to be difficulty and people are going to slip through the cracks. What are you going to do, institutionalize everybody?”
Photo Credit: Michael Lloyd/Getty Images
David Francis was a staff writer at Foreign Policy from 2014-2017.
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