Sure, Jeb Bush saying, "Stuff happens" as a response to last week's mass shooting in Oregon was pretty fucking dumb. Bush compounded the dumb by clarifying himself when pressed by a reporter, "Things happen all the time...Things. Is that better?" Dude, just say, "Shit happens." Stop with the polite debasement of a horror.
Then, proving once and for all that George W. might have been the smart one, Bush added, "A child drowned in a pool and the impulse is to pass a law that puts fencing around pools. Well it may not change it. Or you have a car accident and the impulse is to pass a law that deals with that unique event." Except that we have all kinds of laws because of car accidents. Except that one guy once failed at blowing up a plane with his shoes, so now, even 14 years later, we have to take off our damn shoes at the airport. Except, oh, right, Governor Jeb Bush once fucking signed a law that required people to do something to prevent children from drowning in their pools.
Yet this was not the lamest thing said by a GOP presidential candidate in the wake of the Umpqua Community College massacre. That would go to America's angriest red balloon, Chris Christie, who was on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulous's hair and was asked about the fact (notice the word there) that New Jersey, the state Christie occasionally is governor of, has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation and one of the lowest rates of gun deaths. Was there any correlation? Christie said, "I don’t — George, I don’t think there is" before doing the usual Republican bullshit dance of mental health needs
To say that there is no causal relationship between strictness of gun laws and numbers of gun deaths is to bizarrely ignore the overwhelming evidence that plainly shows that, in nearly every state, that is true. This is the madness of Republicanism in the 21st century. Virtually every scientist says climate change is caused by human activity, and the Republican says they're wrong and liars. Supply-side tax policy has failed every time it's been tried, and the Republican says that we need to keep trying. Nearly every state with tight gun laws has a smaller number of gun deaths by murder, suicide, and accident than states with little regulation, and the Republican says that gun control will only help criminals. Anyone who says any of these things should be whipped out of the public sphere like a rabid dog for fear that they will infect everyone.
But the quiescent media just raises its haunches and tells the flatly lying Republicans, "Take me." A report this morning on NPR, you know, that bastion of liberal elitism, was about Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chair of the House Oversight Committee who looks like a shaved rabbit with its ears pinned back. The reporter said, "Planned Parenthood criticized Chaffetz for using what they believed to be inaccurate data about the number of abortions they provide." It's not that Planned Parenthood "believed" the data was inaccurate. The chart that presented the data was inaccurate. Period. That's not an opinion. It's not something that needs to be attributed to anyone. If someone says, "One plus one equals twenty," you don't need to say that it's wrong according to someone. Things can just be wrong.
When people are wrong on the demonstrable facts, the media fails when it doesn't treat them like they are wrong. For instance, three candidates running for the GOP nomination, including two of the top, said that Umpqua is a gun-free zone, implying that only pussies without guns die like pigs in a slaughterhouse.
But Umpqua isn't a gun-free zone. If you have a conceal carry permit in Oregon, you can take your gun with you on campus. In fact, students with guns were talked out of going after the asshole shooter because they would have been in a shitload of danger and the cops on the scene wouldn't have known who not to shoot. One of the good guys with a gun, an Army vet, said, "If we would have run across the field, we would have been targets. We made a good choice at the time." You got that? They had guns and decided that trying to be a superhero was fucking dumb. That makes those gun owners smarter than every fucknut wannabe who thinks life is a game of Call of Duty.
And if gun owners aren't the X-Men, the NRA sure as fuck isn't Magneto. It's beyond time to take them on in a real, concerted way, like Hillary Clinton is proposing (and Martin O'Malley proposed before). Ideological purity needs to go out the window. Anti-gun liberals need to ally with the sane gun owners, the ones who believe that you need to, you know, well-regulate arms. That'd probably end up being the vast majority of the nation, which means that maybe Congress would listen.
Well, if Bloomberg's money is involved. Let's not be naive.