Transcript Of Jeb Bush's "Stuff Happens" Comment Shows The Trap Of Believing That Gun Control Is Not The Answer
In the wake of Thursday's tragic shooting at an Oregon community college, 2016 GOP candidate and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said "stuff happens" when asked about tightening gun control in the country, saying reform was not the answer to the nation's violent mass shooting problem. Bush added that knee-jerk responses to the terrifying events that took place at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg would do nothing to solve the real issues at hand. The former governor's comments came on the heels of President Obama's angry remarks the night before, in which Obama lamented that mass shootings would continue until the American people decided to push for stronger gun reform that would prevent such attacks from occurring in the first place.
"What’s become routine, of course, is the response of those who oppose any kind of common-sense gun legislation," Obama said on Thursday night. "Right now, I can imagine the press releases being cranked out: 'We need more guns,' they’ll argue, 'Fewer gun-safety laws'... does anybody really believe that?"
He explained that he would continue to bring up the issue of increased safety measures every time a mass shooting occurred. "I'm going to say that we can actually do something about it," Obama said.
On Friday, Bush, who agreed that the situation was "very sad", dismissed the president's remarks at a meeting of the Conservative Leadership Project in Greenville, South Carolina. After the CLP host questioned whether or not adding prayer in schools was the answer to tragedies like Thursday's mass shooting, Bush waved off any notion that guns were responsible. Read the full exchange below:
CLP Host: A long, long time ago, I was listening to the radio. They were talking about how, you know, in schools, you're not allowed to have prayer vigils. You're not allowed to pray, I should say. You have, you know, Christian or Jewish or whatever faith-based groups on these public education school['s campuses] ... but then, you know, it's a funny thing — you send a guy in there with an UZI or handgun to shoot a bunch of people, the first thing they do after the tragedy? Prayer vigil—
Bush: Of course.
CLP Host: ...Whatever the faith-based group is... you should do that on the front end and maybe you wouldn't have [these sorts of] tragedies on the back end.
Bush: We're in a difficult time in our country. And I don't think more government is necessarily the answer to this. I think we need to reconnect ourselves with everybody else. It's just — it's very sad to see. But I resist the notion, and I did—I had this challenge as governor. Because, we have—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.
On Friday afternoon, in response to Bush's comments, President Obama told a room full of reporters, "I don't think I even 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 months we have a mass shooting."