Stuff Happens

“Jeb!” is done.

Regarding the recent Oregon shooting, “Jeb!” summarized the situation succinctly: “stuff happens”.

“Jeb!” had heretofore been polling at a whopping 4% according to Pew Research.  Now he’ll be lucky to pull Scott Walker numbers.  (Scott had to leave the race when he was polling at a fraction that embarrassingly rounded down to zero.)

But in an odd way, I have finally gotten a long-standing wish on something.

For years, I have deeply suspected that at their core, gun advocates truly and sincerely do not care when people get shot up in a mass shooting.  It’s somebody else’s problem.  I have long suspected that gun advocates perform a perverse sort of callous calculus.  They know that it has become sort of inevitable that once a month a bunch of people are going to get shot up by some mentally ill person who shouldn’t have a gun.  But the odds are very slim that it will be them getting shot up, or anyone they know.  And in this calculus, they would rather have completely unregulated, unfettered access to guns because they love the guns more than they care about people getting shot up.

My longstanding wish has been to hear someone just admit that.

That’s because I’m weary of all the maudlin, crocodile tears that gun advocates always proffer up.  “Oh, it’s a tragedy, but…”  And “Oh, our thoughts and prayers are with the families, but…”  And “I know that our impulse is to try to do something about this, but….

Well, with “Jeb!” the “but” stops here.

Finally, at last, one politician has had the callous courage to concede what I’ve known all along.  The gun advocates simply do not care.  Their thoughts and prayers aren’t even with the families of the shootings.  For years they have pretended that they do care about the victims of shootings but we must take a principled stand for the Second Amendment.  That has always been the pretense.  Thankfully, “Jeb!” has shot down that pretense.  Thankfully, “Jeb!” has finally admitted what I’ve known all along.

The gun lovers simply don’t care when other people get shot up.

Stuff happens.

So “Jeb!” has really done us a great service in the national dialogue about sensible gun control.  At last we can challenge the gun lovers and ammosexuals when they claim that they really, truly care about people getting shot up all across the nation, but we must take a principled stand for the Second Amendment, and the Founding Fathers, and What If The Government Becomes Totalitarian Someday doomsday scenarios.  Thanks to “Jeb!” we can cut through all that bullcrap, and say, look.  One of your own summarized succinctly the actual emotional response that you guys experience when people get shot up.

Stuff happens.  That’s it.

So don’t come around here with your “thoughts and prayers” jazz.  It’s not “thoughts and prayers” anymore.  It’s “stuff happens.”

Transitioning a little here by way of contrast, there is a whole other presidential candidate that you should consider supporting.  His name is Bernie Sanders.  Here’s why.

If you really want the shootings to stop, you should support Bernie Sanders.  Now, this will sound a little bit like a Rube Goldberg puzzle, but it’s really true, if you’ll bear with me.

If you want sensible gun control laws, you have to get a bill through congress.

That can’t happen right now because congress is a wholly owned subsidiary of the NRA and the legalized bribery we euphemistically refer to as “lobbying.”

So we need to get the money out of politics.  We need robust campaign finance reform.

There is only one presidential candidate with a serious proposal for campaign finance reform.

That’s Bernie Sanders.

Hillary Clinton has a mediocre proposal for campaign finance reform that would multiply small donor contributions with a public fund.  That will do nothing to get the big money SuperPACs out of politics.  She takes SuperPAC money; Sanders does not.  Sanders, by contrast, wants public funding for elections and equal distribution of campaign finance among candidates, and the overturning of Citizens United as a litmus test for Supreme Court justices.  Sanders is the vastly superior candidate on the campaign finance reform front.

With campaign finance reform in place, the NRA would not own congress anymore, and then we might be able to pass some laws with some teeth that could mitigate against all these shootings.  Don’t tell me that gun control laws don’t work.  They work in every civilized, industrialized so-called First World country.  Except ours.

Stuff happens.  Let’s make Bernie Sanders happen.  Let’s make campaign finance reform happen.

And let’s make “Jeb!” dropping out of the race and slinking back to Florida in disgrace happen.

-Robert Gross

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