Further Notes On “Stuff Happens,” “DO SOMETHING!!!” And The Dishonest, Hysterical And/Or Delusional Anti-Gun “Position”

1) In the clip above, the National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke asks MSNBC analyst Mark Halperin and “Morning Joe” house progressive Mika Brzezinski to explain what kind of measures would satisfy the hysterical calls of a Morning Joe panel to “DO SOMETHING!!!” about gun violence. Cooke referenced the President’s angry (irresponsible, partisan, useless) attack on Congress’s failure almost immediately after the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, and accused ant-gun forces of acting as if they had solutions to gun violence (that don’t involve trashing the Bill of Rights) when they don’t. [I pointed out in yesterday’s post that they don’t because there aren’t any.] He said to Halperin:

“Joe Biden doesn’t know how to fix this problem. I don’t know how to fix this problem. I think it’s fair to say you don’t know how to fix this problem. It’s a very complex question in a country with 300 to 350 million guns on the street. The way they talk is as if they have the answer and there are these recalcitrant forces in the country that say ‘no, no, no,’ even though deep down they know their legislation will work. That’s simply not the case. It’s far more complicated than that.”

As you will see, Halperin had no actual proposals, ducking the issue by saying that he’s “not an expert in the field.” But he said that he wanted leaders to “have a thirst and hunger and passion to try to come up with solutions.”

I will accept this as a legitimate argument as soon as I hear any plausible solution that does not involve banning guns, making it excessively difficult for law abiding citizens from arming themselves, or engaging in pre-crime measures against citizens who have had episodes of mental illness or who are suspected of having such episodes. The proposals I have heard are incremental and will not accomplish the goal, ergo more obtrusive measures will be proposed and pushed by identical arguments and hysteria, until…we end up banning guns, making it excessively difficult for law abiding citizens from arming themselves, or engaging in pre-crime measures against citizens who have had episodes of mental illness or who are suspected of having such episodes.

Either anti-gun “DO SOMETHING!” advocates like the President, Mika and Halperin know this, intend it and are not being honest about it, or they are naive.

2) Jeb Bush responsibly addressed the impulse to stampede support for ill-considered solutions in the wake of tragedy…

The text:

“Yeah it’s a — 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, I had this challenge as governor, because, look, stuff happens, there’s always a crisis. And the impulse is always to do something, and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.”

You will note that Bush did not shrug off the Oregon shooting by saying “stuff happens.” Nonetheless, the completely principle-free Debbie Wasserman Schultz mischaracterized what Bush said with a fatuous tweet:

“A message for Jeb Bush: 380 Americans have been killed in 294 mass shootings in 2015 alone. “Stuff” doesn’t just “happen.” Inaction happens.”

Inaction regarding what, you shameless hack? What action are you proposing that would actually prevent a shooting like this week’s? Or the Norfolk shooting of the TV reporter? Bush is absolutely correct: bad stuff happens, and that does not mean that the government can or should rush to “DO SOMETHING!”

The news media, which established itself for all time after the Sandy Hook shooting as abandoning their role as journalists on this issue and becoming undisguised anti-Second Amendment lobbyists, intentionally distorted Bush’s comments. The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza tweeted;

“In Greenville, South Carolina, Jeb Bush, arguing against calls for gun control after major tragedy, says, “stuff happens.”

Wrong. Bush was not referring to the specific tragedy, but to all instances, gun related of not, where a tragic occurrence prompts a chorus of demands to “DO SOMETHING!” Lizza could have tweeted, “In Greenville, South Carolina, Jeb Bush, arguing against calls for gun control after major tragedy, says, “the impulse is always to do something, and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.” But he didn’t, because that would have been fair, Bush is a Republican, and Republicans don’t deserve fair. The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Jezebel (Jeb Bush Offers Heartfelt Condolences to a Grieving Nation: ‘Stuff Happens’)—nice—and others piled on all distorting Bush’s meaning.

Then  ABC News’ Jonathan Karl decided to test President Barack Obama flat learning curve by challenging him to respond during a press conference at the White House by asking this:

“Asked about the drive to take action in light of what happened in Oregon, he said, ‘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.’ How would you react to Governor Bush?”

It’s a deceitful question, and misleading, as well as incomplete. Obama, if he had learned anything about shooting his arrogant mouth off in public with incomplete information after the Cambridge cop and Trayvon Martin fiascos, would have said “I’ll have to hear the whole statement and its contexts before being able to comment.” That would have been fair, prudent, responsible and Presidential, but then Barack Obama is not fair, prudent, responsible and Presidential, never has been, and after seven years it is pretty clear he never will be. So instead he said,

“I think the American people should hear that and make their own judgments based on the fact that every couple of months we have a mass shooting… and they can decide whether they consider that stuff happening.”

Terrible, but typical.

(I have never seen such an inept leader on the national level. Since so many people reflexively defend this kind of Presidential malpractice, Obama doesn’t only hurt the nation with this kind of thing, he sets leadership itself back, by distorting the public’s understanding of what competent and ethiacl leadership is.  A true ethics corruptor.)

3) From Ed Morrisey:

Let’s recall that Obama’s solution to the Newtown shooting and every shooting since has been to expand background checks and banning so-called “assault weapons,” and in every case since then, his proposal would have been a non-sequitur anyway. “My response here at this podium end up being routine,” Obama protests, and then lists a litany of incidents in which the knee-jerk immediate reaction to the shootings demanded solutions that would have done nothing to address the shootings that had taken place.

Did this shooter pass a background check? Did he use an “assault weapon”? We don’t know yet, and neither does Obama. But hey, let’s pass a bunch of laws and see what sticks, or something…In fact, while this venting undoubtedly provided some catharsis for the President, he still didn’t have any solutions to fit the previous shootings, let alone make a case that more gun laws — which Oregon passed not long ago anyway — would have prevented this one. The only solution which would address Obama’s righteous indignation would be widespread confiscation of firearms, which actually was the “solution” implemented in a couple of the countries Obama cites as responsible examples. That’s the solution Obama actually wants, but for some reason he’s not quite ready to demand it. I wonder why.

4) Eugene Volokh, law professor, libertarian, thoughtful and measured non-partisan smart person, once again raised the argument he has raised before…and one that bolsters my point: anti-gun forces are really arguing for a gun ban, and we have a very good historical lesson about what happens when this country tries to ban something that has been imbedded in the culture for centuries, one that Democrats like to cite when banning something they enjoy is proposed:

“Every day, about 30 people are killed in the U.S. in gun homicides or gun accidents (not counting gun suicides or self-inflicted accidental shootings). And every day, likely about 30 people are killed in homicides where the killer was under the influence of alcohol, plus alcohol-related drunk driving accidents and alcohol-related accidents where the driver wasn’t drunk but the alcohol was likely a factor (again not including those who died in accidents caused by their own alcohol consumption). If you added in gun suicides on one side and those people whose alcohol consumption killed themselves on the other, the deaths would tilt much more on the side of alcohol use, but I generally like to segregate deaths of the user from deaths of others.

So what are we going to do about it? When are we going to ban alcohol? When are we going to institute more common-sense alcohol-control measures?

Well, we tried, and the conventional wisdom is that the cure was worse than the disease — which is why we went back to a system where alcohol is pretty freely available, despite the harm it causes (of which the deaths are only part). We now prohibit various kinds of reckless behavior while using alcohol. But we try to minimize the burden on responsible alcohol users by generally allowing alcohol purchase and possession, subject to fairly light regulations.”

23 thoughts on “Further Notes On “Stuff Happens,” “DO SOMETHING!!!” And The Dishonest, Hysterical And/Or Delusional Anti-Gun “Position”

  1. Jeb Bush is right, but his comment is the kind of tone-deafness that makes him a bad candidate. Doesn’t he know his comments are going to distorted by the partisan media and all anyone would remember is “stuff happens?” Sure that would require some foresight, but he is running for President. His main problem isn’t his last name.

    • Oh, he’s a horrible candidate, and all the Bushes are communication impaired. But one can’t hear his full statement and think for a second that it means what Democrats are saying it meant. He’s a boob, but his critics in this case are despicable.

  2. There was something we could have done.

    Back during the Los Angeles riots, after rioters started shooting firefighters, the U.S. could have sent some bombers from Edwards Air Force Base and bomb the shit out of the rioters. this would have been followed up by the Army seizing control of Los Angeles. For “[y]ou don’t fight a junkyard dog with ASPCA rules. What you do is you take the leash off your bigger, meaner dog”. And this would be a permanent state of affairs. Civil administration in Los Angeles would be abolished. Soldiers would patrol every street, occupy every point. And there would be zero tolerance for the slightest of disorderly conduct. Any disorderly conduct will be met with lethal force. There will also be arbirtrary arrests and searches, and even the slightest resistance would be met with lethal force.

    This would cause the people to fear the U,.S. military, And this fear would keep them in line. Thus, Los Angeles would have become the safest city on Earth. The model of governance- ruling by the fear of force- would no doubt have been followed by other cities. There would be no more mass shootings, because fear would keep the population in line.

    What would have been the downside of “tak[ing] the leash off [our] bigger, meaner dog”?

    • Maybe predator drones used selectively but definitely not bombers! I would be worried about collateral damage to US citizens. Maybe, Huey Choppers playing “The Ride Of The Valkyries” loudly with water cannons and plenty of CS tear gas. Or add dye marker to the water!

  3. Re: Obama’s response at the press conference.
    “No comment” is so underrated as an answer to questions in general when one doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The PR people at my company say that should be our default response even when we do and only deviate from that when thoroughly prepared.

    • Oh wow, that video was terrible! He didn’t make an entire revolver out of a pattern cut from that pigiron. The barrel alone would be twice the thickness of bar stock, and at least 4140 steel. Nor were those automatics made there. I didn’t even see an old lathe or mill back there; bare minimum tooling, and not enough to make or even finish a slide.
      Still, subguns are another matter. You could make a Sten in about a week, which would be the type to flood the market if there ever was a ban.

  4. ” The only solution which would address Obama’s righteous indignation would be widespread confiscation of firearms, which actually was the “solution” implemented in a couple of the countries Obama cites as responsible examples. That’s the solution Obama actually wants, but for some reason he’s not quite ready to demand it. I wonder why.” I’m sure it’s a rhetorical question, but for those of you ignorant enough to think that he could make such a decree, or for that matter if you think that Congress could pass such a law, and America’s gun owners would say “aw, shucks, I guess we lost”, and show up to the collection centers to turn in firearms, you are sorely mistaken. It would be seen as naked aggression, an unmistakable act of war. As it stands, there are a great many people who feel the ever-tightening noose of overreaching government, and wonder if there ever will, God forbid, be an unmistakable sign of untoward intent on the part of the government. If ever there was one, that would be it. The Obama knows this, and will stick to the incrementalism script, with the help of his mindless followers.

    • Maybe enough of Obama’s advisors are aware of Admiral Yamamoto’s famous statement to realize that those guns “behind every blade of grass” applies to domestic tyrants as well as foreign invaders. While America remains armed, America remains free. And while we honor God, He will bless our endeavors.

    • I don’t understand why Obama did not immediately DO SOMETHING and – instead of standing there making the equivalent of one of today’s typical college professor’s typical foamings-at-the-mouth in today’s typical on-campus hostage situation (i.e., classroom) – issue broad executive orders aimed at ensuring that only U.S. citizens who profess to be Christians may legally traffic in, manufacture, refurbish, repair, maintain, own, possess, load, unload, carry, use, buy or sell any one of 3,274 types of firearms manufactured since 2010 and before and their corresponding ammunition.

  5. “A message for Jeb Bush: 380 Americans have been killed in 294 mass shootings in 2015 alone. “Stuff” doesn’t just “happen.” Inaction happens.”

    What are we counting in “mass shootings” here? 380/294=1.29. With some mass shootings having double digit victim counts.. Some of these “mass shootings” are actually death free. Not to somehow de-legitimize the 380 deaths… Those are still tragedies… But if we’re going to talk about gun violence, the statistics are severe enough without people having to dramatize them with bombastic language.

  6. It also doesn’t help that when Democrats controlled ALL THREE elements in the national government necessary to enact laws, all we heard about Firearm Ownership Limitation Laws was crickets…

    Because part of the tactic is less about actually doing what they say they want and more about vilifying Republicans when Republicans don’t pass the laws Democrats want.

  7. “I think we need to reconnect ourselves with everybody else.”

    Probably Bush’s best line from his response. It is correct.

    It is also impossible to do when the Left increasingly relies on the tactics of division, class envy, and pitting the now-divided constituencies against each other. What’s Everyman supposed to do when the whole world and every one of his neighbors is against him (as he’s been told). Guess all he can do is surrender and live a life already dead or go out with a bang.

  8. “So what are we going to do about it? When are we going to ban alcohol? When are we going to institute more common-sense alcohol-control measures?”

    There’s a dozen or more other things that kill us MORE than firearms.

    Again, to beat a dead horse, the Left is less interested in reducing death and more interested in dis-empowerment. It is really that plain to see. But they rely on naive but good natured (and I’m increasingly less able to accept the good natured part) people like Charles Green who think in simplistically un-nuanced and un-analyzed blurbs like “YEAH SAVE LIVES!” is a good enough argument

  9. It is a sad day when Jeb Bush is the politician with the most logical and thoughtful approach to a problem. It is also disturbing that no one seems to realize we have this thing called history. If we have a problem, we can see if someone else has tried to solve it before and see how that solution worked.

    “Common Sense” Gun Control
    We have a lot of ‘common sense’ gun control legislation in this country. The most restrictive ones are in Chicago, Washington D.C. New York City, and California. Have those policies resulted in the peaceful utopia that was promised? The murder rate in Abilene, Wllsworth, Witchita, Dodge City, and Caldwell for 1870-1885 was only 1 per 100,000 residents (the ‘Wild West’ Days) The current murder rate in Washington D.C. is about 30/100,000, NYC is 6/100,000, and Chicago is 15/100,000 (in 2014). OK, then, no to those policies.

    “Banning Guns”
    What about the plan to just confiscate the guns and get rid of them, as was done in Great Britain. Well, you end up with a rather high crime rate. The crime rate for violent and property crime is 55 per 100 people each year. Of course, only 25 per 100 each year is victimized (because some are victimized more than once). You also don’t end gun crime. In fact, gun crime rose almost every year after the ban for the next 7 years resulting in the highest gun crime rate of all time there in 2003-2004. This is in a country with such restrictive gun laws that its Olympic shooting team has to practice on the Isle of Man or in Switzerland. So, that didn’t do such a great job, either.

    So, now what? What were Abilene’s gun policies?

    • With the exception of an occasional range war, Indian uprising and spill-over from a war in Mexico, the Old West was actually pretty peaceful. In fact, it was downright dull most of the time. If it hadn’t been for Hollywood, no one would remember it.

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