Liberal Dems & some in media distorted my words to advance their agenda in wake of tragedy. It’s wrong. Thx to those who set record straight. — Jeb Bush
Stuff happening is a plum falling off a tree, not a massacre on a college campus. I just hope none of the victims or their families had to hear that callousness. It wouldn’t have sounded so bad if he had said “unfortunately, tragedies happen” or something to that effect. The fact that he prefaced it by saying “when I was governor” only makes one think: Is that what he thought as governor when a tragedy occurred — did he just write if off as “stuff happens”? Is that what he thought after 9/11? Is that what he’ll think as president? As a candidate, treat these terrible gun massacres as mini-9/11s. That is pretty much what they are. Acts of terror, if on a smaller scale.
My aunt was gunned down by a stalker on the steps of what was then the opera house here in Miami. Probably the single worst moment of my life was being away at college freshman year and getting a call from my mom telling me what happened.
Words matter at moments like these. In so far as they are paying attention, family and friends of the victims are no doubt extremely sensitive to the way their loved ones are being publicly spoken of. They don’t want to hear that the death of their loved ones is just “stuff happening.” Right now, Bush looks like a total oaf. Really insensitive.
I never blamed the gun for what happened to my aunt. We blamed the murderer, an ex-boyfriend who had been stalking her for over a year. Afterwards, one of my cousins felt so unsafe (concerned the killer would escape from custody) that she purchased a gun for protection. It cuts both ways.
Finally, file this under words mattering: In the aftermath, Janet Reno wrote a heartfelt letter to my cousins regretting the loss of their mother. They appreciated very much that someone in government cared enough to demonstrate it.