I know everyone has covered Jeb Bush saying “stuff happens” about shootings. Also, it’s a national story, and HA is primarily a Washington State blog. But this post has been rattling around in my mind for a few days. So maybe it’s the cough syrup talking, but I think the most offensive thing about it is that he used the minced oath.
He could have said “shit happens” because that’s the phrase that it’s meant to evoke, but he didn’t. He said stuff. He thought you and I and everyone who could hear him or listen to what he had to say would be offended if he had said “shit.” That him swearing would hurt him, so — as a politician — he had to treat everyone like a 10 year old.
Compare that to the context. He didn’t feel that he had to come up with a way to comfort the dead, let alone come up with a plan to prevent more deaths when he’s president. He didn’t think it would be offensive to just assume a future of regular mass shootings.
You’d hate to be a parent and have to explain that a presidential candidate thought saying “shit” was OK, but letting them know that they or their friends could die of a gunshot wound at any time while at school is easy? The contrast between a taboo on saying the word “shit” and being perfectly fine with flippancy about mass death and trauma is really striking.
And not for nothing, but mass shootings are shit. They’re shit no matter where they happen but they’re even more shit when they happen in schools.