New Video Sums Up the Republican Field’s Answer to America’s Gun Violence Epidemic: “Stuff Happens”
Washington DC (October 9, 2015) – Mere hours after the community of Roseburg, Oregon fell victim to the latest horrific mass school shooting, Republicans running for President began offering excuses why nothing can be done to address the plague of gun violence in America. Donald Trump shrugged, “Same old story, but what are you gonna do?” Disturbingly, Ben Carson couldn’t help but blame the victims and fantasize that he could have stopped it. Jeb Bush summed up the attitude of the NRA-beholden Republican presidential field best, coldly arguing “stuff happens” so government shouldn’t bother trying to prevent tragedies like this. In response to that fatally misguided notion that runs counter to the views of Americans and even most gun owners, Americans United for Change unveiled a new web video today in support of the commonsense gun violence prevention measures laid out by President Obama that would help keep guns out of the hands of the dangerous people and save lives. Watch “Stuff Happens” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkwPQG5TzwU
How many more families and communities need to be shattered by gun violence -- how much more “stuff” has to happen -- before Republicans are willing to act? Since the mass child shooting nightmare in Newtown, there have been at least 142 school shootings in the U.S., averaging nearly one a week. In 2015 alone, there’s so far been over 290 mass shootings. 31 people, including 5 children and teenagers, are gunned down in America every single day. To put the nearly 12,000 annual U.S. gun murders into perspective, that’s almost double the total U.S. casualties in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined, our nation’s longest and third-longest foreign conflicts. In fact, despite what the NRA would like their buyers to believe, the evidence overwhelmingly shows that owning a gun makes you exponentially less safe. It’s reached the point where the odds are now greater of being killed by a gun than in a car accident in this country – and our lawmakers have to do something about it.
Brad Woodhouse, President, Americans United for Change: “Republicans who prize an NRA endorsement above all else don’t like to talk about gun violence, but when they do what comes out is often callous and counterproductive like ‘stuff happens.’ They will say anything to change the subject of keeping guns out of dangerous hands until the public outcry dies down -- until the next tragedy, and the next. They throw up the blinders and condemn any common sense gun violence measure like closing the private sale loophole or cracking down on straw purchasers, arguing it wouldn’t stop all gun violence so why bother. It’s the flawed-logic equivalent of arguing seatbelts can’t save every life so car manufactures shouldn’t have to install them anymore. They love to argue big cities like Chicago that have stricter gun laws still have a lot of gun violence, but conveniently forget how easy it is to obtain them right outside the city limits.
“When these Republicans shoot down even the most common sense and effective gun violence deterrents like expanded background checks, they are putting gun manufacturer profits before our public safety. The big gun manufacturers don’t give a damn if their product is sold to someone in a parking lot or gun show no questions asked, but anyone who hopes to be President should. Whoever emerges as the Republican nominee will have to explain to the American people why they believe private sale loophole should remain wide open for the dangerously mentally ill, felons, domestic abusers and even terrorists to exploit.”
FACT: Background Checks Work, Save Lives and Catch Criminals. According to Everytown: “In the states that require background checks for all handgun sales, there are lower rates of gun violence across a variety of groups: 46 percent fewer women are shot to death by their intimate partners, 48 percent fewer on-duty law enforcement officers are killed with handguns that are not their own, and the rate of gun trafficking is 48 percent lower. The system works: since 1998, the background check system has blocked more than 2.3 million attempted purchases by dangerous people who are prohibited from buying guns. But in order to make all Americans safer, federal law should require background checks for all gun sales.”