Monday, October 12, 2015

American exceptionalism: "Stuff happens" but it only happens here

Jeb Bush should have read RFK's speech. Or maybe not given Jeb's way of reducing issues to the smallest trivia.

Leonard Pitts Jr. opines on how "stuff" doesn't happen elsewhere -- this "stuff" is what makes America great, I suppose. Snippets follow from Pitts' column in the Daily Star.

To say "stuff happens" about a mass shooting is to suggest that mass shootings are somehow inevitable and unavoidable. But that is simply not true. This "stuff" doesn’t happen everywhere — not with the numbing frequency it does here.

It doesn’t happen like this in Great Britain.

It doesn’t happen like this in Brazil.

It doesn’t happen like this in Israel.

It doesn’t happen like this in Japan, where gun ownership is strictly restricted, nor in Canada, where gun ownership laws are more liberal and there are, by one count, about 10 million firearms in private hands.

Ten million. Yet, you know how many gun homicides there were in Canada in 2013? A hundred and thirty-one.

Even as we mourn this latest mass murder, another is taking shape. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next week. That’s how predictable this "stuff" has become.

So it would behoove us to try and figure out what other countries know that we do not, what it is about our laws and/or our national character that returns us inevitably to this nexus of tragedy and recrimination week after week. You see, Bush is only half right.

It is not that "stuff happens."

No, stuff happens here.

And we are numb to it. Our leaders do not recognize this awful societal disease, not because they too are numb, but because they have been immunized by the politics and cash of the gun lobby. For them there is No Reasoning At all.

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