Bobby Jindal and Ben Carson compete to see who can say the worst thing about the Oregon shooting

For a Republican politician in the wake of a mass shooting, the formula is pretty simple: Pray, talk about mental health and, if you want to show a little ankle to the NRA, say that more guns would have prevented the tragedy.

For varying reasons, Bobby Jindal and Ben Carson didn’t stick to that formula today. Jindal needs to grab some attention; Carson seems genuinely confused as to where he is.

Carson went first, appearing on “Fox & Friends” this morning to tell all who would listen that, being the manly man that he is, he wouldn’t have just sat there and gotten shot like a pansy had he been in the room with Christopher Harper-Mercer, last week’s shooter. He’d stay alive by rallying those around him to take that sumbitch down. As he said, quoted by the Huffington post, “I would not just stand there and let him shoot me…I would say, ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all.”

As HuffPo noted, one victim in last week’s shooting did exactly that:

Notwithstanding Carson’s claim that the UCC victims just “let” Harper-Mercer shoot them, Army veteran Chris Mintz did fight back. Harper-Mercer shot Mintz seven times. Mintz survived, but is still recovering from his wounds.

In politics, “authentic” is often just a polite way of saying “unskilled,” and in this sense Ben Carson’s answer on gun violence is, to say the least, authentic. Victim blaming is generally frowned upon in American politics, especially when the victims are dead and can’t defend themselves from your insulting their supposed lack of courage.

Additionally, unless Ben Carson has ever had a loaded gun pointed at him, I doubt he has any idea what he’d do in a situation like the one in which last week’s victims found themselves.

In fairness, Carson’s comment isn’t all that far from what Donald Trump had to say following the tragedy. Trump, who claims to have a concealed-carry permit, promised to shoot anyone who tries to harm him.

But while Carson and Trump were being their not-all-there and way-too-much-there selves with their answers, so you could at least play their comments off as, well, authentic, the same can’t be said for Bobby Jindal, who later in the day published a lengthy blog post pinning the shooting on “deep and serious cultural decay in our society” and that implicates Harper-Mercer’s father. As he wrote (for some reason, in bullet-point format):

  • Bobby Jindal, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

    Bobby Jindal, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

    Now, let’s get really politically incorrect here and talk specifically about this horror in Oregon. This killer’s father is now lecturing us on the need for gun control and he says he has no idea how or where his son got the guns.

  • Of course he doesn’t know. You know why he doesn’t know? Because he is not, and has never been in his son’s life. He’s a complete failure as a father, he should be embarrassed to even show his face in public. He’s the problem here.
  • He brags that he has never held a gun in his life and that he had no idea that his son had any guns. Why didn’t he know? Because he failed to raise his son. He should be ashamed of himself, and he owes us all an apology.
  • When he was asked what his relationship was with his son, he said he hadn’t seen him in a while because he lived with his mother. Case Closed.

Christopher Harper-Mercer was 26 years old. Bobby Jindal has zero clue what his family life was like — before or after he turned 18. If anything the newsworthy parent in all of this is Harper-Mercer’s mother, who kept a stockpile of weapons at home and trained her son to use them, despite knowing he was dealing with a mental health condition (a common denominator between last week’s shooting and the Sandy Hook massacre).

For all of the Republican talk about mental health issues, Bobby Jindal’s understanding of parenting seems to imply that such issues don’t actually exist. If parents only raised their kids right, they wouldn’t have to worry about keeping a revolutionary-grade arsenal within arms’ reach, no matter what mental health issues were present.

Instead, the real problem — forget mental health — is “cultural decay,” which has always been code for gay marriage, abortion and anything else that threatens a hyper-masculine patriarchy. As he concluded:

If anyone is at all serious about changing any of this, they must address the root problems, and those are cultural decay, the glorification of evil, the devaluation of human life, the breakdown of the family, and specifically the complete abdication of fathers.

Meanwhile, the shallow and simple minded liberals will continue to blame pieces of hardware for the problem, and they will long for the days before firearms were invented.

But the simple truth is, as long as we place no value on human life, as long as we glorify senseless violence and evil, we will get the exact same result.

Get bent, Bobby Jindal.

Edit: A tweet from a fake Donald Trump Twitter account has been removed from this post.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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20 Responses to “Bobby Jindal and Ben Carson compete to see who can say the worst thing about the Oregon shooting”

  1. I completely agree with you jon, these politicians only talk big and like to distress people, rather than making some calming comment and positive things, it will be much more better for all of us.

  2. Jon Green says:

    D’oh! Thanks. Will fix.

  3. Naja pallida says:

    I didn’t write off George W. Bush in 2000, because he had a massive steamroller of a campaign team behind him, but I did write him off in 2004. I repeatedly told myself that the American people had seen what a total buffoon he was, and how badly he screwed up over and over, and they couldn’t possibly want to re-elect a guy whose only platform positions were to have more wars and to drive the economy further into the ground. Boy was I wrong. The electorate practically demanded it. That should be more than enough evidence to never discount the lunatic ravers. Poorly informed people, who don’t care about reality, number in the millions. And they vote.

  4. rwlorenz says:

    America — a country where the son of Indian immigrants can redefine himself as a white Southern racist.

  5. rwlorenz says:

    Latest polls out of New Hampshire have Jindal up to 5%; his being an ignorant, pandering a-hole is paying off with the right-thinking voters. Prospects for the future — it’s only October ’15, the Republican candidates have months to make this week’s comments look like models of decorum.

  6. DGT says:

    Don’t be too sure. According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, Carson (who is in second place in the Republican primary polls) would beat Clinton in a general election.

    http://www.quinnipiac.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2283

    I remember writing off George Bush Jr. in 2000, saying the same thing. There was no way in hell that a moron like that could get elected President. And we know how that turned out. So I never write off Republican candidates, no matter how clueless and bumbling they seem.

  7. Carol Moore says:

    WORK AT HOME::Get $97/HOUR…I just purchased themselves a McLaren F1 when I got my check for $19993 this past 4 weeks and just over 17 thousand lass month . this is really the nicest-work Ive had . I began this 10-months ago and straight away started making more than $97… p/h .learn the facts here now
    hkl….
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  8. Thom Allen says:

    And the Walmart/FEMA axis, Jade Helm and so many others.

  9. The_Fixer says:

    That’s what the U.N. is planning, you know. They are starting their one-world-government by giving money to one failed Republican state at a time. Pretty soon there will be black helicopters hovering over every parish in Louisiana.

    Sadly, as ridiculous as this sounds, somewhere someone will believe it. That’s scary.

  10. rerutled says:

    NB: With regards to “getting owned by Donald Trump on Twitter”, the account above is “reaDonaldTrump” (note the missing ‘l’) and not “realDonaldTrump”, which is Donald Trump’s confirmed Twitter account. Even so: hilarious.

  11. SkippyFlipjack says:

    Jeb! got out to an early lead in this contest.

  12. Razerzpeed says:

    I don’t like Bobby at all but he happens to be right in this instance and you are the pig not him

  13. Thom Allen says:

    Good point. Maybe we could get the UN to send some funds to our third world states so they wouldn’t have to mooch off of us.

  14. Thom Allen says:

    Jindal is such a pig. He realizes that he has no chance to win the presidency. Now he’s letting out some of the awful hate he has inside him, showing what a small-minded, despicable creature he is.

    I wonder how Indian-American citizens frrl about “Bobby” and his record as LA governor and presidential candidate?

  15. Baal says:

    It’s not worth the metabolic energy required to comment or pay any attention to what Piyush Jindal says. It simply doesn’t matter. Obviously, it will be horrible most of the time. But he is pretty much entirely irrelevant as a public figure outside of Louisiana, which is even more of a third world country now than it was before he took over there.

  16. Thom Allen says:

    . . . and I’ll be running in the other direction anyway, looking for the nearest Fox News correspondent.

  17. nicho says:

    We ARE talking about two men who are totally detached from reality. Neither of them has a snowball’s chance of being nominated or elected. Trying to parse their insane ramblings is a waste of time.

  18. BeccaM says:

    Many of us are familiar with the morbidly obese child who became that way because a parent, in lieu of love and nurturing, replaced them with food. “Oh honey, don’t cry — here have a slice of chocolate cake.”

    By some accounts, Harper-Mercer’s mother did something similar by giving him guns and by instilling in him the perverse notion that firearms could solve one’s fears, unhappiness, and depression.

    Anyway, as I remarked in the other post, this GOPer pandering is disgusting. The Republicans are always first in line to denote mental illness as a mere character weakness, and in any case they simply do not believe in making access to health care services of any kind — physical or mental — universally available. Had Harper-Mercer not killed himself, they also would’ve been yawping to the world for a death penalty sentence and never an “innocent by reason of insanity” plea.

    Look: They’re holding up the shiny object, hoping we’ll all get distracted. A mentally disturbed young man acquired a large number of firearms and a stockpile of ammo because we in this country do next to nothing to prevent it.

  19. Hue-Man says:

    A variant of two people encountering a bear; you don’t have to run fast, just faster than the other person!

    At 26, I lived 2,500 miles from my parents and had been working full-time for 4 years post college graduation. My parents’ child-rearing skills at that point were 99% irrelevant – I had learned some things they taught me and rejected some other things they taught me!

  20. iamlegion says:

    I would say, ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all.”

    Actually, the standard GOP response to danger is “Hey guys, you all go and attack him. He may shoot you, but I’m betting he’ll run out of bullets before he gets to me…”

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