Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has faced criticism for saying "stuff happens" after the Oregon shooting. He also dismissed the need for further gun control legislation after America's latest mass shooting, which saw Chris Harper-Mercer kill nine people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.
Speaking at a conservative forum in South Carolina, the former Florida governor, and brother of former President George W Bush, answered a questioner who asked what is the best way to respond to gun violence in the US. Bush said: "Look, stuff happens, there's always a crisis and the impulse is always to do something and it's not always the right thing to do."
He also argued that he believed the US should not respond to tragedies by creating more regulations. Bush also spoke of his support for the NRA and Florida's concealed weapons and controversial "stand your ground" laws.
"Whenever you see a tragedy take place, the impulse in the political system most, more, more often at the federal level — but also at the state level — is to do something, right," said Bush. "And what we end up doing lots of times is we create rules on the 99.999% of human activity that had nothing to do with the tragedy that forced the conversation, by doing something.
"And we're taking people's rights away each time we do that," he added. "And we're not necessarily focusing on the real challenge."
Criticism of Bush was swift with Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz saying on Twitter: "A message for Jeb Bush: 380 Americans have been killed in 294 mass shootings in 2015 alone. 'Stuff' doesn't just 'happen.' Inaction happens."
President Obama also condemned Bush, saying: "I don't even think I have to react to that one. I think the American people should hear that and make their own judgments based on the fact that every couple of months we have a mass shooting and… they can decide whether they consider that stuff happening," he told a news conference at the White House."
Bush retorted on Twitter by saying: "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."
Chris Harper-Mercer was killed by police after executing nine people. Authorities said Harper-Mercer was armed with six guns during the shooting, and owned 13 guns. All of the weapons were legally purchased by him or members of his family.