Jeb Bush's 'America' Gun Tweet Is One Big 'Eff You' to Moms

Jeb Bush is tough, you guys. And part of his campaign makeover in the run-up to the South Carolina primary — besides ditching his specs for contacts — included a tweet of a gun custom engraved with his name. To every mother worried about keeping her babies safe from gun violence, it was a complete insult. 

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The obvious message was aimed at the Southern, gun-toting manly men in the South Carolina Republican electorate to signal Jeb's commitment to keeping America awash in guns at any cost. To moms like me, who worry about all of our babies' safety, it was a huge middle finger.

Jeb Bush isn't a bad guy. Neither are people who believe their Second Amendment right to "bear arms" is super important. But this rabid commitment — worship, even — of guns in America is killing our babies and terrorizing our neighborhoods. And mothers, more than any other group, want it stopped yesterday. And in a Republican primary field full of chest-beating anger addicts, it was disheartening to see the one candidate with actual qualifications and policy plans stoop so low as to equate all the amazing things America is with guns. That's the complete opposite attitude our kids need from their political leaders to keep them safe.

According to this archive of gun violence data, in 2016 alone, 64 kids aged 11 or younger have been killed or injured by gun violence, and 338 teens between the ages of 12 and 17 have been killed or injured. Just last week a high school kid in a Phoenix suburb borrowed a gun from her classmate, went to school, shot another girl, and committed suicide.

More from The Stir: Shannon Watts Is Sick & Tired of Gun Violence -- So She's Doing Something About It

And then there's Sandy Hook, the school shooting that paralyzed the entire country with grief and the realization that even our first graders aren't safe in their classrooms.

Mothers live in a daily reality that our kids aren't safe anywhere from gun violence. It's a real fear that creeps into my head and heart just about every morning as I watch my kindergartner run through the iron bars onto the school playground. It's a fear that many mothers feel regularly when they send their kids to the movies, to a friend's house to play video games, or to head off to college.

More from The Stir: 5 Things Moms Can Do Right Now to Keep Our Kids Safe From Gun Violence

Forget about actually doing something about the problem — at the very least Bush could decide not to contribute to America's gun fetish with tweets like this one that aren't anything more than a sales pitch for gun manufacturers. It's galling.

Bush and his pro-gun-at-any-cost ilk are in the minority. Overwhelming majorities of each party want sensible gun safety regulations like closing gun show loopholes that allow sales of guns without background checks. It's lobbyists like the NRA, who represent gun manufacturers, not sportsmen, who keep the fairy tale going that guns aren't the problem. But moms on the front lines of the war between everyday Americans and gun culture know better.

So Jeb, I'm here to tell you on behalf of mothers everywhere that we're not impressed with your stupid gun. We're tired of guns being glorified and celebrated in our country while our kids are being killed at alarming rates. This is about more than bumping up your lousy poll numbers among the most extreme wing of your party. To us, this is about life and death. Watch this video to take a good look at America. We're begging for someone to do something to get guns under control on our streets, in our schools, and even in our churches. Obviously, you're just not listening.

 

 Image via Jeb Bush/Twitter

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