Thoughts And Prayers Aren't Working, Say Gun Control Advocates
Yesterday's shooting in San Bernardino marks the deadliest mass shooting in the United States since the 2012 rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary. In that time, mass shootings have become simultaneously more common and deadlier, and we seem to have become more resigned to the new normal.
Those who are frustrated by the NRA's clout in blocking meaningful gun control legislation went after politicians and other NRA supporters who offered up their "thoughts and prayers" in the wake of the shooting, and it turned into a trending hashtag. The New York Daily News published a bold cover of conservative politicians—Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan and Lindsey Graham—tweeting out their prayers in the wake of the shooting along with the headline "God Isn't Fixing This."
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) tweeted out a call to action:
Your "thoughts" should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your "prayers" should be for forgiveness if you do nothing - again.— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) December 2, 2015
He later added in a statement, "I cannot express the profound sadness I feel each time a new community grieves and endures the same pain that brought Newtown to its knees three years ago this month."
Igor Volsky, of the progressive site Think Progress, tweeted out NRA contributions and endorsements for politicians alongside their thoughts, prayers and wishes to San Bernardino victims without mentioning gun control policy. Here's a sample:
NRA dumped $922K into McConnell's re-elect bid, so when it comes to preventing gun violence all u get is this tweet https://t.co/RsSvFRDlZr— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) December 3, 2015
Got $7,450 from NRA during the 2014 election cycle to address gun violence by "praying for peace" https://t.co/RsVMK3u2ju— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) December 3, 2015
Democrats and other gun control advocates, including Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, spoke out against the nation's gun violence epidemic. Obama gave a statement that echoed that Onion post that keeps getting shared on Facebook:
Authorities are still investigating why a married couple who had just had a baby decided to go on a deadly shooting rampage that killed 14 people at a San Bernardino social services center. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says two guns of the four guns used in the attack were purchased legally, though they didn't identify who the buyer was or where they were purchased, according to the New York Times. Two of the assault rifles were variants of the AR-15, and two were handguns. California has the strictest gun laws in the nation that ban the sale of assault weapons, though people who owned the guns before the ban are allowed to keep them. It's possible that these guns may have been purchased in other states.