In the wake of the tragic California shooting in Bernardino, Democrats across the country are criticizing their Republican counterparts for not backing up their calls for prayers with action. The calls for moments of silence and prayers do nothing to curb the overwhelming violence that has plagued the country this year.
During an interview with CNN’s New Day Thursday morning, Representative Adam Schiff stated “I would much rather have moments of action than moments of silence on the House floor,”
The San Bernardino, California, shooting is just one more in a long list of mass shootings in the United States this year. The University of Alabama’s Criminal Justice Department released sobering statistics that show there have been 355 mass shootings, which are defined as shootings where four or more people are injured, in 2015. In 20 days during 2015, there were four mass shootings in a single day according to NBC News. Democrats are pointing out that it is obvious that prayers for victims of shootings, including those from the California shooting on Wednesday, are not slowing or stopping the violence. On Wednesday, not only did the country see 14 dead as the result of the California shooting, but there was a mass shooting in Georgia earlier in the day.
Try this: Stop thinking. Stop praying. Look up Einstein's definition of "insanity." Start acting on gun violence prevention measures.
— Zack Ford (@ZackFord) December 2, 2015
In reaction to the California shooting, the New York Daily News plastered “God Isn’t Fixing This” across their front page on Thursday. Many politicians and average citizens are fed up with the meaningless platitudes and are demanding a change to gun control laws across the country.
The New York Daily News chronicalled the Twitter responses to the California shooting, and not a single Republican presidential hopeful provided anything more than thoughts and prayers in the wake of such a large tragedy. Democratic hopefuls Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley all called for gun control and an end to the violence in response for the California shooting on Wednesday.
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
California’s shooting left 14 dead and 17 others injured. The husband and wife team who carried out the latest mass shooting in the country had planned out their attack in great detail, according to the New York Times. The two arrived at the San Bernardino County Public Health Department in tactical gear and armed with assault rifles. Democrats say that prayers could not have stopped the couple, but action, such as approving tighter gun control, could have prevented not just the California shooting but many of the 355 mass shootings that have occurred this year in the United States.
Police in San Bernardino, California, are still searching for a motive for the California shooting. Even without a solid motive, people across the country are calling for tighter gun control laws to be enacted. In the end, the motive won’t matter as much as finding a way to prevent such tragedies from happening again, and many believe the only option to bring a halt to mass shootings is gun control, not prayers.
The hashtag #thoughtsandprayers began trending on Twitter after the California shooting but not because people were actually offering thoughts and prayers. Instead, Twitter users shamed the politicians who offered nothing more than prayers and exposed the sad truth that many of those same politicians had accepted money from the National Rifle Association and/or had voted against gun control reform.
Thanks for tweeting, following, & watching today as we shamed NRA bought lawmakers for #thoughtsandprayers. Together, we can make this stop.
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) December 3, 2015
The California shooting is not the only time the calls for prayers for the victims and families have been criticized as not productive or helpful. Just last month, the worldwide call for prayers for the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks was criticized by many, including a cartoonist for Charlie Hebdo who called for less religion and more life. Whether the shaming across social and traditional media for the prayers offered up to victims of the California shooting instead of action will lead to a change is yet to be seen.
[Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]