“Thoughts and Prayers” Have Become Beneath Our Contempt
Praying for the victims, their families & the San Bernardino first responders in the wake of this tragic shooting.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) December 2, 2015
Yesterday, there was another mass shooting in America.
That was the 355th murderous tirade this year, a rate of more than one mass shooting per day. More than 600 innocents have been killed by guns, and 1,620 seriously injured. That’s in addition to the tens of thousands of gun accidents, domestic altercations, and countless other tragedies which have involved the misuse of firearms.
U.S.A! U.S.A! America, fuck yeah.
As if all the senseless violence and the perpetual threat of being murdered everywhere we step — from movie theaters to post offices, from elementary schools to social service centers — isn’t enough to knock the lethargic stupor out of us into at least attempting some collective response which might help to reduce the number of violent incidents and perhaps even exorcise this sick society from its berserk obsession with guns, the doddering frailty of politicians currently on display takes delusion to a whole new cellar of wacko.
Consider the public response of at least one mainstream Republican presidential candidate, Jeb Bush to the mass shooting in San Bernadino, which was posted on social media (see his Tweet above). Jeb wants us all to know he’s “praying for the victims….” Really? That’s wonderful. Gee, how comforting that must be to the many wounded and families mourning the dead. Thanks for the leadership, Jeb. The shattering sound you just heard was my sarcasm meter exploding.
The bumbling Florida ex-governor’s response was utterly typical of conservatives, without exception all lined up like faithful toy soldiers tucked into the dirty pocket of the National Rifle Association, who’s intent is to suppress all discussion whatsoever of responsible gun control measures, even though all national polls show about three-quarters of Americans favor some degree of restriction. Unless the dead victims happened to have worked at Planned Parenthood (when the silence from Republicans was deafening), the response is always the same. There’s a mass shooting somewhere in America, innocent people die, then a public call for “thoughts and prayers.” How appallingly feckless. After the San Bernadino shooting, most Republican candidates posted similar messages of faux-comfort and phony empathy — including Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckebee, Ben Carson, and Chris Christie. What a disgrace.
Well frankly, we’re sick and tired of “thoughts and prayers.” Let’s have some action, instead. Surely, the 600 who died this year did plenty of praying, while sickos with easy-to-purchase assault weapons were stalking public areas while indiscriminately unloading their gun clips into victims and blood was spewing all over the floor. Let’s call thoughts and prayers what they truly are — worthless garbage. The invisible bearded old dude within the human imagination isn’t intervening, people. It doesn’t give a fuck. History proves this. And when politicians seeking public office suggest that we pray for the victims and their families, the tin-foil echo of hollowness sounds even more profane. We don’t need anymore forged platitudes of compassion. What we really need are more leaders willing to take on powerful interests who perpetuate a climate of violence. Would a little political courage be too much to ask?
Surely, there will be another mass shooting sometime, probably very soon. Maybe today. Perhaps tomorrow. I know, that’s a preposterously cynical prediction. Yet, no one can say with any level of confidence that gun violence will decline. Not as long as the status quo laws based on a grotesque misinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment remains in effect. In fact, gun violence in all it’s ugly forms, shall most likely increase. More people and more guns always means more mass senseless death. You and I were lucky today. But will we be so fortunate tomorrow?
As for Jeb Bush and the rest of the feeble conservatives with no chance whatsoever of becoming president who continue align themselves with a murderous organization that should probably be on trial for crimes against humanity, I offer some free advice. Jeb, you’re not going to be president. Ever. Your’re about a six weeks and another wasted $15 million dollars away from becoming a paragraph on the Wiki page of “2016 Presidential Election.” You are about to become completely irrelevant. If you have any sense, you’ll stand up and do what’s right. Political legacies aren’t made by going along. Real leadership means occasionally rocking the boat.
My “thoughts and prayers” are with you, Jeb. May you finally see the light. Let’s just hope that light isn’t the flash from a gun barrel from the next wacko who commits yet another mass shooting.