Thoughts, Prayers and Tasteless Tweets

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Illustration by Bill Cawthon

U.S. Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez wasted no time and rushed to demonstrate Olympic-class ignorance and, perhaps monumental insensitivity after the hate-inspired murders of 49 people in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“AOC” Tweeted:

“At 1st I thought of saying, “Imagine being told your house of faith isn’t safe anymore.

“But I couldn’t say “imagine.”

“Because of Charleston. Pittsburgh. Sutherland Springs.

“What good are your thoughts & prayers when they don’t even keep the pews safe?”

She later said her comments were aimed at the National Rifle Association. She said that “thoughts and prayers” is a phrase “used to deflect conversation away from policy change during tragedies.”

The first question in my mind is what else can someone say about events like this? There aren’t words that can encompass the magnitude of evil inside a person that drives them to commit such an vicious slaughter. There aren’t words to express the sorrow a person feels for those who died or were wounded; the families who must live with the loss; the anguish of a community.

What do you say to a country reeling from more murders committed in a single day, in a single city, than the nationwide total for an entire year? From dealing with the fact that one fanatic traveled from Australia to New Zealand with the sole purpose of killing a large number of people?

If the people of New Zealand reach out to us for help, I have no doubt that we will do everything we can to make sure their needs are met.

Until then, we can only keep them in our thoughts and in our faith, whatever that faith might be. And that’s really all we can say.

The second question is what does the National Rifle Association have to do with it? Or was that just some flip cop-out because whenever there’s a shooting in America, the NRA is blamed so why not blame it for a shooting in New Zealand?

The one thing I can say is that the NRA and those who send thoughts and prayers aren’t trying to score political or publicity points from the deaths of 49 people.

That puts them a big step up from Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.

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