Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) just called out his conservative colleagues for their predictably offensive response to America’s latest mass shooting.
While several active shooters continued to rampage through San Bernardino, California, the usual Republican suspects began tweets of “thoughts and prayers” to the victims. Not a single one acknowledged their role in putting more guns into more hands. Instead, we once again got empty platitudes.
Praying for those impacted by the shooting in California today.
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) December 2, 2015
Our prayers are with the victims, their families, and the first responders in San Bernardino who willingly go into harm’s way to save others
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) December 2, 2015
Sen. Murphy, whose own state was the home of the Sandy Hook school massacre just a few years ago, wasn’t having it. On Twitter, Murphy blasted Republicans who spent their time sending “thoughts and prayers” to the victims, rather then any real action on curbing gun violence.
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
Murphy also released a statement decrying the violence and expressing sympathy for the victims.
“My heart aches for the people of San Bernardino. 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.
As we await the facts from the chaos on the ground, I can only pray that America’s leaders will do something — anything — that prevents more communities from knowing this sorrow.”
In short, Murphy’s response was one of the rare reasonable ones in a day filled with too many voices of shallow rhetoric. You can mourn the victims while also acknowledging that the system that allowed them to be murdered needs to change.
Murphy isn’t alone in his outrage at fellow politicians. On social media, Republicans who tried to feign sympathy while accepting massive donations from the NRA and other gun rights groups were inundated with messages calling their inaction offensive.
@GovMikeHuckabee Get off your knees, sir. And do something.
— Robert A Stribley (@stribs) December 2, 2015
@tedcruz Thoughts and prayers don't stop bullets.
— Tony DiMenna (@tdimenna) December 2, 2015
@RealBenCarson its people like you that created this problem.
— Morgan Cameron Ross (@Morgan_C_Ross) December 2, 2015
It’s become a sad cycle of violence and inaction. Republicans have resolved to do nothing. It pays better. Many Democrats, including President Obama, have been desperate to find solutions to help stem the tide of what is clearly becoming an epidemic of gun violence.
“We have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world,” Obama told CBS News. “And there are some steps we can take to not eliminate every one of these mass shootings but to improve the odds that they don’t happen as frequently.”
Obama said those steps could include stronger background checks and “common sense gun safety laws,” reiterating the same call for more gun control reforms that he’s issued after past mass shootings.
So far, legislative action on gun control have failed at almost every level.
If we are too progress, it will only be if we stop letting Republicans in Washington off the hook. That means taking a cue from Sen. Murphy and actually calling them on their actions. It’s not “too soon,” it’s not “politicizing a tragedy,” it’s responding to a very real problem in America. One that isn’t just going to go away with “thoughts and prayers.”
Feature image via Senator Murphy