CultureLifePolitics

“Thoughts and Prayers” is just like praying on the street corner

“If white kids got killed and they did nothing, I don’t have much hope they will do anything else after anyone gets shot..” My friend said that yesterday after we heard about the shooting in Texas. And I hate how

Every time there is a mass shooting, I always have a faint hope. “Is this gonna be enough this time? Will people finally demand some sensible gun reform? Will we be able to shake our representatives from the pocket of wealthy gun lobbyists and the NRA?”

Big shock: no. Bigger shock: they’ll all tweet “thought and prayers” when they should be passing reform immediately to save lives. Along with a bunch of people you know, probably. 

“Thoughts and prayers” is as performative a concept akin to what Jesus called Pharisees out for when they were praying on street corners: performative religion that is no more than words. Religion just to be seen.

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It is not enough. (And lord know’s I’m the billionth blogger to say that, I know.) And everything I’m about to say isn’t new either, but maybe if enough of us raise our voices enough times, we’ll get a bit of movement.

 

We have a gun issue.

The US owns the majority of the guns in the world and it is relatively easy to purchase guns in this country. And the thing is MOST people want sensible gun reform. Most people think it is a great idea to have background checks, to close the gun show loophole, and to disallow folks suffering from mental health issues from procuring assault rifles.

Oh! Speaking of assault rifles, did you know that the AR-15,s a lightweight, 5.56×45mm, magazine-fed, gas-operated semi-automatic rifle, is probably one of the most popular weapons used by shooters in the US in recent history? Here’s a list of the incidents:

Aurora: a man killed 12 people with an AR-15.
Orlando: a man killed 49 LGBTQ people with an AR-15
Sandy Hook: a man killed 20 children and 6 adults with anAR-15
Umpqua CC: a man killed 10 people with an AR-15
San Bernardino: a man killed 14 people with an AR-15
Sutherland Springs: a man killed 26 people with an AR-15

…can we all at least agree it should be harder to kill large amounts of people?
Can we agree that there needs to be more extensive background checks? Can we agree that a private citizen doesn’t need a semi-automatic rifle for any reason?

This was an act of terrorism.

What is interesting too is that because the shooter was white, he will be labeled as a “lone wolf.” They’ll call it an isolated incident. They will not call it what it was: an act of terrorism. Being white doesn’t exempt anyone from that. And not calling it what it is will continue to delay any actual reform.

We won’t address how these white men are getting radicalized right here in the US. We won’t address the systemic issues of racism and whiteness.

And our President has now stated that this is a “mental health issue” of the highest order. Which, sure, to a degree, it is an issue of mental health. This is a President who is also hellbent on destroying our health care system, thereby taking any mental health care away from people who desperately need it. He hasn’t done anything to advocate for it. So if you’re going to call it an issue but do nothing to address it, then, in my very humble opinion, he should shut the fuck up, and do the right thing. (But why would he?)

Pray and then call your representatives and senators.

We have no excuses and no more time. If you don’t like getting political, get over yourself. We do not have time. Our friends do not have time. Those people who were shot don’t need you to just say a prayer or hold a vigil. Those things are beautiful, but what would have been nice would be to have folks living today, going to work today, going to school today.

There are easy ways to do this.

The Stance App is a way for you to leave a pre-recorded message that will be pushed thru to your representatives. Available on Apple and Android. Download it here.

The Best Ways to Contact your Reps, from a former staffer. Read the blog here.

If you want to contact your Representatives, there’s a directory that can be found here.
And if you want to contact Senators, there’s a directory that can be found here.

It is the best way to influence the conversation in Washington.

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  • Jeremy

    I don’t live in the States. At one time I thought it was the place to live and had I had the opportunity I would have leapt at it, but nowadays I’m actually very glad I don’t live there. It’s a dangerous and unsettled place, it seems. Keep plugging this issue, Kevin, and all the followers. It’s important that you push for change so that America can become great again.