The time for “thoughts and prayers” is over
Everyone is understandably frustrated this week after yet another school shooting took the lives of 17 innocent people in Parkland, Florida. And by “frustrated” I mean “so fucking sick of the continuous, preventable murder of children that we can barely breathe.”
One woman was feeling exactly this when she decided to mail a check to her local representative giving him a piece of her mind.
“Dear Rep. Bergman,” Fern Malila wrote on her Facebook page (the post has since been removed).“Since you and your colleagues in Congress seem to feel that this is the solution to mass murder, please accept this contribution.” Malila posted a picture of the check she sent to Representative Jack Bergman (R) of Michigan and the check was made out for “thoughts and prayers.”
— Erin Puariea (@epuariea) February 16, 2018
The Ontonagon, Michigan resident posted the message to prove a point about how little a person’s “thoughts and prayers” mean when what we need is action. It does nothing when a candidate needs a campaign contribution and it does nothing to keep our kids safe.
“I did it because I’m hearing the same arguments after each and every time this happens,” Malila explained to Newsweek. “Each and every news media person says contact your congressman, and Congress doesn’t do anything.”
She’s right. It seems the sentiment is the only thing many members of our government seem to be able to offer after a mass shooting, maybe because they know, like us, nothing is going to change.
It’s been a common theme after Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, Pulse nightclub, the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas — the list tragically gets larger every week. And now Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. We can argue until we are blue in the face all the valid points of the need for gun control in America, but sometimes it takes a campaign contribution in the name of “thoughts and prayers” to get the point across.
Of course when something tragic happens, condolences are necessary. But when repeatable, preventative death happens to innocent children, “thoughts and prayers” become cliche. And fucking maddening. It seems others feel the same way:
— Michael (@Mikeiswhite3) February 14, 2018
Dear Donald Trump,
I’m the 16 year old girl who tweeted you and told you i didn’t want your condolences, I wanted gun control, and went viral because of it. I heard you’re coming to my community soon and I would like to express my opinions on gun control to you face to face.
— sarah // #NEVERAGAIN (@sarahchad_) February 16, 2018
RT if you're sick & tired of hearing the same generic talk from the terrorist organisation NRA & the spineless GOP.
– "Now is not the time to talk #guncontrol"
– "Our #thoughtsandprayers are with the families"
What happened in Parkland Florida needs action. Now.
— The Hummingbird 🐦 (@SaysHummingbird) February 14, 2018
As your congresswoman, I won’t give you #Thoughtsandprayers. I’m fully committed to gun safety, and I won’t be intimidated by the frauds of the NRA.
— Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) February 14, 2018
That’s weird that there was a school shooting today, did #thoughtsandprayers not work after the last one?
— Not My President (@KingFavre) February 14, 2018
For everytime a GOP says "#ThoughtsAndPrayers" please donate $1.00 or more to these people's democratic opponents.
— Alexander "Original Dreamer" Hamilton (@AHamiltonSpirit) February 15, 2018
Malila’s check cuts to the heart of what is wrong with “thoughts and prayers,” namely, it does nothing to solve the problem. “Thoughts and prayers” feels like what people are saying because they don’t know what else to say.
But there is something more to say: “We can do better.” Join Moms Demand Action to as a first step to act against gun violence.