The Editorial Board
We have reached the point where, unfortunately, no one is particularly surprised to hear of another mass shooting in the United States.
We have cried over those lost at Columbine, wept for the children of Sandy Hook and razed Confederate monuments for the churchgoers killed in Charleston. But our response is of shock and disgust each and every time. U.S. citizens are aware of the problem and the necessity of a solution, but disagree on which course of action is necessary to neutralize the problem.
In light of this, it is particularly troubling to see writers like Arthur Delaney and Sam Stein, both of The Huffington Post, label displays of solidarity and outpouring of support as just “another deluge of tweeted prayer”.
“[But] every time multiple people have been gunned down in a mass shooting, all these officials can seemingly do is rush to offer their useless thoughts and prayers,” reads the Dec. 2 article, which ran just hours after the shooting.
This outcry is petty and also solves nothing.
Are they truly convinced those who choose to pray — an act extending into many religions and even among those who are aren’t all that faithful — believe prayer is a substitute for action? Or is their problem with prayer in general? In the former case, one might tell them to have a bit more faith in the citizens of the U.S. For the latter, they should just stick their head in the sand.
Another example lies is George Zornick, Washington editor of The Nation, who, believing himself to be the ultimate authority on the subject, simply tweeted “Compare + contrast,” with an image tacked on citing the immense differences between the statements released by a slew of presidential candidates. On the left, Martin O’Malley touts the NRA as responsible, saying “It’s time to stand up” and “enact meaningful gun safety laws.” To the right, John Kasich offered his “thoughts and prayers” to “those impacted by the shooting in San Bernardino.” Compare and contrast, indeed.
Politics aside, the problem lies with this so-called moral superiority claimed by Zornick, without considering those who might take offense to a public condemnation of an act which transcends age, gender, faith or politics: acknowledgment. Just as he says the right-leaning politicians are using prayer to replace actual action to curb gun violence, some might say the left are exploiting the attack and loss of life for political gain.
Despite the fact the U.S., according to certain Pew Research Center studies, might be growing less and less religious by year, freedom of religion still exists. Calling these people out for not offering immediate solutions is wrong and only serves to reveal a half-cocked intellect.
They are looking through their own rose-colored glasses and taking an opportunity to insult those who they fundamentally dislike.
Rest assured, true debate can and will be had among our lawmakers. But in the meantime, we should all stand in unity and offer our condolences to those affected rather than condemning those who weren’t responsible for the tragedy in the first place.
To quote Abraham Lincoln: “A house divided cannot stand.”