It’s the morning after yet another mass shooting in the United States and this one appears to be the worst in our nation’s history. With 50+ victims dead and over 400 injured the Las Vegas shooting is shaping up to be the latest in an expanding history of mass violence for our society. As with any new shooting or disaster the political class was quick to express just how many thoughts and prayers they want to send to the victims and their families.
It’s become custom in the US that when terrible, preventable things occur we package up huge crates of rich, frothy, thoughts and prayers and ship them to those impacted by our blatant negligence and cruel indifference. Moments later, thanks to the miracle of the internet, the victims can crack open a cold tweet and enjoy fresh thoughts and prayers straight from the generous heart of some fucking politician somewhere as they recover from their bullet wounds in the hospital. In some rare cases thoughts and prayers can even be used to bargain with higher powers to get your loved ones back from the dead.
It’s important to note that there is absolutely no reason for us to discuss gun laws and regulations that could save lives and prevent these kinds of massacres from happening as countless studies have proven they do. In the United States we’d prefer to just let these completely avoidable mass shootings happen and just follow them up with the creamy goodness of some thoughts and prayers after the fact. Here’s some free samples to enjoy from last night’s senseless killing spree.
My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2017
Here’s Trump giving everyone some “warm condolences” which is a spin on “thoughts and prayers” and reveals that he doesn’t understand condolences or how to use them properly.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) October 2, 2017
Here’s Paul Ryan, arguably one of the people in the country best positioned to actually work on and help fix gun violence in the nation giving everyone a sampler of condolences and prayers. Notice how he doesn’t mention taking any action whatsoever or making any effort to actually help prevent these tragedies from happening?
Tragic news out of Las Vegas this morning. Kelley and I send our prayers and deepest condolences to all those affected.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) October 2, 2017
Rand Paul coming out strong with some deep condolences and normal level of deepness prayers. Rand is historically a rogue agent among the GOP who stakes out his own unique positions based on his libertarian ideology but he always falls in line behind the thoughts and prayers train.
What’s unclear however is if the GOP is aware of the fact that “thoughts and prayers” have no monetary or utilitarian value and serve no actual purpose. The mass shooting in Las Vegas left 59 people dead and injured over 500 but at press time, we have been unable to confirm how many of those dead or injured have been able to make use of the thoughts and prayers that have been donated.
A breakdown of types of people and how thoughts and prayers may aid them:
Those killed in mass shootings: Zero help. Thoughts and prayers are not currently believed to be of any use to the dead and despite diligent scientific research, the power of thoughts and prayers does not appear to be capable of resurrecting humans from beyond the grave.
Those injured in mass shootings: Minimal help. People who sustain injuries during mass shootings most likely do not derive any measurable benefit from seeing a deluge of tweets and Facebook status updates that send thoughts and prayers their way. However, this may be a good way to judge who in the political class has no intention of actually helping their situation in any way for future awareness.
Potential victims of future mass shootings: Zero help. Thoughts and prayers do not appear to form any kind of tangible public policy nor do they seem to sway the likelihood of future shootings. Current research indicates that thoughts and prayers do nothing to stop or deter mass gun violence in the future.
Politicians: Lots of help. There is copious conclusive evidence that thoughts and prayers are extremely valuable to politicians. When amply supplied, thoughts and prayers have the lasting effect of making politicians feel better about themselves during a tragedy, seem like they give a shit, and still be entirely apathetic to actually working toward meaningful progress while remaining free of guilt or regret.
As best we can tell after pouring over countless studies and research papers our team can only conclude that the GOP seems to believe that thoughts and prayers essentially work like Goku’s Spirit Bomb from Dragonball Z. Fun fact: they don’t.
Instead of thoughts and prayers, what the victims of the Las Vegas shooting and the nation need are leaders and politicians willing to take actual action. To accept facts and research and to build a roadmap toward a country that isn’t subjected to mass violence and death on a regular basis. That would go a lot further than anyone’s thoughts and prayers.