Conservative Media Twist Calls For Action To Curb Gun Violence As Trying To "Take God Away"

Conservative Media Twist Calls For Action To Curb Gun Violence As Trying To "Take God Away"

››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

After the December 2 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California that left 14 dead and 17 more injured, conservative media distorted widespread criticism of Republican presidential candidates offering only their "thoughts and prayers" in response to the shooting, with no mention of proposals to prevent future gun violence, as an attempt "try to take God away."

Republican Candidates Tweet "Thoughts And Prayers" To The Victims And Families In The San Bernardino Mass Shooting

Republicans Respond To San Bernardino Mass Shooting By Sending "Thoughts And Prayers" To Victims And Families. After the December 2 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, Republican presidential candidates responded by offering "thoughts and prayers" to everyone affected by the massacre, but "didn't mention gun control":

Most of the Republican candidates also reacted to the shooting. But they didn't mention gun control.

GOP front-runner Donald Trump said the situation looked "very bad." "Good luck to law enforcement and God bless," he tweeted.

GOP candidates Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, John Kasich and George Pataki all said their thoughts and prayers were with the victims and their families. The other three candidates haven't issued statements. [Newsweek, 12/2/15]

GOP Candidates Face Backlash For Ignoring Gun Violence Prevention In Response To The Shooting

Republican Candidates Face "Angry Backlash" For Tweeting "Thoughts And Prayers" Without Calling For Action To Curb Gun Violence. NBC News reported that, in the wake of the December 2 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, "A wave of statements and tweets by politicians sending 'thoughts and prayers'" was "followed by an angry backlash over the state of America's gun laws":

A wave of statements and tweets by politicians sending "thoughts and prayers" after the San Bernardino shooting was quickly followed by an angry backlash over the state of America's gun laws.

Presidential candidates were among the first to express sorrow at the loss of at least 14 lives in Wednesday's gun rampage.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the shooting victims and their families," Republican hopeful Ben Carson tweeted.

However, the hashtag #thoughtsandprayers soon began trending on Twitter for different reasons as users called out Congress for inaction on reforming firearms laws. [NBC News, 12/3/15]

New York Daily News: GOP Candidates "Conspicuously Silent On The Issue Of Gun Control." On December 3, The New York Daily News noted that while Democratic presidential candidates "called for stricter gun laws,"Republican candidates were "silent on the issue of gun control," and instead "were preaching about prayer":

Prayers aren't working.

White House hopefuls on the Democratic side of the aisle called for stricter gun laws in the wake of the shooting in San Bernardino that left at least 14 dead.

But after yet another mass shooting in America, GOP presidential contenders were conspicuously silent on the issue of gun control.

Instead, the Republicans were preaching about prayer. [New York Daily News, 12/3/15]

ThinkProgress' Igor Volsky: "You Can't Solve" Gun Violence "With Thoughts And Prayers." On the December 2 edition of MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes, ThinkProgress contributing editor Igor Volsky stated, "I'm all for thinking and for praying and for having these very serious moments when we reflect on what happened," but that "I think the country is really ready for action, for actually something to be done, not just the thinking and the praying":

CHRIS HAYES (HOST): I've seen a lot of people say what's wrong with thoughts and prayers? I mean, you know, we don't know what happened. And this is obviously (added space)-- all we know is that something horrific happened. Particularly early on when folks are tweeting this. Why is that a sentiment expressed worthy of criticism in your mind?

IGOR VOLSKY: Well, because it's okay to think and pray, but these folks only want to think and pray and the NRA pays them to only think and pray about gun violence and not to do anything else about it. You know, they spent some $30 million in the 2014 election in independent expenditures making sure that all certain lawmakers do is think and pray and nothing else. I'm all for thinking and for praying and for having these very serious moments when we reflect on what happened, when we remember the victims. But I think the country is really ready for action, for actually something to be done, not just the thinking and the praying.

[...]

HAYES: Are you struck today as you think about thoughts and prayers as I am as we watch the development of the story and we watch the political system in the midst of a campaign essentially digest this horrible tragedy, the ways in which you can already see pieces fall into place depending on what set of facts. So in the beginning we know it's guns, and so we see Republican politicians react another way. Democrats react in another. As we go on, we may learn there is a motive, we may learn that the organization passed these people was attached to this act of violence. And we'll also see the response play out in that way.

VOLSKY: Well, Chris, it would be ridiculous, if it was clear this was a terror attack, like God forbid the one we saw in Paris, it would be ridiculous to think that certain lawmakers would go on Twitter and say thoughts and prayers, thoughts and prayers. There's an understanding that those kinds of issues, you can't solve with thoughts and prayers, you need actual action. And it's shocking to me that when it comes to gun violence, time and time again, all we hear from these people is thoughts and prayers. And people keep on dying and dying and dying, and all they can say is, thoughts and prayers, let's not talk about this now. Let's wait. Respectful amount of time, and then in certain amount of weeks or months we can address it. But we can't because there is a mass shooting almost every single, you know, week in this country at this point. [MSNBC, All In with Chris Hayes, 12/2/15]

Conservative Media Take Criticisms Out Of Context, Allege That Liberals Want To "Take God Away"

Fox & Friends' Hasselbeck: People Arguing That Thoughts And Prayers Aren't Enough Are Trying To "Take God Away." On the December 3 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck claimed that politicians and journalists saying thoughts and prayers were not enough to stop gun violence were "lin[ing] up with terrorists" and trying to "take God away":

ELISABETH HASSELBECK: I say this, if you want to line up with terrorists and try to take God away, you're not on the right side. That's all I'd have to say to those politicians who want to tell you to stop praying. Just don't. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 12/3/15]

Breitbart News: Calls For Gun Reform Are "Partisan Snark At The Freaky Godtards." On December 2, Breitbart News wrote that "elite members of our media... mock[ed] the Faithful" for offering thoughts and prayers to gun violence victims. The article went on that say that for those who called for action "there is no better time to launch the partisan snark at the freaky Godtards":

As good people on social media watched unspeakable events unfurl in San Bernardino, California, on their television sets, all one could do in a situation where you can really do nothing is pray and offer those prayers to the world. Naturally, elite members of our media will use any opportunity to mock the Faithful. Even 14 still-warm dead bodies won't stop them from attacking those who offer a heartfelt "thoughts and prayers" sentiment.

[...]

Fourteen dead.

Fourteen injured, that we know of.

Killer(s) still on the loose.

For our media, there is no better time to launch the partisan snark at the freaky Godtards.

Let's close with this sentiment -- you still laughing...? [Breitbart News, 12/2/15]

RedState: The Left "Doesn't Want You To Take A Moment And Offer Your Best Intentions." In a December 2 post, RedState blogger Joe Cunningham surmised that liberals were outraged by offerings of prayer in response to the mass shooting because they don't believe in God, and that Democrats don't "want you to take a moment and offer your best intentions":

Amid all the hot takes from the San Bernardino shooting spree on Wednesday was the very first one that really made heads turn: That praying won't fix what happened. In fact, don't even pray to you[sic]invisible sky man because he isn't even there and definitely don't look to him/her to make everything okay again.

[...]

What the Left doesn't get about prayer is that it isn't meant to be some magical spell that makes everything better. It isn't some ritual that attempts to bring people back to life. It is a response to the evils of the world. It is a call for peace for the families who must suffer the loss of a life taken too soon. It is a request to protect the souls of the ones who were brutally killed.

But, to the Left, that simply is not good enough. Nope! The party that booed God at their national convention doesn't want you to take a moment and offer your best intentions, to try to confront the reality that evil is very real and needs to be addressed on a spiritual level. The Left is all about taking this one moment and turning it into a political opportunity. [RedState.com, 12/2/15]

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