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Thoughts And Prayers For Gun Victims Mean Little When You're In The NRA's Pocket

These members of Congress offer kind words in the wake of gun violence while blocking efforts at gun control. (Their NRA donations may play a role.)

Thoughts And Prayers For Gun Victims Mean Little When You're In The NRA's Pocket

Photo: William West/AFP/Getty Images

After every mass shooting, our nation's politicians publicly express their condolences to the victims and their families, making declarations about what a tragedy the events have been. This is what politicians do, but it rings hollow when it's a politician who has actively worked to allow as many people as possible to own guns. The solution isn't "thoughts and prayers," but the legislative action they're refusing to take, like banning assault weapons or—at the bare minimum—preventing people on terror watch lists from buying guns.

Igor Volsky, the the deputy direct of the Center for American Progress Action Fund has made it a habit after shootings to call out no-action politicians who offer anodyne condolences on social media. Using the hashtag #thoughtsandprayers, he mentions how much money each took from the NRA and what gun-control legislation they blocked. Sadly, this is something he's done frequently, and following the worst mass shooting in U.S. history in Orlando over the weekend, it was more of the same:

Instead of thoughts and prayers, you can call your representatives and demand they take action to prevent future tragedies. You can also donate to a victim's fund for the LGBT community in Orlando. Whatever it is, hopefully it's more than just thoughts and prayers, because not only do they do very little, but—as history shows us—this tragedy will soon fade from our consciousness, and it will then mean more people have to die before we again consider doing something about it.

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