Yesterday, a tragic and senseless mass shooting in San Bernardino left at least 14 people dead. It is now one of more than 350 mass shootings that have taken place in 2015, according to The Washington Post. At devastating times like these, the de rigueur messaging from many political camps is a standard expression of thoughts and prayers t0 the victims’ family and loved ones.
But as the NY Daily News‘ scathing cover today reminds us, thoughts and prayers do not offer us any real solutions to the United States’ gun violence crisis.
The Daily News‘ (admittedly intense) reaction isn’t the only criticism that has been lobbed as the nation struggles to grapple with there’s been plenty of criticism. Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, for example, blasted politicians for their inaction.
One of the loudest critics has been Think Progress‘ Contributing Editor Igor Volsky. On top of calling out politicians for their “thoughts and prayers” tweets, he also shared how much money each of the politicians has received from the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun groups. One of the biggest beneficiaries is presidential candidate Ted Cruz. In 2016, he was the #2 recipient of donations from pro-gun groups.
Searching Ted Cruz’s Twitter feed for something on how mass shootings should be handled only yields results like this:
But when it comes to mass shootings, he has – on more than one occasion – sent out his thoughts and prayers, despite the fact that he’s in a position to change gun laws yet does nothing. Check out a brief history of his responses below:
Days after the Charleston shooting, Cruz made a gun control joke. “You know the great thing about the state of Iowa is, I’m pretty sure you all define gun control the same way we do in Texas – hitting what you aim,” he said, according to The Huffington Post.