As opposed to the slow-to-no response from the 2016 Republican presidential candidates to the Colorado Springs shootings less than a week ago, following this week’s the shooting spree in San Bernadino that left 14 dead, most of them reacted quickly to get out their expressions of shock and sympathy for public consumption.
“Our prayers are with the victims, their families, and the first responders in San Bernardino who willingly go into harm’s way to save others,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tweeted.
It was remarkably similar to the response from Cruz following the shooting at a Planned Parenthood office in Colorado Springs last week.
“Praying for the loved ones of those killed, those injured & first responders who bravely got the situation under control in Colorado Springs,” Cruz tweeted at the time.
“Praying for all those victimized by the shootings in San Bernardino, California today,” tweeted New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Jeb Bush’s message was nearly identical.
“Praying for the victims, their families & the San Bernardino first responders in the wake of this tragic shooting,” he tweeted.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the shooting victims and their families in San Bernardino,” wrote Ben Carson.
Donald Trump, not surprisingly, offered a response with a bit more attitude — but it still said nothing about guns.
“California shooting looks very bad. Good luck to law enforcement and God bless. This is when our police are so appreciated!” Trump tweeted.
The Democratic hopefuls struck a strikingly different tone.
“I refuse to accept this as normal. We must take action to stop gun violence now,” Hillary Clinton tweeted.
“Mass shootings are becoming an almost everyday occurrence in this country,” Bernie Sanders tweeted. “This sickening and senseless gun violence must stop.”
Martin O’Malley called out the National Rifle Association by name.
“Horrifying news out of #SanBernardino. Enough is enough: it’s time to stand up to the @NRA and enact meaningful gun safety laws.”
Prayers are no substitute for taking action. The Democrats say something must be done but lack the will or votes to do anything. The Republicans say a prayer and do nothing.
My reply? God helps those who help themselves.
Not sure which “meaningful gun safety laws” could be enacted to address rampant gun violence in America, but one thing clear to me is prayers aren’t working.
Prayers are no substitute for action.
There may be value in prayer and I’m not knocking it, but if God is busy at a football game or something, I don’t leave it all in His hands. More has to be done than sending up prayers to a God who may not be there or may not be interested in getting involved.
I prayed for change.
I prayed after Sandy Hook.
I prayed after Charleston.
I prayed after Paris.
I prayed after Colorado Springs.
I prayed time and time again after senseless acts of violence here in America, in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and around this troubled globe.
I pray and nothing changes. If we have learned nothing from Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, Columbine, Aurora, Colorado, and now San Bernardino it’s that grief is not enough, tears are not enough, prayers are not enough.
This says to me maybe I should pray less and do more.