Politicians across the United States and around the world responded on social media to a mass shooting Sunday at a Texas church, but some of the comments further inflamed a backlash against “thoughts and prayers” in the wake of yet another shooting tragedy.
A gunman opened fire in a South Texas church Sunday, killing at least 20 people at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, which is about 30 miles southeast of San Antonio.
On Sunday a gunman identified as Devin Kelley opened fire at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX leaving at least 27 dead and 30 injured.
President Donald Trump posted to Twitter that he is monitoring the situation from Japan as he embarks on a tour of Asia.
May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2017
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Paul Ryan, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, offered prayers for the victims. Abbott also thanked law enforcement for the response.
Reports out of Texas are devastating. The people of Sutherland Springs need our prayers right now.— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) November 5, 2017
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also offered his condolences to the victims.
Canadians send their condolences to those affected by today's tragic church shooting in Texas - we wish a full recovery to the injured.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) November 5, 2017
Following a trend that arose after a gunman killed 59 at an Oct. 1 music festival in Las Vegas, some posters on social media lashed out against calls for thoughts and prayers.
They were in church. They had the prayers shot right out of them. Maybe try something else.— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) November 5, 2017
To anyone saying “thoughts and prayers” to the victims...they were in CHURCH.— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) November 5, 2017
They don’t need more prayers.
They need gun control.
Why not just ban guns and when people are upset about it, just send them thoughts and prayers?— Erica Buist (@ericabuist) November 5, 2017
Good news is that we've found two trucks of thoughts and prayers leftover from Vegas!— Pesach Lattin (@pacelattin) November 5, 2017
After decades of data, I think we can all conclude the ‘thoughts and prayers” method of gun-violence prevention is 0% effective.— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) November 5, 2017
After NYC Attack: Muslim ban now! Build the wall! Extreme vetting!— Ali A Olomi (@aaolomi) November 5, 2017
After Sutherland Springs Texas attack: Thoughts and prayers
But others criticized the backlash.
Former President Barack Obama seemed to try to straddle the divide, tweeting that he prayed for action on better gun laws.
May God also grant all of us the wisdom to ask what concrete steps we can take to reduce the violence and weaponry in our midst.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 6, 2017