Citizens, lawmakers: ‘Thoughts and prayers’ aren’t enough - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Citizens, lawmakers: ‘Thoughts and prayers’ aren’t enough

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WFSB) -

If you opened up your social media feeds on Thursday, you probably saw a flood of “thoughts and prayers” posts.

While those sentiments may be genuine, you may have seen other posts demanding more.

After every tragedy, it seems as if we enter a vicious cycle. The mass shooting happens and almost immediately, we see “thoughts and prayers” being offered up.

On Wednesday, so many people posted to social media, sending “thoughts and prayers.”

Those same sentiments were echoed by our lawmakers too.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy immediately wrote “oh no. Again. Sending every good thought I have to Parkland right now.”

Right after that, he wrote “Don't tell me tomorrow isn't the appropriate time to debate gun violence. If you're a political leader doing nothing about this slaughter, you're an accomplice.”

However, there was also a backlash against those thoughts and prayers posts.

A photo of the words “thoughts and prayers” crossed out and replaced by “policy and change” has been shared on Facebook more than 100,000 times.

David Hogg, a student at Stoneman Douglas High School who lived the horror, sums up the frustration, saying “This is not acceptable. This is something that is completely unacceptable, and that we need to take action on. We can say all these great things about, condolences and saying we're so sorry for your loss is obviously important. But what we need at this point is not to say that anymore because there shouldn't be any more children that die. We need to take action."

To shed some light on how we can break the seemingly never-ending cycle, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal spoke, saying he’s lost patience with “the thoughts and prayers line.”

“Surely, our thoughts and prayers are with these families, but not enough. We need to break the vise-like grip of the NRA and the gun lobby on Congress,” Blumenthal said.

He points to the failure of Congress to pass sweeping legislation after our hometown tragedy in Sandy Hook.

When asked what, if anything, both parties could agree on now, and what a realistic first step might be, Blumenthal said “there’s bipartisan support for a measure I introduced along with Republican colleagues to improve the background check system and then we need to broaden it to include all sales. That kind of measure is supported by 95 percent of the American people and Congress is defying the will of America.”

While some are talking about gun control, others, like the president, is speaking about mental health issues, a subject tied directly to this and other mass shootings.

“We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health,” President Donald Trump said on Thursday.

Blumenthal was hoping to hear more about all the issues surrounding these tragedies.

“We need more treatment and help and outreach for troubled children, but that kind of step is insufficient,” Blumenthal said.

As far as the background check expansion he’s proposing, Blumenthal says it will be an immediate priority and wants to start the bipartisan discussion now.

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