Is it time to retire post-mass shooting "thoughts and prayers" condolences? | The Tylt

Is it time to retire post-mass shooting "thoughts and prayers" condolences?

With 998 mass shootings since Sandy Hook in 2012, Americans have had nearly 1000 different opportunities to offer victims and survivors their thoughts and prayers, in speeches and on social media. It's become a standard line — one that has stopped resonating with much of the American public.

Is "thoughts and prayers" an annoying, insensitive cliché that needs to be retired? Or are these sincere offers of condolences in the face of tragedy? 

Critics of "thoughts and prayers" argue several things: that especially when it comes to gun violence,  giving victims your "thoughts and prayers" seems like a copout, especially if you believe action, education, organizing, advocacy, and voting are what the country needs to address the problem. It can also come across as hypocrisy: many of the political leaders tweeting about thoughts and prayers are the same ones who refuse to take any steps to address gun violence, with many of them receiving funding from the National Rifle Association

Even if you're not a politician, does tweeting a hashtag like #PrayForOrlando help anyone? Maybe it does. Prayer certainly does help believers, and for many people, saying "I'm praying for you" is just a shorthand way of communicating compassion to others. For victims and survivors of a tragedy, seeing awareness spread on social media might actually be comforting and make them feel less alone. After a mass shooting, people feel helpless—changing their profile picture, or tweeting a hashtag makes them feel less so.

What do you think?


FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Is it time to retire post-mass shooting "thoughts and prayers" condolences?
A festive crown for the winner
#ActionNotPrayer
#WeNeedPrayer
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Real-time Voting
Is it time to retire post-mass shooting "thoughts and prayers" condolences?
#ActionNotPrayer
#WeNeedPrayer
#ActionNotPrayer
Sometimes the hypocrisy is pretty overwhelming.
#ActionNotPrayer
In the Orlando aftermath, politicians who've received support from the NRA offering gun violence victims their thoughts and prayers are getting major blowback.
#WeNeedPrayer
In the face of a horrible tragedy, sometimes thoughts and prayers are all people have to give.
#ActionNotPrayer
People are definitely ridiculing what they see as the meaninglessness of the phrase.
#WeNeedPrayer
Many local LGBT communities came together for prayer vigils after the tragedy.
#WeNeedPrayer
Some people's thoughts and prayers are clearly heartfelt and offered with sincerity.
#ActionNotPrayer
The president made it clear that he doesn't think thoughts and prayers are going to solve it.
#ActionNotPrayer
#ActionNotPrayer
FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Is it time to retire post-mass shooting "thoughts and prayers" condolences?
A festive crown for the winner
#ActionNotPrayer
#WeNeedPrayer