Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) responded to the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday by questioning the “thoughts and prayers” often expressed in sympathy with victims.
“At 1st I thought of saying, ‘Imagine being told your house of faith isn’t safe anymore.’,” she tweeted.
“But I couldn’t say ‘imagine.’ Because of Charleston. Pittsburgh. Sutherland Springs.
“What good are your thoughts & prayers when they don’t even keep the pews safe?” she concluded.
At 1st I thought of saying, “Imagine being told your house of faith isn’t safe anymore.”
But I couldn’t say “imagine.”
Because of Charleston.
What good are your thoughts & prayers when they don’t even keep the pews safe?pic.twitter.com/2mSw0azDN8
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 15, 2019
For the past few years, many advocates of gun control have responded to mass shooting events by openly mocking the expression “thoughts and prayers.”
Last year, for example, liberal comedian John Oliver, who hosts Last Week Tonight on HBO, reacted to the mass shooting at the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parklands, Florida, by saying (via Newsweek): “Thoughts and prayers, fuck your thoughts and prayers, it’s a mental health problem, yeah but it’s also a gun problem and then someone says, ‘Now is not the time to talk about gun control’ and everyone moves on until it inevitably happens again.”
New Zealand has more restrictive gun laws than those in the United States. It is not yet clear how the murderer, or murderers, obtained the weapons used in the attack.
A report by the New Zealand Herald indicated that an armed Muslim man “chased the shooters and fired two shots at them as they sped off” from one of the sites targeted.
Ocasio-Cortez also re-tweeted a claim that President Donald Trump had inspired the shootings:
The ideological motivations of the shooter, or shooters, were not yet clear, though a manifesto suggested an attraction to white supremacy, socialism, and “eco-fascism,” as well as a hatred of Muslims.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.