Public officials are the people society trusts to solve society's ills. Like, say, gun violence. But every time multiple people have been gunned down in a mass shooting, all these officials can seemingly do is rush to offer their useless thoughts and prayers. And so they did after news broke about multiple casualties in San Bernardino, California, on Wednesday.
Here is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) offering some prayers.
And here is former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee with some prayers too.
And, a bit later, Dr. Ben Carson.
Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) has only some thoughts, no prayers.
It's not just politicians, though -- many people with Twitter accounts offered thoughts and prayers, too. Here's what a Twitter column searching for the terms "thoughts" and "prayers" looked like on Wednesday afternoon. (A lot of the tweets are from people saying that tweeting thoughts and prayers is useless.)
Gun control proponent Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) addressed the thoughts-and-prayers routine.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) didn't waste many words.
While Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas.) had many, including "prayers."
Here is Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) with a combination of thoughts and prayers.
Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.), meanwhile, had a bit of thought and a bit of prayer to tweet about.
While Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) has a combo of thoughts and prayers to offer too.
Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) has prayers but not thoughts.
In short, basically anyone with a Twitter account shared thoughts and prayers in the immediate aftermath of the latest shooting. Which is kind of them to do, of course, but probably not enough to stop the next one, and it certainly raised questions like this from Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).
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