It’s not that these reactions aren’t sincere — they are. But it takes something more to break the traditional mold of public grief.
Cue Rep. Jim Himes, a Connecticut Democrat, on Twitter:
Himes made headlines Sunday for saying he will no longer attend moments of silence on the House floor after episodes of gun violence. An advocate for stricter gun laws, particularly after the 2012 Newtown, Conn., massacre in an adjacent district, Himes said the practice “mocks” victims and lets the House off the hook when it comes to changing policy.
It will be interesting to see if other members choose to join Himes in abandoning the floor as a means of protest. In the meantime, here’s how he continued on Twitter:
The Moments of Silence in the House have become an abomination. God will ask you, "How did you keep my children safe"? Silence.— Jim Himes (@jahimes) June 13, 2016
God will ask you why you did not defer to the will of the people as children poured out their blood. And we will answer with silence.— Jim Himes (@jahimes) June 13, 2016
If whatever God you worship is in fact a God of love and peace you had better use the Moment of Silence to pray for our souls.— Jim Himes (@jahimes) June 13, 2016
If God is an angry God, prepare to know a hell well beyond that lived day to day by the families of the butchered. I will not be silent.— Jim Himes (@jahimes) June 13, 2016
Himes chose to engage with followers, including an anonymous critic:
No I didn't. I'm an Elder in my church. Pray for us, for there will be a terrible reckoning.— Jim Himes (@jahimes) June 13, 2016
And the leader of a conservative policy group: