Here's the New York Daily News front page for Thursday:
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) December 3, 2015
The Daily News's dismissal of Republican politicians' calls for prayers in the wake of the mass shooting that has left at least 14 people dead echoes a sentiment that emerged on Twitter in the wake of the incident Wednesday afternoon. As the Atlantic's Emma Green wrote:
There’s a clear claim being made here, and one with an edge: Democrats care about doing something and taking action while Republicans waste time offering meaningless prayers. These two reactions, policy-making and praying, are portrayed as mutually exclusive, coming from totally contrasting worldviews.
The Huffington Post was among those pushing against the insignificance of thoughts and prayers, calling them "useless."
"Another Mass Shooting, Another Deluge Of Tweeted Prayers," read its headline. The subhead: "Seems to have been an ineffective strategy so far."
Sen. Chris Murphy (D) of Connecticut, a state still dealing with the killings of 20 children in Newtown in 2012, was particularly outspoken in his criticism of politicians who offered prayers for the victims in San Bernardino but opposed attempts to tighten gun laws after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. His colleague, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), was also quick to point the finger at congressional inaction.
Your "thoughts" should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your "prayers" should be for forgiveness if you do nothing - again.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) December 2, 2015
In 30,000 tragic deaths every year — and now #SanBernardino — Congress is effectively complicit for its inaction.
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) December 2, 2015
The question now is whether any politician — from President Obama down — will again attempt to move some sort of gun-control legislation through Congress. And, if so, whether it meets with any more success than the last attempt in the wake of Newtown.
The effort to cast "thoughts and prayers" as trite reactions to horrendous events certainly represents a ratcheting up of the rhetoric.