Please, Save Your 'Thoughts And Prayers'

Please, Save Your 'Thoughts And Prayers'

Tragedy after tragedy, our politicians offer us their thoughts and prayers, how nice of them.
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It seems like almost every week here in America and abroad that we suffer some kind of tragedy. A shooting, a bomb attack, a high-rise fire, and countless events have taken so many innocent unknowing lives. In the face of adversity, we look to our leaders, those whom we elect with the power to change things, and we ask them to guide us to the path forward. Not only that, but we expect them to do something about it. We expect them to use this power to make it so that whatever tragedy took place can never happen again, or at least put forth effort in an attempt to prevent it. That would be the most logical consequence of an event in which people are killed in cold blood right?

Well you'd be wrong, well at least in America that is.

Instead of action, we get thoughts and prayers. Should the loss of life be met with delicate language that acknowledges the sensitivity of the situation? Surely. But you can still say that, and then actually do something about it. Here are some tweets following the shooting in San Bernardino:

Rep. Billy Long is a supporter of the NRA, continuing to donate money to them following this shooting, but at least he has the victims in his thoughts.


Sen. Ron Johnson just donated $7,450 to the NRA in 2016 (http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/recips.php?id=D000...), but at least he's praying for California right?

Here are some tweets following the massacre in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando this past summer.

Marco Rubio voted NO on a bill to ban high-capacity magazines holding over 10 bullets, donated the maximum $9,900 in 2016 to the NRA, and wants to protect gun shows. He says making new gun laws is "ineffective" in preventing gun violence. So Rubio generously gave his prayers instead.

Paul Ryan also donated to the NRA in 2016 to the tune of $5,950. He has also voted YES on a bill that prohibits the suing of gun makers and seller for gun misuse, YES on decreasing the gun waiting period, and co-sponsored bills that banned gun registration and trigger locks in Washington DC, and has an "A" rating from the NRA. But at least he's praying for the victims in Orlando, because he certainly wouldn't do anything else to help them.

Ah yes, Donald Trump. At least all the other tweets shown above have some sense of respect. Meanwhile, Trump insists on using this tragedy in which 50 people were shot dead, to congratulate himself, also calling for someone to be smart (something Trump is not familiar with). Trump has gone on record saying gun ownership makes the US safer, all gun violence is a result of mental health issues, gun-free zones are "target practice for sickos," there should be no limits on guns, and straight up "I am against gun control." President Trump has done little when it comes to gun control or showing any ounce of compassion toward anyone but himself, but at least he agrees we should be smart.


So as you can see, like always, politicians are all talk and no action. All of these people above pretend to care when mass shootings occur, yet they don't care enough to do anything about it. They may say "we need to have an open, honest discussion about guns in America" but they never have and never will do that. The truth is they don't care about the lives of you and me at all unless it's election season. All they care about is protecting their positions and making sure the other party doesn't gain an inch on any issue. So if they don't care about us, what would happen when one of their own came under attack?


Steve Scalise was shot and critically wounded by a shooter while practicing for the congressional baseball game. Now I do feel bad for Scalise and I do hope he makes it, but suddenly the tables have turned. The gun has literally been pointed at the men and women who have been sending their thoughts and prayers to the victims of so many shootings before. With the bullets on their front doorstep, perhaps they would finally think to do something?

Immediately Rep. Chris Collins blamed the shooting on the left with their "Anti-Trump" rhetoric, as if to justify the tragedy. Our lovely President said "We are strongest when we are unified and we work together for the common good" yet has done absolutely nothing to indicate he cares at all about working together with anyone that is a Democrat or doesn't like him in the slightest sense. Paul Ryan and Nancy Pelosi both gave speeches calling for "unity," but we all know the both of them do not agree on anything and they never will and no one in Congress is going to give an inch for the other person.

And so we'll see if Congress or the President will actually achieve anything at all in light of the most recent attack. But if the past is anything to go off of, I doubt we'll see anything more than bombastic talk with no true intentions behind it. So they'll keep giving their thoughts and prayers and keep pretending to care. But the truth is they're not going to do anything, and we are on our own in this respect. It's a result of the heated cutthroat political climate we live in, and perhaps our two-party system is so systemically flawed that we were always doomed to end up like this. The way I see it, nothing will ever change until Congress takes the first step, and I don't see that ever happening.

So finally I'll leave you with this, a short computer game that you should give a minute of your time to:

https://www.thoughtsandprayersthegame.com/

This was made shortly after the Pulse Club shooting in Orlando, and once you play it I think you will understand its message. If you don't, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Cover Image Credit: Ryan Taulbee

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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My Hometown Just Experienced A Mass Shooting, If We Don't Do Something, Yours Could Be Next

You never think it will happen to you until it does.

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I was on my way out the door to work when I got a panicked call from my mother.

"Can you look at the news online?" she said quickly. "There is a mass shooting somewhere nearby."

My heart stopped. For me, Aurora, Illinois is home. I was born there, I grew up around the area and I attended high school there. My siblings go to school close by and my boyfriend works for a neighboring fire department.

How could my beloved hometown become the victim of the latest tragedy?

After calling my boyfriend, who was at the fire station getting ready to deploy ambulances to the scene, I discovered that it had taken place at a factory nearby. My anxiety hit an all-time high as I watched the updates on all of the local city Facebook pages and groups. Officers down. Gunman at large. Mass casualties.

Hours later, all of the facts came out. A former employee of Henry Pratt's Company, a local industrial warehouse, had recently been let go and decided to get revenge. He entered the warehouse with a gun and began to shoot at random, killing five people and wounding many others, including five police officers. He was killed by local SWAT forces.

I am the kind of person who is pro-gun and pro-gun rights because of the second amendment and all of the freedoms I believe we deserve. But that doesn't make what happened okay and it never will.

While this situation doesn't change my mind, it does change my view of the world.

Why would somebody decide that shooting former coworkers was the way to go? Why would anyone want to hurt others? These are the questions that flooded my mind in the hours after the mass shooting. I don't necessarily think we have a gun issue in America, but issues with mental health and valuing life.

We pass bills to kill unborn children. We repeal bills that take away healthcare from million. We devalue life in its most basic form and respect those around us to still have enough respect for each other's lives. We stigmatize those who need psychiatric care and expect things to still be alright.

This is not alright.

Our country, our system, our values, and morals, they are all broken and backward. We have let mass shootings become normal and violence becomes accepted. It needs to be stopped. There needs to be a change.

One of the people killed was an intern from a local college during his first day on the job. Being a college student applying to internships myself, this hit far too close to home. Nobody deserves to die, least of all in their place of work while trying to further their career.

Five people lost their lives due to someone's disrespect of them. Yes, a gun was the weapon, but a mind was the actor. I pray that someday, our country will return to valuing life and respecting others enough to help them instead of pushing them away. This is not the first mass shooting, but it can be the last. If, and only if, we make sure of it.

If you want to help the victim's families in any way, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral expenses

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