“Thoughts and prayers!” “So sorry for your loss.” “What a tragedy!” “How could this happen?” “Better luck next time!” “Well, what can you do?” “It was really bound to happen eventually (and by eventually I mean again).” “Just so, so sad.” “😢❤️❤️🙏🙏🙏" “Sending nothing but love to all affected!”
It seems so pointless to give out some iteration of the whole “thoughts and prayers” thing each and every single time a gunman decides to shoot up a bunch of bystanders. My words are always too little, too late, and so this time, I’m taking a stand. I’m sending my thoughts and prayers out into the world now in the hopes they can prevent some sick terrorist from spreading evil across this magnificent country.
Each time I hear about our monthly mass shooting, I have to come up with some thoughtful and meaningful and increasingly-diluted words to sum up “what’s going through my mind after this terrible, terrible tragedy” and how “I’m feeling so distraught, so sick to my stomach thinking about how someone could do something so horrific” and that “I just want to let everyone affected by this atrocious act of violence know that my thoughts and prayers are with them” and blah blah blah blah. It doesn’t matter how many synonyms I can find for the word “tragic”. My thoughts and prayers are never there in time to make any change. It's frustrating.
So why not take preemptive measures and take action before something like this happens?
Here’s what I’m going to do. I am going to send out all of my thoughts and prayers right this second. Those kind words will fly out into the world and immediately mass shootings will stop. They will cease to exist. No one will ever shoot multiple people with firearms that, frankly, shouldn’t be in the hands of ordinary citizens ever again...hopefully.
In the extremely rare case that another mass shooting occurs, fear not, because I have a backup plan. In a few weeks’ time—because, let’s face it, without the government taking action and sending out their thoughts and prayers in advance as well, my thoughts and prayers alone will probably only be able to ward off those malicious mass shootings for a short period of time—all of my thoughts and prayers already out in space will zoom directly on over to the bloodied victims and the families whose lives have forever been changed so they can know that I, someone to whom they have little to no relation, am thinking of and praying for them, and that I have been since before they were tragically gunned down by someone who, upon arrest, will be diagnosed with a mental illness if they’re white, or immediately labeled as a terrorist with very little investigation if their skin is any other darker shade.
And it is with those thoughts and prayers that our nation will heal, because it is common knowledge that only thoughts and prayers can go toe-to-toe with gun violence here in America. There is absolutely no other way to combat this epidemic.
It is my hope that when those thoughts and prayers already out in the world go off to support those who have just developed an intense fear of visiting a public place previously thought to be safe—like a library, a hospital, or community pool—the mass shootings will end once again. We need to be prepared, though, to take action. We need to stand up, fight back, and demand that our government sends out more thoughts and prayers before we have yet another predictable and uninspired tragedy.
We will need all the thoughts and prayers we can get to prevent men from gunning down men, women, and children in the light of day.
And so it is now time for me to send out my thoughts and prayers to end this disastrous disease. I say this, then, to those affected by the upcoming mass shooting that will not actually happen now because of these words:
My thoughts and prayers are with you, both now while you are safe and in the future when I hear the news of your ill-fated demise and cry out to the heavens, asking why my thoughts and prayers weren’t enough. Your tragedy will forever be in my mind during the one to two weeks it is national news.
There. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are out in the world, and hopefully more thoughts and prayers will follow. It is with our valuable thoughts and prayers that we can fight back against mass shootings and end this calamitous, deplorable, grim, shocking, unfortunate, tragic epidemic once and for all.