On Thursday night, after the shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, in the middle of the night on Wednesday in which at least 12 people were killed, CNN’s Chris Cuomo offered his perspective on the shooting and decided to mock those who offered thoughts and prayers, stating, “You mock those who lost loved ones.”
Cuomo started by indicting all Americans for the shooting, and stating that mass shootings were a weekly event:
In California, we just had an historic mass shooting. It was the worst mass shooting — in a week. Think about that. 12 lives, stolen by a thief that visits us weekly. This is our new normal. Broken families, survivors, processing their pain. Coming on TV in a genuine effort to let us know who was lost and to remind us of the price we are all so damnably willing to play (sic).
Then he targeted voters for not making gun control the top item on their priority list:
And I’ve been there, staring at these searching eyes dozens of times in more states than that, and all too often, loved ones, in their search for meaning, they arrive at the obvious realization: we have to stop this from happening to anyone else. And we all say, “Yes, we join you.” Eighty to ninety percent-plus in poll after poll agree that who gets a gun should be handled, and then you go vote this past Tuesday in the midterms and the issue is nowhere. No one really ran on it; and if you won’t vote on it, if it’s not your priority; if you can’t own that part of it, how can you convince anyone in power to care about it? You can’t.
Cuomo turned to attacking the NRA and ridiculing the very idea that addressing mental illness was a vital part of stopping the carnage from mass shootings:
And when we say the obvious, “Stop the damn shootings,” as soon as you say that, it’s like hiking the ball in a football game. The NRA scrambles to reinforce the status quo: “No law would have changed this. Good guys with a gun. That’s the answer. Look at all the laws in California. This is about mental illness if it’s about anything,” and, “We’re all on board with being a part of addressing that, as long as it has nothing to do with restricting access.”
He accused those who protect gun rights of being rhetorically ugly when guns were discussed:
And if you push any of their tendencies on this you will get the ugliest side of political discourse imaginable. Equal outrage on both sides. There is no other side to “Stop the shootings any way you can.” Here’s the proof: anyone being honest must answer the central question in the same way, and here’s the question: Can we do better than this? You know the answer is yes. You know the damn answer is yes. So why don’t we? We can’t even have a conversation.
Then Cuomo got down to what really triggered him: those who offered thoughts and prayers for relatives and friends of the victims, saying, “The only consensus there is, is in a canard, and here it is:”
Cuomo then said condescendingly, “'First, I would like to offer my thoughts and prayers.' Because that’s what you do when you offer, (sneers) thoughts and prayers. You mock those who lost loved ones because if you gave it any thought at all you would never walk away from any of these without figuring out a better way to deal with them. And prayer, you think leaving it to God is the answer? We pray for strength; we pray for wisdom; for resolve, but we clearly don’t want to act on any of those here so what are you praying for.”
Cuomo then offered a horrific scenario in which children of influential people were slaughtered:
What would it take? How about a stadium full of children of the most influential people in our society all holding puppies? What if they were all shot and killed, would we act? “Oh, don’t be ridiculous to suggest something like —” Is it? is it ridiculous? More ridiculous than doing nothing time after time? Listening to these people pouring out their pain, crying along with them, saying you care?
Cuomo pontificated, “You know the answer to the only question that matters. We can do better. And we all have to live with doing nothing. And the next time is coming. And more and more, you, me, our leaders, we’re all becoming part of the problem. “
Then, one final shot at those who pray: “Think and pray on that."