Why ‘thoughts and prayers’ after the Las Vegas shooting became fighting words

Keep your “thoughts and prayers” to yourself.

It’s a growing sentiment online as the now-familiar well wishes flood in following a deadly mass shooting Sunday at a Las Vegas concert. A long-simmering backlash against the phrase condemns it as a useless – or worse – platitude intended to mute calls for action on stronger gun laws.

A man shooting at a Jason Aldean concert from a 32nd-story room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino killed at least 50 people and wounded at least 400 late Sunday night in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. The gunman, identified as Stephen Paddock, 64, killed himself as police stormed his hotel room. Authorities said he had at least 10 riflees in the hotel room.

President Donald Trump and others quickly took to Twitter to offer their best wishes to the vicitms.

In a series of tweets, Vice President Mike Pence said, “To victims, families & loved ones affected by this senseless violence in Las Vegas, Karen & I are praying for you & offering our love. The hearts & prayers of the American people are with you. You have our condolences and sympathies. To the courageous first responders, thank you for your acts of bravery.”

And Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval tweeted, “A tragic & heinous act of violence has shaken the…

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