WASHINGTON ― The Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence released a new book Friday, and the title says it all: #ThoughtsAndPrayers: Comforting Tweets From Powerful Hypocrites.
The book is literally just pages of tweets from lawmakers like Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) offering “thoughts and prayers” after various mass shootings, but then doing nothing to try to prevent another one. Both Democrats and Republicans are targets, and some pages include a note at the bottom indicating how much money that politician receives from the National Rifle Association.
“Every entry in this book represents an opportunity lost,” Dan Gross, who leads the Brady Campaign, said in a statement. “These tweets from some of our most powerful ― and hypocritical ― politicians do nothing to stop gun violence. Instead of offering solutions, they reflect a complete acceptance of a shameful status quo. And 140-character tweets lamenting tragedies that continue to happen due to their inaction are no longer acceptable.”
The group called out a handful of lawmakers on Twitter on Friday:
It’s gimmicky, yes, but it’s also a compelling way to highlight the familiar and cynical cycle of inaction by Congress when it comes to gun violence. So far this year, there have been 46,984 instances of gun violence and 312 mass shootings.
The Brady Campaign is selling the book and using the proceeds for its campaigns aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people. The book opens with a tweet by comedian Sarah Silverman. Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, writes its introduction.
Anyone who orders the book has the option of sending another copy to a member of Congress. The Brady Campaign says it has already sent copies to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio).
The organization emphasized that it’s not condemning prayer; rather, it’s condemning lawmakers for using prayer as a substitute for action.
“It’s time for the men and women of Congress to stop tweeting about gun violence, and start doing something about it,” reads their website.