““F*** your thoughts and prayers.””
Those were the blunt words of Michigan Democratic state Rep. Ranjeev Puri on Tuesday, a day after a gunman killed three and wounded five on the campus of Michigan State University.
“Thoughts and prayers without action and change are meaningless,” Puri said in a statement, which quickly went viral.
“What happened in East Lansing is unfortunately far too common,” he wrote. “Going to school in America, whether it’s pre-school or college, means risking your life every day to the threat of a mass shooting. Yet all we have offered up are empty solutions — traumatizing active shooter drills and bulletproof backpacks. We do not need to live like this. The United States is the only country where this happens.”
The suspect in Monday’s shooting, 43-year-old Anthony McRae, fatally shot himself, and police Tuesday were seeking a motive. All of the dead and wounded were students.
According to Puri, Monday night’s attack was the 67th mass shooting in the U.S. already this year. That tracks with data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive, which found that there have been at least seven mass shootings every week this year. It total, the archive has logged 2,269 U.S. shooting deaths so far this year, excluding suicides.
Puri vowed to “work tirelessly to pass common sense gun reform.”
Puri is the Democratic majority whip in the Michigan House of Representatives, and represents Wayne County, which includes Detroit.
His words won swift support from fellow Democratic state Rep. Kelly Breen. “F*** your thoughts and prayers,” she tweeted Tuesday. “I will not mince words. I echo @RanjeevPuri’s sentiments. Children are dead. Anyone offended at my language and NOT that kids are in a morgue can piss off.”
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, also a Democrat, called mass shootings “a uniquely American problem.”
“Too many of us scan rooms for exits when we enter them. We plan who that last text or call would go to. We should not, we cannot, accept living like this,” she tweeted Tuesday.