Obama's Texas Shooting Response Calls For Something Other Than Thoughts And Prayers

"We’ll stand with the survivors as they recover."

Former President Barack Obama called for the wisdom the United States needs to address the gun violence epidemic on Sunday, penning a pair of tweets that were widely shared online.

Obama, whose public comments have become more rare since stepping down from office, addressed the victims of the shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas while also making a reference to potential reforms. While some politicians offered prayers or lobbed partisan attacks, Obama called for something many Americans are desperately hoping for: a list of concrete steps to stop shootings from happening.


"We grieve with all the families in Sutherland Springs harmed by this act of hatred, and we'll stand with the survivors as they recover," Obama tweeted. "May God also grant all of us the wisdom to ask what concrete steps we can take to reduce the violence and weaponry in our midst."

His tweets were retweeted a combined 154,000 times as of Monday morning, making them among the most widely shared responses to the attack on the social platform. 

The shooting, which occurred on Sunday morning in a small Texas church and left at least 26 people dead, was one of the worst mass shootings in United States history. In the immediate aftermath, many conservative politicians offered their "thoughts and prayers" while more liberal politicians used the moment to once again call for reforms to gun control. As is becoming the norm, both of those responses were met with disbelief and frustration from the other side of the political spectrum.

But Obama's call for the wisdom to solve the issue — seemingly vaguely referencing both gun control and, potentially, more accessible mental health care — appeared to be a well-received unifying message online. President Donald Trump, who is on a 12-day trip through Asia, also tweeted about the shooting.

"May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas," he wrote. "The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan."

Following the mass shooting, many public figures also praised the work and bravery of first responders.

Cover photo: Shutterstock / Evan El-Amin


Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest news and exclusive updates.