News Worthy

“Thoughts” And “Prayers” Are NOT ENOUGH


There have been other spans of time in our nation’s history when a situation keeps grinding on, grinds us down, and makes it seem like the darkness will never lift.

Arguably, the Vietnam quagmire was perhaps the last time the nation was similarly afflicted as it is now, with citizens feeling like they are slowly drowning in a malignancy of policy that screams of violence and sadness and madness and despair stemming from the fact that there seems to be an unfathomable lack of coherent response. The gun violence epidemic, the constant occurrences of mass shootings, has left the bulk of us who haven’t turned off their brains to breaking news feeling the same today as we did the last time news broke that another lone wolf armed to the teeth with a firearm manufactured for who…Sportsmen? Hunters? Soldiers?..has gone off the rails and taken down innocents along with them.

Sad, we feel…and then angry after the next latest massacre. This time, Las Vegas. Next time, your state, your neighborhood?

Angry, because those tasked with “leading” us, with being the persons we entrust to act in the best interest of the masses, have again abdicated their responsibility to the rank and file Average Joes and Janes.

They say some of the right things. “Thoughts” and but of course “prayers” are offered. And then…

Silence—because deep down, they know, don’t they, that their offering post-massacre replay is so morally and intellectually meager. And then mutterings of the senselessness of it.

And then more silence…

Because if they aren’t denouncing the violence and offering solutions, then they are tacitly condoning it…so silence is their smartest avenue, because if they announced explicitly that they are A-OK with this demented status quo, they recognize they’d be voted out of office.

Where is the push for action, the call and the push for remedies? I see it and hear it from voices many on the Fox News set demean sneeringly as “leftists,” I know I see and hear ethically sound and reasonable reactions from the Gabby Giffords and such…

But on that other side of the aisle, where are the brave ones, who will rise up and speak out of turn, denounce the NRA as arms merchants and devils in disguise who see arms sales as a capitalistic right, carnage be damned? Surely some of you who have been silent, the parrots trained to squawk “thoughts” and “prayers” are tempted to break away, and speak from the heart, grounded in reality and purity of soul?

I submit that any of the Congresspersons, Senators or Presidents that announce their “thoughts” and “prayers” are with those latest victims of our national fetish for firearms and mass murder, who then do not follow through with offerings of SOLUTIONS how to reduce the frequency of these daily events, are part of the problem.

We need solutions, and you give us calls to pray.

Sorry!… no, actually not sorry, I am happy to risk being smeared as anti-God, when I say merely relying on praying to a higher power to restore us to an environment where we don’t see losers with weapons of war spraying bullets into crowds of innocents, is not enough. It is rhetoric, it is a simplistic and ineffective response to a persistent cancer on our country. And any person stating the answer is “more guns” or arming more “good guys” with guns, I am again not afraid to go on a limb and call you an idiot. Is this too divisive a statement? Should I and we attempt to steer toward finding a middle ground, where you gun fetishists can keep your precious toys and NRA jackals can continue to win? Too bad; right now, there are people who are seeking real remedies to cure this cancer…and there is everyone else.

With us, to find solutions so such slaughters at the hands of our own neighbors not on an watch list for being from a “bad” nation or belonging to an “evil” religion….Or against us, willing to offer empty rhetoric and nothing else productive toward healing and bringing an end to this plague of domestic terror.

If you are an elected power and all you offer is “thoughts” and “prayers” and then silence, I’m not afraid to say you are part of the problem, and every such instance, every mass shooting going forward, is being abetted by your silence. Blood is on your hands and all good people sick and fucking tired of your inaction and/or corruption by being beholden to lobbyists deserve better than to be represented by you.

Enough goddamn “thoughts” and “prayers.” We need solutions and actions which restore sanity.



About Michael Woods

Editor/publisher Michael Woods became addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the fearsome Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist Woods has covered the sport since then, for ESPN The Magazine,, ESPN New York, RING, and he was editor of from 2007-2015. Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and numerous other organizations.

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