According to Florida state Sen. Kelli Stargel, "thoughts and prayers" are the only thing that can stop the evil underlying mass shootings, and she does not appreciate that many people belittle those who believe this is true.
At a Saturday debate on a proposed assault weapons ban in the Florida legislature, Stargel said “it’s not the weapon, it’s the evil from within” that leads people to commit deadly crimes.
“When we say ‘thoughts and prayers,’ it’s frowned upon. And I take real offense at that because thoughts and prayers are really the only thing that’s gonna stop the evil from within the individual who is taking up their arms to do this kind of a massacre,” Stargel said.
Like many who argue against the notion of banning certain firearms, or making them more difficult to acquire, Stargel turned to the 'slippery slope' technique that implies once we begin banning weapons, everything could end up banned:
“But are we going to ban fertilizer, which is what they used in the Oklahoma bombing?” Stargel said. “Are we going to ban pressure cookers, which is what they used in the Boston massacre? Are we going to ban the multiple handguns that were used in other assaults? Are we going to ban the sawed-off shotgun as what was used in Columbine?” she asked.
The state senator is agreeable to strengthening background checks, raising the purchasing age from 18 to 21, and shoring up mental health screening.
But at the end of the day, Stargel truly believes that "thoughts and prayers" are the nation's best defense against future mass shootings.
“In my opinion, the one thing that will actually change this the most, is the one thing that has become fighting words, which is to say ‘thoughts and prayers.’ So that’s something I’m gonna continue to add to my comprehensive plan, that we can hopefully stop the evil that is happening from within our world.”