Ocasio-Cortez rips NRA ‘thoughts and prayers’ after deadly NZ massacre

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Image license Attribution 2.0 by Dimitri Rodriguez via Flickr

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ripped the NRA Friday after gunmen opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing at least 49 people.

Taking to Twitter, Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) condemned the massacre and turned her attention to the American gun advocacy group, The Hill reports.

“At 1st I thought of saying ‘Imagine being told your house of faith isn’t safe anymore. But I couldn’t say ‘imagine'” she wrote, citing deadly shootings at churches in Charleston, South Carolina, Sutherland Springs, Texas, and at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

“What good are your thoughts & prayers when they don’t even keep the pews safe?” she tweeted.

Ocasio-Cortez added that she was referring to the oft-used NRA phrase because it’s “used to deflect conversation away from policy change during tragedies.”

But Republicans like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan have also parroted this phrase far too often. It’s become a symbol of their hypocrisy.

Now Ocasio-Cortez is calling for communities to “come together, fight for each other & stand up for neighbors.”

“Isolation, dehumanizing stereotypes, hysterical conspiracy theories & hatred ultimately lead to the anarchy of violence,” she tweeted. “We cannot stand for it.”

The progressive lawmaker has received some push back from Twitter users who considered her “thoughts & prayers” comment disrespectful, The New York Post reports.

In a later tweet, Ocasio-Cortez clarified her remarks.

“(‘Thoughts and prayers’ is reference to the NRA’s phrase used to deflect conversation away from policy change during tragedies,” she tweeted. “Not directed to PM Ardern, who I greatly admire).”

In the aftermath of the shootings, Ardern has raised the national security threat to its second-highest level, telling The Associated Press this was “one of New Zealand’s darkest days” that turned into “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.”

“It is clear now that this can only be described as a terrorist attack,” she said.

One man, identified as Brenton Tarrant, 28, a self-described white supremacist, has been arrested and is being held on a charge of alleged murder, The Telegraph reports.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern discusses the tragedy below.

Featured image license Attribution 2.0 by Dimitri Rodriguez via Flickr