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Thoughts & Prayers

Updated: Apr 17, 2023


"Resolving societal issues requires more than just acknowledging them or offering thoughts and prayers. It demands a commitment to action, a willingness to engage in difficult conversations, and the courage to enact meaningful change. It starts with each of us taking responsibility for our own actions and striving towards a better future for all."

Cat Valliere

In the wake of yet another mass shooting, this time in Nashville, two hours from my hometown and home to many friends/family out pour the thoughts & prayers. This hit me a little harder, kind of like at Sandy Hook in Connecticut, at that time Matthew, my youngest, was attending Sandy Hook Elementary in Strasburg, VA. We had just had field day at the school and so many of my friends saw us wearing Sandy Hook T-shirts, so my social media and phone were blown up asking if Matt was okay. Thankfully for our family, I could say it wasn't our school...

I grew up with shotguns and rifles in the back window of trucks sitting outside my high school and handguns under the seats. Amnesty International makes the statement on their website: easy access to firearms – whether legal or illegal – is one of the main drivers of gun violence. I can remember as a teenager being at a friend's house and us playing with her father's hand gun, thank goodness none of us were hurt in our curiosity. I had an enraged lover hold a gun to my head, again thank goodness he didn't pull the trigger. I have a respect for the second amendment, in saying that, we have a well formed militia, it's called the national guard!

After these tragedies, I often see my friends and family members posting "thoughts and prayers" and hear politicians and public figures offering their "thoughts and prayers" to the victims and their families. While this may seem like a heartfelt sentiment, it has become an empty phrase that offers little comfort or solutions to the issue of gun violence in our society.

What makes this Nashville tragedy different from some of the other mass shootings, the shooter was self identifying as transgender. It seems the environment they were living in was not very welcoming to them. On a few posts I've read, the word abomination has been used. Blaming the transgender community as the evil causing this is not only harmful to the transgender community, but it's also an extremely divisive false narrative. (That's a whole other blog, pressing hard on my heart to write).

Thoughts and prayers alone cannot prevent mass shootings from happening. We need action and policy changes to address the root causes of gun violence. We need to have honest conversations about mental health, access to firearms, and the role of law enforcement in preventing these tragedies. Offering thoughts and prayers without taking any concrete steps towards prevention is simply not enough.

It's also important to recognize that thoughts and prayers can be seen as a cop-out or a way for individuals to absolve themselves of responsibility. By offering thoughts and prayers, we may feel like we've done our part, when in reality, we have not. We must take a more active role in preventing these senseless acts of violence.

Furthermore, the phrase "thoughts and prayers" has been used so frequently and insincerely that it has lost its meaning. It's become a cliché, a way for politicians to avoid taking action and for individuals to feel like they've done something when they haven't.

Instead of simply offering our thoughts and prayers, we ALL need to demand action from our elected officials. We need to hold them accountable for enacting sensible gun control laws, improving mental health resources, and addressing the root causes of violence in our society. We need to engage in difficult conversations and work towards solutions, rather than simply offering empty platitudes.

If you read this after posting/saying "thoughts and prayers", which I'm certain truly are heartfelt sentiments, get involved. To those who read this that are die hard 2nd amendment advocates, perhaps you need to take a second look at what sensible gun legislation really is, after all bazookas are well regulated and you don't see them blowing up schools or being used in street gang violence.

In conclusion, while thoughts and prayers may seem like a well-intended sentiment, they are not enough to prevent mass shootings. We need action and policy changes to address the root causes of gun violence in our society. We need to move beyond empty phrases and demand real change. Only then can we hope to prevent these senseless acts of violence and create a safer society for all.

Catherine (Cat)  Valliere creator A'ho Namaste

Catherine (Cat) Valliere

My spiritual wellness journey has been a lifelong endeavor. When I decided to leave the corporate world in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic I decided to delve deeper into spiritual well being. Since then, I have dedicated my time to exploring and understanding what it means to be spiritually whole.

On my blog, A'ho Namaste, I share my journey with others, offering insights and guidance on how to discover inner peace and contentment. Please join me as I explore the depths of spiritual wellness and create a life of greater meaning and purpose.


A'ho Namaste and Cat Valliere create peace movement content and this information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding any type of mental or physical issues. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.

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