Florida senator says only 'thoughts and prayers' will stop mass shootings

Kelli Stargel - Photo via Florida Memory
Photo via Florida Memory
Kelli Stargel
Florida Sen. Kelli Stargel is actually upset more people aren't seeing the use of "thoughts and prayers" after mass shootings.

During the weekend debate on a proposed assault weapons ban that ultimately failed, the Lakeland Republican said, "It's not the weapon, it's the evil from within" that causes people to gun others down.

"When we say 'thoughts and prayers,' it’s frowned upon," Stargel says. "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."

You heard it here first, folks. You could try fixing the laws regarding the regulation of a weapon designed to kill – but you have a much better chance of stopping a deranged killer by chanting to an invisible deity who might change a murderer's mind.

"If I thought for one moment that if we banned assault weapons, that all of these tragedies would end, you would have me," Stargel told her fellow lawmakers. "But are we going to ban fertilizer, which is what they used in the Oklahoma bombing? 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 shotguns which was used in Columbine?"

Stargel indicated that even though she was uncomfortable with proposals to increase the age limit to buy assault rifles to 21, she was willing to support certain comprehensive measures. But Stargel said in her opinion, "thoughts and prayers" were still the most effective measure.

"The one thing that will actually change this the most is the one thing that has actually become fighting words, which is to say 'thoughts and prayers,'" she said. "So that’s something I’m going to continue to add to my comprehensive plan, that we can hopefully stop the evil that is happening from within our world."

After narrowly rejecting an assault weapons ban by a vote of 21-17, the Florida Senate held a moment of silence for the 17 students and teachers killed by a shooter last month at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

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