Congressman Jim Himes (D-Conn) is fed up with the traditional “moment of silence” that so many politicians in Congress have bowed their heads to in the wake of mass shootings.
Himes, speaking out on Twitter, vowed to never again attend such traditions on the House floor because, according to him, its purely symbolic nature is an insult to the victims.
“I will not attend one more “Moment of Silence” on the Floor. Our silence does not honor the victims, it mocks them,” Himes tweeted on Sunday night, referring to the massacre at an Orlando LGBT nightclub carried out by gunman Omar Mateen.
“The Moments of Silence in the House have become an abomination. God will ask you, ‘How did you keep my children [safe?] Silence,” he said in a subsequent tweet.
Himes’ sentiment echoes those who’ve expressed frustration at the usual “thoughts and prayers” that go out after a tragedy – thoughts and prayers that are big on symbolism but short on action.
I will not attend one more"Moment of Silence" on the Floor. Our silence does not honor the victims, it mocks them. pic.twitter.com/VWWdOkliWN
— Jim Himes (@jahimes) June 13, 2016
From Slate’s Phil Plait:
Of course people want to send their thoughts and express their grief; that’s natural and very human. But it’s cynically hypocritical when politicians do it and nothing else. Congress made it extremely difficult for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to even study the effects of gun violence. Seeing all the NRA-funded lawmakers tweeting their “thoughts and prayers” was particularly galling.
Featured image: Steven Hix (Flickr)