Late Sunday night, a gunman opened fire during Las Vegas' Route 91 Harvest Festival, killing more than 50 people and injuring several hundred others. It's being called the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
Many celebrities tweeted messages sending their support to the victims of the tragic attack. Most of the Trump family did as well, each notably using a variation of the stock phrase "thoughts and prayers." And while sending virtual good vibes may be done with the best of intentions, they don't do much to prevent shootings like this from happening again.
What's being left unsaid by the Trumps and many other people in positions of power is that America's lax gun control laws have an impact on the country's gun violence problem. As explained by Newsweek (by way of Small Arms Survey), the US has the most firearms per capita in the world (88.8 guns for every 100 people), gun violence has become the third most common cause of death for children in America, and there is a mass shooting almost every day in America. Vox also compiled a fantastic article and series of graphics about gun control, using information from several studies. The outlet explained that that more gun deaths and more suicides occur in states with more guns, states that have stricter gun control laws have fewer deaths due to guns, and, most importantly: "The US is an outlier on gun violence because it has way more guns than other developed nations."
Basically, because America has so many guns (thanks to mild gun control laws), America has so many gun-related deaths. So while thoughts, prayers, and support may be helpful to those affected by the Las Vegas attacks for the moment, simple good vibes are not going to help America move forward as a safe country. To do that, we need stricter gun control.
Many politicians and celebrities threw thoughts and prayers to the wind to share this sentiment.