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After a gunman at a Texas church killed 26 people on Sunday, making it the deadliest mass shooting in the state, politicians, as they usually do, took to Twitter to offer condolences through thoughts and prayers.
May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2017
Keeping all harmed in Sutherland Springs in our prayers and grateful for our brave first responders on the scene.— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) November 5, 2017
We pray for the Sutherland Springs community in this difficult time. So incredibly thankful to first responders. #SutherlandSpringsTexas— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 5, 2017
Reports out of Texas are devastating. The people of Sutherland Springs need our prayers right now.— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) November 5, 2017
Wil Wheaton, the Star Trek: The Next Generation actor and a prolific writer, has had enough. On Sunday, soon after reports of the shooting began surfacing, Wheaton attacked Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
The murdered victims were in a church. If prayers did anything, they'd still be alive, you worthless sack of shit. https://t.co/iGHxPrYrLN— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) November 5, 2017
Almost immediately, Wheaton made one point clear. He wasn’t trying to blast people of faith.
Hey, real and actual people of faith: I hear you. I apologise for insulting you, in my rage at Paul Ryan's refusal to address gun violence.— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) November 5, 2017
Because I want to be sure sincere people of Faith see this: I spoke in anger, and I apologize to you.— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) November 5, 2017
Still, he apparently offended some Twitter users.
As much as I love you, some people can only offer prayers. Don’t hate them. pic.twitter.com/gUBR900muR— Jessica Eitzen (@jdawn1982) November 5, 2017
I get that. But don’t discourage the ones who only have that to give.— Jessica Eitzen (@jdawn1982) November 5, 2017
That’s not how prayers work @wilw. I suggest you check that attitude. We’re all frustrated. Religious intolerance won’t solve this.— Joshua (@Bluewitness) November 5, 2017
you're right but is it really necessary to say? people were killed and you just want to piss off religious people for the sake of it dude...— billy codeine (@zafcrackjaw) November 5, 2017
You mean you want him to take meaningful action that you support. As if gun laws stop evil from carrying out horrible crimes. They won't.— Hey berto (@Heyberto) November 5, 2017
This makes me feel embarrassed to be an atheist. Do better, Mr. Wheaton.— Geoffrey Miller (@primalpoly) November 5, 2017
Shut up, Wesley. pic.twitter.com/uWhxsJofsn— Donald J. Thump (@POTUSThump) November 6, 2017
One thing to attack a politician, it’s another to attack the innocent dead and all religion. Looks like you’re the worthless sack of shit...— Bryan McNally 🇺🇸 (@BryanDMcNally) November 5, 2017
Plenty of people, though, are frustrated with Congress’ lack of ability (or lack of desire) to do anything to address the continued mass shootings that occur in the U.S. That includes Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). But Wheaton, even with the criticism, had an important question to ask: Will anything change?
Your faith is your business, and people like Paul Ryan exploit it while they hide behind words without deeds, and people continue to die.— Wil Wheaton (@wilw) November 5, 2017
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.