That's the kind of reaction that would normally go wholly unnoticed by anyone at all, because not only is it what Republicans almost always do initially, but it's also what almost everyone does initially. Except now all of those "thoughts and prayers" posts have become the pumpkin spice of tragedy reactions, in that it's suddenly a thing some segment of society has just taken to getting irrationally angry about.
That's actually great if you're a Republican hoping to convince your base of religious voters that their beliefs are being attacked. They just give it a fancy name like "prayer shaming," and just like that, all those angry posts from the anti-"thoughts and prayers" crowd become "proof" that religious types have been right to worry all along. Good times!
Reactions from the Democrats were also mostly what you'd expect. When your stance on guns is "There should be fewer guns," just saying that in response to a situation of this nature makes perfect sense.
We still get to keep them in movies, right?
There are some on the other side who might argue that this amounts to exploiting a tragedy for political purposes. Even if that's true, it's a thing that happens on both sides. It's just that, thanks to their dedication to protecting the Second Amendment, Republicans have to find more creative ways to convert grief and anger over gun violence into something they can use to rile up their base.
Take Carly Fiorina, for example. She took to Fox News to call out those who would dare link the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado with anti-abortion rhetoric -- a stance made all the more strange when she referred to the shooter as a "protester" a few moments later.
Surprisingly enough, hers wasn't the most shocking response from the Republican side (more on that later). Which means that her antics had no bearing on the fantasy league scoring this week. Oh, and since we're talking about people who have no impact on anything ...