A top Democratic lawmaker in Michigan derided offering “thoughts and prayers” while pushing stricter gun regulations after a shooting at Michigan State University on Monday.
State Rep. Ranjeev Puri, the majority whip in Michigan’s Democrat-controlled House, issued a statement just after midnight on Tuesday after, according to police, a 43-year-old gunman killed three students and wounded five more. The suspected gunman died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.
“Today, we begin to collectively heal from the horrific events which transpired, tomorrow we work,” Puri said in his early morning post on social media. “My official statement regarding the Michigan State University shooting is below: F*** your thoughts and prayers.”
In a longer statement attached to the post, Puri called thoughts and prayers “meaningless” without “action and change” before calling for stricter restrictions on firearms.
“What happened in East Lansing is unfortunately far too common,” Puri said. “Going to school in America, whether it’s pre-school or college, means risking your life every day to the threat of a mass shooting. Yet all we have offered up are empty solutions – traumatizing active shooter drills and bulletproof backpacks.”
“We do not need to live like this. The United States is the only country where this happens,” he continued.
He went on to suggest “common sense gun reform” legislation could have prevented the Michigan State shooting.
“Thoughts and prayers with action and change are meaningless. Our office will continue to work tirelessly to pass common sense gun reform immediately. We will not stop until our students can attend school without fear, our communities can attend places of worship in peace, and our society is safe from senseless gun violence,” Puri said.
Today, we begin to collectively heal from the horrific events which transpired, tomorrow we work.
My official statement regarding the Michigan State University shooting is below:
Fuck your thoughts and prayers. pic.twitter.com/iHCOxOmDA3
— Rep. Ranjeev Puri (@RanjeevPuri) February 14, 2023
It is unclear how the suspected Michigan State shooter came to possess his firearm. Authorities have recovered a firearm at the scene but have not yet confirmed if it was the same firearm used in the shooting, according to CNN.
Michigan State University Interim President Teresa Woodruff said on Tuesday that all classes would be canceled until at least the next week.
The university would be in restricted operations for the next 48 hours, Woodruff said in a press conference on Tuesday morning, “then we’ll move into a period where classes will be canceled until Monday morning, but campus operations will resume.”
“We will provide the resources the students need for the time period they need,” she continued, thanking the federal government for its support.