Today, a terrorist against mass migration opened fired on two New Zealand mosques, killing 49 worshipers. The killer was purported to have attacked in retaliation of “white genocide.”
As many people expressed their thoughts and prayers for the victims, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez callously mocked them, asking “What good are your thoughts & prayers when they don’t even keep the pews safe?”
The response was in regards to a video of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s press conference, where he told reporters “my thoughts, and I’m sure the thoughts of all New Zealanders, are with all those who have been affected.”
(“Thoughts and prayers” is reference to the NRA’s phrase used to deflect conversation away from policy change during tragedies. Not directed to PM Ardern, who I greatly admire.)
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 15, 2019
The Washington Free Beacon reported:
She noted Ocasio-Cortez mocking the perceived power of prayer was a particularly inappropriate response in the wake of a shooting in a house of worship. “[P]rayer especially (which you mocked earlier after what happened in a house of prayer?) is a real action, a petition to, a conversation with, God,” she said.
The shooter intended for his attack to divide Americans and create political discord.
“I chose firearms for the affect it would have on social discourse, the extra media coverage they would provide and the affect it could have on the politics of United states and thereby the political situation of the world,” he wrote in a rambling and sardonic manifesto.
Ocasio-Cortez claimed she had not intended to criticize New Zealand’s prime minister for having offered her “thoughts” to the victims.
Queen Elizabeth of England responded in the same way, saying her “thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders.”
Pakistan’s prime minister said “prayers go to the victims and their families.”
Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat offered “prayers and tears.” The United Arab Emirates’ minister of state for foreign affairs said his “thoughts & prayers are with the families of the victims.”
It is unclear whether Ocasio-Cortez thinks these state leaders mean to “deflect conversation away” from their nations’ strict gun laws.
President Donald Trump offered his “warmest sympathy and best wishes” to the people of New Zealand in the wake of the “horrible massacre.”
The Associated Press reported:
One man was arrested and charged with murder, and two other armed suspects were taken into custody while police tried to determine what role they played.
“It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, noting that many of the victims could be migrants or refugees.
She pronounced it “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
The attack shocked people across the nation of 5 million people, a country that has relatively loose gun laws but is so peaceful even police officers rarely carry firearms
The gunman behind at least one of the mosque shootings left a 74-page manifesto that he posted on social media under the name Brenton Tarrant, identifying himself as a 28-year-old Australian and white nationalist who was out to avenge attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslims.
Using what may have been a helmet camera, he livestreamed to the world in graphic detail his assault on worshippers at Christchurch’s Al Noor Mosque, where at least 41 people were killed. An attack on a second mosque in the city not long after killed several more.
At least 48 people, some in critical condition, were being treated at Christchurch Hospital for gunshot wounds, authorities said.
While there was no reason to believe there were any more suspects, the prime minister said the national threat level was raised from low to high. Police warned Muslims against going to a mosque anywhere in New Zealand. And Air New Zealand canceled several flights in and out of Christchurch, saying it couldn’t properly screen customers and baggage.
Police said the investigation extended 360 kilometers (240 miles) to the south, where homes in Dunedin were evacuated around a “location of interest.” They gave no details.
Witness Len Peneha said he saw a man dressed in black enter the Al Noor mosque and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running out in terror.
Peneha, who lives next door, said the gunman ran out of the mosque, dropped what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon in his driveway and fled. He said he then went into the mosque to try to help the victims.
“I saw dead people everywhere. There were three in the hallway, at the door leading into the mosque, and people inside the mosque,” he said. “I don’t understand how anyone could do this to these people, to anyone. It’s ridiculous.”
He added: “I’ve lived next door to this mosque for about five years and the people are great, they’re very friendly. I just don’t understand it.”
He said the gunman was wearing a helmet with some kind of device on top, giving him a military-type appearance.
In the video that was apparently livestreamed, the gunman spends more than two minutes inside the mosque spraying terrified worshippers with bullets again and again, sometimes firing at people he has already cut down.
He then walks outside, where he shoots at people on the sidewalk. Children’s screams can be heard in the distance as he returns to his car to get another rifle. The gunman then walks back into the mosque, where there are at least two dozen people lying on the ground.
After going back outside and shooting a woman there, he gets back in his car, where the song “Fire” by the English rock band The Crazy World of Arthur Brown can be heard blasting. The singer bellows, “I am the god of hellfire!” and the gunman drives away.
The second attack took place at the Linwood mosque about 5 kilometers (3 miles) away.