One thing has become as certain as death and taxes in the wake of mass shootings. Rather than stand up to the National Rifle Association and the faceless men in the gun industry who write the NRA’s checks, more often than not Republican congressmen offer “thoughts and prayers.”
When it became apparent that the shooting at Marjory Sherman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was going to be no different, “The Ring of Fire’s” Farron Cousins tore the GOP apart. Watch here.
Well, a woman in northern Michigan has had more than her fill of this GOP hot air. And she let it be known in a very visible way–by sending a check in the amount of “thoughts and prayers” to her Republican congressman.
On Thursday, Fern Malila, a woman from the Upper Peninsula town of Ontonagon, decided to drop a not-so-friendly note to her congressman, Jack Bergman of Michigan’s 1st District. Bergman represents the entire Upper Peninsula, as well as Traverse City and the northernmost portion of the Lower Peninsula. It was a Democratic-leaning swing district for most of the 1990s and early 2000s. However, in a year that saw the more rural areas of the Rust Belt turn into a killing field, Donald Trump won it by a punishing 58-37 margin over Hillary Clinton.
That didn’t dissuade Malila from letting Bergman have it.
Malila subsequently told Newsweek that she was fed up with “hearing the same arguments every time this happens.” She noticed that even when we’re told to contact our congressmen, “Congress doesn’t do anything.”
Her letter has gone severely viral. As of Sunday afternoon, it has been shared almost 125,000 times on Facebook. A number of commenters have said they’ll do the same–including at least one resident from Florida.
Twitter was quick to take notice.
My new hero is Fern Malila (from her Facebook page) pic.twitter.com/uiwRlVwU8m
— I VOTED – HAVE YOU? (@jonathanjewel) February 16, 2018
Let’s all do what Ms Fern Malila from Michigan did: but send “Thoughts & Prayers” checks to ALL MoC who take donations from NRA. Going to need a lot of checks. pic.twitter.com/ybBAgCmOF7
— Lise Margaret Hafner (@HafnerLise) February 16, 2018
Since politicians are always willing to offer their Thoughts and Prayers as a solution to mass murder, Fern Malila of Michigan made this very generous donation of her own Thoughts and Prayers to @GOP lawmaker @RepJackBergman. #GunReformNow pic.twitter.com/DV9vdxlX0z
— Michael (@iammikejv) February 17, 2018
— Erin Puariea (@epuariea) February 16, 2018
— Donna Martinez (@dmartin336) February 16, 2018
Actress Alyssa Milano joined in on the applause.
Fern, I don’t know you. But I love you.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) February 16, 2018
As did reporter Kurt Eichenwald.
As a protest, all rational Americans should, right now, write a check as a donation to the campaigns of every GOP politician in Washington.
There should be no dollar figure. It should say only "thoughts and prayers." Thats all they give dead children. Give it right back to them
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) February 18, 2018
It’s even gained some notice across the pond, as this tweet from Denmark suggests.
Genialt. Ram dem, hvor det gør ondt! https://t.co/osJpeGYX1J
— Lars G. Mathiasen (@larsmathiasen) February 17, 2018
Translation: “Brilliant. Hit them where it hurts!”
Predictably, Malila is already in the deplorables’ crosshairs.
No wonder the men took off pic.twitter.com/SZjFFcXbEe
— TYPE O NEGATIVE (@LOCAL_GRAVEYARD) February 18, 2018
Malila doesn’t seem to be backing down any time soon, though. She said that a lot of people believe they can “make some little difference.” When she saw the response, she suspected that her letter “struck a chord.” That’s an understatement.
(featured image courtesy KAYU-TV)