Speaker Mike Johnson criticized for praying after mass shooting

House Speaker-elect Mike Johnson is under fire after merely offering “prayers” after a mass killing in Maine as he responds to his first major crisis as a top elected official.

Eighteen people were killed and 13 injured after two mass shootings in Lewiston, Maine on Wednesday night. The manhunt for the “armed and dangerous” suspect in both murders continues.

A gunman first opened fire at the Sparetime Recreation bowling alley and later at the Schemengees Bar & Grille Restaurant around 7pm on October 25.

Surveillance footage showed the man armed with a rifle. A manhunt has been launched for Robert Card, 40, who was officially identified as a suspect on Thursday morning (October 26). A member of the US Army Reserves and a certified firearms instructor, officials revealed that he recently threatened to shoot up a National Guard installation and had also reported mental health issues such as hearing voices.

“This is a dark time in America, we've got a lot of problems and we're really, really hopeful and prayerful,” Mr Johnson said on Thursday. “Prayer is appropriate at a time like this, so that the evil will end and this senseless violence will stop. And so that is the statement this morning on behalf of the entire House of Representatives. Everyone wants this to end and I'll leave it at that.”

“But what about the thoughts?” Vanity fair special correspondent Molly Jong-Fast He wrote.

“We're really coming up with unique solutions as our new speaker,” said Justin Baragona The Daily Beast added.

“The new speaker has a solution to mass shootings. More prayer,” attorney Ron Filipkowski he said.

Representative Jared Moskowitz, Democrat of Florida, he tweeted: “Pray away the mentally ill from getting an AR-15.”

David Corn's Mother Jones He wrote: “Reacting to Maine massacre, Mike Johnson says he prays for this evil to end. Well, let's see if it works. It has not worked before. But maybe now it will, right? And so there is no reason to do anything else to stop the slaughter.”

“There is something profoundly cynical about asking God to solve a problem you are unwilling to solve yourself. This is not “prayer.” This is committing a diabolical scam to cover your profit from the assault weapon crowd.” Scott Linnen added.

California Democratic Congressman Jimmy Gomez said, “The thing about being a speaker is that you can do more than you think. You can bring the legislation to the floor.”

“We don't need to keep reliving this nightmare. You can fix this,” he added.

The independent reached out to Mr. Johnson's office for comment.