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Last week’s shooting at St. Francis Hospital’s Warren Clinic in Tulsa claimed the lives of Drs. Preston Philips and Stephanie Husen, receptionist Amanda Glenn and William Love, who was visiting a patient at the clinic. Their killing by Michael Louis, who bought the AR-15-style weapon he used just hours before, is part of a surge in killings that no member of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation is willing to end. 

Taking place days after the Uvalde shooting during a rash of mass killings in the U.S., social media reactions from the delegation in the wake of the murders show just where their priorities lie. 

U.S. Sen. James Lankford

On June 1, Lankford tweeted, “Cindy and I are heartbroken to hear the devastating news out of Tulsa this evening. We are praying for the families of the lives that were taken far too soon and for a full recovery for those who were injured today. It is hard to process the anger that motivates someone to commit such violence, especially at a place that provides care and healing.”

OPINION by George Lang

Lankford’s response was acceptably sympathetic, but then he wasted no time trying to divert attention to an alleged attack on a so-called crisis pregnancy center that was only reported by far-right propaganda outfits like the Daily Signal; blaming President Joe BIden for energy prices; his campaign to let super-zealous U.S. Navy Christians forego vaccinations, and then he commemorated the decommissioning of the U.S.S. Oklahoma City nuclear submarine on June 3, a full two weeks after its May 20 decommissioning ceremony. 

But he never mentioned anything about reducing gun violence. 

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe

In a June 1 tweet that was structurally similar to Lankford’s post, Inhofe or someone who works for him tweeted, “Kay and I are praying for comfort for the victim’s families and loved ones as they go through this hard time as well as those who suffered injury. I am thankful for the law enforcement officers and first responders who responded to the situation swiftly and with bravery.”

Two days later, Inhofe returned to Twitter to blame Biden for gas prices, bemoaned the U.S. Army’s recruitment problems, then blamed Biden for gas prices some more before taking a break to claim that states should be in charge of infrastructure when Texas is proving him wrong every time there’s a heat or cold snap. 

But he never mentioned anything about reducing gun violence. 

U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern

In his June 1 tweet, Hern displayed some action on his part. “I just spoke with Chief Wendell Franklin, who updated me on the terrible situation near St. Francis. There’s still a lot we don’t know about what happened tonight in the Natalie Building, but what we do know is this: multiple lives were taken from us, & many more changed forever. My prayers are with those who lost loved ones tonight, and with the entire Tulsa community as we recover from this tragedy. I am thankful for our law enforcement officers who responded quickly.”

Hern at least sounded informed, having mentioned enough people and place-names to seem credible, but Hern quickly turned to rising gas prices to distract from the gun violence that struck home in Tulsa. Having voted against a bill to prevent price gouging at the pump, Hern had the temerity to ask on June 6, “If our economy is as strong as Biden tells us it is, why is gas at a record-high?”

U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin

Not surprisingly, Mullin was utterly tone-deaf in his late-to-the-table June 2 tweet. “Thank you to @TulsaPolice and local first responders for their swift action yesterday. I have no doubt their heroic response saved countless lives. My heart remains heavy with grief for those who lost loved ones and for the entire St. Francis community. Please join me in prayer.”

Grief came after the atta-boys and then he cosplayed as a pastor, but afterward, Mullin promoted his Fox Business Channel appearance to rail against socialism, went on weird tangents about imported pharmaceuticals and claimed petroleum producers are being squeezed by environmental regulations when gas prices are soaring. 

But he never mentioned anything about reducing gun violence, though he did tweet about the so-called Securing Our Students Act, which reduces doors. 

The rest

As for U.S. Reps. Tom Cole, Stephanie Bice and Frank Lucas, they tweeted nothing from their congressional accounts. Yes, it did not happen in their districts, but many other members of Congress did tweet about the four murders. 

And they never mentioned anything about reducing gun violence.

Congresswoman Stephanie Bice
Congresswoman Stephanie Bice represents Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District with the north Oklahoma City metro as its core constituency. (BRETT DICKERSON/Okla City Free Press)

Last Updated June 7, 2022, 12:47 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor