The passionate online reactions mirror just how divided Americans are on the issue. An October CNN/ORC poll showed the public was split — 52 percent oppose stricter gun control laws, while 46 percent support new ones.
Others thought the online backlash against prayer came across as crass.
"Mockery isn't fixing this. As a supporter of stronger gun control, this New York Daily News cover and the related #GodIsn'tFixingThis Twitter storm make me wince. Only people who agree with me can pray for victims of gun violence?" National Journal's Ron Fournier wrote. "[I]t insults anybody who opposes gun control and demeans their sympathies for the victims. It mocks their prayers. That's no way to win a culture war."
Dr. Russell Moore, the head of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, wrote this in the Washington Post:
"Ironically, enough, the 'Don't Just Pray There, Do Something' meme will actually keep things from happening. After all, some of our biggest obstacles to policy solutions of any kind is an ideologically fractured populace where virtually every issue is a test of political purity.
"If you shame away the most human aspects of public life — such as the call to pray for one another — you will find this situation worsening, not getting better. After all, we learn to listen to one another, and even work together, because we see one another as fellow humans, fellow citizens, as people of goodwill, not just as avatars to be warred against on a screen."
Meanwhile, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said at the Republican Jewish Coalition conference in Washington that since the shooters in San Bernardino were Muslim it "may be 'yet another manifestation' of 'radical Islamic terrorism,' " as USA Today noted.