MILWAUKEE -- In the 24 hours since a mass shooting in southern California left more than a dozen people dead, a politicians are accusing some of hiding behind their religion and others of using the tragedy for political gain.
House Speaker Paul Ryan was among the politicians -- mostly Republicans, but the list included President Barack Obama -- of offering their "thoughts and prayers" to the victims and their families. That won't be enough to stop future shootings, gun control advocates argued.
"God isn't fixing this," read the provocative cover of Thursday's New York Daily News, summing up the position of gun law advocates who say Republicans are willing to pray but not act.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, tweeted after the shooting that his "thoughts and prayers go out to California." State Rep. David Bowen, D-Milwaukee, responded by prodding Johnson about the next step.
"How many times are we going to put ourselves in this position of praying with no action?" Bowen told FOX6 News. "We can't just say that we'll continue to pray and pray and pray, and expect God to make things different right -- when we don't make things different ourselves."
Investigators say they do not know why the San Bernardino shooter resorted to violence, killing 14 people and wounding 21 others.
Obama, after calling for "thoughts and prayers," said lawmakers across the country should consider enacting tougher gun laws.
Ryan, in interviews Thursday morning, said Congress will have to consider an overhaul of the nation's mental health care system. Ryan said that many shooters are mentally ill, an assertion that mental health advocates have disputed after previous tragedies.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican presidential candidate, was among those pushing back against gun control advocates.
"For people to mock religion, to mock prayer, and then to act as if there's some law that's going to fix this, there may well be, but it may not be a gun control law," Paul said. "It may well be a law that says we shouldn't admit people into this country from certain parts of the world where they're intent on killing us."
The Rev. Elaine Peresluha, a minister at the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee, said people should be able to pray and then act.
"I would guess that (New York Daily News) headline is pejorative, sensationalizing, is trying to touch people in a way that gets a response or a reaction," she said. "I think it always helps, to reflect, to pray, to seek some response as opposed to an emotional reaction."