There were back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton this week. Just one week after a shooting in California, bringing us to three recent mass shootings. When tragedy happens in America, one thing is certain: celebrity hot takes on social media. Disarming people on one side (see ‘Think Progress’ Uses Romaine Lettuce Recall to Push Gun Control and Gun Control Zealots Took Over a STEM School Vigil. So the Students Walked Out.). Pretending to care about Chicago whataboutism on the other. With a bunch of people screaming “I WANT TO FEEL HEARD” in the middle. This tweet from Neil deGrasse Tyson seemed to grab a lot of attention.
In the past 48hrs, the USA horrifically lost 34 people to mass shootings.
On average, across any 48hrs, we also lose…
500 to Medical errors
300 to the Flu
250 to Suicide
200 to Car Accidents
40 to Homicide via Handgun
Often our emotions respond more to spectacle than to data.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) August 4, 2019
Usually, the left loves it when Tyson drops tweets. It’s an excuse to feel superior. “See? NdT is super smart and he agrees with me!” They’re not singing his praises this time.
“Cold take, Neil. 200+ Americans died from gun violence in the past 48 hours,” author and gun control activist Shannon Watts responded.
The “200+” statistic caught me off guard. Then I saw the source was Shannon Watts.
Many other people mentioned that the other causes he listed were being researched or had reliable preventative measures that could be taken such as vaccines, while gun violence remains an unsolved issue.
The remarks come just days after deGrasse Tyson’s return to television following accusations of inappropriate behavior.
Funny how his #MeToo allegation never comes up when he tweets about climate change.
I recognize that Tyson isn’t exactly comparing apples to apples here. I don’t make sure I know where the exits are whenever I’m out because of concern of a mass flu outbreak. I also don’t worry about my niece going to school and becoming the victim of a medical error. But remembering to take a deep breath and maintaining some semblance of perspective isn’t the worst advice. Especially when cable news and Twitter does everything it can to make sure you don’t.
If you’re serious about fixing the problem, attacking someone you generally agree with for not tweeting your exact opinion back to you seems like a silly way to do it.