We, in the U.S., have experienced two horrific mass shootings in just something like 24 hours: the first in el Paso, Texas, the second, earlier today (Sunday) in Dayton, Ohio. I’m not going to comment directly on either because it’s too soon. What we are experiencing, mostly, from the media are a mixture of fact and fiction with a generous dose of pure speculation. I’ve not been watching the news, based on just those factors and when an incident occurs, I always avoid the news for at least a couple of days because no one has anything pertinent to add that would inform me as to the why of the situation. too many partisan voices. on both sides of the gun control debate, who have nothing to add concerning the actual event versus their own political agenda.
Media should, in my opinion, spend less time speculating and pontificating and more time attempting to discover the why. Of course, there are cases, like the Las Vegas shooter, that we’ll never know. Yes, the FBI actually closed the case without making a determination as to the provocation of that shooter. In other cases, like the two this weekend, voices are all over the place, it’s white supremacy, or something akin. Again, without any direct knowledge. when someone does attempt to interject, for a moment, something beyond what everyone else is discussing online or on television, it sometimes doesn’t go over very well.
Case in point is an article concerning a tweet from Neil deGrasse Tyson, attempting to place some perspective in place and the immediate dog-piling he received. Here’s the tweet:
As most readers here are aware, I’m not a fan if Tyson, mainly because over the last decade at least, he’s become less a science communicator than a celebrity – a status I believe he enjoys more. So this tweet startled me, mainly because Tyson has become a mouthpiece for what I call left-wing causes over time. This tweet, however, does nothing to move the anti-gun lobby narrative forward and anyone looking at some of the responses he’s received, will quickly understand that point.
Some of the responses indicated that he should “stick with astrophysics”, something never heard from the same crowd when he discusses climate change. I’m pretty sure the same could be said on any topic he brings up outside of his specialty but that he didn’t support the narrative that people wanted or expected, his own supporters come after him in droves. that’ll teach him to discuss something he knows nothing about, won’t it? Yes, that was sarcasm.
Some replies focused on deaths due to car accidents and said things about how cars were regulated, unlike guns (a falsehood, BTW). Yes, there are lots of safety standards applied to vehicles, but that doesn’t prevent someone getting behind the wheel, drunk, and killing someone else, or themselves, in an accident. Maybe we should outlaw alcoholic beverages? Wait! We tried that didn’t we? The 500 that die everyday due to medical errors? I’m thinking we should do the same with medicine.
Yeah, I’m being ridiculous but it reinforces, I believe, the point that Tyson was making and that’s always going to be a problem when there is a political divide on a hot-button issue like guns and yet the same people ignore those other pesky statistics that just don’t move their agenda (pro or con) forward.