The anti-gun furies are out in full force after three mass shootings (four, if you consider Brooklyn, which no one seems to) in a space of less than ten days. It’s the perfect opportunity to politicize mass murder, call for someone to do something and assign blame to politicians that the anti-gun left doesn’t like.
Those who point out facts such as the actual rarity of mass shootings in the US or that the rate of “gun violence” is at historic lows in this country, are drowned out by the shrieking of the civilian disarmament industrial complex, shouting that those on the other side are racist, white supremacists, gun industry shills who openly encourage violence.
It’s curious that no one ever balances out the number of those killed each year — about 35,000, every one a tragedy — with the number of defensive gun uses. That number, compiled by the CDC, is usually pegged at about 1 million annually. But for argument’s sake, let’s say the real number is only half that.
That means there are about 500,000 times when guns are used (most often without a trigger being pulled) to stop crimes like robberies, assaults, kidnappings, rapes and murders. Pose this question to the next anti-gunner you talk to — to cut down on civilian gun ownership and save some of those 35,000 lives, a lot of those 500,000 crimes won’t be prevented…how many more murders, rapes and assaults are you willing to trade for fewer guns?
But that’s neither here nor there. We’re just a bunch of rabid gun nuts who are busy compensating for our physical deficiencies and trying to sell more firearms to toothless rubes. Any points we make aren’t worth acknowledging.
Enter Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist and probably the most publicly prominent scientist in the nation. He’s also not someone who will ever be mistaken for a creature of the right.
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
Well would you look at that? Some dispassionate perspective on what happened, horrible as it was. And this from someone the left holds up for his scientific acumen, public persona and pithy (frequently political) observations.
All of which means…this must not stand.
The anti-gun left and the media (but I repeat myself) were OUTRAGED that one of their own would point out that their OUTRAGE might be overblown (or, though Tyson didn’t say so, opportunistic and politically motivated).
As CNN opined,
By comparing the loss of 34 people over the weekend to deaths caused by illness and accidents, many people felt Tyson was downplaying the role that gun violence plays in American society.
Tyson’s response sparked backlash as many social media users felt his comment diminished the tragedies of the two mass shootings.
What Tyson actually did was put the weekend’s crimes into some reasonable proportion. But by doing so, he exposed those who only want to whip up still more OUTRAGE and paint their political opponents as un-caring apologists for the NRA and the gun industry…and maybe even force the passage of another gun control law or two.
Tyson’s tweet was detrimental to that effort. Which means that he must be made to atone. And atone he did.
My intent was to offer objectively true information that might help shape conversations and reactions to preventable ways we die. Where I miscalculated was that I genuinely believed the Tweet would be helpful to anyone trying to save lives in America. What I learned from the range of reactions is that for many people, some information –-my Tweet in particular — can be true but unhelpful, especially at a time when many people are either still in shock, or trying to heal – or both.
So if you are one of those people, I apologize for not knowing in advance what effect my Tweet could have on you. I am therefore thankful for the candor and depth of critical reactions shared in my Twitter feed. As an educator, I personally value knowing with precision and accuracy what reaction anything that I say (or write) will instill in my audience, and I got this one wrong.
The only thing missing was Tyson being publicly marched in an absurdly large dunce cap while being humiliated and denounced for his crime of being unhelpful in the effort to rid America of the scourge of civilian-owned firearms.
The left hates nothing quite so much as one of their own who strays from the reservation.
So, of course, Tyson’s public apology isn’t nearly enough. The far left’s true believers are never really placated until all dissent is quashed.
From the Daily News . . .
“I find it incredulous that an intellectual such as Neil deGrasse Tyson would be so unwittingly tone deaf at a time like this,” wrote a Facebook commenter named Andrew Smith. “Which makes his attempt at an apology rather disingenuous.”
Another user named Kellie Gerardi commented below Tyson’s new post: “The depth of your reflection in this note is offensively shallow. You used data to draw a false equivalence with unfathomably hurtful timing, and your arrogance has you doubling down with ‘true but unhelpful’. Why even bother with a note?”
Good luck, Dr. Tyson.