The recent mass shootings in the US have reminded us how horribly frequent articles with “the recent mass shootings in the US” are these days. And of all the hot responses on social media Rihanna’s take on gun violence generally and the most recent ones in particular cut right to the heart of the matter:
And just to be clear, Rihanna is correct. She is absolutely right to call this terrorism.
There is a rising trend of mass shooters expressing white supremacy ideology in their social feeds and forum memberships. It’s violence motivated by ideology in order to sow fear, horror and distrust.
And Rihanna’s take on gun violence is not hyperbole, given the reports that some of the shooting victims from El Paso were reported worried about going to hospital for fear of getting deported.
Against this background of grief and horror astrosphysicist and TV host Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who has had a less than stellar couple of years, thought he’d make a public return to hot takes with the worst one he could muster…
It’s entirely likely that the data is true, and frankly it’s also pretty horrific (250 suicides? That’s terrifying) – but
a) right after a tragedy isn’t the time to go “eh, such-and-such is worse” if you’re not deliberately and knowingly trying to get people to lash out emotionally in response,
b) it’s a pretty unambiguous attempt to change the subject away from gun violence being a problem, and…
c) it’s a deliberate F-you to those affected, unless there really are situations where where someone was told that it’s a real shame their mum was eaten by a shark but that she’d actually been at higher risk driving to the beach and went “hey, great point, I feel heaps better – say, let’s go roller skating!”
And the criticisms for N deG T’s ill-timed bout of whataboutism came thick and fast, but none were as on point as former Tonightly writer Kara Schlegl:
Thought and prayers were reportedly still not working at press time.