Celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson slammed for 'disrespectful, tasteless' tweet over US shootings

A number of high-profile politicians and celebrities have taken to Twitter to express heartfelt messages of support following the two mass shootings in Ohio and Texas over the weekend.

While many used their platform to make emotionally-charged calls for stricter gun control in the US, celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson took a more controversial approach in the wake of the shootings. 

"In the past 48hrs, the USA horrifically lost 34 people to mass shootings," Tyson, 60, tweeted on Sunday (local time) to his 13 million followers. 

"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."

The tweet was slammed by social media users, labelling Tyson's response as "disrespectful" and "tasteless".

"What a completely sick and ludicrous thought from somebody I am 100 percent sure knows better," one Twitter user commented.

"...This was neither intelligent nor productive. Disappointed to read this from you," wrote scientist Andrew Baggarly.

"Imagine going to the store or a bar and getting shot at or killed...and a supposed genius tells 13 million people it's all just a spectacle because, really, statistically, it's not all that bad compared to other ways you could suddenly die," said US sports journalist Rich Eisen.

US President Donald Trump also drew criticism after claiming that "mental illness" was largely to blame for America's gun violence epidemic. Despite condemning the "hateful act,'' Trump told the media that mass shootings are "also a mental illness problem".

The President also received backlash for his social media reaction to the mass shootings, with many Twitter users highlighting his "thoughts and prayers" tweet as a meaningless, default response.

Rihanna posted a scathing reply to Trump's tweet as a number of celebrities rallied around a collective plea for gun control reform.

"Um, Donald, you spelt 'terrorism' wrong!... Imagine a world where it’s easier to get an AK-47 than a visa! Imagine a world where they build a wall to keep terrorists IN AMERICA!" the hitmaker wrote in a lengthy Instagram post.

The two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio have left at least 29 people dead and over 50 injured in less than 24 hours.

The two tragedies bring America to a total of 251 mass shootings so far this year.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: