Stephen Fry – actor, writer and national treasure – recently left Twitter, a platform he had been so synonymous with.
This decision came in light of the negative attention he drew by making a somewhat droll remark about a winner at the recent Bafta awards.
Keyboard warriors in their droves booted off about how mean he was to some poor women, none of them realising that this lady was actually a very good friend of Stephen’s and was more than used to his humour.
However, people who do not know Stephen and are never likely to be in the same vicinity as him, decided to misinterpret the situation to dig the knife into someone who had probably done better in life than them.
He then took the decisive step to end all this mayhem and bother by walking away, albeit sadly, from Twitter – the chorus of crazies still ringing in his ears.
I had a recent encounter of Twitter too, which is what has prompted this epistle.
Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of one of Britain’s most harrowing crimes in recorded history: the Dunblane massacre.
Many, including myself, drew comparisons between Dunblane and to the Sandy Hook massacre. It reopened an old wound for the British people, who collectively grieved for the loss of such innocent, beautiful life.
In the UK, we tightened our controls of guns even further, making us one of the strictest countries in the world in terms of gun control. All in the wake of this incident.
We are pleased to say in the UK, that a ‘spree’ murderer with a gun is an extremely rare occurrence. The odd scrote rarely bandies about a knife, but I cannot remember going to high school or college and being concerned that someone would snap and shoot us all. It never once crossed my mind. Not once.
Every other day, it feels like, you hear about yet another mass shooting in America. All the time. Constant.
Worryingly, people are becoming desensitized to these events happening in America, which is a harrowing prospect.
President Obama has appealed for gun control, even just so that it comes in line with common sense – but no, everyone has a mountain of excuses in their heads, justifying their personal need to hang on to them.
I just do not get that. Guns clearly do not act as a deterrent, do they?
I see that the idea was a sort of stale mate, everyone has a gun, so no-one can shoot at anyone else, lest they get shot. All that seems to have created though, is the idea that thieves take their own guns with them and hope that they shoot the person their robbing first.
I can’t understand the logic. I don’t get it.
There are people I have known in the course of my life were I knew that if they had access to a weapon, they would have killed others or at least themselves. That leaves me feeling sick and shuddery.
When I voiced my revulsion that a class of young children were murdered and America *still* thinks gun ownership is a great idea, I was called “stupid”, repeatedly. Some even tried to tell me Sandy Hook was a conspiracy and that it wasn’t their fault that I was too thick to “grasp” that concept.
It has been a while since I engaged with crazies and tinfoil hat sporters and I wasn’t prepared to start now. Being unworthy of my time, I left them to it and blocked them all.
I am sure they can do some Dr Googling and come up with some “statistics” that support their views – can’t we all? I just wasn’t interested in facilitating their bonkers ideals by creating any sort of forum for them.
I am someone who enjoys engaging in lively discussion with those who have different or opposing views to my own, I find it terribly cerebrally challenging. However, this was not going to be one of those conversations. This was not a point of view I was/am interested in changing. Supporting people who shoot the innocent and facilitating this is not, in my view, what the whole “bearing arms” thing was all about. I cannot and will not condone innocent people being killed because of others outmoded needs and I will not change that point of view – ever. There is no point to even attempting to open a dialogue with me on the topic – I will never agree to disagree – facilitating killing with ease and fervour are not things I will condone.
Do I think the opponents of my view are thick? I suppose if I was being facetious, I would say ‘deranged’ might best describe this dark want to cling onto a killing device. I think they probably need to empathise a bit with the families of those who have lost loved ones who went to college, school, work or just out for a walk and never came home, because someone lost it and they had the ability to lose it, but with a gun.
The notion that all mass shootings are somehow conspiracies is wrong in the most grotesque way. Deifying the monstrous perpetrators and vilifying the innocent. If I am “stupid” for being able to distinguish fact from fiction, then I am as stupid as they come and proud of that – I am not the one desecrating the memory of a child to sell my tinfoil hat theories.
Yes, I have read the conspiracy theories. Yes, I find them without a touch of reality. Frankly, I would much rather put my love, brain, time and effort into making sure that this does not happen/ continue happening again.
My love, my thoughts and my prayers are with the families and loved ones who have lost someone needlessly through gun crime anywhere in the world, especially the families of Sandy Hook and Dunblane where so many babies and their teachers died.
My heart goes out to you and the anguish I feel for you untimely losses is what has propelled and compelled me to write such emotive and strong words. May you rest in the peace and light of heaven.
I dedicate this blog post to those who campaign to ensure that the horror they have gone through will never be endured by another family,
Always loved and never forgotten. Let us hope humanity one day finds a way, that does not involve hurting or maiming or killing others.
Will I leave twitter? I don’t know. It is just moments like this when you encounter such base abhorrence that can be found inside the souls of men that makes me question my social media presence. We’ll see.