After two mass shootings this weekend, the thorny debate over gun control is once again illuminated in the national spotlight. On Saturday morning, a young gunman killed 20 people and wounded more at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Within 13 hours, another gunman killed nine people outside of a popular bar district in Dayton, Ohio.
President Donald Trump crafted a string of tweets condemning the violence and even calling for stronger background checks. Not everyone, however, was satisfied with his statements. On Instagram, Rihanna posted a screenshot of one of Trump’s tweets and wrote a searing direct response to the president in her caption.
While Trump’s tweets called the shootings “an act of cowardice,” Rihanna countered, “Um… Donald, you spelt ‘terrorism’ wrong! Your country had 2 terrorist attacks back to back, hours apart leaving almost 30 innocent people dead.”
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Um… Donald, you spelt “terrorism” wrong! Your country had 2 terrorist attacks back to back, hours apart leaving almost 30 innocent people dead. This, just days after yet another terrorist attack in California, where a terrorist was able to LEGALLY purchase an assault rifle (AK-47) in Vegas, then drive hours to a food festival in Cali leaving 6 more people dead including a young infant baby boy! 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!!! My prayers and deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all the victims and the communities affected and traumatized, from Texas, California, and Ohio! I’m so sorry for your loss! Nobody deserves to die like this! NOBODY!
She also pointed to the mass shooting in California, which occurred just days before the El Paso and Dayton shootings, and left three people dead.
“Imagine a world where it’s easier to get an AK-47 than a VISA,” she continued. “Imagine a world where they build a wall to keep terrorists IN AMERICA!!! My prayers and deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all the victims and the communities affected and traumatized, from Texas, California, and Ohio! I’m so sorry for your loss! Nobody deserves to die like this! NOBODY!”
This isn’t the first time Rihanna denounced politicians on social media. After Alabama Governor Kay Ivey passed restrictive abortion laws in her state, Rihanna tweeted a photo of 25 senators who voted to pass the legislation. She wrote, “Take a look. These are the idiots making decisions for WOMEN in America. Governor Kay Ivey…SHAME ON YOU!!!!”
Then, when Border Patrol fired tear gas at peaceful Central American migrants at the Tijuana border last November, Rihanna again used Instagram to express her outrage, simply captioning it “terrorism.”
In Trump’s subsequent tweets about the Texas and Ohio shootings, he also called for immigration reform and bipartisan legislative collaboration. He previously indicated his tentative support on gun regulation after the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, but later backpedaled his statements at a National Rifle Association convention.
Some are linking Trump’s inflammatory and goading language to the white supremacist ideology motivating the gunmen behind these recent mass shootings. In an online manifesto reportedly written by the El Paso shooter, the gunman wrote that “this attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” Although the shooter also said that his views “predate Trump,” the president has used similar language when speaking to his supporters, a tendency critics say stokes fear and racial divisions. As recently as May, for instance, Trump referred to Central American migrant caravans as an “invasion” at a campaign rally.
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