Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy, has got a filthy and brilliant sense of humor and is often referred to as one of the funniest voices in the entertainment industry. MacFarlane wasn’t trying to be funny, however, when he took to Twitter in the wake of the horrific Orlando terrorist attack at Pulse Nightclub. In the early hours of Sunday morning, the well-known gay nightclub was the scene of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history when a gunman opened fire armed with an assault rifle. The gunman, now identified as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old from Florida, killed 50 people during his rampage and injured 53 more, reports CNN. The gunman also reportedly claimed ties to ISIS. It has also been reported that the guns used in the three-hour-long massacre and police standoff had been legally purchased just days before the shooting by the suspect, who was killed by police. As Seth MacFarlane mentioned on Twitter, changes to U.S. gun legislation may have prevented this senseless slaughter of innocents from taking place.
Check out Seth MacFarlane’s tweet, which is controversial to so many gun-rights advocates.
These shootings are a regular occurrence. You don't get to be "shocked" anymore unless you take action to stop them. Ban automatic weapons.— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) June 12, 2016
Seth MacFarlane has over 10 million followers on Twitter, reports the Hollywood Reporter, and it didn’t take long for them to start responding to his tweet. Among the first responses was from someone wanting to make sure Seth MacFarlane is aware that fully automatic weapons are already banned in the United States.
@SethMacFarlane Fully automatic weapons already are banned, Seth.— David Kahane (@dkahanerules) June 12, 2016
Many of MacFarlane’s followers came to the Family Guy creator’s defense, pointing out that MacFarlane didn’t say “fully automatic.”
Seth MacFarlane even got into Twitter debates with some of his followers and other Twitter users who questioned his comments/thoughts on the Florida terrorism tragedy. One comment that Seth MacFarlane chose to respond to was regarding the idea that a single armed person with a concealed weapons permit could have put an end to the carnage inside the Florida club and theoretically saved dozens of people’s lives and dozens more from being injured.
MacFarlane clearly doesn’t seem to believe that the potential benefits of armed people outweigh the risks of repeated, senseless mass shootings in the United States.
RT @xNathan30x: one person carrying a concealed handgun in that club could have ended that horror. // Often stated, never once happened.— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) June 12, 2016
In the wake of the thousands of responses he received to his tweet advocating a ban on automatic weapons, Seth MacFarlane was apparently inundated with opposing viewpoints. The comments were seemingly so oppressive to MacFarlane that they threatened to trigger a deep depression.
Man. Twitter responses to all this on my feed are enough to send the even cheeriest soul into a deep depression.— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) June 12, 2016
The responses to Seth MacFarlane’s clearly well-intended tweet were, in many cases, harsh and negative.
MacFarlane wasn’t the only celebrity to take to Twitter to share their shock and condolences in response to the Orlando terrorist attack. Dozens have reportedly used various social media platforms to share their thoughts on the incomprehensible event.
At least one news publication called Seth MacFarlane out for his tweet. Twitchy asked the question, “Can Seth MacFarlane really be this ignorant about U.S. gun laws?”
(2/2) ...is cross-referenced with this data, it's pretty damning. pic.twitter.com/k3MqcfXQtc— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) June 12, 2016
Again, because MacFarlane didn’t specify fully automatic weapons should be banned, it’s impossible to know whether he wasn’t aware that fully automatic weapons have already been banned in the United States or if he may have simply omitted a word or two in his original tweet, which was clearly inspired by strong emotions and a visceral response to yet another seemingly preventable gun-related mass casualty incident in the United States.
While Seth MacFarlane blamed guns and too-lenient gun laws for the Orlando terrorism, many took to social media to blame Muslims and Islamic extremism for the brutality. The deceased shooter did reportedly pledge allegiance to ISIS, and according to the CNN report, his father told the media that he shot up the club because he was “disgusted by the sight of men kissing other men.”
#OrlandoNightclubShooting not a gay issue, not a gun issue - it's about Muslims murdering Americans. You can fight back or you can die.— Lyman DeKoquonut (@dekoquonut) June 12, 2016
Despite the fact that Islamic terrorism definitely seems to have been a contributing factor in the Orlando shootings, Seth MacFarlane is right about one thing. Like MacFarlane said, these kinds of shootings have become utterly and terrifyingly common in the United States. It’s easy enough to blame Islam, because Islam is a “foreign” enemy that most American citizens are all too ready to fight. The problem is that while this shooting may have had a religious motivation or been related to the sexual orientations of the victims, so many of the recent U.S. mass shooting nightmares were not.
Many recent U.S. mass shootings, as alluded to by Seth MacFarlane, had nothing in common aside from the ease of which their perpetrators got their hands on weapons. Maybe not “automatic weapons,” but deadly assault weapons nonetheless.
In recent years, the U.S. has seen a rash of large-scale shootings with absolutely no affiliation to Islam. Among those were the the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater, Sandy Hook, the Colorado Planned Parenthood, and South Carolina church mass shootings.
So, while some of Seth MacFarlane’s detractors are correct about automatic weapons, Americans can’t take the blasé approach of blaming our mass shooting epidemic on Islamic terrorism, because the numbers simply don’t reflect the correlation.
What do you think about Seth MacFarlane’s tweet? Do you think Seth is on the right track? Or should Seth MacFarlane stick to comedy?
[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]