After Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, massacring 17 people, everyone from celebrities to every day citizens expressed opinions on what should happen to prevent this tragedy in the future. While most called for gun control and for Congress and the president to step up to make these changes, The Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki offered a response on his Instagram page that didn’t, for some reason, sit well with all of his fans.
The 42-year-old actor posted a picture of Florida splashed with orange and yellow paint and adorned with a heart, but it was his caption that stirred up a response.
“THE 8th US SCHOOL SHOOTING THIS YEAR AND IT’S ONLY FEB 14th. In 1929, four professional mobsters used four guns to kill seven people and it has since been known as the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. Today, a lone, disturbed teenager killed 17 people with a single weapon. To the president, Congress and our Senators — a sentiment you may have heard on previous Valentine’s Days for differing reasons — Sometimes saying you’re sorry isn’t enough, you need to make changes.”
THE 8th US SCHOOL SHOOTING THIS YEAR AND IT’S ONLY FEB 14th. In 1929, four professional mobsters used four guns to kill seven people and it has since been known as the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre. Today, a lone, disturbed teenager killed 17 people with a single weapon. To the president, Congress and our Senators — a sentiment you may have heard on previous Valentine’s Days for differing reasons — Sometimes saying you’re sorry isn’t enough, you need to make changes.
Not only was Galecki condemned for suggesting change, he was also encouraged to pack his bags if he didn’t want to remain in the United States, especially since he was part of the Hollywood hypocrisy hashtag. Galecki challenged the responding fans, asking if they really felt zero change is needed. In an emotional response on Instagram, he said that three generations of his fathers had severed and gave their lives, and that he was sorry suggesting a conversation was frightening. Since many fans chose to leave his page, Galecki, who has 2.1 million followers, offered a “good riddance.”
In my last couple of posts, I’ve not suggested a single idea for new gun laws or background checks or even mental illness issues after the latest school murders in Florida. I only suggested change. And yet many folks were outraged and threatened and angered by only that. They unfollowed my account (fine). Or remained to convince me to #packyourbags REALLY? You feel there’s zero change needed? You hate and want me out of the country and belittle my opinion after three generations of my fathers served and gave their lives because I suggest it’s not shameful to maybe explore taking a page from another country where their children haven’t been mass murdered in a school shooting in over 20 years? My gentle nudge towards thinking this way is void because I am part of #hollywoodhypocrisy For influencing this heinous disease when I’ve touched one gun in one comedic film in 35 years of work and other countries have access to that same entertainment and don’t struggle with the same violence we do here? At this point I say to the unfollowers, good riddance. I’m sorry that the suggestion of a conversation frightened you off. You have no interest in having any conversation and I have no interest in wasting my time trying to convince you to be a more evolved human being. Those of you that will stay, despite our shared heartbreak at times, I plead with you to find energy to rise and dissent and make change. I share this wee video from last year. My Unlikely Pal and I, @randyhouser put on a festival, something neither of us had ever done before and we did so in 70-something hours. We’d hoped 1,500 people might show and give cash out of their pockets to charity Saint Jude. 7,000+ hardworking people showed and gave. You can make change. Much more easily than you may think. You can not #packyourbags and stay and make our homeland all your previous generations fought for by what we now call dissent. It’s not only our right but our responsibility. I’m always willing to listen to the other side of the argument. And fine tune my barometer of fairness. And fight for it loudly. The others can run.
The actor went on to suggest that people get involved, to rise up, and make change, and he wasn’t the only celebrity demanding that change, with some adding vulgar language and their declaration of hate for the Republican party and the current members of Congress and the Trump administration. Galecki, however, remained civil in his tone with his followers, although, he stood firm with his convictions. He told the fans that had unfollowed him that “you have no interest in having any conversation, and I have no interest in wasting my time trying to convince you to be a more evolved human being.”
Galecki also shared a repost from The Onion, adding “We spend much of our lives seeking to learn lessons from others who reap better results than we have. Why is it shameful or unpatriotic to suggest our government explore doing the same? Especially when such a result may save lives and keep our children safe.”