Data doesn’t lie.
That’s the point.
It doesn’t minimize tragedy, it puts it into perspective. Perspective minimizes fear and hysteria.
The hysterical reaction to the above tweet proves the exact point Neil deGrasse Tyson was making. If you make a spectacle of something (which the media and illogical hysteria do), then you will of course have a perspective that is disproportionate to the event.
Should we want mass shootings to end? Of course. But are they really as big of a concern as we are led to believe? No.
You are more likely to die of a medical mistake than from a mass shooting. Do we see any hysteria around this fact? No. What if the media published or ran a body count update every evening on the news just like they did during the Vietnam War? Would people more afraid to go to their doctor or the hospital? Probably.
You are more likely to die in an automobile collision than from a mass shooting. We don’t see a call to ban cars (or really bad drivers) do we? No. Because it isn’t highlighted in the news like shootings are. A body count each night would do that though.
Is that what it takes to make the news these days? A body count? It would appear so.
Americans like to grandstand about highly publicized events, but don’t really think about their own irrational fears. Do bad things happen each and every day? Yes. Can you live in fear of cars, doctors, guns, crowds, mosquitoes, or whatever? I suppose you could, but does it really do you any good? No.
Let’s not be hysterical and have a knee-jerk reaction every time something bad and tragic happens in the country. Because it does happen, EVERY DAY. You just don’t hear about it because it wasn’t highlighted by the media. That’s exactly the point of the tweet.