Neil deGrasse Tyson has a message for the world after the school shooting that left 17 dead in Florida on Wednesday — prayers may be all well and good, but they aren’t terribly efficient in protecting America’s kids from gun violence.
On Friday, two days after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, celebrity astrophysicist Tyson dropped some science on those who have offered prayers to those affected by the massacre.
“Evidence collected over many years, obtained from many locations, indicates that the power of Prayer is insufficient to stop bullets from killing school children,” Tyson wrote on Twitter.
Since the shooting, many have offered their prayers in response to the tragedy, including President Donald Trump, who tweeted Wednesday, “My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.”
Others, outraged by the lack of effective action in the face of the mass shootings in America, have countered that change, not prayers, are necessary.
That sentiment was certainly evident in the comments section of Tyson’s tweet.
“There’s no scientific barometer for the power of prayer, Neil,” wrote one responder. “That being said, yes, we should do something more than MERELY prayer. That much is true. God would want us to do something.”
Another reply was more blunt about the situation.
“F— your excuses. F— your inaction. F— your thoughts and prayers,” the reply, directed not toward Tyson but another commenter, read. “F— your ignorance. F— your ‘If the teachers were armed…’ F— your guns. DO something already.”
Evidence collected over many years, obtained from many locations, indicates that the power of Prayer is insufficient to stop bullets from killing school children.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) February 16, 2018