'Politicize my death': Twitter users plead for change in wake of mass shootings

After shootings, some social media users are pleading: “Politicize my death.”

August 5, 2019, 2:53 PM

“Politicize my death."

Those three stark words rang out hundreds of times on Twitter this weekend in the wake of two deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, as social media users gave each other permission to make their potential death in any future mass shooting part of a political conversation about ending gun violence.

"If I die in a mass shooting, please politicize my death toward ending gun violence, immediately," went one typical plea, from writer Jennifer Wright. "I don’t want to die for nothing."

The comments and their variants reflect growing frustration and outrage over prior responses to mass shootings, in which elected officials and public figures have often called on others not to "politicize" the tragedies.

Critics contend requests not to "politicize" mass shootings stymie discussions of potential public policy solutions that could help prevent future incidents.

If I die in any sort of mass shooting, you have my full permission to politicize my death immediately. Don’t let it be in vain.

— Anna Hayworth (@ARHpm06) August 4, 2019

I’ve said it before, I’m saying it now, and am sure I’ll have to say it again...if I’m ever killed in a shooting please politicize my death for common sense gun legislation. #GunControlNow

— Jennifer Deon 🌞 (@Jennifer_Deon) August 5, 2019

The request has trended after previous mass shootings but emerged with renewed vigor this weekend in the wake of the shooting sprees, which left a combined 31 people dead.

Some social media users were explicit, anticipating potential responses and pitching a medical bracelet or place on an ID card that indicates a willingness to be part of a political conversation. Others called for their bodies to be dumped in front of the U.S. Capitol building or have their funerals held in the Oval Office.

If I'm shot dead, politicize my death. If someone tells you it's too soon to get political, tell them they're directly going against my wishes.

— Kaylyn Saucedo - 𝕄𝕒𝕣𝕫𝔾𝕦𝕣𝕝 (@MarzGurl) August 4, 2019


Please, politicize the hell out of my death if I die by gun violence. pic.twitter.com/J8Q1WWHtBi

— Laura Lee 🦄☀️🌈 🖕🏼 (@derkie313) August 5, 2019

President Trump addressed the shootings Monday morning, calling on the nation to condemn bigotry while citing mental illness and social media as possible factors in the increase in mass shootings in the United States. He did not propose any gun reform legislation and Democrats criticized his response as inadequate.

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