Twitter users are telling Henry Winkler to “sit on it” after a tweet in which he used the Washington Navy Yard shooting as an occasion to call for stricter gun laws.
ANOTHER shooting in WASH D.C. PLEASE America do nothing to promote gun control .because thats how we roll until we have all shot each other
â€” Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) September 16, 2013
The former “Happy Days” star tweeted the politically charged comment at 9:50 a.m., just as news was first breaking that someone had opened fire at a naval office building not far from Capitol Hill. At last count, police report that at least 13 people have been killed, including one gunman, identified as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis. Two other gunmen were believed to remain at large, although that was later denied.
Winkler’s tweet did not go over as well as his once-beloved portrayal of Arthur Fonzarelli. Critics shot back, with many saying it was in poor taste to politicize the tragedy as it was still unfolding. Some users posted with the hashtag #jumptheshark, a reference to a famous TV idiom used to describe a precipitous decline in quality. The saying gets its meaning from a “Happy Days” episode in which Winkler’s character literally jumps a shark.
â€” Mary Therese Thomas (@marytthomas) September 16, 2013
@hwinkler4real disappointing comment from you. Nothing about the victims, just you trying to push your agenda.
â€” Ken Diesel (@KenDiesel) September 16, 2013
@hwinkler4real another knee jerk reaction from somebody who has lives his whole life in fantasy land. Nobody cares what Hollywood thinks!
â€” James (@JRG65) September 16, 2013
â€” HogT1de ™ (@HogT1de) September 16, 2013
Others in the pro-gun camp were quick to condemn Winkler by spitting out politically charged tweets of their own. A favorite device was pointing out that the site of the shootings is a "gun-free zone," rehashing the argument that casualties could have been minimized had an armed avenger been present.
@hwinkler4real You get it Nimrod. Gun free zones is where they do it. You get it now? Gun free zones are where the loons go imbecile.
â€” Libertarian Ray (@LibertarianRay) September 16, 2013
@hwinkler4real complete gun control zone. only criminals have guns
â€” Cowboy (@MattGallows) September 16, 2013
@hwinkler4real Another gun free zone failure.. It's time to wake up America & give ppl back the human right to responsibly defend themselves
â€” jw-Biscuits (@jwtechnic) September 16, 2013
@hwinkler4real Already illegal to carry a gun in DC & Clinton disarmed the Navy onbase & made them sitting ducks. What more laws do you need
â€” David A Gibson (@David_A_Gibson) September 16, 2013
Despite the knee-jerk finger waging from both sides, the instant politicizing of tragic events has become a hallmark of Twitter behavior in recent years. Within hours of the horrific school shooting in Newtown, Conn., last year, Twitter became awash in both pro-gun and anti-gun statements.