Rihanna is ready for an end to gun violence. She shared her opinion on Tuesday 26th December after her cousin Tavon Kaiseen Alleyne was killed on Christmas evening, according to local police in Barbados, Rihanna’s home country.
Rihanna confirmed she was with Alleyne just hours before his death, writing on Instagram, “RIP cousin... can't believe it was just last night that I held you in my arms! Never thought that would be the last time I felt the warmth in your body!!! Love you always man!” Rihanna's powerful statement was accompanied by a series of sweet photos of the two.
Following her thoughtful tribute, she called for change, adding to the caption, “#Endgunviolence.” Rihanna’s mournful demand makes sense, as 21-year-old Alleyne was reportedly shot multiple times near his own home by an unknown assailant, who then fled the scene. Alleyne later died from his injuries and police continue to investigate the fatal crime.
While this is the first time Rihanna has spoken out against gun violence, it’s not the first time she has gotten political. Just last month, Rihanna defended Cyntoia Brown on Instagram. Sex trafficking survivor Brown, now 29, killed the 43-year-old man who abused her when she was 16, out of fear that he would murder her. Brown was sentenced to 51 years in prison, despite her young age at the time of the crime and the case’s disturbing details. Rihanna took issue with the court's handling of her sentencing.
Alleyne’s death is only the latest headline about gun-related tragedies in a year filled with them. Texas suffered its deadliest mass shooting this autumn. There were shootings in both a Cincinnati, OH club and a German cinema. And the horrific Las Vegas massacre, the largest mass shooting of modern times, continues to haunt concertgoers.
After a year like 2017, let's hope Rihanna does get her wish, and we see real steps taken to end the epidemic of gun violence in 2018.