Actress Debra Messing thought it would be a great idea to use her social media following to “raise awareness” about gun violence in America by posting a selfie on Instagram.  Seriously.

Normally, the Will and Grace star would be feted by her fans and fellow celebs for participating in a self-indulgent, shallow act meant to show that she is on the “right side” of an issue but, ultimately, would make no actual impact on anyone’s life. After all, that’s what Hollywood celebrity activists do.

But, as Messing should already know by now given her long, successful career in comedy: Timing is everything.

messing gun control

You see, Messing sent out the dramatic shot of herself sporting an orange, “Under the Gun” t-shirt as UCLA was on lock-down following a report of an active shooter on the Westwood campus. The shooting incident ended up being a domestic situation ending in a murder/suicide and the thousands of students whose lives were disrupted by the massive police reaction were never in any actual danger, but as the events unfolded Wednesday afternoon, Messing’s Instagram plea for peace accompanied by her lovely face caught in thoughtful and evocative contemplation was interpreted by many as, perhaps, a bit narcissistic.

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As is often the case on social media, the reaction was immediate and ruthlessly unforgiving:

https://twitter.com/youngblackcon/status/738070726440259584

At first, Messing tried to rationalize her act of purity and selflessness by responding to her Twitter critics (usually not a good idea.) She tried to argue that Wednesday was a predetermined day for anti-2nd amendment advocates to wear orange and take a stand against gun violence in America. It just so happens that Messing’s participation coincided with the activities at UCLA:

Let’s marinate on that last Tweet for a moment, shall we?

“This has nothing to do with me.”

messing gun control

Really?

Eventually, the actress whose unforgettable performance in McHale’s Navy helped that film earn a remarkable 3% rating at Rotten Tomatoes, realized her selfie-activism had missed the mark this time.

She apologized: