Stand-up comedian and actress Amy Schumer has joined forced with her cousin, New York senator Chuck Schumer, to call for tighter gun control in the U.S.
On Monday, the senator was joined onstage by his second cousin as he unveiled a three-part plan that would make it harder for violent criminals and the mentally ill to obtain guns.
The pair cited the recent shooting in a Louisiana movie theater that killed two women and injured nine others during a screening of Amy’s romantic comedy film ‘Trainwreck’.
Amy broke down in tears as she took to the podium to talk about the victims and address the horrific shooting which happened on July 23.
These shootings have got to stop. I don’t know how else to say it. I wanted to take this opportunity to say how I feel. We’re here today to say enough is enough to mass shootings in our schools, college campuses, our military bases and even in our movie theatres.
These are not extreme ideas. No one wants to live in a country where a felon, the mentally ill or other dangerous people can get their hands on a gun with such ease.
She called for tougher background checks, with accurate information which “protects us like a firewall”, and urged more to be done to stop those with mental illness, or a violent history from being able to buy guns.
Senator Chuck Schumer’s proposed legislation would create monetary rewards for states that submit all necessary records into the background check system and penalise states that do not. He will also call on Congress to preserve mental health funding and substance abuse programs.
Jillian Johnson, a 33-year-old who ran a gift shop with her husband, and Mayci Breaux, a 21-year-old radiology student, were killed when gunman John Russel Houser, 59, opened fire in the Louisiana theatre.
His deadly rampage also left nine others injured before Houser, who had a history of mental illness, turned the gun on himself and committed suicide when cornered by police.
Senator Schumer said the country cannot “just sit back and allow mass shootings to become commonplace in the United States” and asked how many lives needed to be lost before Congress would act.
Amy Schumer added:
Maybe the worst part about this is that there is a common sense way to stop mass shootings. There are many ways. For me, the pain I share with so many other Americans on the issue of gun violence was made extremely personal to me on Thursday July 23.
When John, I’m not even going to say his name. When he sat down for my movie Trainwreck at the Grand Theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, two lives were tragically lost and others injured. I have thought about these victims each day since the tragedy. When I heard about this news, I was completely devastated. I just wanted to go down to Louisiana. And then I was angry.
My heart goes out to Jillian and Mayci, to the survivors, to the families, and everyone who’s tied to the tragic, senseless and horrifying actions of this man who should not have been able to put his hands on a gun in the first place. The thought of this community being turned upside down by this just sickens me. Unless something is done soon dangerous people will continue to get their hands on guns.