Actress and comedian Amy Schumer is no stranger to the spotlight, but this week she took to the stage to speak to the world about a topic that is no laughing matter – gun violence in America.
Amy Schumer shared the stage with her distant cousin Senator Chuck Schumer to announce an initiative to tighten America’s gun control laws and make the existing reporting system work more effectively.
“We’re here today to say enough to mass shootings in our schools, on college campuses, our military bases, and even in our movie theaters,” said Amy Schumer, according to HitFlix. “These shootings have gotta stop. I don’t know how else to say it. Maybe the worst part about all this is that there is a common sense way to stop mass shootings. There are many ways.”
The current reporting system relies on states to report the names of convicted felons and those with a history of mental illness, but the reporting practices from state to state have been inconsistent, making the results of background checks for gun purchases inaccurate at best.
What Senator Schumer’s initiative proposes is to take the reporting system that is currently in place and attach a reward and penalty program to it, so that there is more incentive for states to actively report individuals who legally should not be able to purchase a firearm, in accordance with federal law.
Amy Schumer spoke out on the matter because she has a direct connection to it. Last month, John Houser opened fire in a Lafayette, Louisiana, movie theater where moviegoers were watching her film Trainwreck. Two women were killed and nine others were injured before Houser turned a gun on himself, ending the violent event.
Sarah Clements issued an open letter to Schumer after the incident, asking her to step up and take action.
“Demand change. Be a voice for our generation and for women – two groups who make up most of the victims of the gun violence in our country,” said Clements, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Clement’s mother is a survivor of the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting that happened in Connecticut in 2012.
Schumer responded to the call-out via Twitter, stating “I’m on it. You’ll see.”
“The time is now for the American people to rally for these changes, ” she said, according to Reuters. “These are my first public comments on the issue of gun violence, but I can promise they will not be my last.”
In addition to the Schumer & Schumer press conference, Amy Schumer also made an appearance on The Daily Show with John Stewart on Monday. The two joked and jabbed for awhile, but eventually the tone turned serious when they discussed the Lafayette shootings during the showing of her film.
“To hear that news, it broke my heart,” she said.
[Image courtesy of Andrew Burton/Getty Images]