Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer and comedian Amy Schumer hold a joint press conference announcing plans to crackdown on mass shootings and gun violence in the wake of the recent shooting in Louisiana. AAP Photo.

Opinion: Why Amy Schumer is the person we need right now on gun control

Funny gal Amy Schumer joined her cousin New York Senator Charles Schumer on Monday to introduce a new gun control proposal following last month’s theatre shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana.

The gunman opened fire during a screening of Schumer’s new movie Trainwreck on July 23, killing two women and injuring nine, before turning the gun on himself. He had purchased the gun legally, despite a long history of mental health issues.

A “heartbroken” Schumer told journalists at a press conference that it was time to fight for tougher laws.

“These are not extreme ideas,” Schumer said.

“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.”

“I was heartbroken when I heard about Columbine and Sandy Hook and Aurora and so many other names of places that are seared into our memories. And I was heartbroken again when I heard about Lafayette. And I still am.”

She refused to use the gunman’s name, instead focusing on his victims and why he was able to purchase the weapon.

It’s incredibly sad that the gun control debate only arises after such tragedies, and even sadder that the debate is divided. One would think that where there is human cost, humans would be scrambling to demand change.

After all, those two women could have been your mothers, sisters, daughters, aunties or nieces. There are people out there hurting because they are to them. These women didn’t provoke the attacker or ask for it.

They were watching a movie.

As were the twelve who were killed in Aurora in 2012.

The twenty-six killed in Newtown in 2012 were learning or teaching.

As were the thirteen killed in Columbine in 1999.

The nine killed in Charleston this year were having Bible study. A five-year old acted dead to avoid being killed.

When will it stop? How many more mass shootings will it take for the American people to figure out that there is a problem?

It’s concerning how laughable the gun lobby’s defences are. You do not need more guns. More guns aren’t the solution.

The solution is enforcing regulated gun control. This is a country where you need to go through so much paperwork and background checks to own a car or get a licence or get a passport – but you can buy a gun from a supermarket.

Setting aside some funding for stricter background checks and gun education won’t destroy your rights. It will most certainly, though, stop these headlines from being written:

Toddler finds gun in drawer, shoots himself

Boy, 5, flown to Children’s Hospital after being shot in Ford City

Brooklyn dad who accidentally shot 9-month-old daughter admits inserting loaded magazine to test handgun’s springs

Sen. Schumer reiterated his cousin’s plea, saying that the country cannot “just sit back and allow mass shootings to become commonplace in the United States.”

“How many breaking news flashes will it take for Congress to act?” he said. “How many tears? How many lives lost?”

Just hours before the shooting, in an interview with the BBC, President Barack Obama admitted that the greatest frustration of his presidency has been the failure to pass “common sense gun safety laws” in the United States.

 

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