"I have thought about these victims each day since the tragedy"+ READ ARTICLE
Comedian and actress Amy Schumer joined her cousin, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D—N.Y.), to propose gun control measures Monday in the wake of a deadly shooting in Louisiana during a screening of her movie Trainwreck.
The New York Democrat first outlined a three-stage plan to tackle gun violence: firstly, to reward states for sharing information about felons, domestic abusers and mentally ill people, and denying funding to those who don’t; to get the Justice Dept to survey all 50 states on their standards for treating mentally ill people who are a danger to themselves and others; and to get Congress to fully fund mental health and substance abuse programs.
The younger Schumer spoke next, giving an often emotional reaction to the shooting and its aftermath. Here is her statement in full:
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 — I’m not even going to say his name, when this — when he sat down for my movie Trainwreck at the Grand Theater in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Two lives were tragically lost and others injured, and I have thought about these victims each day since the tragedy. Jillian Johnson, 33, a mother, daughter, sister, and a wonderful wife. She was an artist. I think we would have been friends. And Mayci Breaux, who was 21, who planned on marrying her high school sweetheart. She was an honor student at Louisiana State University where she was studying to become a radiology technician. She was kind and loved her family very much and she always made time for them.
When I heard about this news, I was completely devastated. I 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 was tied to the tragic, senseless and horrifying actions of this man who shouldn’t have been able to put his hands on a gun in the first place.
I’m not sure why this man chose my movie to end these two beautiful lives and injure nine others, but it was very personal for me. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love Louisiana. It’s my favorite state, whenever I have a couple of days off I go down there and I — because I love the people there. They’re the coolest, strongest people I’ve ever met. and the thought of this community being turned around and upside down by this stings me.
Unless something is done and done soon, dangerous people will continue to get their hands on guns. We know what can happen when they do. I was heartbroken when I heard about Columbine and Sandy Hook and Aurora, and so many names of other places seared into our memories, and I was heartbroken when I heard about Lafayette and I still am.
And what Chuck said here, it deserves unanimous support. We never know why people choose to do these things but sadly we always find out how, how the shooter got their gun. It’s often something that should haven’t happened in the first place, and today’s push makes so much sense because it seeks to address the how.
We need a background check system without holes and fatal flaws. We need one with accurate information that protects us like a firewall. The critics scoff and say well, there’s no way to stop crazy people from doing crazy things but they’re wrong. There is a way to stop them. Preventing dangerous people from getting guns is very possible. We have common-sense solutions. We can toughen background checks and stop the sale of firearms to folks who have a violent history or history of mental illness. We can invest more in treating mental illness instead of slashing funding.
These are not extreme ideas and what Chuck is describing are sensible measures and restrictions and 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. The time is now for American people to rally for these changes.
These are my first public comments on the issue of gun violence, but I can promise you they will not be my last.