On July 23rd, 59-year-old John Houser opened fire in a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana during a screening of Trainwreck. He killed two women and injured nine other patrons before taking his own life. Today, Trainwreck star and writer Amy Schumer joined her second-cousin, New York Senator Charles Schumer, in a call for more effective gun control.
“People say, ‘Well, you’re never going to be able to stop crazy people from doing crazy things,’ but they’re wrong. There is a way to stop them,” she said during the press conference, choking back tears the entire time.
Houser purchased the weapon he used in the attack in Alabama. A background check failed to unearth Houser’s history of psychiatric trouble and domestic violence, in addition to a court ordered mental evaluation in 2008 after his family reported that he was dangerous.
Accordingly, the bill Senator Schumer is pushing doesn’t add anything new to existing gun laws. Instead, the law seeks to offer incentives for states to “submit a robust amount of information to the federal database used to block sales to people with criminal records or a history of serious mental illness.” It would also penalize states that fail to contribute to the database.
“Today’s push makes so much sense because it seeks to address the ‘how,'” the comedian Schumer said. “We need a background check system without holes and fatal flaws. We need one with accurate information that protects us like a firewall.”
There is a working theory that Houser chose Trainwreck due to its feminist themes and Jewish star. The shooter had a history of misogynistic and anti-Semitic, as well as racist and bigoted, commentary. Schumer was asked by the press if she was expecting backlash for coming out in favor of stricter gun laws. “I’ll handle it the way I’ve handled it the last 10 years,” she replied. “I’ve had death threats and a lot of hate directed toward me. But I want to be proud of the way I’m living and what I stand for.”
She ended her speech, which you can watch below via Yahoo! News, by saying, “These are my first public comments on the issue of gun violence, but I can promise you they won’t be my last. Thank you.”