Amy Schumer is putting her money where her mouth is and doing something about gun violence, and this plan is way more than your average celeb on a soapbox.
The comedian’s movie, Trainwreck, was playing in a Louisiana theater in July when a gunman opened fire, killing three people and injuring nine. Schumer addressed the shooting on Twitter after the daughter of a Sandy Hook victim published an open letter to her, and today she unveiled a plan to help curb gun violence that could be a model for the country. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Her partner is a New York State representative — who happens to be her cousin
Schumer teamed up with New York Senator Chuck Schumer, her second cousin once removed, to create the initiative. They presented new legislation on gun control together on Monday morning. The senator said he contacted his famous family member after the shooting because he felt she could help rally her fan base to support “common sense” gun laws.
2. The legislation supports much deeper background checks than currently mandated
The plan’s aim is to keep weapons out of the hands of those deemed the most dangerous: those with a violent criminal history and/or mental illness.
3. There is good motivation for states to comply
The senator explained that there are financial incentives built into the bill for states who submit information on gun license applications to the federal government for the more in-depth background check — and repercussions for those who don’t.
“We provide both carrots and sticks,” the senator said. “That should put some teeth in the law.”
4. Schumer got involved because she’s afraid the shooting was personal
The actress has skewered American gun culture on her TV show, Inside Amy Schumer, many times, and she is afraid her movie was targeted because of this.
“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,” she said during the press conference. “I got about a million emails from friends saying it could have been any movie,” the actress said. “I’m trying to believe that but I am not sure.”
5. Gun legislation is now Schumer’s pet project
The actress said that while she has never spoken out on the issue before, we’d better get used to it because we’re going to be hearing a lot about it from her.
“This may be my first public comments on the issue of gun violence, but I can promise you they will not be my last,” she said.