Comedian Amy Schumer issued an impassioned call for gun control legislation alongside her cousin, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York), at his office in New York City on Monday.
Amy, who said the cause became “extremely personal” for her when two people were killed during a showing of her hit movie “Trainwreck” in Louisiana last month, said she isn’t concerned about facing a “backlash” from her gun control push.
“I am expecting a backlash and I’ll handle it the way I’ve handled it the last 10 years,” Schumer said. “I’ve had death threats and a lot of hate directed towards me, but I’m someone who — I want to be proud of the way I’m living and what I stand for.”
At times during the press conference, Amy seemed to be holding back tears. Like much of her comedy, “Trainwreck” has been widely considered a feminist work. The shooter, whom Amy refused to name, was found to have espoused many misogynistic views before he opened fire in the theatre.
Business Insider asked Amy whether the shooting and some of the criticism her work has faced made her think feminism is under attack in the US. Amy said any assault on feminism would just make her and other women “fight harder” for equality.
“I got about a million emails from friends telling me it could have been any movie and I’m trying to believe that, but I’m not sure,” Amy said of the Louisiana shooting. “I think the idea of women — women’s equality making anyone upset is not something I’ll ever understand. I think women are always in a great threat of violence just statistically, but I know personally that I’m someone — and the people I’m close to know — when these sort of things happen, we mourn and then we get angry. And it will just make us fight harder, and rise up, and rally together to fight against this kind of violence and any other kind of aggression that comes toward us.”
Chuck Schumer described the legislation and other proposals he and his cousin unveiled on Monday as a “three pronged plan” for “reasonable limits on the Second Amendment.”
Their proposals included legislation that would reward states that provide all necessary records to the federal gun sale background check system and fine those that do not. They also are publicly calling Congress to fully fund mental health and substance abuse programs and asking the Department of Justice to review standards for involuntary commitment in each state.
Amy vowed Monday’s event would not be the end of her advocacy for gun control.
“The time is now for the American people to rally for these changes,” she said. “These are my first public comments on the issue of gun violence, but I can promise you they will not be my last.”
The pair also described their familial connection and how they teamed up for this gun control push.
“We’re cousins,” Chuck explained. “Her father Gordon and I are second cousins. Our grandfathers were brothers.”
The senator said he and Amy’s dad used to “play stickball” together when they were growing up. Chuck said he decided to reach out to Amy following her initial comments on the Louisiana shooting.
“Before I said anything, she said to me … ‘I hope you’re going to call me to do something about gun violence,” Chuck recounted.
After the initial call, Amy said the pair “brainstormed.”
“One thing Amy was certain on is she wanted to do something that was effective, but could actually pass,” Chuck said. “That was sort of speaking my language.”
According to Amy, she had “a lot of say” on the legislation and other proposals.
“I’m pretty stubborn,” she said.
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