Celebrities and activists are demanding action after mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton
The list of mass shootings in America continues to grow with no end in sight, despite activists’ repeated calls to pass gun control legislation. Recently, two more mass shootings took place, reigniting debates about how to stop gun violence and how to tackle white nationalism.
On August 3rd, a gunman opened fire in an El Paso, Texas, Walmart, killing at least 20 people, according to CNN. The news outlet reports that local authorities believe the shooter wrote a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto, which contained several white nationalist talking points. The next day, August 4th, a man killed nine people—including his younger sister—in a Dayton, Ohio, shooting, per The New York Times. It is unclear what motivated the Dayton shooter. According to the Times, the gunman used an “assault-style rifle” in the attack, which he obtained legally.
These tragedies left many Americans shocked and heartbroken. Several celebrities and activists renewed their calls for gun control reform.
Gun control activist and Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg called for Congress to stage an emergency session.
20 people died in El Paso, TX
9 people died in Dayton, OH
33 were shot in Chicago, IL
Congress and the Senate are on vacation while our nation bleeds out—
They need to have an #EmergencySession on gun violence prevention right now.
— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) August 4, 2019
Actress Mia Farrow pointed out that blaming mass shootings on things like video games misses the big picture.
Other countries have mental illness, internet and video games. They do not have frequent mass shootings
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) August 5, 2019
John Legend made a plea for Congress to both enact gun control and address the threat of white nationalism.
My heart aches for El Paso and Dayton. Our nation is experiencing these traumas far too often and we need our leaders to take urgent action: take these weapons of war off the street and fight the evil ideology of white nationalism that motivates many of these terrorists.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) August 4, 2019
Lili Reinhart asked “Who has to die for laws to change?”
I am sick to my stomach over what has happened in El Paso today. I can’t believe this is happening in my country and no one is doing anything about it. Who has to die for laws to change?
— Lili Reinhart (@lilireinhart) August 3, 2019
Lizzo, who has family in Dayton, tweeted that she felt “helpless” and urged her followers to vote.
Just got off the phone w/ fam in Dayton… it was a close call for them but that’s not the case for 9 other families
between this & the terrorist attack in El Paso & recent other shootings I feel completely helpless.. make noise & bring awareness.. vote.. don’t normalize this
— |L I Z Z O| (@lizzo) August 4, 2019
Comedian Aparna Nancherla succinctly summed up the problem with “thoughts and prayers.”
“thoughts and prayers” is sure a nice way of saying “i have blood on my hands & money duct taped across my mouth”
— Aparna Nancherla (@aparnapkin) August 5, 2019
Many expressed anger at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell because, as USA Today notes, he has prevented the Senate from voting on bipartisan legislation requiring background checks for gun sales.
We have now daily terrorist attacks in the U.S. #HR8 gun legislation already passed in the House but @senatemajldr refuses to put it to a vote. Our elected leaders continue to prize personal gain over our nation’s safety and we all suffer a collective PTSD. #ThisIsAmerica
— Padma Lakshmi (@PadmaLakshmi) August 4, 2019
We don’t need to hear from the President this morning. We need to hear from Attorney General Bill Barr with a plan to investigate, infiltrate & prosecute white supremacist violence. We need to hear Mitch McConnell agree to move gun legislation through the Senate.
— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sifill_LDF) August 5, 2019
If I get gunned down by a White supremacist while ordering yogurt or shopping for underwear please bury me in Mitch McConnell’s office. It’s his responsibility.
— Akilah Hughes (@AkilahObviously) August 4, 2019
It’s hard not to feel hopeless after tragedies like these, but there are some things you can do to help stop mass shootings—even if they seem small. Consider donating to organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety, and be sure to call your elected officials and demand that they take action. Our hearts are broken for Dayton and El Paso, but we need to keep fighting for change.
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