A couple days ago, Amy Schumer responded to an open letter calling for her to tackle the issue of gun violence after the tragic Lafayette theater shooting. She tweeted, "I’m on it. You’ll see." Now, we’ve learned what she had up her sleeve. The comedienne has teamed up with New York senator (and her cousin) Chuck Schumer for a new campaign that will attempt to reduce mass shootings in the country.
USA Today reports that Schumer’s efforts will have three parts. The first is a piece of legislation that Senator Schumer will introduce shortly. It will reward states that submit all necessary records to background check systems by providing funding. Those states that don’t submit these records will be penalized. The second act involves the Department of Justice. The Schumers plan to call on them to release information about "involuntary mental health commitments" and to make recommendations to states on how to handle them. Third, the duo plans to take this fight to Congress, advocating for the funding of mental health and substance abuse programs.
The shooting in Lafayette is certainly not the first such incident to take place in a movie theater, let alone the first mass shooting, and that’s the point behind this campaign: these tragedies keep happening. On July 23 at The Grand Theatre in Lafayette, Louisiana, just before a 7 p.m. screening of Schumer’s Trainwreck, John Houser stood up and fired randomly into the dimmed theater. Two women — Mayci Breaux, 21, and Jillian Johnson, 33 — were killed before Houser took his own life. At the time, Schumer tweeted her sympathy for the victims.
More recently, Sarah Clements, the daughter of a survivor of the infamous Sandy Hook shooting, wrote an open letter to Schumer on Medium.com. In it, she described the efforts of women leading the charge against gun violence, and asked the actress to use her platform to make greater change in this regard. Schumer, then, responded directly to the letter.
Accompanying the announcement of their joint venture, Chuck Schumer posted to Twitter and called for people to join their action.
Earlier this morning, Schumer tweeted that she will be on The Daily Show tonight. It seems likely that she'll be discussing these efforts more in depth with host Jon Stewart.