Amy Schumer is this summer’s “it” girl. One can’t pick up a magazine, turn on the radio or TV without hearing about comedian Amy Schumer or her new movie, “Trainwreck.”
But now the actress is making headlines for a different reason, that is she has come out to endorse tougher gun laws in the wake of a shooting at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, that left two people dead and nine others injured.
The movie theater was playing Trainwreck. Schumer, who is a distant cousin of pro-gun control Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), held a press conference on Monday to advocate for universal background checks.
“These are not extreme ideas,” said Amy Schumer, standing beside Sen. Chuck Schumer. “No one wants to live in a country where a felon, the mentally ill or other dangerous people can get their hands on a gun with such ease.”
“These shootings have got to stop,” she added. “I don’t know how else to say it.”
John Russell Houser, the gunman responsible for the shooting, had a history of mental-illness but nevertheless passed a background check when purchasing a handgun in Phoenix City, Alabama, in February of 2014.
Apparently, Houser’s prior mental history was not reported to or documented in the NICS database, which the FBI uses to run background checks. Obviously, the NICS system should be kept up to date and all pertinent information should be submitted. Not many disagree on this point.
The larger question I have for Schumer is whether she really thinks laws of any sort, let alone background checks, will stop crazed individuals from taking innocent lives?
As Breitbart.com pointed out, all of these individuals passed background checks and ended up breaking all sorts of laws in grotesque fashion:
Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez (Chattanooga), Dylann Roof (Charleston), Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi (Garland), Jared and Amanda Miller (Las Vegas), Elliot Rodger (Santa Barabara), Ivan Lopez (Fort Hood 2014), Darion Marcus Aguilar (Maryland mall), Karl Halverson Pierson (Arapahoe High School), Paul Ciancia (LAX), Andrew John Engeldinger (Minneapolis), Aaron Alexis (DC Navy Yard), Tennis Melvin Maynard (West Virginia), Wade Michael Page (Sikh Temple), James Holmes (Aurora theater), Jared Loughner (Tucson), Nidal Hasan (Fort Hood 2009), Jiverly Wong (Binghamton), Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech), Naveed Haq (Seattle), and Mark Barton (Atlanta).
Schumer’s instinct is not wrong. These shootings have to stop. I agree. But coming to a sensible conclusion on the best way to eliminate or at least mitigate the damage done by these killers has to be the goal.
While many agree that Fixing NICS, improving the data in the system, is a step in the right direction, ultimately the solutions for stopping these shootings lies in improving mental health treatment for those at-risk individuals and ensuring that law-abiding citizens have a means to protect themselves in every place they have a lawful right to be. Put another way, we double down on efforts to help those with mental illness and eradicate gun-free zones.