Comedian/actress Amy Schumer and her famous first cousin once removed (that would be Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York) joined forces Monday to call for more stringent gun control laws.

“I was heartbroken when I heard about Columbine, and Sandy Hook, and Aurora, and so many other names and places that are now seared into the American memory,” said the actress at a news conference held in New York. “I was heartbroken, again, when I heard about Lafayette. And I still am.”

On July 23, two people were shot and killed with a .40-caliber pistol during a showing of Schumer’s first major film, “Trainwreck,” at a movie theater in Lafayette, La.

The comedian’s voice shook as she spoke from the podium, refusing to mention the name of the man accused of the shooting. “We never know why people choose to do these painful things, but sadly we always find out how,” said Schumer, before adding that Sen. Schumer’s proposed legislation would address the “how.” A sign on the stage read “Schumer & Schumer: Enough is Enough.”

Last Friday, Sarah Clements, the daughter of a Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher and founder of the Junior Newtown Action Alliance, wrote an open letter to Schumer, urging the comedian to “Be a voice for our generation and for women  —  two groups who make up most of the victims of the gun violence in our country.”

Schumer’s response? “Don’t worry I’m on it.”


Actress Amy Schumer poses during the CinemaCon Big Screen Achievement Awards at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on April 23. (Steve Marcus/Reuters)

[The Lafayette theater shooting happened during ‘Trainwreck.’ Should Amy Schumer get involved in the gun debate now?]

The actress stayed true to her word Monday when she stood in support of Cousin Chuck’s three-point plan to curb gun violence. Schumer’s proposed “common sense” legislation includes strengthening background checks for those looking to purchase firearms, particularly for mentally ill and violent criminals; urging Congress to continue funding mental health programs; and creating monetary rewards for states that submit all records to the background check system and penalizing states that don’t.

“If there is anything that the mass shootings in Lafayette, Chattanooga, Charleston, Virginia Tech, Aurora, Sandy Hook and so many other places have taught us,” said the senator, “it’s that we should be doing everything in our power to prevent weapons from falling into the hands of hateful evil-doers and the mentally ill — however, the U.S. is not doing enough and too many lives are at stake.”

Schumer the comedian added later, “These are my first public comments on the issue of gun violence — I can promise you this: They will not be my last.”