In the wake of the fatal movie theater shooting, in which 59-year-old John Russell Houser opened fire, killing 21-year-old Mayci Breaux, 33-year-old Jillian Johnson and injuring 9 more, the daughter of a Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting survivor wrote an open letter on Medium asking for Schumer to join the gun violence prevention movement.
Schumer took to Twitter to respond to Sarah Clements (who is self-described as the “daughter of Sandy Hook survivor, student activist for safer communities, gun violence prevention advocate”): “Her name was Mayci, not Marci and I think about her and Jillian everyday. Don’t worry I’m on it. You’ll see.”
— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) August 1, 2015
In her open letter, Clements writes in part, “I know deep down that the tweet you sent after the shooting was not all that you’ve got. And we need your voice in this movement. We need your help. Join your colleagues Sarah Silverman and Kristen Schaal. Join our movement. Write an op-ed. Support an organization. Demand change. 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.”
Clements also addresses the prevalence of violence against women, and the need for women’s voices:
All of these problems — the disgusting comments and harassment we receive on Twitter and other social media platforms, the obsession of many mass shooters (see the Isla Vista case) with anti-feminism and anti-women ideals, the over-idolization of firearms and fetishization of what they stand for, and the easy access to guns all stem from the same group of core ideologies that we must work to shut down.
We must shut them down because every day in the United States, five women are murdered with a gun. Women in our country are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than women in other high-income countries. And from 2001 through 2012, 6,410 women were murdered in the United States by an intimate partner using a gun — more than the total number of U.S. troops killed in action during the entirety of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined. Women of color are particularly disproportionately impacted by gun violence. These are mothers, daughters, sisters, our best friends.
This is the experience of women in a country overshadowed by rampant, targeted gun violence and fear and hatred of women by people who are armed. This is not freedom — at least not for women.
She also added her admiration and respect for Schumer, noting her fake birth control commercial (which parodies how it’s more difficult for women to obtain birth control than it is for a young boy to buy a gun) and her Ms. Gala award ceremony speech:
Amy Schumer, I and many other Millennials look up to you so much. You are our generation’s epitome of what it means to be a strong, powerful, self-aware champion for the experiences and truths of being a woman and an American today. I admire your unapologetic, unwavering stature and your ability to laugh at yourself while actually pinning the joke on the audience to address often uncomfortable truths. In fact, I have nearly memorized the very end of the speech you gave at the Ms. Gala award ceremony. You said:
“I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak… and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it. I stand here and I am amazing, for you. Not because of you… I am myself. And I am all of you…”
Clements finished her off letter stating,
As you said and as I’ve learned, what truly matters in life is how you decide to write your own story. And in doing so, don’t apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it. Instead, show them it can be done.
Update — Aug. 3, 3:15 p.m. ET:
On Monday (August 3, 2015), Schumer joined NY Democrat Sen. Charles Schumer, her second cousin once removed, to announce “a bill to reward states that submit records on felons, spousal abusers and the mentally ill to the federal background check system. It would penalize states that don’t.”
During the announcement, she commented, “These are not extreme ideas. 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.”