More than 100 public figures from Arianna Huffington to Lady Gaga have put their signatures to a full page-advert in the New York Times demanding change to America’s gun laws in the wake of last week’s shooting at a Connecticut school.
It states: “The time has come for courage. The Courage to make our schools and workplaces, our shopping malls and movie theatres -- all the places we share every day -- safe from gun violence. The courage to stand up to the NRA -- to put human life ahead of extreme ideology. The courage to ban weapons of mass murder that at anytime, anywhere, can turn America into a killing field."
Continuing: "We cannot let the latest massacre fade into memory -- another horrible headline followed by indifference and inaction," the ad continues. "We must speak for those whose voices will never be heard again. e must speak truth to those in power -- and insist that now is the time to do what is right instead of pandering before merchants of death."
Signatories included Martha Stewart, MC Hammer and Goldie Hawn in support of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ Deman a Plan campaign being spearheaded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The piece sites figures from ABC news claiming that among the world’s 23 wealthiest nations 80 per cent of all gun deaths are American deaths and 87 per cent of all kids killed by guns are American kids.”
The nation is mourning the deaths of 20 six and seven-year-olds and six women who were killed when gunman Adam Lanza burst into Sandy Hook Elementary school last Friday.
The advert’s sentiments echo those of the American government. President Obama, who attended an inter-faith vigil in Newtown at the weekend, said that “if there is even one thing that we can do to prevent any of these events, we have a deep obligation, all of us, to try”.
Vice-President Joe Biden will head a group of Obama cabinet members and others from beyond the administration in coming up with the formulate new proposals to reduce gun violence in America.