A 24-year-old singer should not be more outspoken than the President of the United States when the deadliest shooting in modern American history takes place, but that didn’t stop Ariana Grande, who unfortunately has more experience with mass shootings than Donald Trump, not to mention over 10 million more Twitter followers than the president, from speaking out and saying what Trump didn’t after 58 people were killed and 500 more were injured at a concert in Las Vegas late on Sunday night—an incident Grande begged people to look at and call it what she and many others are saying it is: terrorism.
Terrorism, after all, was how both the attack at Grande’s concert earlier this year, where a bomb that ISIS claimed responsibility for killed 22 people and injured 59 more, as well as the shooting last year at an Eagles of Death Metal concert in Paris were labeled. The term has not been applied, however, to the Las Vegas shooting—in part, many of her followers seem to believe, because the gunman, a 64-year-old named Stephen Paddock, was a white man.
It’s not just Grande’s followers, though, who seem to think so: Lady Gaga, Gigi Hadid, Emmy Rossum, and many more have taken a step further than the celebrities who have been mourning the tragedy in their reactions—so much so that “terrorism”is now the top searched word on Merriam Webster’s website:
Grande, Gaga, and Hadid, however, aren’t just advocating for labels, but for something much larger, too: gun control, an issue which celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Julianne Moore have long gotten behind. In contrast to Trump’s single tweet, Kardashian, who’s said more about gun control over the years than Trump in one open letter alone, has so far posted 11 tweets about the Las Vegas shooting, retweeting those who are calling out NRA-supporting politicians like senator Tom Cotton for simply sending “#thoughtsandprayers” instead of acting to prevent gun violence.
Kardashian also retweeted Hillary Clinton‘s call to “stand up to the NRA,” Ellen DeGeneres’s call to “be outraged,” and John Legend’s use of the hashtag “#GunControlNow” before writing a tweet of her own, urging her 55 million followers to “join the movement to end gun violence” and sharing a list of centers in Las Vegas in need of blood donations.
Olivia Wilde, for her part, also shared the address of a blood donation center, as well as a call for trauma counselors and two informative articles about how the number of Americans who’ve died from gunshot wounds in the past decade now exceeds the number of Americans killed in World War II, and what America, which has the highest per capita ownership of guns than any other country, can learn from policies in places like Australia—the latter of which John Legend also shared “for those who say gun control doesn’t work.”
Kal Penn shared more statistics, while Julianne Moore retweeted a clip from CBS where Mark Kelly, Gabrielle Giffords’s husband, calls the shooting “domestic terrorism” and echoes Kardashian’s sentiments that “thoughts and prayers” are “not enough.” Moore then shared a number to text Congress about the NRA.
The White House, meanwhile, has said that it’s too “premature” to call the shooting an act of domestic terrorism, even though many disagree.
To be fair, Trump has of course offered his condolences to the victims and called out “the senseless murder of our fellow citizens,” while First Lady Melania Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan tweeted that all those involved were in their prayers. Not that that’s appeased the likes of Lady Gaga: “Prayers are important,” she tweeted at Ryan and Donald Trump, then brazenly continuing that “blood is on the hands of those who have power to legislate,” and taking care to add the hashtag “#GunControl.”
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