Less than a month after over 50 people died in a deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas, celebrities are once again using their platforms to mourn the victims of another tragedy and push for better gun control.
On Sunday, at least 26 people were killed after a gunman opened fire in a rural Texas church. According to the New York Times, the gunman (identified as 26-year-old Devin Kelley) was wearing a ballistic vest and using a military-style rifle when he attacked worshippers shortly after service began at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. The victims ranged in age from 5 to 72, including several children, the preacher's 14-year-old daughter, and a pregnant woman, the Times reports. Twenty others were wounded.
In the wake of the tragedy, several stars have used social media to mourn the victims and give condolences to their loved ones. "Just nothing," tweeted Josh Groban. "No words. Numb. Again. May everyone affected in Texas rest in and find peace." Britney Spears offered, "My heart breaks over the news coming out of Texas 💔 My prayers are with the Sutherland Springs community 🙏." And Mark Ruffalo tweeted, "Love to the dear folks and families and friends to those lost in today’s Sutherland Springs shooting. We are all in this together."
But many more voiced frustration with the relentlessness of mass shootings, calling for better gun regulation while expressing their grief. "I am absolutely heartbroken over the shooting today in #SutherlandSprings Texas," tweeted Reese Witherspoon. "💔 #PrayForTexas #EnoughIsEnough #StopGunViolence." Meanwhile, Shonda Rhimes wrote a reminder that regular mass shootings are preventable. "As a citizen and a mother, I am tired of death by shooting being treated as an unpleasant side effect of freedom," she wrote. "That is not freedom. That is not democracy. Responsible gun owners can't possibly agree with this."
Lady Gaga chimed in as well, with a subtle dig at many pundits' go-to response in the aftermath of shootings. "Prayers for #SanAntonio and all the families who are suffering the loss of loved ones," she wrote. "I’ll pray also for #GunControl."