Updated with video: Amy Schumer visited Jon Stewart on his final week hosting The Daily Show to plug her new movie Trainwreck — and also mention, uncomfortably, a morning news conference at which she’d plugged new legislation that would attempt to keep mentally unstable people from purchasing guns.
“This horrible thing. This crazy shooting that happened, that must have rocked you to your core,” Stewart said of the two women shot to death while watching Schumer’s movie on July 23 by a man with a handgun and a decades-long history of mental health problems.
“Yeah, what a bummer. I was legit heartbroken,” Schumer said, uncomfortably.
“I got a call … and assumed there was a sex tape of me out, or something. To hear that news broke my heart. I did a press conference this morning with Charles Schumer, who I’m related to – give it up for Chuck! The second this happened, you want to go down there, and so, yeah this has been in the works and I’m so happy he asked to be part of it.”
Stewart said he wished her well on that, and they quickly returned to more comfortable territory: plugging her movie, her Hamptons encounter with Jennifer Lawrence and her career.
Hours earlier, Schumer was far more eloquent and impassioned when she joined Sen. Schumer, D-NY, to call for stronger background checks on potential gun buyers.
“Unless something is done and done soon, dangerous people will continue to get their hands on guns – we know what can happen when they do,” the comic said at that news conference, promoted to media as Schumer & Schumer: Enough Is Enough.
“I was heartbroken when I heard about Columbine, and Sandy Hook, and Aurora, and so many other names of places that are seared into our memories,” she said. “And I was heartbroken, again, when I heard about Lafayette — I still am.”
Trainwreck was playing in the theater where John Houser shot and killed Jillian Johnson and Mayci Breaux, also injuring nine others before killing himself with his gun.
“Preventing dangerous people from getting guns is very possible,” the comedian told reporters in her first public comments on the issue of gun violence since the July 23 shooting.
“I have a lot of press conferences, but I almost never get this much attention,” said the three-term senator. Citing the NRA, he also noted “we are up against a very powerful lobby.”
The comedian and the senator, who reportedly is the comic’s second cousin once removed, announced a bill rewarding states submitting records to a federal background check system, on felons, domestic abusers and the mentally ill. States that do not submit those records would be penalized.
Both Schumers said they also want the Justice Department to survey states’ standards for involuntary commitment to mental health facilities.
Over the weekend, a daughter of a Sandy Hook massacre survivor wrote an open letter to Amy Schumer, saying, “I know deep down that the tweet you sent after the shooting was not all that you’ve got. … 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.” To which Schumer had responded, via Twitter: “Don’t worry I’m on it. You’ll see.”