Celebs and Politicians Call for Gun Control Following Dayton Shooting: 'We Have to Do Better'
Twenty-nine people were killed over the weekend in separate mass shootings in Texas and Ohio
The second mass shooting in the United States in less than 24 hours brought pain, heartache and a renewed sense of urgency for gun control from celebrities and politicians alike.
Just hours after 20 people were killed in a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, at least nine people died in a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, on a popular street near the Ned Peppers bar.
The shooter, who has not been identified, was killed, and another 26 people were injured, Dayton police said.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley wrote on Twitter that she was “heartbroken” in a message that also thanked first responders.
Her grief extended far past the local community, with senators, congressmen and women, and presidential hopefuls all sharing similar sentiments.
“According to authorities, 9 people were killed and 26 were injured in the Dayton shooting. It lasted less than a minute. Less than a minute,” Kamala Harris, who is a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and California senator, wrote on Twitter. “We cannot remain idle and allow this level of carnage to ravage our communities. We need courage. We need to act.”
Fellow presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, who is a senator from Massachusetts, also wrote a Twitter message demanding “urgent action.”
“We’re waking up to the second mass shooting in as many days. I’m heartsick for the 29 people killed this weekend in El Paso and Dayton-and all the other lives we lose every day to senseless gun violence,” the Democrat wrote. “We need to take urgent action to end the gun violence epidemic.”
Beto O’Rourke, a former congressman from Texas who was born in El Paso, spoke out following the mass shooting in his hometown.
“My heart is broken. For El Paso. For Dayton. For everyone who is impacted by the 40,000 gun deaths in our country every year,” the Democratic presidential hopeful wrote. “It’s on each and every one of us to end this crisis – and together, I still have faith that we will.”
Republican politicians also used Twitter to express their condolences for the victims of the shooting.
Former Ohio Governor John Kasich wrote, “We are all devastated to learn of what happened early this morning in Dayton. It’s absolutely heartbreaking and I commend the brave first responders who acted so quickly to save lives.”
He elaborated in a second tweet, writing it was “well past time that our leaders take steps to find sensible solutions to reduce this gun violence.”
Speaker of the Ohio House Larry Householder offered prayers to the victims and their families.
“Our hearts are heavy this Sunday morning as our family joins all Ohioans to mourn the loss of innocent lives from the senseless tragedy in Dayton,” he wrote. “The innocent victims & their families are in our prayers. We commend first responders whose bravery & faithful courage saved lives.”
President Donald Trump also addressed his followers on Twitter about the shootings.
“The FBI, local and state law enforcement are working together in El Paso and in Dayton, Ohio. Information is rapidly being accumulated in Dayton. Much has already be [sic] learned in El Paso. Law enforcement was very rapid in both instances. Updates will be given throughout the day!” he wrote. “God bless the people of El Paso Texas. God bless the people of Dayton, Ohio.”
His daughter Ivanka Trump, however, went a step further, labeling the shootings acts of “terror.”
“As our nation mourns the senseless loss of life in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio and prays for the victims and their loved ones, we must also raise our voices in rejection of these heinous and cowardly acts of hate, terror and violence,” she wrote. “May God hold the victims, their families and the El Paso and Dayton communities tightly in his loving arms.”
Geraldo Rivera, a Fox News pundit and friend of Donald Trump’s, responded to the president’s tweet calling for blessings upon the victims, and wrote that as a country, “we need more than God’s blessing.”
“We need decisive action on the ground: an assault weapons ban, universal background checks, age limits on purchases of military-style assault weapons-How many more slaughters of innocents can our nation suffer before we take action?” he wrote, later accusing politicians of being “chicken s-“ for not passing gun control laws.
“If these shooters had been Islamic extremists we would be declaring war and reopening internment camps,” he continued. “We must face the fact that the real enemy is much closer to home.”
In addition to politicians, celebrities like Kelsea Ballerini, Julianne Moore and Don Cheadle tweeted their desire for more gun control.
“Went to bed feeling sick for El Paso and woke up feeling sick for Dayton,” country singer Ballerini wrote. “To every person affected personally by these two acts of hate, I am just so, so sorry. But sorry isn’t good enough. We have to do better. Now.”
Moore, meanwhile, wrote that her “outrage is exhausted, replaced by resolve to #EndGunViolence.”
Don Cheadle took a simpler approach, responding to a tweet about banning assault weapons with the word “vote” several dozen times.
The Dayton shooting followed a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, inside a Walmart in which 20 people were killed and 26 were injured.
Police arrested a 21-year-old male suspect in El Paso and authorities are investigating the shooting as a hate crime after learning the suspect apparently wrote a manifesto with white nationalist themes, a source familiar with the investigation tells PEOPLE.