Jason Alexander waded into the gun control debate that was re-ignited after a shooting at a "Dark Knight Rises" showing in Aurora left 12 people dead and 59 injured. Alexander first expressed his horror at the early Friday morning incident:
After many started defending the legality of assault weapons and high capacity magazines (Sen. Ron Johnson went so far as to say buying the latter is a constitutional right), Alexander focused his critique into a policy position:
That tweet sent off a firestorm of support and hate, with many tweeting wildly and aggressively at Alexander. The actor and director then clarified his thoughts in an extremely long tweet (it was hosted on TwitLonger), in which he made the following points:
Clearly, the angry, threatened and threatening, hostile comments are coming from gun owners and gun advocates. Despite these massacres recurring and despite the 100,000 Americans that die every year due to domestic gun violence - these people see no value to even considering some kind of control as to what kinds of weapons are put in civilian hands.
He then went on to explain why he believes the constitutional argument applies mostly to those in a militia, and that arguments like those comparing guns to tomatoes and "drunk drivers kill, should we ban fast cars" are "completely specious":
I believe tomatoes and cars have purposes other than killing. What purpose does an AR-15 serve to a sportsman that a more standard hunting rifle does not serve? Let's see - does it fire more rounds without reload? Yes. Does it fire farther and more accurately? Yes. Does it accommodate a more lethal payload? Yes. So basically, the purpose of an assault style weapon is to kill more stuff, more fully, faster and from further away. To achieve maximum lethality. Hardly the primary purpose of tomatoes and sports cars.
In the end, Alexander framed the argument simply: "We will not prevent every tragedy. We cannot stop every maniac. But we certainly have done ourselves no good by allowing these particular weapons to be acquired freely by just about anyone."
For more from Alexander, be sure to check out the whole post. Elsewhere, Ice-T shared pro-gun sentiments and Heath Ledger's dad fell on Alexander's side. In Aurora, Rep. Ed Perlmutter announced he would re-introduce a ban on assault weapons to Congress. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg took President Obama and Mitt Romney to task for ducking the gun control debate in the aftermath of the horrific shooting.
Of course, this being the internet, not everyone who expressed their opinion was on Alexander's side. To his credit, he's re-tweeting most of his haters (most of whom don't have the most measured responses):