In the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that left 31 people dead, actor and activist Julianne Moore is urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to do something to protect people from rampant gun violence.
“I think it’s his responsibility to call the Senate back from recess and have a vote on universal background checks,” Moore said during an interview with BuzzFeed News’ Twitter morning show AM to DM set to air Thursday.
“It’s imperative," the Oscar winner said. "Gun violence is a public health crisis, and we all need to do everything to stop people from dying.”
The Senate is currently in recess, but McConnell, as majority leader, has the power to cut the recess short and call a vote on a bill that passed in the House of Representatives back in February that would require background checks on firearm sales.
Moore stopped by AM to DM with her husband, Bart Freundlich, and costar Billy Crudup to talk about their upcoming film, After the Wedding. She is active in the nonprofit groups Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
The actor told BuzzFeed News she’s been “very, very inspired” by the founder of Moms Demand Action, Shannon Watts, to get involved and hopefully even lead others toward activism around gun violence.
“I think as a parent and as a citizen, I realized that I wasn’t going to be keeping my children safe from gun violence unless I did something about it,” she said.
“When I went to Everytown and Moms Demand, I formed a creative council of actors and artists who are willing to speak out against gun violence. ... It’s more crucial than ever, obviously.”
The actor said she also attended the Gun Sense University convention in Washington, DC, back in May, where activists gather every year to share stories with one another and brainstorm other ways to make progress.
“You’re meeting people who are dealing with incredible pain, having lost loved ones, and they’re doing the work,” Moore said. “So I really do think it’s important for all of us [to do the work].”
Heading into the 2020 presidential election, the nonprofit groups Moore is involved in released a questionnaire at the convention for presidential candidates to fill out regarding their views on gun control.
Freundlich, who directed After the Wedding, and Moore have two children together, 21-year-old Caleb and 17-year-old Liv.
Freundlich told BuzzFeed News that his wife is a major inspiration for their family because of her nonprofit work and goal to raise awareness about gun violence — in addition to her successful acting career.
“She inspires me, and she inspires our son and our daughter,” Freundlich said. “And it’s just a reminder that she has this wonderful balance of creativity and this great big job and this feeling of social responsibility and just human responsibility. So it’s inspiring on many levels to be with her."
Watch AM to DM on Thursday at 10 a.m. ET for the full interview.