Gun control: Celebs who have passionately spoken up about the issue

Most people will tell you that talking politics is a no-win situation, and usually it is, but sometimes there are issues that people can't help but feel passionate about. The topic of gun control is among them. 

While it's generally ill-advised for a celebrity's "brand" to engage in political debates, some stars feel it's their patriotic duty to use their prominent soapboxes to stir others to action — or inaction, depending on how they feel about gun control, which is just as polarizing in Hollywood as it is across America. 

Here are the celebs that let it be known where they stand on this hot-button issue.

Chrissy Teigen & John Legend

Model Chrissy Teigen's Twitter game is so good that even advanced AI robots are mesmerized by her tweets. While the sassy supermodel's tweets are predominantly entertaining, Teigen and her musician husband John Legend aren't afraid to get political. In fact, Teigen even received death threats after calling out America's gun problem.

Shortly after the U.S. Senate failed to pass a series of gun control measures in 2016, Legend took senators to task for allegedly backing down to the powerful National Rifle Association. "You don't get to talk 'tough on terror' if you're too afraid of the NRA to do anything about guns. You're a coward," Legend tweeted

True to form, Teigen latched onto Legend's tweets by mocking the reactions she often receives from gun control critics. "No John. My right to own 7 AR-15's is more important than your 'COMFORT,'" she sarcastically tweeted. "Used 2 respect u! Stick to music. Unfollow."

Kurt Russell

During a 2015 interview to promote Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight, Kurt Russell got into a heated exchange about gun control with film writer Jeffrey Wells. While referring to the San Bernardino shooting that left 14 dead during an office holiday party, Wells asked Russell what he thought about the violence portrayed in Tarantino's movies and the current cultural anxiety about when the next shooting will occur. In response, Russell launched into a fiery tirade against gun control.

"If you think gun control is going to change the terrorists' point of view, I think you're, like, out of your mind," the actor said. 

When Wells brought up that President Obama was trying to close loopholes preventing terrorist suspects on no-fly lists from buying firearms, Russell again balked at the notion of restricting gun ownership. "They can also make a bomb pretty easily," Russell said. "So what? They can also get knives and stab you. Whaddaya gonna do about that? They can also get cars and run you over. Whaddaya gonna do about that?"

Amy Schumer

On July 23, 2015, John Russell Houser opened fire at a screening of Trainwreck in Lafayette, La., leaving three dead. In the aftermath, authorities learned that Houser intentionally targeted the film due to writer and star Amy Schumer's feminist beliefs and Jewish background, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The incident understandably shook Schumer, who told Vanity Fair in early 2016 that she wished that she never wrote the movie.

Schumer soon found her resolve and some family help. The comedian joined forces with her second cousin, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer, to hold a press conference in New York calling for stricter gun laws. "No one wants to live in a country where a felon, the mentally ill, or other dangerous people can get their hands on a gun with such ease," the Comedy Central star said (via Politico). "The time is now for the American people to rally for these changes."

She added, "These are my first public comments on the issue of gun violence — I can promise you this: They will not be my last."

Adam Baldwin

Adam Baldwin is known in geek circles for his fan-favorite roles on Firefly and Chuck, but the actor also has a reputation for voicing his conservative viewpoints on Twitter and pushing back against calls for gun control

After the 2018 tragedy in Parkdale, Baldwin made it clear that he wasn't changing his stance anytime soon and fired back at fellow celebs by saying the solution to school shootings is more guns. "Again, the shooter was stopped by people with firearms," Baldwin tweeted. "Schools need armed security and volunteer staff members with CCW."

In response to a Florida teacher who told CNN that the government is failing to protect students by not making stronger gun laws, Baldwin tweeted about the officers who rushed to the scene. "When seconds count, government is only minutes away," he said. 

Ellen DeGeneres

When Schumer launched her impassioned plea for gun control after the shooting during one of her movie viewings, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres immediately hopped on Twitter to cheer on her fellow comedian. "I support you and I love you," DeGeneres tweeted to Schumer. "Thank you for speaking up for gun control today."

DeGeneres also demanded America do something about gun violence after the deadly 2018 school shooting in Parkdale. "No words, no actions, no laws are enough until we end this epidemic of school shootings in our country," she tweeted. "My heart is with the students and parents of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School."

Bruce Willis

After Adam Lanza used an AR-15 to murder 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, America found itself on the verge of getting very serious about gun control, but action star Bruce Willis rejected the notion that the country needed to restrict gun ownership.

"I think that you can't start to pick apart anything out of the Bill of Rights without thinking that it's all going to become undone," Wills told The Associated Press (via the Los Angeles Times). "If you take one out or change one law, then why wouldn't they take all your rights away from you?"

Willis also didn't agree on the growing call to ban rifles like the one used at Sandy Hook. "It's a difficult thing and I really feel bad for those families," Willis said. "I'm a father and it's just a tragedy. But I don't know how you legislate insanity. I don't know what you do about it. I don't even know how you begin to stop that."

Alyssa Milano

In the wake of the October 2017 Las Vegas shooting where 58 people were killed and 851 were injured, actress Alyssa Milano used her activist website Patriot NOT Partisan to highlight members of the House and Senate that have taken money from the NRA. She also tweeted a video of the 58 victims and bluntly stated: "Gun control now."

Following the 2018 Parkdale school shooting, Milano once again called for gun control on Twitter while also promoting Love is Louder, "a community of people working together to create a world where we all feel more connected and supported" and presumably less inclined to shoot each other.

Vince Vaughn

In a 2015 interview with British GQ, actor Vince Vaughn made it abundantly clear that he opposes gun control, asserting that citizens needed to be armed to protect themselves from the government.

"I support people having a gun in public full stop, not just in your home," Vaughn said. "We don't have the right to bear arms because of burglars; we have the right to bear arms to resist the supreme power of a corrupt and abusive government. It's not about duck hunting; it's about the ability of the individual. It's the same reason we have freedom of speech."

As for preventing school shootings, Vaughn's solution involves more guns. "In all of our schools it is illegal to have guns on campus, so again and again these guys go and shoot up these f***ing schools because they know there are no guns there," Vaughn said. "You think the politicians that run my country and your country don't have guns in the schools their kids go to? They do."

Chelsea Handler

Chelsea Handler ramped up her support for gun control in 2017 after President Trump removed restrictions on the mentally ill buying guns. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Handler also said it's important for celebrities to speak up and not be afraid to get political.

"We're way behind the times in terms of gun control in this country, and it doesn't seem like it's going anywhere anytime soon," Handler said. "Our voices just need to keep getting louder, and the people that make an impact need to really just step up and stick their necks out a little bit more."

After the Las Vegas shooting, Handler dedicated a portion of her Netflix show to ending gun violence, and she was fierce in her reaction to the 2018 shooting in Parkdale. "It is disgusting how many times this has happened and Republicans do nothing. You all have blood on your hands," she said.

Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert may be hesitant to talk about politics after watching the Dixie Chicks get blacklisted from country music stations for criticizing President George W. Bush, but Lambert did get fired up about the gun control debate in a 2013 interview with The Boot.

"Obviously, I have my concealed handgun carry license, I'm pro on guns and I'm a hunter, so for me, that's what I use guns for, protection and hunting." she said. "I've always been that way, it's the way I grew up. But some people don't feel like they need guns and that's their prerogative. But I do think that we should each have a choice of one or the other."

The country star addressed the difficulty of holding a civil discussion about guns. "I don't ever talk politics," she said. "…It doesn't matter what I say, I feel like I'll piss somebody off. All I know is you can pretty much see where I stand on everything. I have two guns tattooed on my arm, that's all I need to say."

Kim Kardashian

When it comes to deep political commentary, Kim Kardashian probably isn't the first person that comes to mind. However, the internet-breaking reality star has been using her sizable soapbox to fiercely advocate for gun control. In 2017, she took President Donald Trump to task for weakening existing gun laws shortly after taking office.

"In February of this year, President [Donald] Trump actually signed a bill revoking a regulation recommended by President [Barack] Obama that would have added 75,000 names of people with registered mental illnesses to a national background check database," Kardashian wrote on her app (via ET Online). "This is crazy!"

After the February 2018 school shooting in Parkdale, Fla. that left more than 17 dead, Kardashian was one of the first celebrities to call for Congress to take action. "We owe it to our children and our teachers to keep them safe while at school," she tweeted. "Prayers won't do this: action will. Congress, please do your job and protect Americans from senseless gun violence."

Ted Nugent

When it comes to being pro-gun, there's perhaps no celebrity more famous for their love of firearms than Ted Nugent. The rocker is extremely passionate about the second amendment, but his use of  anti-Semitic arguments to defend gun rights has landed him in hot water in the past.

In a 2016 Facebook post, Nugent shared a photo of Jewish politicians that referred to New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg as "Jew York City mayor." In the caption, Nugent wrote, "Know these punks. They hate freedom, they hate good over evil, they would deny us the basic human right to self defense & to KEEP & BEAR ARMS while many of them have tax paid hired ARMED security! Know them well. Tell every1 you know how evil they are. Let us raise maximum hell to shut them down!"

According to Time, the Anti-Defamation League condemned Nugent's post and requested that he delete it. Considering that post is still available on the rocker's Facebook page, you can guess how that went.

Tim McGraw & Faith Hill

Despite the fact that the Las Vegas shooting targeted an outdoor country music festival, many country artists have declined to vocalize their opinions on gun control, including Jason Aldean, who was onstage in Vegas when the shooting happened. Why?

Rolling Stone claims the NRA has a "grip on Nashville" and that there's significant overlap between pro-gun Americans and country music fans. However, country superstars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are singing a different tune.

"There is some common sense that's necessary when it comes to gun control," McGraw told Billboard. "They want to make it about the Second Amendment every time it's brought up. It's not about the Second Amendment."

"In reference to the tragedy in Las Vegas, we knew a lot of people there," Hill said. "The doctors that [treated] the wounded, they saw wounds like you'd see in war. That's not right. Military weapons should not be in the hands of civilians. It's everyone's responsibility, including the government and the National Rifle Association, to tell the truth. We all want a safe country."

Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie once famously promised that they wouldn't get married until it was legal for everyone in America to get married. Granted, they didn't stick to that promise, but you probably assumed that, like most of Hollywood, the former power couple leaned to the left when it comes to politics. However, it turns out these two are against gun control and have said as much.

"I absolutely don't believe you can put sanctions or shackles on what is made," Pitt told British magazine Live (via SFGate). "America is a country founded on guns. It's in our DNA. It's very strange but I feel better having a gun. I really do. I don't feel safe, I don't feel the house is completely safe, if I don't have one hidden somewhere. That's my thinking, right or wrong."

According to Forbes, Pitt and Jolie bonded over their love of shooting, and the two even had a pair of handguns customized by Jesse James. 

While Brangelina have since split, there have been no signs that the stars have lost their love for firearms.