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'It’s not too soon, it’s too late': Stars for gun control

In the wake of the massacre at a primary school in Connecticut, a slew of stars, including Cameron Diaz, Beyoncé, and Jon Hamm, appear in a sober new video calling on US citizens to act for stricter gun control legislation.

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US celebrities have been known to lend their voices to political and civil rights causes –most notably, to campaigns for marriage equality in recent years.

Now, an array of popular film, TV and music stars can be seen in a new video demanding “a plan to end gun violence” in the wake of the massacre at a primary school in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 26 dead –including 20 children– on December 14.

The short, black-and-white video features actors like Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Michelle Williams, Julianne Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeremy Renner, and Jon Hamm, as well as singer Beyoncé, each saying a word or short phrase in an effort to incite Americans to take action.

‘How many more?’

The video kicks off with Jamie Foxx (the star of Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming “Django Unchained”) saying “Columbine”, followed by other celebrities naming the sites of earlier US shootings –Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora, Fort Hood, Oak Creek– before several of them say “Newtown”.

“How many more?” various performers ask, before getting to the pitch: “Demand a plan….it’s not too soon. It’s too late.”

The video has been released by “Demand a Plan”, a campaign of 800 mayors along with “800,000 grass roots supporters”, according to the group's website, calling on President Barack Obama and Congress to pass “common sense legislation” prohibiting illegal guns.

The campaign’s proposals include requiring a background check for every potential gun buyer, banning assault weapons and guns holding more than 10 bullets, and making gun trafficking a federal crime.

Though both Republicans and Democrats have long treaded lightly when it comes to implementing restrictions on America’s second constitutional amendment, Obama last week called for a new gun control policy within the next month. The president urged Congress to reinstate the federal assault weapons ban that expired in 2004, and said Vice President Joe Biden would lead the initiative to craft new proposals aiming to reduce gun violence.

Meanwhile, after a week of much-criticised silence following the massacre in Connecticut, the NRA, a powerful pro-gun lobby, held a press conference on Friday. The group’s vice-president, Wayne LaPierre, suggested that armed police be placed in every school: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” he said. 

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