Bradley Cooper, Jessica Alba and Jon Hamm Among 100 Celebrities Praising President Obama for New Gun-Control Measures
01/08/2016 AT 02:55 PM EST
"Like you, and like most Americans, we have had ENOUGH. We have had enough of seeing unthinkable tragedies happen and nothing being done," reads a letter signed by the stars and organized by the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence. "This level of depravity should rattle anyone with a conscience. We have seen how it has visibly."
The letter names recent mass shootings – from Sandy Hook to San Bernardino – as evidence that action needs to be taken.
"Thank you for protecting our rights. The right to be safe. The right not to be afraid when you go into a public place," the letter continues. "The right not to have a generation of scared kids raised on lockdown drills on what to do if a shooter enters their school. The right of our government to do what the overwhelming majority of people want."
In a statement to PEOPLE, the president of the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence praises celebrities such as Jessica Alba and Elizabeth Banks for signing the letter.
"What's most exciting about this letter is that it so profoundly and so visibly demonstrates that this nation truly has reached a tipping point against the epidemic of gun violence. The American people, from every corner of society, of every political persuasion, are coming together to say #ENOUGH and to hold our elected leaders accountable to do the same – for the simple reason that we believe in the vision of a safer nation and that, together, we can make that vision a reality," said Dan Gross, Brady president. "We are all deeply grateful to the President for taking such a bold and effective first step, but we will not rest until Congress does its part to keep guns out of dangerous hands and make this the safer nation we all want and deserve."
Under the new rules Obama introduced, gun dealers are required to obtain a federal seller's license and do background checks on all buyers. The move seeks to crack down in particular on small retailers who sell firearms at gun shows and online, the majority of whom have heretofore been exempt from keeping formal sales records.
Readers can add their name to the letter here.
Read the letter in its entirety below, and see the stars who signed on.
Dear Mr. President:
Thank you. Thank you for having the courage and leadership to take Executive Action on preventing more unnecessary gun violence in this country. We are deeply thankful for the actions you took this week. Countless lives will be saved as a result.
Like you, and like most Americans, we have had ENOUGH. We have had enough of seeing unthinkable tragedies happen and nothing being done. Two masked people walk into a center for the disabled and murder 14 co-workers celebrating the holidays. A group of churchgoers are slaughtered during a prayer service even as they welcome the young man full of hate to their group. And the horrific day when 20 first graders and six educators were massacred in their classroom. In each case, the guns used were far too easily available to people intent on doing harm.
This level of depravity should rattle anyone with a conscience. We have seen how it has visibly rattled you.
Roughly 33,000 people die from gun violence every year in this country. Every day, we lose 89 more. Since Sandy Hook, 160 schools have experienced shootings. The homicide rate in the United States is 20 times higher than 22 countries like us in wealth and population – combined. No one is challenging the right of law abiding citizens to responsibly own a firearm. But like you, we believe that guns should be kept away from criminals, terrorists, domestic abusers, the dangerously mentally ill, and children. Your Executive Action will do exactly that – extending Brady background checks to gun shows and online sales.
Thank you for protecting our rights. The right to be safe. The right not to be afraid when you go into a public place. The right not to have a generation of scared kids raised on lockdown drills on what to do if a shooter enters their school. The right of our government to do what the overwhelming majority of people want.
We love this country. And one key reason we love it is that it was built on the principle that its people could change it. Thank you for doing so. We hope Members of Congress who have failed to act on the gun violence epidemic will support the will of most Americans and will take similar action to correct what has been a shameful period in our nation’s history. We deserve better than this.
Thank you for beginning to end this national disgrace and show your fellow citizens and the rest of the world that the United States of America does indeed stand for the principles on which it was founded.
Dustin Lance Black
T Bone Burnett
Maria Cuomo Cole
John Benjamin Hickey
David and Joan Hill
Michael J Kelly
Sarah Jessica Parker
Holly Robinson Peete
Sir Martin Sorrell