As the inevitable debate over gun control continues in the wake of the horrific shooting spree in Colorado Friday, some celebrities are making their voices heard on the hot-button issue.
Jason Alexander, who is best known for his role as George Costanza on the television series Seinfeld, released a long statement in favor of gun control Sunday, shortly after Rupert Murdoch's short tweet against automatic weapons made headlines in the political blogosphere.
Rupert Murdoch made his name as a media mogul, most recently as head of News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWS), one of the most influential media entities in the world. In March, Forbes estimated his net worth as $8.3 billion.
Murdoch is known almost as much for being a conservative as he is for being a media mogul. That's why it took many people by surprise when he tweeted Saturday: We have to do something about gun controls. Police license okay for hunting rifle or pistol for anyone without crim or pscho record. No more.
Murdoch later also tweeted, We don't need AK47s to defend ourselves. Nobody does, according to Politico.
The media mogul's tweets were more in line with the comments made by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in his call for presidential candidates to address gun control and less in line with the remarks made by U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., on Fox News Sunday to the effect that limiting unusually lethal weapons would infringe constitutional rights.
Jason Alexander is not the only celebrity who would agree with Rupert Murdoch's sentiment in this case. Celebs from Susan Sarandon to Piers Morgan to Miley Cyrus have made their thoughts known about what should be done following another instance of mass murder involving an assault weapon. However, Alexander went much deeper than most of his peers in the limelight.
After an initial tweet reading -- I cannot understand support for legality of the kind of weapon in this massacre. It's a military weapon. Why should it be in non-mil hands? -- Alexander came under fire from some in the Twitterverse.
In response to the criticism of that tweet and others, Alexander penned an essay that was released through Twitlonger.com. In it, the actor clarified the points he set out to make originally and cited some statistics about gun ownership. He also questioned the validity of many of the retorts that referenced the U.S. Constitution he received on the social-networking site.
The advocates of guns who claim patriotism and the rights of the 2nd Amendment -- are they in well-regulated militias? For the vast majority -- the answer is no, Alexander wrote. What purpose does an AR-15 serve to a sportsman that a more standard hunting rifle does not serve?
Alexander's post was one of the hottest topics on the popular site Reddit Sunday, with almost 6,000 comments in less than 12 hours. Perhaps predictably, the post's approval rating was split practically down the middle with a 53 percent approval rating among almost 30,000 votes.
Some users penned short essays of their own in response to Alexander's comments and what had been said on the discussion thread previously.
Here's one response: Jason is acting on feeling and not data. He makes a though out and emotionally compelling argument. ... But the crime statistics do not support his claims. Here's another: That's great and all, but can we not wait just a couple weeks before starting in on all this polarizing [nonsense]. The former was posted by a user named Fedexsentmeahead, while the latter was posted by a user named cyclopath.
While America mourns the deaths in Aurora, more big names will almost certainly join in the gun-control debate.