Former Netflix talk show host Chelsea Handler took to social media Sunday to blame Republicans for the deadly shooting at a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church that claimed the lives of at least 24 people.
The 42-year-old Chelsea host was among several celebrities to tweet about the attack as information was still being gathered, including the number of dead and the identity of the gunman.
“Innocent people go to church on Sunday to honor their God, and while doing so, get shot in killed[sic],” Handler tweeted. “What country? America. Why? Republicans.”
Innocent people go to church on Sunday to honor their God, and while doing so, get shot in killed. What country? America. Why? Republicans.
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) November 5, 2017
Initial reports about the shooting at the Texas church placed the number of victims at 27, with more than 30 others wounded. Police were on the scene of the incident Sunday afternoon and were working to identify the gunman, who was reportedly killed after a brief car chase, although initial reports had not established whether the gunman had been shot by police or had taken his own life.
Handler — who recently announced her intention to become a full-time political activist after her talk show was cancelled by Netflix in October — has been a vocal proponent of stricter gun control measures and has previously posted on social media in the wake of deadly shootings.
“Obviously, [the state of] gun control in this country is totally unacceptable, and the gun lobby is so strong and so powerful that anytime a celebrity can bring attention to this cause — among many other [causes] — you know it’s an easy thing for anyone to do,” Handler told the Hollywood Reporter in an interview in June.
“Nobody is trying to take away your guns,” she added. “If you want to go shoot, you know, whatever, in the woods, that’s fine, but it’s a hobby. If your hobby is [affecting] innocent people being killed all the time, children included, don’t you think you should reconsider the lack of restrictions placed on your hobby?”
Following the deadly shooting at a country music concert in Las Vegas in October, Handler tweeted the phone number of Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), whom she claimed wanted to make it easier to purchase gun suppressors.
Several other celebrities used social media to call for increased gun control measures immediately following Sunday’s attack, including author Stephen King, actor Kumail Nanjiani, and director Adam McKay.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum