Josh Gad urges celebs to 'use your platform' after Nashville school shooting: 'Speak up'
Celebrities including Josh Gad are expressing sadness, anger and are sharing their own anecdotes after a shooter entered a Nashville elementary school on Monday and killed six people.
The actor called out politicians, citing legislation about drag shows, book bans and gun laws and urged his celebrity peers to "speak out" as well.
"When does this madness end? How are books being banned but not assault weapons? Drag hasn't killed a single child but politicians are spending all of their time and energy making sure it's banned," he wrote on Instagram Wednesday.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed the first law of its kind in that severely restricts drag performances on public property, with language prohibiting "adult-oriented" entertainment harmful to children. In 2021, Lee signed a law allowing those over 21 to carry a handgun without a permit.
"When do we say enough? When are we going to be angry enough to say our children shouldn't have to fear every day at school being their last," Gad added. "Enough. Speak up and speak out. Use your platform and demand action immediately."
To the Point: Who is the Nashville school shooter who killed six at private Christian school?
What happened during the Nashville school shooting?
Monday an attacker, identified by police as 28-year-old Audrey Elizabeth Hale, broke into The Covenant School in Nashville and gunned down three young students and three staff members before being confronted and killed by police.
About 14 minutes elapsed between the first 911 call about an active shooter at the school and police confirming the shooter's death after an exchange of gunfire on the second floor.
As news of the shooting spread, many celebrities, including those who call Nashville home, spoke out about the attack which marks the 89th shooting on school grounds this year, according to the K-12 School Shooting Database.
Shawn Johnson says school shooting was 'too close'
Olympian Shawn Johnson, who says she was filming "across the street" from the school when the shooting occurred, says she was "too close" to the attack after her children's school was placed on lockdown as a precaution.
"We started getting the calls, heard the sirens, saw the parents flying to get their babies," Johnson said. "I woke up this morning in tears feeling guilt and sadness that we are ok and some families are not. I woke up scared to take our babies back to school or anywhere for that matter. I woke up sad for everyone, for our country, our world."
Nashville musicians including Jana Kramer, Mickey Guyton speak out
Country singer and actress Jana Kramer, who lives and raises her two young children in Nashville, took to social media Monday saying her children are OK, but said she has friends whose children attend the school where the shooting took place.
"My heart is absolutely breaking for the children and the families right now," Kramer wrote on her Instagram story Monday. "Why. Why. Why. I just will never understand."
Mickey Guyton expressed her frustration "as a mother" on Twitter, writing: "Shame on every single politician ok with doing nothing as CHILDREN are getting assassinated on an everyday basis in a place that is supposed to be their safe haven."
Christian singer Lauren Daigle, who was scheduled to perform an album preview concert Monday, postponed her show and hosted a prayer vigil instead in the wake of the attack.
"Today’s shooting is truly heartbreaking for our Nashville community and all of those impacted," Daigle wrote on Instagram. "If you need a safe place to come pray, mourn, and be with your community, please join us. The doors are open for all."
Nashville-based singer Margo Price wrote, "Can I ask you, @GovBillLee why you passed permit less carry in 2021? Our children are dying and being shot in school but you’re more worried about drag queens than smart gun laws? You have blood on your hands."
Niecy Nash recalls her brother's death in tears, a decade before shooting
Niecy Nash shared a teary personal anecdote with her Instagram and TikTok followers revealing that her brother died of gun violence on his high school campus in 1993, adding that the news of the Nashville shooting makes her "heart heavy."
"It's 2023 and (they're) babies who will never make it home to see their parents. And those parents will forever be in a space and place where they are like 'what was the last thing I said? What was the last lunch I made?'"
She added: "We are losing our way. Some political groups are so focused on the wrong thing that our children are dying."
Contributing: Dave Paulson, The Nashville Tennessean; Grace Hauck, Jorge L. Ortiz and Natalie Neysa Alund, USA TODAY
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nashville school shooting: Josh Gad asks 'When do we say enough?'