James Barrett

Actress Alyssa Milano weighed in on the gun rights debate on Monday by tweeting a list of things that were “also popular in 1791,” the year the Second Amendment was adopted. The post set off a familiar Twitter online debate. That is to say, the responses involved mockery, hilarity and absurdity, as well as some thoughtful arguments and comments.

Here’s Milano’s post that got things going:

So cholera and dying at the age of 40 was “popular”? Maybe the lead-in should’ve been rephrased. And wasn’t the First Amendment also popular that year? Does that mean it’s now obsolete, too? Also popular in 1791: the idea of a constitutional republic, democratic elections, checks and balances, limited government… Maybe addressing the issue by chronology isn’t the most effective approach.

Regardless, Milano’s post falls in line with the perspective shared by many of her celebrity peers, who often take to various platforms after horrific mass shootings, like the recent tragedy in Parkland, Florida, to call for gun control measures — or, as more have lately, the outright repeal of the Second Amendment, as Milano has done here. In fact, the “Repeal the Second Amendment” calls have reached a new level this time, as highlighted by the recirculation of the piece by New York Times’ conservative-ish columnist Bret Stephens, who wants conservatives to finally rid themselves of their “fetish for the Second Amendment.”

So how has Milano’s argument for the repeal of the constitutional right to arm oneself gone over among the general public? It’s a mixed bag, as usual, with some standard Twitter trolling and hyperbole, as well as some more serious, well-reasoned posts on both sides of the issue. A few examples:

That Milano would take to Twitter to advocate for a political agenda is no surprise; she frequently posts on social media to promote various causes, most of which align with the Democratic Party’s agenda. A few examples of some of Milano’s other recent political posts: