Eva Longoria: ‘It’s not taking guns away, it’s making sure responsible people have them’

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Eva Longoria is having a busy, fun couple of weeks. A little over a week ago, she was given an award by the HollyRod Foundation for her humanitarian work. Starting this Friday, she’ll be up on the big screen as Dora’s mother, Elena, in Dora and the Lost City of Gold, a live-action film that continues the story of Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer animated series. Eva joined Savannah Guthrie and Willie Geist on TODAY Monday. (I can’t believe that the Dora franchise is nearly 20 years old!) Eva told them about becoming a mom to her adorable son, Santiago, who is a year old, and how being a mom has changed the way she thinks about the world. Eva is from Texas, so Savannah and Willie began their chat on a somber note, discussing the terrorist attack in El Paso over the weekend:

On the El Paso shootings
I think that could have been my child, that could have been my mother. It’s always heartbreaking and horrifying. People think it’s inevitable and it’s not, we can change it. I just hope that there are some real changes that are going to be made.

People aren’t getting outraged because it’s not in their state or it’s not their child or mom. You have to think that this was somebody’s mom, family member, friend. It is a mental health problem I get that, but it’s also a gun problem. Being from Texas too I understand the second amendment. I grew up in that environment. It’s not about taking guns away it’s about making sure responsible people have them.

On motherhood
[Santi] is walking. He has eight [teeth]. He’s funny and sweet and shares everything. I’m really lucky, really blessed to have such an easy kid.

On if anything surprised her
Nothing is surprising. There’s so much information out there and every mom telling you what to do. What’s surprising is the anxiety I have about the world. There’s an intensity to it, like ‘I have to leave the world a better place.’ That has given me a lot more fuel for my philanthropy.

[From Today show video]

I saw the trailer for Dora and the Lost City of Gold, and it looks cute; Dora seems to have been around forever now, though I hear less about her than, say Peppa Pig. I’m sure the film is going to bring a lot of families out to the theater over the next few weeks, including children who watched Dora when it started airing and now have their own families. Eva said this is the first project she’s done that is for people of all ages, and that it’s the first of her shows that her son will be able to watch. I hadn’t realized until recently that she’d had a child, and in her interview, her love for him is very sweet. I’m sad for her and for all the parents I know who are overwhelmed about the chaos of the world we live in right now, and who are trying to figure out how to keep their children safe.

I’m glad that Savannah and Willie gave Eva the chance to talk about her feelings about the shooting in El Paso. I agree with her about the need for change, of course, but until politicians are ready to ditch the gun lobby, I’m not hopeful. I’m also grateful that Eva focused on the shooting in Texas being a “gun problem.” One of the inevitable discussions after a shooting occurs is started by people who focus on on what they assume they know about the person(s) responsible, and how that person(s) must be “mentally ill.” In reality, those who live with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence than to perpetrate it. (NAMI offers a list of “factors that may increase risks of violence among a small number of individuals with mental illness.”) The correlation between mental illness and acts of violence is not what most people often believe to be true. The president of the American Psychological Association released a statement Monday, which reads, in part:

“Routinely blaming mass shootings on mental illness is unfounded and stigmatizing. Research has shown that only a very small percentage of violent acts are committed by people who are diagnosed with, or in treatment for, mental illness. The rates of mental illness are roughly the same around the world, yet other countries are not experiencing these traumatic events as often as we face them. One critical factor is access to, and the lethality of, the weapons that are being used in these crimes. Adding racism, intolerance and bigotry to the mix is a recipe for disaster.”

We absolutely need better mental healthcare in this country (along with better healthcare overall, period). But, if we want to stop mass shootings from occurring, we need to address gun violence, issues like domestic violence, gun-related laws, and, given some of the more recent perpetrators of these horrific crimes and the vitriol coming out of the Oval Office, white supremacy.

Here’s Eva’s interview:

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Photos credit: WENN and Backgrid

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44 Responses to “Eva Longoria: ‘It’s not taking guns away, it’s making sure responsible people have them’”

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  1. Seraphina says:

    There is no way to ensure responsible people have weapons and to keep away irresponsible ones. Humans are humans and make mistakes. They will forget to lock weapons up and so on. And this issue runs into gun control and mental health and a slew of other issues. We can not remedy an epidemic with one policy change.

    My heart aches for all the people who have lost loved ones. I will never ever forget Sandy Hook. My baby was 5 and in Kindergarten too. It shook me to my core.

    • Nexus says:

      A country where so many politicians are bought and sold by the NRA will never solve this issue.

      • Seraphina says:

        Agreed! Money runs this country and they don’t care about those living in it that don’t have it. And those who do have it, aren’t the ones affected because they live in that nice little cocoon above it.

    • (TheOG)@Jan90067 says:

      Maybe not ONE policy change, but a GREAT start would be to ban automatic/assault rifles and and those bullet magazines (is that the right term?) for the general public, like NZ did (in ONE MONTH!!). Even if you hunt, you do NOT need a rifle that shoots out 100 rounds a min.! THIS would be a good “start”.

    • Bella DuPont says:

      Surely, the second amendment (in its entirety in my opinion) is an *incredibly outdated* and now outrightly dangerous clause/law?

      I mean, there must be countries at war that have fewer guns flowing through them than in America. How are people still accepting of this madness?

      • Nexus says:

        There are also many countries where people have lots of guns. Plenty of countries with mentally ill citizens, plenty of countries with people who play video games.

        And yet, it is a distinctly American malady.

      • Lindsay says:

        @Nexus It is not a distinctly American malady. It is hard to compare numbers because every country has it’s own definition. Our attacks are just more important because we are Americans and that should not happen here. We also put on quite a spectical that inflames passions and is broadcast all over the world. Other places, like the Solomon Islands cover them up as discreetly as possible and purposely don’t give accurate crime statistics. Their main source of revenue is tourism, they obviously have significant financial interest in maintaining a good reputation on the world stage. In countries that don’t provide statistics researchers have to go by media reports but violence is so prevalent it doesn’t make the news.

        The country that is either very close to us or surpasses us, depending which recearcher you choose to believe, is Yemen. Yes, the US and Yemen are far different culturally, economically, and face far different challenges but they are number 2 in gun ownership.

        Even if you remove the United States, the statistics show more guns means more mass shooting and crimes that end in loss of life.

    • vince says:

      From a 2015 University of Alabama study by Prof. Adam Lankford: The USA has 4.4% of the world’s population but 42% of the world’s guns. The study showed mental health is no worse in the US than elsewhere. I think the problem is it is too easy to acquire firearms in the US. The problem is the the NRA.

  2. Lucy2 says:

    Except it should be about taking certain guns away – we need all of these high powered assault rifles banned again. No one needs anything close to that.

    • Brunswickstoval says:

      Lucy2 thank you! It certainly is more than what she’s saying.

      As an Australian who was an adult when we experienced Port Arthur and the subsequent buy back I hold no hope for America. Too many people can’t or refuse to see the problem. And the number of semi automatic weapons that would have to be bought back is astronomical. Plus we don’t have the 2nd amendment and no “Wild Wild West” heritage.

      Honestly this story while it’s covered extensively here the comments from Australians on social media are in the main dwindling. We know America won’t do anything and most of us aren’t outraged or shocked. Just sad.

    • Seraphina says:

      Come on Lucy2, those high powered automatics are needed because how else are you going to stop a burglar entering your home or kill a deer or a bear??? Let’s not forget the old excuse: it’s a hobby of mine to collect guns 🙄

      • kat says:

        Plus, what if the British show up and you need to rally your Militia??

      • Seraphina says:

        Kat, exactly THIS! Thank goodness we have Megs to stop the British from invading us. Hey, maybe that’s why so many don’t like her! 🤔🤣

    • Arpeggi says:

      Yep! No civilian needs anything more than a hunting rifle, and one firearm is plenty already, no one needs 60 guns in their house (or if they love to collect, no one needs 60 guns in working conditions). You already have to be somewhat deranged to feel the need to have something that’ll blow up a deer and/or shoot 60 bullets under a minute and because of that, you shouldn’t even get access to a slingshot

  3. Emily says:

    I really appreciate that the APA made that statement. It truly stigmatizes people dealing with mental health issues and deflects from the reality of white nationalism and inadequate gun legislation and, lets face it, how Americans fetishize guns beyond reason. Didn’t the CDC try and tackle guns only to be told to back off?

    One of the biggest changes that needs to happen is election laws, and specifically how much money a company, individual or lobby can donate to a political candidate. If there were reasonable caps on political donations, then the NRA couldn’t literally own someone and have them vote contrary to the interests of their constituents. This goes for guns and access to affordable drugs and healthcare. It’s corrupt.

  4. Eliza says:

    What happens when irresponsible people have them, what to do if not take them away?

    Also how can you guarentee they’ll stay responsible? Or people in the house won’t figure out how to access? Or if it’s stolen? Mental illness is a key, but no matter what, therapy is a process there’s always the possibility of a trigger. We give these guys so much press it just emboldens the next guy who thinks he’s not heard to commit an murderous act of terror. Take away assault weapons, give further background checks, mandate waiting periods. Support mental health programs. Have schools or communities give better education (and training and support for counselors) and support for anyone showing signs of extreme antisocial (or other worrying hateful) behaviour. I’m sure I’m missing a lot. There’s a lot to be done. But the biggest will be getting these guns out of the hands of civilians; they’re meant for war zones.

  5. Léna says:

    Can someone explain how the second amendment equals to “guns for everyone, to protect themselves” in the US?
    The way I was thought about the second amendment (I’m not from the US) is that is it in case the government goes “too far”, something like that, citizens can take the arms to defend themselves. Nothing along the lines of what pro guns people are yelling now days.

    • Nexus says:

      Léna, we can only interpret based on what we know, but obviously what we do know is that the people who wrote that amendment couldn’t imagine semi-automatic weapons. They couldn’t imagine aeroplanes, or cars, or 8chan.
      They were concerned about a tyrannical government and thought young men of fighting age should be allowed weapons in case the government tried to subjugate them.

      Intelligent people, well-educated people, people who have spent their lives studying history and law ALL know this. But gunmakers funnel money into the pockets of GOP members. So they pretend not to understand it. And when ol’ Cleetus down on the farm shouts about “DAT GUVRMENT COMIN TO TAKE MAAA GUNS”, they can say they’re on his side.

      • Léna says:

        Thanks a lot. In the end, the roots of it all is bad education and lobbies. The mix is Terrible.

      • Seraphina says:

        @Nexus, succinct and well stated. And all the gun owners keep repeating: it’s my right to protect myself and protect myself from the government. Don’t get me started. I also have the right right to life, liberty and the pursuit of freedom but carrying an unwanted child may hinder that, but who cares because I am a female.

      • Nexus says:

        Léna – spot on. Willful ignorance mixes with money mixes with a combined superiority/inferiority complex. Deadly mix.

        Seraphina – it’s so much BS because they can stockpile all the semi-automatic weapons they want, it’s not going to protect anyone in the case of the government deciding to… something. They’re never really clear on what they need protection “from”. But all the guns they have aren’t going to stop tanks, or drones, or nukes. Some part of them realises that. But a big part like the shooty shooty bang bang capability.

    • Eliza says:

      @Lena which is why gun nuts demand these crazy weapons, because the 2nd amendment gives them the right to supply a militia in case the government needs to be overthrown. Our government has these weapons, and you can’t fight them back with pistols. But they also have bombs, war ships/planes, drones…. even assault weapons couldn’t hold them back. It was written at a very different time in the world where rifles/ cannons were heavy artillery. I doubt any fore father could have imagined the type of weapons we use today.

      • lucy2 says:

        I always kind of sadly laugh at the idiot who thinks he can take on the government with his home arsenal. It’s not going to happen.

      • Seraphina says:

        @Lucy2, I also laugh because the government won’t be using what they will anticipate (weapons like guns and semis). The government is WAY TOO sophisticated than that. That’s what technology is for.

    • Emily says:

      The sad fact is, if there was a civil war in the states, it wouldn’t be ordinary people fighting the government it would be citizens fighting citizens. And one side in the US has way more guns.

  6. Rapunzel says:

    My dad and I discussed this yesterday. He said, “they let it go too far. Too many people already have these guns. You’ll never outlaw them.” I think he’s right. We can’t outlaw the AK-47s because too many people have stockpiled them. Confiscation would have to happen. You’re not getting these ammosexuals to voluntarily give them up.

    Personally, I’m for it now because the way these folks cling to their guns and refuse to even entertain any stricter laws has me convinced they’re too irrational to deserve these weapons. Congrats, gun nuts. You’re playing yourselves.

    • adastraperaspera says:

      Australia outlawed weapons of war and then did an immediate buy-back to compensate owners. This worked. Many people may indeed hang on to their guns, but we can’t let this possibility stop us from instituting buybacks. I think something like 3% of Americans hold over 1/2 of the guns, so we can also pass laws outlawing personal arsenals of a certain size.

  7. Craptastic says:

    I live where one of the mass shootings just took place, heard a grandfather sobbing because his two grandsons were shot, their friend did not make it. Got an email from a salon I go to, one of their employees was there but only had “minor injuries”. Mental illness isn’t the issue, it’s just a deflective talking point. Fuck guns and people who own them. I don’t give a shit about your second amendment rights anymore. I think I should have the right to go places and not be shot. But I don’t. So, I hope all the guns that these people love more than people lives get taken away. And I will sit back with a smile on my face.

    • Naomipaige99 says:

      I”m with you!

    • Nexus says:

      I’ve seen interviews with parents/grandparents who had a toddler grab a handgun from a purse or drawer and accidentally kill themselves, and in between sobbing about the loss and the tragedy, they’ll GO OUT OF THEIR WAY to say how it’s not the gun’s fault. Some Americans… it’s something else. Guns are somewhere between a drug addiction and a sexual fetish for them.

      • Rapunzel says:

        “Guns are somewhere between a drug addiction and a sexual fetish for them”

        Yes! I’ve seen people on here start calling them ammosexuals, and it fits. If you start saying things like “you can pry my guns from my cold dead hands” you are in love with them. And it is sick.

  8. aenflex says:

    Ensuring the mental health of every single person that goes to purchase a weapon isn’t feasible. It isn’t even possible, the notion is ridiculous.

    Sure we can focus on improving care for people with mental problems, and de-stigmatizing mental unless generally. But that’s not going to help the mass shooting problems we have.

    No one needs an assault rifle. They are not suitable for hunting, they are not suitable do home defense. They are suitable for killing a lot of people by spraying a lot of bullets. They are meant for war, actual battles. The idea that people need these in their homes is insane. America is bloody insane for thinking this type of weapon ownership is a right.

    I am a gun owner. We have a pistol in our home. I’m glad we have it. Not all gun owners are extreme.

  9. Harryg says:

    How do you know who will suddenly snap? We need to reduce the amount of guns, drastically. It’s insane at the moment, the gun is like the fridge to many people, they can’t imagine being without one.

  10. Whatnow says:

    Unpopular opinion here but it’s the culture of violence in this country that is the bigger problem. Why do people take the guns and have these mass shootings? Why do we have such a violent streak running through Us in America these days?

    The terrible violence the kids commit towards each other in schools. Beating kids to within an inch of their life or actually killing them.

    There seems to be a rage epidemic and yes guns are bad in the hands of the wrong people but it’s more about why do we have so many people that want to be so violent.

    • Lindsay says:

      We don’t have a violence problem, we have a gun problem. Property crime is just as likely to occur in London as it is in New York City. However, in NYC it is 54 times more likely to end in someone’s death. We have never been safer statistically. Just now it is amplified by 24/7 news and exposure and access through the internet. Our news media doesn’t report assaults and homicides in other countries because people wouldn’t care. They barely care about crimes here unless some aspect is sexy or riveting.

      If you take the US out of the running (so our violence culture doesn’t corrupt the data) the more guns a country has per capita the higher the murder rate and higher incidents of mass shootings. Guns are the common denominator. They are the problem.

      One of the US’s biggest exports is pop culture. People in other countries watch our movies, listen to our music, play our video games and yet they are not plagued with this problem.

      Our mental health care is not great but it is still a struggle everywhere. Stigma still exists, if anything it seems to be less stigmatized in the US. But the money we spend on mental health care and practitioners per capita is about in line with other developed countries. Yes, the money is not spent well and their are too many barriers, but that’s another conversation. We also don’t have more mentally ill people per capita other countries. Also, most shooters don’t actually have a diagnostic illness.

      We don’t have a monopoly on toxic masculinity, racism, misogyny, xenophobia, nationalism, white supremacy, income inequality, and other problems structurally entrenched in society.

      There are four common denominators of mass shooters:
      1. Childhood trama
      2. An identifiable trigger weeks or months before the shooting (loss, failure, break up, ect) Something mental stable individuals could handle but most at this point are mentally unstable but not mentally ill so they move to step three.
      3. Studying other mass shootings ! that’s why they are contagious and happen in clusters) and reenforcing their beliefs and becoming radicalized online in an echo chamber of white supremacy, incels, and other forms of hatered of “others”. They externalize their problems on to the “enemy”. They caused his suffering and failures and need to pay.
      4. Access to guns

      That is what most shooters have in common. Sadly there isn’t much we can do about step one. Step two is inevitable, no one’s life goes perfectly. That is when

  11. Harryg says:

    Mitch McConnell is responsible for these shootings. Hope his name stays in history, he’s one of the worst people on earth, ever.

    • schmootc says:

      Yes, yes he is. I mean at least Cheeto doesn’t try and hide his awfulness (usually, barring yesterday’s whatever-that-bullshit-was). Mitch pretends to be a rational human being, but he really is the worst. He and Paul Ryan had much more power than anyone else to do something about that rancid sack of crap in the WH and didn’t/haven’t, so it’s on them more than anyone IMO.

  12. Case says:

    I know a lot of people who are fighting for better gun control laws say, “we don’t want to take your guns away, just better background checks!” Can I be honest, though? At this point, I want to take everyone’s gun away. I hate guns. I don’t see the need for them. You want to defend yourself? Take self defense classes. Buy a baseball bat. It’s unlikely you’ll even be able to access your securely-stored gun fast enough if you have a home invasion.

    The Second Amendment was created in 1791 and wasn’t meant to be interpreted in the way it is today. I’m beyond done.

    • Harryg says:


    • Lindsay says:

      I got blasted for this yesterday but here we go:
      An outright ban on guns will never happen. These are the only countries to ban guns outright or have such strict policies in place it is almost impossible for a civilian to get one:
      China – Restricted
      Eritrea – Banned
      India – Restricted
      Indonesia – Restricted
      Iran – Restricted
      Japan – Restricted
      Lebanon – Restricted
      Malaysia – Restricted
      North Korea – Banned
      Singapore – Restricted
      Taiwan – Restricted
      Venezuela – Restricted
      Vietnam – Restricted

      Although it does include some of our death penalty friends, we won’t be joining that list. Every other developed country has figured out laws that balance gun utility with people’s safety. There is no reason to think we can’t. Hopefully no more blood will have to be shed to expedite the process.

  13. Carey says:

    You can’t separate the refusal to regulate guns in the US from white supremacy. Guns are a concrete representation of white male power. When Obama was president, gun sales went through the roof because of all the white men running out to arm themselves. After the Ferguson unrest gun sales soared in the surrounding white suburbs. The irony is that suicide rates among white men are also soaring because of easy access to guns. But they still won’t give them up because they are scared of brown and black people and guns are a tool of whiteness, white domination. That is why we haven’t had gun control.

    But now that people like Beto O’Rourke are calling this out for what it is, I have a sliver of hope. It isn’t until white people grapple with what it means to be white and how the social-economic-political structures of whiteness have both benefited them and distorted their lives that we will be able to move on this.

  14. prettypersuasion says:

    Well I want to take them away and melt them all. ALL guns are for one thing – KILLING. Gun owners rights to own a gun do not supersede everyone else’s right to LIVE.