Social media users have hit out at Ashton Kutcher after he said he feels lucky to be alive because his wife Mila Kunis threw his birthday party at the same Thousand Oaks, California bar where 12 people were shot dead Wednesday.
The actor – who turned 40 February 7 – took to Twitter to share his story with his approximately 18 million followers, and made a call for gun reform.
‘My wife threw me a birthday party this year at the Borderline. Only reason we are alive is the shooter chose a different night,’ he tweeted Thursday night. ‘My heart goes out to the victims. I’ll say it again… Gun Reform Now! Politicians need to stop standing behind the dollar & Protect the people!’
But while Kutcher offered her condolences to those who lost loved ones or were involved in the Borderline Bar & Grill massacre – about a 45-minute drive away from his Carpinteria home – Twitter users were not impressed with his words.
Ashton Kutcher’s wife Mila Kunis hosted his birthday at the same venue as the mass shooting
Terrified patrons – many of whom were college students – scrambled for the exits after the gunman started shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California Wednesday
Kutcher said: ‘Only reason we are alive is the shooter chose a different night’
But social media users responded negatively to Kutcher making himself a part of the story
One person tweeted: ‘Way to make yourself a part of the story. I flew on a plane in 2001. I could have been part of 9/11 too if I was flying that day. Could you be any more self-absorbed?’
Another added: ‘No you’re alive because you more than likely had security.’
On the same subject one person tweeted that Kutcher’s wife was happy to be protected by someone carrying a gun.
They added that non-famous people should have the right to protect themselves with weapons too.
Tweeters said non-famous people should have the right to protect themselves with weapons
Many people pointed out that Kutcher had access to hiring security to watch out for him
Others said that Kutcher’s tweets made him appear self-centered
‘My good friend carried a gun to protect your wife. He was her body guard. Why should you have guns for protection but not us common folk?’ Deecup posted. ‘Do your lives mean more than ours? We need more good guys with guns, not less. Criminals do not follow the law!!!!’
Kutcher is no stranger to firearms; he hunted through his childhood, worked at a gun club and even revealed his friend presented him with a gun as a gift on the same evening he celebrated his milestone birthday this year.
He used his anecdotes in hope of being a voice of reason between the two sides that are for and against gun control. He said gun reform doesn’t mean stripping everyone in the country of their weapons.
Kutcher asked to simply test gun reform in the United States
‘No body is taking your guns!!! Gun reform!!!!! Let it be a test. Your electorate doesn’t want to die when they go to church or a concert or a bar!’ he posted. ‘The BS rhetoric around arming more people to protect others is just that, BS! Armed people got killed last night! Gun Reform now!!!’
Dressed all in black with his hood pulled up, Ian David Long, 28, opened fire with a handgun with an illegal, extra-capacity magazine.
He shot a security guard outside the bar and then went in and took aim at employees and customers, authorities said.
The dead included a man who had survived last year’s massacre in Las Vegas, Telemachus Orfanos, 27.
Long apparently killed himself as authorities went in.
Kutcher made a plea to Ivanka Trump whose brother-in-law Joshua Kushner (right) was at his party at the bar for his birthday party. Left is Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner
He also noted how Ivanka – who converted to Judaism when she got married – could have been a victim of a mass shooting
Kutcher made a special plea to Ivanka Trump; the 37-year-old daughter of President Donald Trump who moves in the same social circles.
He told Ivanka – who converted to Judaism when she married Jared Kushner – how it could have just as easily been her brother-in-law gunned down if the shooter went on his rampage on the night of Kutcher’s celebration.
He brought it home by seemingly making reference to the 11 Jewish people who died in the recent terror attack at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
‘@IvankaTrump your brother in law was at that birthday party. He could have just as easily been a victim. You go to synagogues you could be a victim!’ he wrote. ‘Talk to your dad! Plead with your dad! Let this be your legacy! Gun Reform now!’
A view of the Borderline and its parking lot where the FBI has set up while investigating
The bar was packed with hundreds of people attending a popular event for college students, causing multiple fatalities
People huddle together in a parking lot along South Moorpark Road in the aftermath of a mass shooting at Borderline Bar & Grill, on Thursday
Tim Dominguez, who was in the bar with his son, sat distraught under the freeway
The gunman burst into the bar around 11.20pm, cloaked in all black as he threw smoke bombs and began shooting at targets as young as 18 inside
Kutcher turned attention to the mental health issues that have plagued many of the people carrying out shooting attacks.
While the motive for the attack is under investigation, Long was a former machine gunner and Afghanistan war veteran.
Authorities said he had no criminal record but was interviewed by police at his home last April after an episode of agitated behavior that officers were told might be post-traumatic stress disorder.
A mental health specialist met him and did not feel he needed to be admitted to hospital.
Long was in the Marines from 2008 to 2013, rose to the rank of corporal and served in Afghanistan in 2010-11 before he was honorably discharged, the military said. Court records show he married in 2009 and was divorced in 2013.
Kutcher turned attention to the mental health issues that have plagued many of the people carrying out shooting attacks
Kutcher said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should attach more importance to the background checks
The actor said good resources must be provided for war veterans to get the help they need
Kutcher said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should attach more importance to the background checks – including records of mental instability for those buying weapons and providing good resources for war veterans to get the help they may need.
‘Beef up ATF. Prevent hostile mentally unstable people from getting guns! Support our veterans that are returning from war with resources! Gun Reform Now!’ Kutcher Tweeted.
Ian David Long killed himself after carrying out the mass shooting. He was a former machine gunner and Afghanistan war veteran
‘ATF needs to require background checks. Improve state and federal systems to vet owners and buyers. Tie mental health records to purchase of fire arms. Increase funding for mental health. Focus AG (when we get one) on gun trafficking and illegal acquisition. Gun Reform now!’
Thousand Oaks where the shootings took place is a city of about 130,000 people, approximately 40 miles from Los Angeles, is annually listed as one of the safest cities in America.
Kutcher suggested that the current way of approaching the right to bear arms might be outdated.
‘The right to bear arms was built on the notion that we could form a militia to fight back against an unjust government. Is that realistic today?’ he asked. ‘A nuclear bomb is an arm. Do you have the right to own that? Gun Reform Now!! No one is taking your guns.’
In response to other mass shootings President Trump has suggested that having more people armed would reduce the number of tragedies.
But Kutcher asked those afraid of scaling back on easy access to buying guns, what they’re really scared of.
‘If your argument is that these reforms won’t change anything I simply ask ‘What problems will be the reforms create?’
Kutcher asked those afraid of scaling back on easy access to buying guns, what they’re really scared of
Kutcher suggested the current way of approaching the right to bear arms might be outdated
Kutcher called on many powerful figures to rethink their stance on gun reform
He revealed his friend gave him a gun as a birthday gift at the Borderline Bar & Grill this year