Julianne Moore launches Hollywood-backed gun safety campaign

NEW YORK: Oscar winner Julianne Moore on Tuesday launched a gun safety campaign with some 80 Hollywood friends and celebrities that is aimed at ending gun violence in the United States.

Supported by Steve Carell, Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, Yoko Ono, Reese Witherspoon and dozens of other Hollywood names, the campaign calls for guns to be kept out of the hands of criminals, domestic abusers, stalkers and those with mental illness.

It also calls for guns to be stored safely, out of the reach of children.

"We believe the creative community has an opportunity to use our communications skills and the power of culture to galvanise many more Americans in the gun violence prevention movement," said a statement by the group, the Everytown Creative Council.

About two weeks ago a lone gunman shot dead nine people at an Oregon community college in the deadliest massacre on U.S. soil in two years.

But Moore said the impetus for her campaign came from the 2012 fatal shootings of 20 children and six adults at Connecticut's Sandy Hook elementary school. Moore told People magazine she tried in vain to keep the news away from her then 12-year-old daughter.

"I was like, 'I've had it.' I said to my husband, 'I've got to do something. This is the one thing that I need to say something about. This is my responsibility as a parent'" she told the magazine.

Moore, who won an Oscar in February for her role as a woman with early onset Alzheimer's disease in "Still Alice," said she went through her address book to garner support. "The response has been overwhelming. I'm so, so thrilled. Everybody feels this way about this issue," Moore told People.

U.S. President Barack Obama made a concerted push for broad gun control reforms after the Connecticut shootings but was unsuccessful. He called again for new measures after the Oregon shootings but was met with protests by gun rights supporters when visiting there to console families last week.