West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin takes aim at US gun laws

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Aaron SorkinImage source, Getty Images
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Aaron Sorkin described US gun violence as "an epidemic"

The creator of hit TV show The West Wing has added his voice to the growing clamour for tighter US gun laws in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting.

Aaron Sorkin told reporters at the Zurich Film Festival he had been advised not to address the subject while promoting his new film.

"I was gently told before I came here to remember that people who voted for Donald Trump buy movie tickets too.

"In other words, try not to insult half the people," he added.

"However, in light of what happened in Las Vegas the other night, I think that to not say anything for the sake of box office... the very next person who gets shot, a little of that's on me. A little of that is on anyone who doesn't say anything."

'Weapons of war'

The Oscar-winning writer of The Social Network continued: "We have an epidemic in the United States that doesn't exist anywhere else in the world.

"We have these mass shootings, these senseless mass shootings, with weapons that are only designed for one thing, and that is to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time as possible.

"These are not weapons you use to defend yourself if there's a home intruder; they're not weapons you would use for game hunting. These are weapons of war.

"We have in the US too many cowardly congressmen whose spines are in the pockets of the National Rifle Association (NRA), which is the lobbying group for assassins in the United States.

"There. I'm sure I've angered enough moviegoers for the day."

The writer-turned-director, in town to promote his directorial debut Molly's Game, went on to say he was "committing the worst crime you can commit, which is to say something bad about America on foreign soil".

The NRA did not respond to a request for comment.

During a visit to Zurich earlier in the week, actress Glenn Close also expressed shock and dismay at the "nightmare" in Las Vegas.

"It makes me very angry that these incidents happen in my country and the gun laws stay the same," she said. "It's criminal.

"Apparently it was not an act of terrorism, so that means it was probably [perpetrated by] somebody who was in some way mentally disturbed and who hadn't gotten help. That also makes me very angry."

The Fatal Attraction star was in the Swiss city to receive a lifetime achievement award and also promote her latest film The Wife.

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