Jennifer Hudson, who lost family members to gun violence, spoke to CNN’s Van Jones about what she hopes people take away from the March for Our Lives.
“For people who are watching what’s happening, know that it can be anybody. It can happen to anybody,” the Oscar winner said Saturday after performing at the Washington D.C. demonstration calling on Congress to enact stricter gun control law.
The topic of gun violence is a personal one for Hudson, who lost her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew in 2008 when they were shot and killed in their Chicago home. The estranged husband of Hudson’s sister Julia was later convicted of the triple murder and given three life sentences without the possibility of parole.
“A day like this is almost like reliving it over and over again,” Hudson told Jones. “So it’s obviously something that’s extremely close to home for that reason because you instantly connect. There’s very few people who know what a moment like this means, what it represents, everything it entails.”
Hudson said that it’s impossible for people to understand what the victims’ families are feeling unless they’ve also been through it. There’s one news clip of a grieving mother screaming into the camera at President Trump, “Do something. Action! We need it now!” that gets Hudson’s tears flowing every time.
“She’s angry because it’s like, this is nonsense,” Hudson said. “It’s like reliving it.”
RELATED: A look at the biggest gun companies in the United States:
Biggest gun companies in the United States
Biggest gun companies in the United States
1. Smith & Wesson (AOBC)
Gun sales: $773 million in 2017, according to the company’s 2017 annual report, which noted 91.2 percent of its firearms sales were to domestic consumers. The remaining 8.8 percent of sales went to local, state or federal law enforcement, or exports. A 2016 report by Mother Jones states that the company produced 1.31 million guns for the U.S. market in 2014.
Headquarters: Springfield, Massachusetts, with additional facilities in Houlton, Maine, and Deep River, Connecticut
About the company: Smith & Wesson, now held by publicly traded American Outdoor Brand Corp. (AOBC), was founded in 1852 as a partnership between Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson. Handguns accounted for more than 60 percent of its total sales in 2017, and the remainder were “long guns” including hunting rifles, some shotguns and what the industry calls “modern sporting rifles” such as the AR-15 assault rifle used in the most recent mass shooting in Florida.
Headquarters: Madison, North Carolina, with manufacturing operations in Huntsville, Alabama
About the company: The gun manufacturer — founded two centuries ago in New York and producing an array of rifles, shotguns, handguns and ammunition — is filing for bankruptcy. It was acquired by Cerberus Capital Management in 2007 when the gun market was booming, but it has been in decline for several years, Bloomberg reported. Overproduction and falling demand for guns has hurt the company and other manufacturers, Bloomberg notes, but Remington suffered an additional blow after the tragic 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School:
Remington came under unwanted scrutiny and litigation after the massacre of 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in which the gunman carried a small arsenal that included a Remington Bushmaster assault rifle.
The company was cleared of blame in the courts, but major investors bailed out.
The Chapter 11 filing will allow the company to continue to operate as it makes a turnaround plan and manages its debt.
About the company: This publicly traded company, founded in 1949, has manufacturing operations in Newport, New Hampshire; Prescott, Arizona; and Mayodan, North Carolina, and is the biggest gun supplier in the country, producing a wide array of hunting and assault rifles, pistols and revolvers. According to the company website, “Ruger offers consumers over 400 variations of more than 30 product lines … a rugged, reliable firearm to meet every shooter’s needs.”
Photo credit: Getty
4. Sig Sauer
Sales: The company produced nearly a half-million guns for the U.S. market in 2015, making it the fourth-largest gun maker by volume, according to The Motley Fool.
Headquarters: Newington, New Hampshire
About the company: This company, with origins in Germany, is now operationally separate from Swiss-German company SIG Sauer GmbH. It manufactures at an $18 million facility in New Hampshire, according to the company website. Sig Sauer is best known for its pistols, which it markets to U.S. law enforcement and civilians, but it also makes rifles.
Photo credit: Getty
5. O.F. Mossberg & Sons
Sales: The company supplied more than 658,000 guns in the U.S. in 2014, according to Mother Jones.
Headquarters: North Haven, Connecticut, with most of its manufacturing in Eagle Pass, Texas
About the company: O.F. Mossberg & Sons was founded in Connecticut in the early 1900s by a Swedish immigrant. The company’s early success was built on the sale of its Brownie, a 22-caliber, four-shot “pocket pistol.”It now specializes in rifles, shotguns and scopes. Since 2014, the company has been doing nearly all of its manufacturing at Maverick Arms, located in Eagle Pass, Texas. The company is one of the biggest producers of pump-action shotguns, but its growth is driven by assault rifles, according to Mother Jones.
About the company: Savage produces only long guns — mainly rifles, and a small number of shotguns. It is held by publicly traded company Vista Outdoors (VSTO), headquartered in Farmington, Utah, which owns a portfolio of gun, ammunition and related outdoor brands. Shooting sports (guns, ammunition, rifle scopes and reloading components) accounted for 54 percent of Vista’s sales, or about $1.38 billion in fiscal 2017, according to Vista’s 2017 annual report. The report, citing “recent examples of our innovative, market-leading products” it cited “the entry of the Savage brand into the popular MSR semi-automatic market.”
Photo credit: Getty
7. Springfield Armory Inc.
Sales: Produced 576,000 guns for the U.S. market in 2014, according to Mother Jones.
Sales: Produced 463,000 guns for the U.S. market in 2014, according to Mother Jones.
Headquarters: Gardone Val Trompia, Italy
About the company:The Italian company, founded by in 1526 by Bartolomeo Beretta, is now headed by the 15th generation of Berettas. Beretta is best known to Americans for its semi-automatic pistol, the Beretta M9, which is the standard issue sidearm used by the U.S. military. The company produces a wide array of pistols, shotguns, rifles and carbines. The now-multinational company has its U.S. headquarters in Accokeek, Maryland, and a manufacturing plant in Gallatin, Tennessee. It also owns luxury hunting lodges, and sells high-end apparel and home furnishings.
Photo credit: Reuters
9. Taurus International
Sales: The company produced 365,000 guns for the U.S. market in 2014, according to Mother Jones.
Headquarters: São Leopoldo, Brazil
About the company: Taurus USA is owned by Forjas Taurus SA,which trades on the Brazilian stock exchange. The company produces for the U.S. market from a facility in Miami and imports firearms as well. The company specializes in small arms — pistols and revolvers — and has a special line of guns tailored for concealed-carry.
Headquarters: Austria, with U.S. headquarters in Smyrna, Georgia. It also has operations in Hong Kong, Uruguay and United Arab Emirates.
About the company: This Austrian firm is famous for its lightweight pistol design, which it first marketed to U.S. police, according to its website. It was a 9mm Glock that Jared Loughner used in his attack on a 2011 political rally in Tucson, Arizona, that killed six people and injured others, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, CBS reported.
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Hudson said it’s not easy seeing the senseless death time after time not followed up by a change in gun laws. “What is it gonna be next week? Next month?” she asked. “Or when these children who are out here marching right now, when is it their children?”
Watch clips from Hudson’s interview with Jones below, followed by her performance at the March for Our Lives event in D.C.