Jason Alexander, best known for playing George Costanza on "Seinfeld," sparked his own debate over gun control with his Twitter followers due to a post about the recent deadly shooting at a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Colorado.
The suspected gunman, James Holmes, used an AR-15 assault rifle, a Remington 12-gauge 870 shotgun and a 40-caliber Glock handgun to shoot dead 12 people and injure at least 58 others at the movie theater. He is expected to be formally charged next Monday.
Holmes possessed all his weapons and ammunition legally, authorities have said. U.S. citizens have the right to keep and bear arms, as dictated by the Constitution's second amendment, but debates over gun control have ensued for years. The AR-15 assault rifle Holmes used is a civilian version of the United States military's M16, a semi-automatic rifle.
"I cannot understand support for legality of the kind of weapon in this massacre," Alexander Tweeted on July 21. "It's a military weapon.why should it be in non- mil hands? (sic)"
The actor later reTweeted several replies, including insulting ones."You're dumber than George Costanza," one user commented.
Someone else referenced another controversy involved an actor from the hit 1990s sitcom "Seinfeld" - Michael Richards. The actor, who played Cosmo Kramer, made headlines in 2006 when he unleashed a racist rant against a black audience member while performing at the same Laugh Factory club in Los Angeles. He later apologized in a segment that aired on CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman."
"1st Richards opens mouth- Racist. Now Jason Alex bashes our Constitution (sic)," a Twitter user said in a post reTweeted by Alexander. Hollywood idiots live in a bubble @IJasonAlexander #OutOfTouch."
The actor later posted a longer, angrier Tweet, saying that such weapons "are not the same as handguns to help homeowners protect themselves from intruders" and "are not the same as hunting rifles or sporting rifles. These weapons are designed for harm and death on big scales."
"SO WHY DO YOU CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THEM?" he added in capital letters. "WHY DO YOU NOT, AT LEAST, AGREE TO SIT WITH REASONABLE PEOPLE FROM BOTH SIDES AND ASK HARD QUESTIONS AND LOOK AT HARD STATISTICS AND POSSIBLY MAKE SOME COMPROMISES FOR THE GREATER GOOD? SO THAT MOTHERS AND FATHERS AND CHILDREN ARE NOT SLAUGHTERED QUITE SO EASILY BY THESE MONSTERS?"
Alexander also addressed those who insulted him, saying: "So, sorry those of you who tell me I'm an actor, or a has-been or an idiot or a commie or a liberal and that I should shut up. You can not watch my stuff, you can unfollow and you can call me all the names you like. I may even share some of them with my global audience so everyone can get a little taste of who you are."
In another long Tweet, the actor clarified that he is not "anti-gun" and is also not "unaware of how often guns can prevent violence."
"I merely believe we need to have a rational discussion about the pros and cons of where we draw the line on civilian ownership of the range of weapons and instruments of violence that exist," he said. "And on gun laws in general."
Alexander reTweeted mostly negative responses to his words. But one reTweeted user voiced support for the actor, saying: "THANK YOU. And also for taking a bit heat from the fringes. The noise in the signal tends to shout down reasonable people."
Another user not referenced by the actor Tweeted: "@IJasonAlexander your tweet was articulate and well-spoken. I agree with it 100%, but, you should've ended with "George is getting upset!!"
The person is referencing a well-known line from "Seinfeld." Since the July 20 shooting, more than 12 people have quoted it on Twitter in response to Alexander.
Following several more Tweets, the actor later changed the subject.
"Hey all, on a lighter note, the episode I directed of TNT's 'Franklin and Bash' airs tonight (Tuesday) 10PM on TNT," he said. "Fun show & I hope u watch."
Alexander also stirred online controversy in May when he said on an episode of "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" that the sport cricket was a "gay game." He later Tweeted a lengthy "message of amends."