Los Angeles, Feb 15 (PTI) Several Hollywood personalities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Mark Ruffalo, Britney Spears, Reese Witherspoon, among others have expressed their sadness and frustration after a former student opened fire at a Florida high school, killing at least 17.

Various stars took to social media to condemn the 18th shooting incident this year and called for stronger gun control laws in the USA.

Popular host Ellen DeGeneres wrote, “No words, no actions, no laws are enough until we end this epidemic of school shootings in our country. My heart is with the students and parents of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.” Actor-activist Mark Ruffalo, who is a vocal critic of the Donald Trump administration, said prayers are hollow when not supported by actions.

“Prayers without accordant action are silent lies told to oneself, heard by no God, amounting to nothing. Action is the language of truth, the prayers of the Saints,” he wrote.

“Just heard the tragic news about Florida. My heart breaks for the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Keeping the victims and their families in my thoughts,” singer Britney Spears wrote alongside a poster reading ‘Pray for Parkland’.

Actor Reese Witherspoon tweeted, “Heartbroken over the news of another school shooting. This is the 18th in 45 days of 2018. Students and teachers shouldn’t have to fear for their safety. We must do more to prevent these senseless acts of gun violence. My heart is with the people in Parkland, FL. Enough is enough.” Actors Patricia Arquette and Mia Farrow targeted the NRA (National Rifle Association), the nonprofit organisation that advocates for gun rights in the US, for the incident.

“If people can blame drug dealers for the drug problem then we can blame the @NRA for the mass shooting problem,” Arquette wrote.

“These lawmakers took the most money ($$) from the @NRA,” Farrow tweeted a list of congressmen who have benefited the most from NRA funding.

Veteran actor Gloria Estefan said, “And on this day that we should be celebrating love, my beloved Florida is once again assaulted by gun violence. Yet again senseless misery is inflicted on the loved ones of innocent victims whose only fear should have been not being able to finish their homework. What now?” Author Stephen King wrote, “Broward school shooting — There will be prayers from Blabbermouth Don, Pence the Grinch, and their rightwing cohorts. There will be no call for any sort of sane gun regs.” Supermodel Tyra Banks tweeted, “My heart deeply hurts for the children and their families in South Florida that are going through a living hell. These senseless acts have to stop. Enough!” Retired professional boxer-actor Mike Tyson wrote, “Another school shooting. Sad. Prayers to the families #ParklandShooting.” TV personality Kim Kardashian West tweeted, “We owe it to our children and our teachers to keep them safe while at school. Prayers won’t do this: action will. Congress, please do your job and protect Americans from senseless gun violence.” Elizabeth Banks shared a poster that read ‘thoughts and prayers’ in struck-off font, replaced by ‘policy and change’ and captioned it as “Sending my love to #parkland. #guncontrol.” The shooting suspect, identified as Nicolas Cruz, has been taken into custody. The FBI is assisting local officials in the investigation.

Cruz, 19, was a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where the shooting took place.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said Cruz got expelled from the school for disciplinary reasons.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.