Late-night television hosts Jimmy Kimmel, Conan O’Brien, and Seth Meyers opened their shows on Monday night by addressing the mass shooting in Las Vegas that left at least 59 people dead and 527 injured.
Kimmel, a Las Vegas native, was particularly shaken-up by the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history happening in his hometown, and fought back tears during a powerful 10-minute monologue.
Kimmel had plenty to say on the topic of gun control, and here are some of those comments:
“I’ve been reading comments from people saying, ‘This is terrible, but there’s nothing we can do about it.’ But I disagree with that intensely, because of course there’s something we can do about it. There are a lot of things we can do about it. But we don’t, which is interesting because when someone with a beard attacks us, we tap phones, we invoke travel bans, we build walls, we take every possible precaution to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But when an American buys a gun and kills other Americans, then there’s nothing we can do about that. Second Amendment, I guess. Our forefathers wanted us to have AK-47s, is the argument, I assume.
Orlando, Newtown, Aurora, San Bernardino, every one of these shootings the murderer used automatic or semi-automatic rifles, which are not weapons you use for self-defense. They’re weapons designed to kill large numbers of people in the shortest possible amount of time. This guy reportedly had 10 of them in his room, apparently legally, at least some of them were there legally. Why is that allowed? I don’t know why our so-called leaders continue to allow this to happen. Or maybe the better question, why do we continue to let them to allow it to happen?
Five people got shot in Lawrence, Kansas last night. Three of them died, and it didn’t even make a blip because this is just a regular part of our lives now. You know what will happen. We’ll pray for Las Vegas. Some of us will get motivated, some of us won’t get motivated. The bills will be written, they’ll be watered down, they’ll fail. The NRA will smother it all with money, and over time we’ll get distracted and we’ll move on to the next thing. And that it will happen again. And again.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said it was not the time for political debate. I don’t know, we have 59 innocent people dead. It wasn’t their time either. So I think now IS the time for political debate.”
Conan O’Brien began hosting a late-night television show in 1993, and said during his monologue how in those days, “occasions like this were extremely rare.”
O’Brien continued, “For me or any TV comedy host back then to come out and need to address a mass shooting spree was practically unheard of. But over the last decade, things have changed.”
O’Brien then said how his show’s head writer approached him earlier on Monday with a file of papers featuring his comments made in monologues following other recent mass shootings, and that’s when it really hit him in terms of how big of a problem we have.
“How could there be a file of mass shooting remarks for a late night host? When did that become normal? When did this become a ritual? And what does it say about us that it has?”
“I don’t think it should be so easy for one demented person to kill so many people so quickly. The sounds of those automatic weapons last night are grotesquely out of place in a civilized society. It makes no sense to me as a reasonable human being and a father. And what’s more, we’re all tired of hearing reporters, let alone comics, discuss mass carnage in the most affluent and influential country in the history of the world. Something needs to change. It really does.”
Seth Meyers was very straight-up about about gun control, and challenged Congress to finally do something about it or else just be honest with us that nothing is going to change.
“It always seems like the worst displays of humanity in this country are immediately followed by the best. And then sadly, that is followed by no action at all. And then it repeats itself.
So we’ve talked about gun violence on this show before, and I’m not sure what else I can say. I also know nothing I say will make any difference at all.
But to congress, I would just like to say, are there no steps we can take as a nation to prevent gun violence? Or, is this just how it is, and how it’s going to continue to be. Because when you say — which you always say — ‘Now is not the time to talk about it,’ what you really mean is, ‘There is never a time to talk about.’ And it would be so much more honest if you would just admit that your plan is to never talk about it, and never take any action.
Congressman Steve Scalise, who in a wonderful and truly wonderful moment returned to the House Floor four months after being shot himself, said that his being alive is proof that miracles really do happen.
But is that the best plan D.C. has for dealing with gun violence? When there’s a shooting we just pray for a miracle? Because maybe that is it, but if you’re not willing to do anything, just be honest and tell us- this is how it is; this is how it will continue to be. Instead of saying, ‘This isn’t the time to talk about it,’ just say, ‘We’re never going to talk about it.’
If it’s going to be thoughts and prayers from here on out, the least you can do is be honest about that.”
That pretty much nails it.