In the wake of the horrific tragedy in Las Vegas on Sunday night, politicians and celebrities alike have been pleading for stricter gun laws to help stop this pattern in its tracks. And on his show, late night host Jimmy Kimmel paid tribute to Las Vegas, his hometown, in an emotional monologue, taking the opportunity to honor the 59 victims and their friends, family, and loved ones while also expressing the need for gun control laws.
Kimmel doesn’t shy away from tough topics during his monologues, and recently, when opening up about his newborn son’s open heart surgery, he addressed the larger issue of healthcare in this country. And in his first show in the immediate aftermath of the Las Vegas mass shooting, he directly addressed lawmakers, asking Congress what needs to be done to prevent these things from continuing to happen.
“Here we are again – in the aftermath of another terrible, inexplicably shocking and painful tragedy. This time – in Las Vegas, which happens to be my hometown…” he began, before recounting last year’s Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando.
“Of course, we pray for the victims – and for their families and friends and we wonder ‘why’ even though there’s probably no way to ever know ‘why’ a human being would do something like this to other human beings who were at a concert, having fun listening to music.”
He paid tribute to the victims, saying, “This morning, we have children without parents and fathers without sons, mothers without daughters. We lost two police officers. We lost a nurse from Tennessee. A special-ed teacher from a local school here in Manhattan Beach. It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to throw up or give up. It’s too much to even process — all these devastated families who now have to live with this pain forever because one person with a violent and insane voice in his head managed to stockpile a collection of high-powered rifles and use them to shoot people.”
Kimmel addressed those who take the stance that nothing can be done to stop this kind of egregious violence, saying,
“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. And the Second Amendment, I guess, our forefathers wanted us to have AK-47s is the argument, I assume.”
He also directly addressed President Trump and his cabinet, effusively declaring that “thoughts and prayers” simply aren’t enough anymore. “President Trump is visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday. He spoke this morning, he said he was praying for those who lost their lives. You know, in February, he also signed a bill that made it easier for people with severe mental illness to buy guns legally. The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, a number of other lawmakers who won’t do anything about this because the NRA has their balls in a money clip, also sent their thoughts and their prayers today — which is good. They should be praying. They should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country. Because it is, it is so crazy…”
Kimmel showed photos of senators who voted against closing loopholes for gun purchases in the days following the Orlando attack, adding that lawmakers will soon be voting to legalize silencers on assault rifles — which will make it easier to do mass damage.
“The House of Representatives will be voting on a piece of legislation this week. It’s a bill to legalize the sale of silencers. For guns. This is what they’re working on. We have a major problem with gun violence in this country – and I guess they don’t care.”
He ended his plea by adding that while he wants his show to be a “comedy show,” lately it’s just too difficult. “I hate talking about stuff like this,” he said. “I just want to give you something to laugh about at night. But that has become increasingly difficult lately. And lately, it feels like someone opened a window into hell.”
We couldn’t agree more, and we’re so thankful for public figures like Kimmel who use their platform to discuss these horrific realities in the hope that this time will be the last time.