Last night, Jimmy Kimmel, along with all the other late-night hosts, addressed Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 59 people and injured more than 500. And their feelings were unanimous: something needs to be done. Because if now isn’t the time to talk about guns, after the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, when is? It was Kimmel though, among all his peers, who once again moved us to tears with his plea for common sense in a situation that doesn’t seem to make any.
“Here we are again — in the aftermath of another terrible, inexplicable, shocking and painful tragedy. This time, in Las Vegas. Which happens to be my hometown,” Kimmel said shakily as he began his opening monologue, pointing out that it comes about a year and a half after Orlando, which until now, was considered the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.
“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,” Kimmel continued.
“As a result of that, we have children without parents, 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 [California],” Kimmel said. “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 went on to talk about the gunman, who didn’t show any of the usual signs, passed the government-mandated background checks to buy the guns, and wasn’t on any watch lists. Which seems like concrete evidence that something needs to be done, and the laws need to be changed.
“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,” Kimmel said, almost dumbfounded. “But when an American buys a gun and kills other Americans, then there’s nothing we can do about that.”
Kimmel then called out President Donald Trump, Senator Majority leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, saying they should be “praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country because it’s so crazy,” and acknowledged they, “won’t do anything about this because the NRA has their balls in a money clip.”
Kimmel went on to show photos of the senators who voted against a bill that would’ve closed the loopholes that allow people to avoid background checks if they buy a gun privately, online or at a gun show. And while he’s sure they’re all sending their thoughts and prayers, it’s simply not enough. “We have a major problem with gun violence in this country and I guess they don’t care.”
Kimmel went on to say how “sick of it” he is. “I want this to be a comedy show, I hate talking about stuff likes this. I just want to laugh about things every night. But it’s becoming increasingly difficult lately. It feels like someone has opened a window into hell.”
Kimmel barely held back tears of both sadness and rage for nearly 10 minutes and, for the most part, managed to stay composed. But it’s clear that he’s angry, and frustrated, and fed up with everything that is going on — and will continue to happen if things don’t change. Just like the issue of health care, this is personal for Jimmy, whose hometown is Las Vegas, so no one can attack him for talking out of his a**. This is real for him. And the points he makes aren’t unreasonable. They make absolute perfect sense — to everyone but the ones in charge. What is it going to take?