Jimmy Kimmel: "It feels like someone has opened a window into hell.”
In his brief address to the nation on Monday in the wake of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, Donald Trump stressed that sometimes there is no explanation for why bad things happen. Trump specifically refused to mention guns, which is in line with Republican Party strategy of pretending unlimited gun purchases don’t lead to gun rampages.
But on Monday night, the entire lineup of late-night talk show hosts stepped forward to a lead a national discussion about guns — the same debate Trump and the GOP don’t want to have.
With his voice often breaking with emotion, Las Vegas native Jimmy Kimmel launched the longest and most detailed monologue, as he zeroed in on the permanent crisis of gun violence in America and hit politicians who stand in the way of common sense reform.
“It’s a public safety issue and something needs to be done already,” said Kimmel, who excoriated Republicans who offered up their “thoughts and prayers” to the victims in Las Vegas, while simultaneously advancing the NRA’s agenda. “They should be praying. They should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country.”
He added, “Maybe I’m nuts, but I would like to think we could put politics aside and agree that no Americans need an M-16. Or 10 of them.”
The Las Vegas gunman reportedly had 17 rifles in his hotel room Sunday night when he opened fire on the country music concert below, killing at least 59 people and injuring more than 500.
Kimmel specifically took issue with the White House’s Monday rebuttal that now is talk about gun violence. “We have 59 innocent people dead, it wasn’t their time either. So I think now is the time for political debate,” Kimmel stressed.
All across the television dial Monday night in an extraordinary display of solidarity, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brian, Seth Meyers, Trevor Noah, and James Corden joined Kimmel in addressing the gun massacre in thoughtful, provocative ways.
“I’ve never been to a country where people are as afraid to speak about guns,” stressed Noah, who grew up in South Africa.
“The sounds of those automatic weapons last night are grotesquely out of place in a civilized society,” added O’Brien. “It makes no sense to me as a reasonable human being and a father.”
All of the comedians expressed shock that they have to keep setting aside time in a comedy show to mourn the dead from U.S. shooting sprees.
“I want this to be a comedy show. I hate talking about stuff like this, I just want to laugh about things every night,” said Kimmel. “But that, it seems is becoming increasingly difficult lately,” stressed Kimmel.
He added, “It feels like someone has opened a window into hell.”