“Here we are again, in the aftermath of another terrible, inexplicably shocking and painful tragedy,” an emotional Kimmel began Monday night’s JKL, noting Las Vegas is his hometown.
“And, of course, we pray for the victims, and for their families and friends and we wonder ‘why.’ And, as a result of that this morning, we have children are without parents and fathers are 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. 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 used them to shoot people.
The shooter was an accountant, with no criminal record, he wasn’t on a watch list; he wasn’t an extremist.
“And, because of that…I’ve been reading comments from people who say ‘This is terrible, but there’s nothing we could do about it.’,” Kimmel said.
“I disagree with that intensely,” he shot back.
“Of course, there was 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. Because the Second Amendment. Our forefathers wanted us to have AK47s, is the argument.”
“We’ll pray for Las Vegas, some of us will get motivated, some of us won’t get motivated, bills will be written, bills will be watered down, bills will fail, the NRA will smother it all with money,” the late night host forecast. “And, over time, we’ll get distracted and move on to the next thing. And then it’ll happen again, and again.
Hours after the mass shooting, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said this is not the time for political debate.
“Well, thank you Sarah, but we have 58 innocent people dead. And it wasn’t their time either,” Kimmel shot back. “So now is the time for political debate.”
President Trump is planning to visit Las Vegas on Wednesday and, this morning, he said he was praying for those who lost their lives. “In February, he also signed a bill that made it easier for people with severe mental illness to buy guns legally,” Kimmel snarked.
“Senator Majority leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and 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 prayers today,” Kimmel continued.
“Here are faces of the Senators who, days after the shooting in Orlando, voted against a bill that would have closed those loopholes,” Kimmel said as he put up their photos. “These are the 56 Senators who did not want to do anything about that.”
He noted 90% of Democrats and 77% of Republicans support background checks at gun shows, and 89% of Republicans and Democrats favor restricting gun ownership for the mentally ill.
“But not this gang! They voted against both of those things,” Kimmel mentioned.
“So, with all due respect: Your thoughts and your prayers are insufficient…By the way, 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.”
Kimmel apologized to viewers. “I want this to be a comedy show,” he promised. I hate talking about stuff like this. 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.”