Kimmel’s opening monologue was an emotional call to action
Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel opened his show last night with an emotional and tearful plea for gun control after 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire from his hotel window onto a crowd of 22,000 music festival attendees, killing 59 and injuring over 500 on Sunday night in Las Vegas.
“Here we are again, in the aftermath of another terrible, inexplicably shocking and painful tragedy,” Kimmel, a Las Vegas native, opened. “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,” he said, struggling to get the words out. “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.”
“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 tearfully surmised. “And, over time, we’ll get distracted and move on to the next thing. And then it’ll happen again, and again.”
Kimmel went on to say that although 90 percent of Democrats and 77 percent of Republicans (people, not politicians) support background checks at gun shows, and 89 percent of Republicans and Democrats favor restricting gun ownership for the mentally ill, there’s still 56 senators who will not support the bills needed for actual change.
“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 showed photos of each, “because the NRA has their balls in a money clip.” About their “thoughts and prayers,” he went on to say, “They should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun-loving lobby run this country.”
There continue to be arguments that control measures wouldn’t have prevented this tragedy or anyone can get their hands on a gun if they really wanted to or the famous “drugs are illegal and look how that’s worked out.” The bottom line is stricter laws (not banning guns) will prevent future deaths from occurring. Of course it won’t prevent all incidents but that’s like saying we should stop wearing seat belts because it doesn’t prevent all car fatalities, so fuck it.
Kimmel also made referenced to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders comment that now is not the time for political debate. “Well, thank you, Sarah, but, I don’t know, we have 59 innocent people dead. And it wasn’t their time either,” Kimmel responded. “So now is the time for political debate.”
Kimmel is right. According to Vox, there’s more than one mass shooting every single day in America (and even that stat was as of 2015). “If this argument is followed to its logical end,” they state, “then it will never be the right time to discuss mass shootings.”
If not now, when?