Stephen Colbert opened “The Late Show” on CBS Tuesday night by acknowledging the tragic mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and calling for action at the polls.
“Now ladies and gentlemen, we tape this show earlier in the day and I just want to let you know shortly before I came out here tonight, we learned of the unspeakable shooting in Uvalde, Texas, today,” he began.
“And while we can add our prayers for the dead,” Colbert continued, pausing for a moment as he appeared briefly unable to continue, “there is nothing that can ever be said that can approach the immeasurable grief of those families. But while we’re at it, let’s pray that this time our leaders show a modicum of courage in trying to prevent this from ever happening again.”
As Colbert addressed his audience in the studio and at home, he called for people to be mindful in their political choices.
“But prayers won’t end this. Voting might,” he said. “So when you vote, ask yourself this question: Who, running for office, has publicly stated that they are willing to do anything and everything in their power to protect your children from the criminally insane number of guns in America?”
Colbert then acknowledged that one person who has done “something about it” in New Zealand is the prime minister of that country — Jacinda Arden, who was a guest on his show Tuesday night.
Later, during his interview segment with Arden, which you can watch below, he asked her how they tackled the gun problem following a shooting at Christchurch in 2019 that left 51 people dead — by banning assault-style weapons.
“I can only speak to our experience in New Zealand, but when I watch from afar and see events such as those today, I think of them not as a politician, I see them just as a mother and I am so sorry for what has happened here,” she began.
“And then I think about what happened to us, and all I can reflect is we are a very pragmatic people,” she continued. “When we saw something like that happen, everyone said, ‘Never again.’ So then it was incumbent on us as politicians to respond to that. Now, we have legitimate needs for guns in our country for things like peace control and to protect our biodiversity, but you don’t need a military style semi-automatic weapon to do that. And so we got rid of them.”