Jimmy Kimmel kicked off tonight’s episode of his ABC talk show with a plea to do something, anything, about gun violence in the wake of the “terrible, inexplicably shocking and painful tragedy” in Las Vegas Sunday.
With his voice cracking throughout his monologue and finally weeping, Kimmel shared his and the nation’s pain over the killing in his own hometown. Kimmel said the shooting – after so many other incidents – had led to despair.
“Fathers without sons, mothers without daughters,” he bemoaned. “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 live with this pain forever, because one person managed to collect a stockpile of rifles and use them to shoot people.”
In recent weeks Kimmel has stepped into the political arena to voice the pain of many, challenging Republicans on health care and now on gun laws.
Republicans won’t act on guns, he said, because the “NRA has their balls in a money clip.”
“Here we are again – in the aftermath of another terrible, inexplicably shocking and painful tragedy,” Kimmel said, referring to Las Vegas, “Which happens to be my hometown.” Kimmel noted that the massacre came nearly a year and a half after the mass shooting in Orlando that, until Sunday night, was the deadliest such event in modern history.
“I’ve been reading comments -from people who say – this is terrible, but there’s nothing we could do about it,” Kimmel continued. “But I disagree with that – intensely. 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.”
Kimmel then called White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders, President Trump, Senator Majority leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and other lawmakers who, he said, won’t act because the “NRA has their balls in a money clip.”
“Listen – I just want to say – I want this to be a comedy show,” Kimmel said. “I hate talking about stuff like this… But that has become increasingly difficult lately. And lately, it feels like – someone opened a window into hell.” Kimmel then discussed various ways of approaching the problem of gun violence, urged action from elected officials, and provided information on how audience members can help the afflicted in Nevada.
“I’m sorry for getting emotional,” he concluded. “I’m not great with this sort of thing, but I think it’s important.”