In the wake of two mass shootings in less than 24 hours in the United States over the weekend, one in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, late-night hosts Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel discussed the tragedies and called out both President Trump for his misplaced reactions and Mitch McConnell for his inaction on sensible gun legislation.
Colbert tried to muster some positivity during Monday’s Late Show monologue, but the most he could add to the “smile file” is that the Dow lost 750 points.
“It’s really all downhill from here,” Colbert remarked before discussing HBO’s Chernobyl and tying the show’s premise to our current state. “Over and over again in it, a scientist or engineer will tell a politician, ‘Hey, we’ve got a real problem here. The nuclear core is going to melt down and kill everyone,'” he said. “See, the politicians refuse to believe it because any acknowledgement of failure threatens their position of power, and their power is more important than saving lives.”
“What’s that got to do with anything?” he continued. “Well, I think at this point it’s clear that America’s gun culture is melting down, but the Republicans in Congress would rather maintain their power than save lives.”
He slammed “this month’s centerfold for Corruption Monthly” a.k.a. Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has refused to allow voting on bipartisan gun control legislation.
“I’m sure he has reasons, like the $1.26 million in NRA contributions he has received,” Colbert quipped. “Now, look, you can’t put a price on human life, but it didn’t stop Mitch from trying.”
“After every one of these tragedies, every time this happens, we go, ‘Hey we should have sensible gun legislation.’ Everybody wants sensible gun legislation and nothing happens,” Colbert added. “Well, maybe it’s time for senseless gun legislation. OK, maybe turn in your assault weapon and in exchange we give you a giant pork sausage… It’s even more phallic than your gun, and it’s only going to hurt you.”
"He's not tolerating racism, he's promoting racism."
Democrat Presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke lashes out after an emotional day, telling the press to "connect the dots about what [Trump] has been doing in the country" after a mass-shooting in his hometown El Paso. pic.twitter.com/zWI2t47AVY
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) August 5, 2019
Colbert also gave props to Beto O’Rourke, who blamed Trump for fueling racism and violence in America. “Well said. That is refreshing candor,” Colbert said of O’Rourke. “It’s all well and good to offer thoughts and prayers, but sometimes you want shouts and swears.”
He also ripped on Trump for his inaccurate remarks about Ohio’s mass shooting being in Toledo instead of Dayton, and Joe Biden for getting the locations wrong, too. “All right, wrong city, but don’t worry, sir. It’s not like Ohio’s that important in presidential elections,” he said. “Joe Biden better hope it’s not, because last night, he offered sympathy for the tragic events in Houston and also in Michigan.”
During Trump’s address to the nation following the shootings, he said, “In one voice our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy.” To that, Colbert said, “I try my best every night, but you’re still in office.”
Kimmel also addressed the mass shootings on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday. “After another week of sadness and outrage in the United States, we had two more mass shootings, one on Saturday in El Paso, the other in Dayton Sunday morning. Horrible, senseless tragedies again with many lives lost,” he said during his monologue. “And again our leaders, in one party in particular, are offering not much more than their thoughts and prayers.
“And you know, I was thinking and praying about it, and both parties say one thing: That we’re too divided,” he added. “This is something that we hear a lot, that we have to find something to agree on. Well, here’s something we can agree on: Too many people are being shot with high-powered weapons. I think we agree on that.
“And we agree on this, too: They did a poll last year, and 97 percent of gun owners — these are gun owners — support universal background checks,” he continued. “97 percent, that’s unheard of. You can ask people, ‘Is ice cream delicious,’ and not get 97 percent, but the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell — this evil, soulless old creep — won’t even allow the Senate to vote on a bipartisan bill to require background checks for gun purchases at gun shows.”
He urged the audience to let McConnell know that we do agree on something. “We agree that he needs to drag his bony grey ass back in to work to vote on these bills, let’s start with that thing that we all agree on.”
Kimmel also took Trump to task for blaming both the media and video games for the tragic events. “There are zero studies that link video games to gun violence and they play video games all over the world, this is the only place where this happens regularly,” he said. “Video games have not been linked to gun violence. But you know what is linked to gun violence? Guns are linked to gun violence. The problem isn’t fake news, it’s real guns.”