Stephen Colbert delivered a sobering monologue about the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas and urged against the overwhelming sense of hopelessness and powerlessness that follows such violence on The Late Show Monday.
“Everyone is heartbroken when this happens, and you want to do something but nothing gets done,” Colbert said. “No one does anything – and that seems insane, and it can make you feel hopeless. Now, I don’t know what to do, but hopelessness is not the answer. You cannot give up in the face of evil.”
Colbert noted the way efforts to pass any kind of gun control legislation get swept away swiftly after mass killings. He pointed to a potential ban on bump stocks – which practically turn semi-automatic weapons into automatic weapons – that emerged in Congress after the shooting in Las Vegas, but has since gone away. Colbert said the failure to act in response to mass shootings was not just unacceptable, but unnatural and inhuman.
“It just goes against our nature,” he said. “We want to fix things. You want to respond to something terrible like this. Not just now, but at any time in human history. Five-thousand years ago, if your village had a tiger coming into it every day and was eating people, you wouldn’t do nothing. You would move the village, you would build a fence or you would kill the tiger. You wouldn’t say, ‘Well I guess somebody’s gonna get eaten everyday because the price of liberty is tigers.’ You take some action.”
Colbert closed his monologue with a reminder that the greatest way to fight powerless and hopelessness is by voting. “Vote for someone who will do something,” Colbert said, before paraphrasing Edmund Burke: “Because this is an act of evil and the only thing necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.”
James Corden also addressed the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs on The Late Late Show. Corden shared his condolences with the victims and their families, but also pointed out the hypocrisy that fuels the gun control debate. “It was too early to talk gun control after Vegas, and now the President says it’s too early to talk about gun control after Sutherland Springs,” Corden said. “And once again, though, it is too late for the victims.”