Jimmy Kimmel was brought to tears multiple times while calling for tougher gun laws in the wake of Sunday’s deadly mass shooting in his hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada.
The tragedy saw 527 people injured and 59 killed after a gunman fired shots from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino at a county music festival across the road.
Kimmel choked up addressing the “terrible, inexplicable, shocking and painful tragedy” during the opening monologue of his ABC late night show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!
“It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to throw up or give up,” the host said. “It’s too much to even process -- 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 use them to shoot people.”
The 49-year-old comedian declared that it’s no longer enough for politicians, the public and the National Rifle Association to send “love and prayers,” to victims of shootings. He added that the NRA should be “praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country,” and called for immediate action to toughen up gun laws.
“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 plans, we build walls, we take every possible precaution to make it doesn’t happen again,” he said. “But when an American fires a gun and kills other Americans, then there’s nothing we can do about that.”
Visibly teary throughout the 10-minute monologue, Kimmel apologized for getting emotional and noted that addressing such serious matters on his comedy show was not ideal, but important.
“I want this to be a comedy show,” he said. “I hate talking about things like this. I just want to laugh at things every night, but it seems to be becoming increasingly difficult lately. It feels like someone has opened a window into hell.”
“And what I’m talking about tonight isn’t about gun control -- it’s about common sense,” he added. “Common sense says no good will ever come from allowing a person to have weapons that can take down 527 Americans at a concert. Common sense says you don’t let those who suffer from mental illness buy guns.”