The 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' host shared emotional remarks on his show Wednesday night.
Jimmy Kimmel did not hide his emotion as he addressed the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, at Robb Elementary School, that left 21 people dead -- including 19 children. On Wednesday, the Jimmy Kimmel Live host opened his show without an audience as he tearfully stood in the studio and spoke for more than six minutes, which included a passionate plea to politicians.
“Hi, it’s Jimmy, and I wanted to speak to you directly without an audience for just a bit before we start this show because here we are again on another day of mourning in this country,” the host soberly said.
“Once again we grieve,” Kimmel continued as he began to choke back tears. “For the little boys and girls whose lives have been ended and whose families have been destroyed while our leaders on the right, the Americans at Congress and at Fox News and these other outlets warn us not to politicize this. They immediately criticize our president for even speaking about doing something to stop it because they don’t want to speak about it. Because they know what they’ve done, and they know what they haven't done and they know it’s indefensible, so they’d rather sweep this under the rug.”
Kimmel then spoke about the American desire to have “common sense gun laws” pass that will keep guns out of the hands of criminals and prevent further mass shooting incidents in the country. In another direct message to political leaders, the host called out the leaders who won’t make a change.
“A bipartisan bill, passed in the House, has been stalled in the Senate for over a year now. They won't pass it, because our cowardly leaders just aren't listening to us. They're listening to the NRA,” he said. “They're listening to those people who write them checks who keep them in power, because that's the way politics works. That's the idea we settle on. That's what we tell ourselves. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Not for this.”
Kimmel then addressed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, pleading with them to listen to the citizens and write laws that work instead of their proposed plans to implement more armed guards in schools and armed teachers.
Kimmel challenged the politicians' ideas of armed guards by noting that the mass shootings in Buffalo, Parkland and Uvalde all had armed guards on hand and the incidents still occurred. He also pointed out how countries like Scotland and Australia enacted strict gun laws, following mass shootings, and how the result has been no more mass shootings noting that firearms are the number one cause of death in American children and teens.
The host directed his message to Sen. Cruz, calling on him to admit that he’s made a mistake and acknowledge the issue, refusing to believe that the senator doesn't care.
“Here's the thing I would like to say to Ted Cruz, the human being, and Gov. Abbott and everyone. It’s OK to admit you made a mistake. In fact, it's not just OK, it's necessary to admit you made a mistake when your mistake is killing the children in your state,” he said. “It takes a big person to do something like that. It takes a brave person to do something like that. And do I think these men are brave people. No, I don’t, I don’t. But, man, I would love it if they surprised me. I would love it if any of these guys surprised me.”
He added, “This is not a time for moments of silence. This is a time to be loud and to stay loud and not stop until we fix this.”
Kimmel again became emotional as he noted that, so far, there have been 27 school shootings in 2022 in America.
“How does this make sense to anyone? These are our children,” he said through tears. “And our representatives are supposed to represent us. We want limits on who can walk around with an AR-15, and it damn well shouldn’t be a teenager who works at a fast-food restaurant. If we can’t agree on that, forget it.”
“It's not their fault, this is now our fault, because we get angry, we demand action, we don’t get it, they wait it out and we go back to the lives that we should rightfully go back to,” he said. “But you know who doesn’t forget it? The parents of the children at Sandy Hook, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and now Robb Elementary School. They won’t forget it."
Kimmel ended his monologue with a plea to citizens to hold politicians accountable and to make sure that if change isn’t made, they do not hold office.
“So if you care about this and we all do,” he said. “Doesn't matter what party we all vote for, we all care about this. We need to make sure that we do everything we can to make sure that, unless they do something drastic, to make sure that not one of any of these politicians ever holds office again.”
Kimmel’s monologue was followed by a three-minute ad from the Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization which enacts “evidence-based” solutions to curb gun violence.
Kimmel joins other late-night hosts James Corden and Stephen Colbert, who also used their opening monologues to address the mass shooting.