Following the horrific mass school shooting in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday that left 19 children and two teachers dead, Jimmy Kimmel opened his show Wednesday by addressing a grieving nation. In an emotional, tearful monologue before the audience took their seats, Kimmel pointed out the hypocrisy of our elected leaders, primarily on the right, who were already accusing Democrats of politicizing the tragedy.
“They don’t want to speak about it, because they know what they’ve done, and they know what they haven’t done,” the host said, not just of Republicans as a whole, but particularly Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Senator Ted Cruz. “They know that it’s indefensible, so they’d rather sweep this under the rug.”
Kimmel went on to say that most Americans actually support reasonable gun control laws and background checks, on both sides of the political aisle. “The reason they call them common-sense gun laws is because that’s what they are, common sense,” he reasoned. “Eighty percent of Americans want background checks before a gun can be purchased — just the least we can do.”
He continued, placing the blame on our “cowardly leaders” who are more indebted to the NRA than they are to their actual constituents, but that it doesn’t have to be this way.
“I say this tonight with the hope, not with the expectation but with the hope, that people like Ted Cruz, Greg Abbott, and (Texas Senator) John Cornyn, people who were elected by Texans actually listen, instead of going right to gun control doesn’t work and we need armed teachers and guards at schools,” Kimmel told viewers.
As he explained, that logic is downright faulty because there actually were armed police officers in Buffalo, Parkland, and Uvalde. Yet, the gunmen in each case were able to commit the horrific atrocities regardless. And not only that, but the “gun control doesn’t work” argument also falls flat, since other countries that adopted common-sense gun laws after mass shooting incidents have been able to completely prevent further tragedies from occurring.
Addressing Cruz, Abbott, and their cohorts, Kimmel said: “It’s OK to admit you made a mistake, in fact it’s not just OK but it’s necessary to admit you made a mistake when your mistake is killing the children in your state.”
“It takes a big person to do that; it takes a brave person to do something like that,” Kimmel continued. “And do I think these men are brave people? No I don’t. But man, I would love it if they surprised me. This is not a time for moments of silence,” he added. “This is a time to be loud, and to stay loud, and not stop until we fix this.”
“There have been 27 school shootings so far this year in this country and it’s May,” he said, choking up. “How does this make sense to anyone? These are our children, and our representatives are supposed to represent us.”
In addition to calls to action to vote out every single politician in office who refuses to act, Kimmel also directed people to a fundraiser for Everytown For Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country.