On the night of October 1, 2017, a gunman armed with an arsenal of bump stock-modified semi-automatic assault rifles—giving them full-auto capacity—opened fire on a group of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. By the time the smoke had cleared, he’d massacred 58 people and injured 851 more.
He repeated the all-too-familiar ritual on Friday night after a 17-year-old gunman took the lives of 10 people at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas—the deadliest shooting stateside since Parkland, and the 22nd U.S. school shooting this year.
“Hi. Before we get to our guests—and the jokes tonight—I want to take a moment because, as you know, we had another school shooting today. This time in Santa Fe, Texas. At least ten people were killed, ten are wounded. Mostly high school kids,” Kimmel said at the top of his late-night monologue.
“And, once again, our leaders are sending their thoughts and prayers. President Trump said he is with the people of Santa Fe in this tragic hour and will be with them forever—except for when it comes time to do something. Then he will not be with them,” he continued. “And neither will any of the congresspeople—or governors—who don’t ever do anything because they are fearful that it will hurt them politically. They know the truth. They know this has gone too far. But they’re too cowardly to do the right thing. They care more about the support of the NRA than they do about children.”
Kimmel, fighting back tears, wasn’t done. “So they sit there, with their hands in their pockets, pockets that are full of gun money, and do nothing. They just wait for the outrage to pass, because it didn’t happen to their children. There’s only one way to look at this: How would you feel and what would you do if these were your children who were killed today?” he said. “The truth about our democracy is that the people don’t make laws, we vote for those who do. So… the least you can do is register to vote right now. I mean the only way we can make any meaningful impact on this epidemic is to make sure we vote for politicians who will do something.”
“Our leaders right now seem to think that everything is fine… it isn’t fine. This kind of thing doesn’t happen in countries that have real, sensible gun laws,” said Kimmel, before adding, “And I don’t know about you, but I for one am very, very tired of this.”