Samantha Bee was not about to just deliver a few well-meaning words about the victims of the mass shooting at the gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and move on to silly comedy the way John Oliver did on Sunday and other late-night hosts are bound to do later tonight.
“Well, here we are,” Bee said at the top of Full Frontal Monday night. “Now, after a massacre, the standard operating procedure is that you stand on stage and deliver some well-meaning words about how we will get through this together. How love wins, how love conquers hate. And that is great, that is beautiful. But you know what? Fuck it! I am too angry for that. Love does not win, unless we start loving each other enough to fix our fucking problems.”
After putting the Orlando massacre in the context of America’s near-constant epidemic of mass shootings, the host asked, “Hey, is it OK if instead of making jokes, I just scream for seven minutes until we go to commercial?” Instead, she added, “Mass shootings have become so frequent in this country, seems like the only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is another bad guy with a gun who coincidentally came to shoot up the same place.”
Bee proceeded to tear into a status quo that allows a man who has been investigated multiple times for ties to terrorism to buy a weapon that can shoot off 45 rounds in under a minute. “Who could have predicted that letting suspected extremists buy guns was a bad idea?” she asked, “other than Obama, less than two weeks ago.”
In response to Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who said this shooting could have happened “anywhere in the world” and this was “Orlando’s turn,” Bee said in disbelief, “Orlando’s turn? Mass shootings are so normalized that we’re taking turns?” In fact, she said this could not happen “anywhere in the world” given that other countries without a Second Amendment, such as Australia, do not have anywhere near the problems America does.
“We can’t constitutionally get rid of all guns,” Bee admitted. “But can’t we get semiautomatic assault rifles out of the hands of civilians?” She imagined the headlines: “Sam Bee wants to take your guns away!” To which she replied, “Yes! The ones that mow down a roomful of people in seconds, yes, I do want to take those guns away! These high-capacity penis substitutes are a shitty choice for hunting and home protection, but are perfect for portable mayhem.”
And do not get her started on Florida Governor Rick Scott’s suggestion that the best response to a massacre like this one is to pray. “Until we as a nation find the political will to reject a mass shooter per day as the price of freedom, I’m just going to pray,” Bee said sarcastically, clasping her hands and looking to the ceiling.
“Are you there, God? It’s me, Sam,” she began. “Please, bless the victims and their friends and families in their time of unspeakable pain. Give us the courage to say ‘no more.’ And while you’re at it, please send the NRA a plague of boils. Amen.”