On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the host became visibly upset while discussing the devastating school shooting in Texas. “Once again, we grieve for the little boys and girls whose lives have been ended and whose families have been destroyed,” he said.
He said that while the right will “warn us not to politicise”, it’s important to remember why we are here. “They know what they’ve done and they know what they haven’t done,” he said.
The “very least we can do” is insist upon background checks for those seeking to purchase a gun, a law that has been stalled in Congress. “They won’t pass it because our cowardly leaders just aren’t listening to us, they’re listening to the NRA, they’re listening to those people who write them checks who keep them in power,” he said.
Instead, talk of armed guards is being used by the right. “If your solution to children being massacred is armed guards, you haven’t been paying attention to what’s going on,” he said before reminding viewers of the many times that armed guards and police officers have not prevented school shootings.
Kimmel then zeroed in on the Texas senator Ted Cruz, who is scheduled to speak at an NRA event this weekend. “I refuse to believe he’s unaffected by this,” he said. “He’s not a monster, he’s a human being.”
To him and the many others who refuse to recognise the danger of guns he said: “It’s OK to admit you made a mistake, it’s not just OK, it’s necessary.”
He continued: “Do i think these men are brave people? No I don’t but man I would love it if these guys surprised me.”
Kimmel said that “it isn’t a time for moments of silence, this is a time to be loud” before reminding people that there have been 27 US school shootings so far this year and it’s only May. “How does this make sense to anyone?” he asked. “These are our children.”
On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert also focused on the Uvalde shooting. “If you’re heartbroken, if you’re frustrated, you’re not alone,” he said. “America has witnessed gun tragedy after gun tragedy.”
He then added: “The biggest reason for the tragedy is the gun.”
The US has more than 400m firearms, which is more than 40% of the global total. “A simple if extremely difficult solution: reduce the number of guns,” he said.
There are still background check loopholes and despite the fact that 90% of registered voters supporting tighter checks, nothing has been done. “The only thing more popular than background checks is Dolly Parton riding a giant corgi bringing you free ice cream,” he said.
Colbert then played footage of Beto O’Rourke confronting the Texas governor, Greg Abbott, at a press conference for doing nothing in the area of gun control, which led to anger. “That’s not true, Beto, they’re not doing nothing – they’re yelling at you for pointing out that they’re doing nothing,” he said.
He traced it back to the “gun lobby that lines their pockets” and ridiculed the idea of arming teachers. “A teacher’s job is not to use a gun, a teacher’s job is to teach and to rap about Shakespeare,” he said.
On Late Night, Seth Meyers similarly focused on the Texas tragedy. “We can’t become numb because what is happening right now doesn’t have to happen,” he said before a brief history lesson on what the second amendment actually said.
It doesn’t allow the average citizen to have an unregulated right to own military-grade weaponry, an idea that was “so insane and was shrugged off as ridiculous for so long” before Republicans in 1982 claimed to have found long-lost proof to change the constitution.
Meyers said that other “sane” countries deal with this kind of horror with stricter gun laws and while “there is an obvious correlation” between the number of guns and the number of shootings, nothing is being done.
“It’s within our power to stop this,” he said, before criticising the “most depraved people in our politics” on the right who want more guns in schools. “We should instead arm teachers and instead turn schools into fortified military bases,” he said while discussing their strategy. “If these people had their way, everything would be a scene out of Robocop.”