Jimmy Kimmel struggled to control his emotions as he delivered a poignant monologue about the Las Vegas massacre on his talk show on Monday night (02Oct17).
The host opened Jimmy Kimmel Live! by addressing the shooting at the outdoor Route 91 Harvest festival, which left more than 50 people dead and 500 injured, on Sunday night.
Jimmy, who grew up in Las Vegas, began his speech with tears in his eyes and his voice broke as he spoke about the tragedy.
“It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to throw up or give up,” he said. “It’s too much to even process – all these devastated families who now have to live with this pain forever because one person with a violent and insane voice in his head managed to stockpile a collection of high-powered rifles and use them to shoot people.”
He then urged Americans to call on their senators to tighten gun control laws, questioning why shooter Stephen Paddock was able to buy some of his arsenal of automatic weapons legally, taking aim at politicians who won’t make any changes because of their connections with the National Rifle Association (NRA), who have “their balls in a money clip”.
He also showed the faces of senators who voted against stricter gun restrictions following the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016 and admitted he never wanted to be addressing such issues on his show.
“What I’m talking about tonight isn’t about gun control. It’s about common sense,” he sighed. “Common sense says no good will ever come from allowing a person to have weapons that can take down 527 Americans at a concert.
“Maybe I’m nuts but I would like to think we could put politics aside and agree that no American citizen needs an M16 (rifle) or ten of them and maybe that way we don’t do this again. That seems very reasonable to me.”
Jimmy, 49, grew close to crying when he recalled the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino fire in 1980, when 85 people were killed, and how after several fire-related tragedies, the rules were changed, and added,
“Why would we approach this differently? It’s a public safety issue.”
He praised everyone who helped during the shooting and concluded by saying, “I’m sorry for getting emotional. I’m not great with this kind of thing. It’s just, it’s important, you know.”
His speech has been repeatedly shared on social media, with celebrities including Rosie O’Donnell and Olivia Wilde praising his call to action.