Jimmy Kimmel teared up during an emotional monologue on Monday in which he called for stricter gun laws in the wake of the shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, that left at least 59 dead and over 500 wounded.
During a 10-minute monologue segment usually reserved for topical jokes about the day’s news, Kimmel – a Las Vegas native – repeatedly choked up describing the families torn apart by the deadliest shooting in modern history.
“It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to throw up or give up,” Kimmel said.
“It’s too much to even process all these devastated families who will 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 used them to shoot people.”
But the host spent the majority of the segment on the topic of gun control, noting a number of recent federal gun-control bills that have failed.
“When someone with a beard attacks us, we tap phones, we invoke travel bans, we build walls, we take every possible precaution to make sure it never happens again,” Kimmel said. “But when an American buys a gun and kills other Americans, then there’s nothing we can do about that.”
Kimmel singled out prominent Republican leaders President Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying they won’t pass gun-control measures because the National Rife Association “has their balls in a money clip.”
He sarcastically thanked them for their thoughts and prayers, saying they “should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country,” and put up a graphic of Republican senators who voted against closing the gun-show loophole following a mass shooting in 2012 that left 26 people, including 20 children, dead.
“You know what’ll happen?” Kimmel said. “We’ll pray for Las Vegas, some of us will get motivated, some of us won’t get motivated. The bills will be written, they’ll get watered down, they’ll fail. The NRA will smother it all with money, and over time we’ll get distracted, and we’ll move on to the next thing. And it’ll happen again, and again.”
The Las Vegas shooter was found with 23 firearms in his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay casino. Some of the weapons were semiautomatic, which fire in short bursts, while others were automatic rifles, which can fire continuously and are more heavily regulated than semiautomatic weapons.
The ABC host has become increasingly emotional, outspoken, and serious on his show about political issues.
Last month, Kimmel captured national attention again when he invoked his son’s near-death open-heart surgery in an impassioned plea to stop Senate Republicans from passing a major healthcare reform package, which he argued would have resulted in higher premiums for middle class families and allowed states to potentially discriminate based on pre-existing conditions.
Kimmel acknowledged his recent political turn on Monday night.
“I want this to be a comedy show, I hate talking about stuff like this,” Kimmel said. “I just want to, you know, laugh about things every night. But it seems to be becoming increasingly difficult lately. It feels like someone has opened a window into hell.”
Watch the clip: