Conan O’Brien laments the normalization of mass shootings in a somber monologue.

"How could there be a file of mass shooting remarks for a late night host?"

When Conan O'Brien walked into work the morning after the Las Vegas massacre, his head writer handed him a stack of papers. That act became the centerpiece of his monologue.

"He said, 'Here are the remarks you made after the Sandy Hook shooting and the Pulse night club attacks in Orlando. You might want to look at them to see what you might want to say tonight,'" O'Brien recounted of the conversation.

Mass shootings, the kind with the headline-grabbing intensity that compels even a late-night talk show host to address, have become so routine that O'Brien's staff actually had a file filled with his past responses to them. He was horrified.


"How could there be a file of mass shooting remarks for a late night host?" he asked, incredulously.

"How could there be a file of mass shooting remarks for a late night host?" All GIFs via Team Coco/YouTube.

When O'Brien first started in late night, it was "practically unheard of" for a host to have to address this type of event.

A bevy of data show all the ways mass shootings have gotten more deadly and more frequent over the past several decades in the U.S. Over that same span of time, interestingly, Pew Research found that support for gun ownership over gun control has risen.

"When did this become a ritual?" asks O'Brien.

"When I began in 1993, occasions like this were extremely rare."

"We're all tired of hearing reporters, let alone comics, discuss mass carnage in the most affluent and influential country in the history of the world."

O'Brien doesn't have the answers — and neither do members of Congress, apparently — but we cannot simply accept that this is just something that happens and will always happen.

Will strict gun control measures put an end to mass shootings? Maybe. Maybe not. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't at least try to take action to make accessing these types of weapons more difficult for people who wish to use them to commit acts of mass death and destruction.

"I don't think it should be so easy for one demented person to kill so many people so quickly."

That shouldn't be so much to ask.

Watch O'Brien's powerful monologue about the shocking normalcy of gun violence below.

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Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

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Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

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Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

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"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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