Jimmy Kimmel sums up America's gun problems in a powerful, teary monologue.
Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images.

Holding back tears throughout his entire 10-minute monologue, a frustrated, emotional Jimmy Kimmel reacted to Sunday night's events in Las Vegas — one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history. To Kimmel, who grew up there, the atrocity was especially personal.

"This morning, we have children without parents and fathers without sons, mothers without daughters; we lost two police officers, we lost a nurse from Tennessee, a special-ed teacher from a local school here in Manhattan Beach," the shaken Kimmel noted. "It’s the kind of thing that it makes you want to throw up or give up. It’s too much to even process."

Here are five hard truths Kimmel laid out last night:


1. The way we react to international terrorism vs. domestic terrorism doesn't make sense.

The shooter, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, wasn't known to be affiliated with any global terrorism network. That doesn't mean he's not a terrorist.

"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 doesn’t happen again. But when an American buys a gun and kills other Americans, then there’s nothing we can do about that."

2. The fact that it's perfectly legal for civilians to buy guns solely aimed at killing people doesn't make sense.

Everyday Americans can purchase semi-automatic rifles in America. But why?

"Our forefathers wanted us to have AK-47s is the argument [from 2nd amendment proponents], I assume. Orlando, Newtown, Aurora, San Bernardino — every one of these shootings, the murderer used automatic or semi-automatic rifles, which are not weapons you use for self-defense. They're weapons designed to kill large numbers of people in the shortest possible amount of time."

GIF via "Jimmy Kimmel Live."

3. The argument that it's "too soon to make this political" doesn't make sense.

Not making the Vegas shooting political means we're accepting this nightmare reality in which going to a concert, or to school, or to work, or to a movie means risking death.

"Last night, the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said this is not the time — or actually, it was today, this morning — she said it was not the time for political debate. I don’t know. We have 59 innocent people dead, it wasn’t their time either. So I think now is the time for political debate."

4. The amount of power the NRA has in this country doesn't make sense.

As Kimmel noted, the gun lobby is using too many of our leaders as puppets.

"President Trump is visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday. He spoke this morning; he said he’s praying for those who lost their lives. You know, in February, he also signed a bill to make it easier for people with severe mental illness to buy guns legally. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, a number of other lawmakers who won’t do anything about this because the NRA has their balls in a money clip also sent their thoughts and their prayers today — which is good, they should be praying. They should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country."

5. The disconnect between what Americans want and what their representatives fight for doesn't make sense.

Americans overwhelmingly back common sense gun control to keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous people. But many congresspeople care less about that than getting elected next year.

"90% of Democrats ... and 77% of Republicans support background checks at gun shows. 89% of Republicans and Democrats are in favor of restricting gun ownership for the mentally ill. But not this gang [indicating a group of senators]. They voted against both of those things. So, with all due respect, your thoughts and your prayers are insufficient."

"Tell your congresspeople to do something," Kimmel said. "It's not enough to send your love and prayers."

Tell your representatives to fight for better gun laws.

See the full clip of Kimmel's monologue below:

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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