By Nick Givas
Late night comic Jimmy Kimmel used his opening monologue as a bully pulpit for gun control and exploited the Broward high school shooting to talk about his own politics.
Kimmel agreed with President Donald Trump call for unity, but then almost immediately pivoted to the issue of gun control.
“Tell your buddies in Congress, tell Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and Marco Rubio — all the family men who care so much about their communities — that what we need are laws, real laws, that do everything possible to keep assault rifles out of the hands of people who are going to shoot our kids,” Kimmel said Thursday on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” “Go on TV and tell them to do that.”
“I’ll tell you something. That is a perfect example of the common sense you told us you were going to bring to the White House. It’s time to bring it, we need it,” Kimmel continued.
He also questioned the religious faith of GOP lawmakers and referred to them as “allegedly Christian.”
“Tell these congressmen and lobbyists who infest that swamp you said you were going to drain, force these allegedly Christian men and women who stuff their pockets with money from the NRA year after year after year to do something. Now, not later. Now,” Kimmel said. “And don’t you dare let anyone say it’s too soon to be talking about it, because you said it after Vegas. You said it after Sandy Hook, you say that after every one of these eight now fatal school shootings we had in this country this year. Children are being murdered.”
The late night host then directly blamed Trump for the shooting and believes his rollback of Obama-era regulations and efforts to repeal Obamacare contributed to the massacre.
“You’ve literally done nothing,” Kimmel continued. “Actually, you’ve done worse than nothing. You like to say this is a mental health issue. One of your very first acts as president, Mr. Trump, was to actually roll back the regulations that were designed to keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill. You did that. Your party voted to repeal the mandates on coverage for mental health. So I agree, this is a mental illness issue, because if you don’t think we need to do something about it, you’re obviously mentally ill.”
Kimmel even found time to preach about illegal immigration, saying it’s ridiculous to spend so much time trying to secure the border while ignoring the issue of firearms.
“If one illegal immigrant causes a car accident, we’ve got to build a wall to keep the rest of them out. Why are you looking for solutions to that problem and not this one,” he asked. “Every reasonable American, Republican or Democrat, knows that something has to be done.”
Kimmel played the remainder of Trump’s speech on the shooting and continued to condescendingly insult the president, while dismissing the concept of prayer for the victims.
“Great. Okay. What we need and what you can do to ease our pain and to prevent future pain is something. Eight out of 10 Americans agree that a teenager shouldn’t have an AR-15. So why does a teenager legally have an AR-15? Somewhere along the line, these guys forgot they work for us, not the NRA,” Kimmel concluded. “This time we’re not going to allow you to bow your head in prayer for two weeks, until you get an all-clear and we move on to the next thing. We’re going to make sure you do something this time.”
Kimmel wasn’t the only celebrity to discourage prayer in the face of adversity. CNN’s Chris Cuomo said prayer is useless without legislative action and asked, “What kind of prayer is one that promises to do nothing.” While actor John Cusack tweeted, ” F*#k GOP & their thoughts & prayers – those words are an insult & degradation to the dead- & a debasement & insult to both thought and prayer – what that really means is keep the money coming.”