Tearful Jimmy Kimmel demands action: 'Thoughts and prayers are insufficient' after Las Vegas shooting

Yvonne Villarreal, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

LOS ANGELES -- Jimmy Kimmel delivered a heartfelt monologue Monday night in response to the mass shooting in his hometown of Las Vegas in which at least 59 people were killed and hundreds more injured.

With his voice trembling, the visibly distraught ABC late-night host addressed the shooting during "Jimmy Kimmel Live": "Here we are again – in the aftermath of another terrible, inexplicable, shocking and painful tragedy," he said. "This time – in Las Vegas. Which happens to be my hometown.

"Of course," he continued, "we pray for the victims – and for their families and friends and we wonder 'why,' even though there's probably no way to ever know 'why' a human being would do something like this to other human beings, who were at a concert having fun and listening to music."

Kimmel lamented that as a result of the massacre, "we have children that are without parents and fathers that are without sons, mothers without daughters."

"It's the kind of thing that makes you want to throw up. Or give up," he added.

And Kimmel, noting the mass shootings that took place in Orlando, Fla., Newtown, Conn., Aurora, Colo., and San Bernardino, doesn't accept that nothing can be done about such tragedies.

"I disagree with that, intensely," he said, "because... there are a lot of things we could do about it... but we don't."

He bemoaned the lack of true action wrapped in words of thoughts and prayers from politicians. He said that even if gun-control measures were proposed, the National Rifle Association "will smother it all with money, and over time, we'll get distracted and move onto the next thing."

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At one point, he put up a photo of the 56 U.S. senators who, following last year's Orlando shooting, voted against closing loopholes that allow people to buy weapons without background checks.

"Your thoughts and prayers are insufficient," he said.

Kimmel, who has found his political voice as a healthcare activist in the wake of his son's health battle, added that he wished he could return to working for laughs on his show, but that's an impossible task in recent months.

"It feels like someone has opened a window into hell," he said.

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