"Our cowardly leaders just aren’t listening": Jimmy Kimmel demanded change in an emotional monologue
The late-night host fought back tears while calling out politicians who continue to do nothing about gun violence.
As the nation aches from the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel is attempting to wield his influence to effect change with an emotional monologue that aired Wednesday. He decided to film the impassioned speech in an empty studio. “I wanted to speak to you directly without an audience before we start the show because here we are again on another day of mourning in this country,” he said, choking back tears. “Once again, we grieve for the little boys and girls whose lives have been ended and whose families have been destroyed.”
Kimmel wasted no time mincing words or pandering to those who might be on the other side of the issue of gun control reform. He came for the hypocrites wanting to send thoughts and prayers, despite contributing to the very culture and politics that facilitates these horrors. “Our leaders on the right, the Americans in Congress and at Fox News and these other outlets warn us not to politicize this. They don’t want to speak about it, because they know what they’ve done. And they know what they haven’t done, and they know that it’s indefensible. So they’d rather sweep this under the rug.”
Kimmel then pointed to common-sense gun control legislation, The Enhanced Background Checks Act and the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, that was blocked by Senate Republicans after passing the House in 2021 — a fact that doesn’t make sense considering that, as Kimmel cites, 89% of Americans want background checks to purchase firearms. “Our cowardly leaders just aren’t listening to us, they’re listening to the NRA, they’re listening to those people who write them checks, who keep them in power, because that’s the way politics work,” Kimmel reasoned.
Then Kimmel took time to directly address pro-gun leaders in Texas — Senator Ted Cruz, Senator John Cornyn, and Governor Greg Abbott. “If your solution to children being massacred is armed guards, you haven’t been paying attention to what’s going on,” he said. He went on to note that there was an armed guard in Buffalo, as well as Parkland, and even in Uvalde when armed police officers arrived and still were unable to stop the shooter. He went on to also cite Scotland and Australia as examples of countries that have enacted gun control laws that have worked to prevent future mass shootings. “This is the only country where this keeps happening,” Kimmel said, adding that guns are the number one cause of death for children and teens in America.
The host turned his attention even more directly towards Cruz, who’s speaking at the NRA’s national conference this weekend in Houston. “I would like to say to Ted Cruz, the human being, and Governor Abbott, and everyone, it’s OK to admit you made a mistake,” Kimmel said. “In fact, it’s not just OK, it’s necessary to admit you made a mistake when your mistake is killing the children in your state.” He went on, “It takes a big person to do something like that. It takes a brave person to do something like that. And do I think these men are brave people? No, I don’t. But man, I would love it if they surprised me.”
He then shifted the conversation toward the American people. “This is not a time for moments of silence, this is a time to be loud and to stay loud and not stop until we fix this.” He continued, emphasizing that people who want changes around gun control can’t let up. “This is not their fault anymore, this is now our fault,” he said. “Because we get angry, we demand action, we don’t get it, they wait it out, we go back to the lives that we should rightfully be able to go back to.” He then reminded viewers of the victims and their families, who don’t get to just go back to their lives as if nothing happened. He ended his monologue by pleading for voters to take the issue to the polls. “If you care about this…we need to make sure that we do everything we can, that unless they do something drastic, let’s make sure that not one of any of these politicians ever holds office again.”