Jimmy Kimmel's transition from boob-loving TV bro into a caring, concerned voice for social change took another step forward on Monday night when he delivered a moving 10-minute monologue about Sunday's mass shooting in Las Vegas.
Kimmel, who grew up in Sin City, could hardly contain his emotions as he recounted the horror that Steven Paddock visited on hundreds of concert goers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel.
But rather than simply offer he "thoughts and prayers" to the victims of the shooting, Kimmel turned his attention to those who would suggest the inevitability of gun violence.
“There are a lot of things we can do about it. But we don’t, which is interesting. Because 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. And the Second Amendment, I guess, our forefathers wanted us to have AK-47s is the argument, I assume.”
Kimmel ripped the National Rifle Association and the lawmakers beholden to the pro-gun lobbying group who, he said, have voted against "common sense" measures that would reduce gun violence.
"Ninety percent of Democrats — I’m not talking about politicians here, I’m talking about people — and 77 percent of Republicans support background checks at gun shows. Eighty-nine percent of Democrats and Republicans are in favor of restricting gun ownership for the mentally ill. But not this gang! They voted against both of those things. So with all due respect, your thoughts and your prayers are insufficient."
Kimmel's wading into the gun debate after playing at least a small part in the defeat of the Senate GOP's latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. As he said Monday, Kimmel doesn't want to focus on issues such as health care and gun violence, but he feels as if here's no choice.
"I want this to be a comedy show. I hate talking about stuff like this. I just want to laugh about things every night, but that — it seems to becoming increasingly difficult lately. It feels like someone has opened a window into hell."
Other late-night hosts weighed on Sunday's shooting too.
Jason Aldean, the country music star who was performing when shots began to rain down on the crowd Sunday, issued his own statement late Monday. It was a call for unity in a "scary" time.