9:47pm PT by Kimberly Nordyke
John Oliver Addresses Mass Shootings: "If It Ever Feels Normal, We Are F***ed"
John Oliver wasted no time in addressing the two mass shootings that happened in the United States over the weekend that resulted in 29 deaths on Sunday's episode of Last Week Tonight.
Before his opening theme song played, Oliver took a moment to address the audience about gun control and the "tough, tough day" that America had experienced.
"While it's still very early, it does feel like there are a couple of points that seem worth mentioning here. First, when it comes to gun control, I know it can feel like everything's been said before...but while the depressingly familiar numbness that you may be currently feeling can help you handle the pain in the short term, in the long term, it can actually be a real problem because unless something hurts as much as it's supposed to, nothing gets done about it," he said.
Oliver continued: "And something has got to be done here, and not just about guns, but the El Paso shooting is currently being investigated as a hate crime. And the shooter's manifesto featured anti-immigrant language that may well be familiar to you from certain cable networks and certain presidents. Clearly, white nationalism and anti-immigrant hysteria did not start with this president, but he certainly seems to have created an environment where those kinds of views can fester and indeed thrive. In fact, just three months ago as he was deliberately winding up a crowd with the image of 15,000 immigrants marching toward the border, this happened."
Oliver then showed a clip of Trump at a rally, saying: "How do you stop these people? You can't." "At this point, an audience member shouts, "Shoot them!" Trump laughs and quips: "That's only in the Panhandle [where] you can get away with it that statement. Only in the Panhandle."
Oliver went on to argue that Trump's response to that statement could have terrifying consequences.
"Here's the thing about that," Oliver said. "It is not only in the panhandle what you can get away with that statement, you can now get away with this all over the country — and, as he just made painfully clear, in any room the actual president is in, which is absolutely appalling. And that is something we cannot afford to get numb to. Because if that ever even a moment feels like it's become normal, we are completely fucked."
On Saturday, a gunman entered a shopping area in El Paso that was packed with thousands of people and began shooting. Police have identified the El Paso suspect as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius from Allen, a Dallas suburb that is a nearly 10-hour drive from El Paso.
The El Paso shooting was being investigated as a possible hate crime as authorities worked to confirm whether a racist, anti-immigrant screed posted online shortly beforehand was written by the man arrested. The border city is home to 680,000 people, many of them Latino.
Hours later in Dayton, a gunman wearing body armor and carrying extra magazines opened fire in a popular nightlife area, killing nine and injuring at least 26 people.
Video released by police shows 24-year-old Connor Betts being shot down by officers, just steps away from entering a bar filled with hiding patrons. Betts' 22-year-old sister, Megan Betts, was among those killed in Dayton.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.