Late-Night Hosts React to El Paso, Dayton Mass Shootings, Urge Congress to "Do More"

After two deadly mass shootings took place in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, less than 24 hours apart over the weekend, late-night hosts dedicated their Monday night monologues to urging Congress to do more in making changes to gun laws. 

On Late Night, Seth Meyers took "A Closer Look" at the recent mass shootings, describing the past weekend as "heartbreaking." 

"This was a heartbreaking weekend of unspeakable tragedy and yet one that disturbingly feels all too familiar," he began. He went on to explain that the shootings weren't all "just about guns" but rather a result of "domestic terrorism" and a "white supremacist."

"This is a moment that demands moral clarity and urgency from our political leaders," he said. 

Later on, Meyers pointed out that there's a "clear correlation" between the number of guns and the number of gun-related deaths in the U.S. Therefore, he said, he found it telling that Republican leaders appeared to be avoiding the media: "When you're spending all your time dodging questions from journalists and reporters, that usually means you're on the wrong side of history. 

"You're not going to get all of the answers if you refuse to ask any of the questions," he added. Meyers then argued that Republicans treat the shootings as an "unsolvable problem." After House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy mentioned that video games could be the trigger for the shootings, Meyers fought back. 

"You're blaming video games? You do know that other countries have video games too, right? Japan has a huge gaming culture and very few gun deaths," he said. "If video games were so influential, they should make one about Congress called 'Fucking Do Something.'" 

He finished by urging Congress to act. "This was a horrific weekend of tragedy and heartbreak that no one should ever have to bear. All decent people everywhere should set themselves to the task of stopping this and expressing solidarity with and support for the oppressed, marginalized communities targeted by this hatred and violence. And as for our political leaders, the ones who are supposed to be protecting us, all we say is, they need to get their shit together." 

On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah argued that it's important for the country to try to improve gun laws and fight for better safety measures. 

"It's interesting to me how all these other things that people bring up still have a country that tries to stop them. Trying is the thing," the late night host said. He argued that the same security measures taken with driving and flying should also apply to guns.  

"America tries, man. It's not about perfect. It's about trying to be more perfect. That’s all I don't understand about how people argue the guns thing. Not saying get rid of guns; you're saying try to minimize the chances of this happening. Try to make it as hard as possible for people to own a gun, because you only want people who are willing to work hard to own a gun to own a gun."

He further argued: "You only want people who respect the gun to own a gun. That's all it is."

Noah also said that he is used to receiving criticism that he doesn't "care about the Second Amendment." "I go, 'Yes, but the Second Amendment fundamentally, if you think about it, is about protecting human beings. That's why it was written. What is the good of writing a law that now protects the guns as opposed to the human beings that it's supposed to protect?'" 

Meanwhile, Jimmy Kimmel also shared his sentiments during his monologue. The host discussed the "horrible, senseless tragedies" and how congressional leaders are failing to do more than simply offer "thoughts and their prayers."  

"Both parties say we are too divided. This is something we hear a lot, that we need to find something we can agree on. Well, here's something we agree on. Too many people are being shot with high-powered weapons. I think we can agree on that." 

He said that according to a poll, 97 percent of gun owners support universal background checks. "That's unheard of. You could ask people 'Is ice cream delicious?' and not get 97 percent." Kimmel then went after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whom he referred to as an "evil, soulless creep" who won't allow the Senate to vote on a bipartisan bill that would require background checks. 

"Call him and tell him the good news is we agree on something for a change. We agree that he needs to drag his bony gray ass back in to work to vote on these bills. Let's start with that thing we all agree on and go from there." 

Kimmel further pressed that Congress needs to do more, "because whatever you've been doing doesn't seem to be going too great." He also went after Trump, who, once again, placed blame on the media for contributing to the built-up rage existing in this country. 

"The media has a big responsibility to life and safety in our Country. Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years. News coverage has got to start being fair, balanced and unbiased, or these terrible problems will only get worse," Trump tweeted. 

"He blamed the fake news — and later, he and some other Republicans blamed video games," Kimmel said. "Of course, there are zero studies that link video games to gun violence, and they play video games all over the world. This is the only place where this happens regularly. Video games have not been linked to gun violence, but you know what is linked to gun violence? Guns are linked to gun violence! The problem isn’t fake news. It’s real guns."

Kimmel continued taking jabs at Trump, pinpointing that "14 minutes after he tweeted about the shooting in El Paso on Saturday," he gave a "shout-out to a UFC fighter. And this — this really tells you, I think more than anything — gives you some insight into how much this man cares," Kimmel said. 

Over at The Late Show, Stephen Colbert also fired back at Republican congressional leaders who he implied were more interested in maintaining their power than implementing positive change. "America's gun culture is melting down, but the Republicans in Congress would rather maintain their power than save lives," he said. 

Colbert took a jab at McConnell, who he said would be the "centerfold of Corruption Monthly." After the audience booed, Colbert quipped, "That is his mating call." He emphasized that McConnell receives large sums in NRA contributions. "You can't put a price on human life, but you can't stop Mitch from trying," he said. 

"Everybody wants sensible gun legislation and nothing happens. Well, maybe it's time for senseless gun legislation," Colbert suggested. "Maybe turn in your assault weapon and, in exchange, we give you a giant pork sausage. That is senseless." 

The late-night host continued to argue that the underlying problem with these shootings is the "overt racism" that exists in the country and that's projected by the president. "It's all well and good to offer thoughts and prayers, but sometimes you want shouts and swears," he said. 

After Trump urged that the country needs to "condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy" in his address to the nation, Colbert fired back: "I try every night, but you're still in office." 

Colbert also disputed the argument that the mass shootings are linked to video games. "There is no link between video games and shootings," he said. "Every country has video games, but these tragedies only happen here. Secondly, I would like Trump to name one video game." 

Over on The Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon said that "these are the hardest nights to do a show like this" before he directly addressed the tragedies.

"It's tough to know what to say about something like this. There are no words that can make it easier," he said. "All we can say is that the victims and their families and everyone in Dayton and El Paso are in our hearts tonight."

"To anyone whose background has made them a target of prejudice or hate or violence, or anyone who feels like they may not be welcome in this country, know that you are welcome," Fallon continued. "We support you and we love you, and the cycle of hate needs to stop."

Fallon added that funds have been set up to help the victims and encouraged his viewers to donate to the causes.

"No matter what side of the political coin you land on, we all agree that this is happening too much and it has to stop, so please make your voice heard," he said before he encouraged people to call their local representatives, attend a protest march, donate to charities that fight to regulate common sense gun laws, and vote. "It's the only way we can make things better, and we can be better."

James Corden also addressed the Dayton and El Paso shootings. The segment opened with clips of the host talking about other mass shootings that took place over the years.

"Here we are again," Corden said. "Since we started this show almost four and a half years ago, there have been 1,601 mass shootings, 1,820 deaths and 6,890 people wounded in those incidents in America."

"Tonight in Ohio and Texas, there are children going to bed without their parents. Parents going to bed without their children," he continued. "I'm heartbroken by the very thought of everyone who never got to say goodbye to their loved ones simply because they went back-to-school shopping at a Walmart or wanted to grab a drink with a friend at a bar."

The host called the sadness of the shootings overwhelming. "Our hearts are with all of the families affected," he said.

"Until we really confront this issue and have politicians with the moral courage to face the gun epidemic, the only thing that's going to change is the location of the next mass shooting and the number of causalities," he said. "I hope so much we never have to witness such unnecessary devastation again, because no matter who you are or where you are, we all want to come home to our loved ones at the end of the day."