Late-Night Hosts Express Frustration Over Inaction in Wake of Texas Shooting
James Corden and Stephen Colbert called out Congress for “doing nothing,” whereas Jordan Klepper used dark humor to address the growing number of such incidents.
One day after a gunman shot and killed 26 churchgoers and injured more than 20 others in a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, James Corden, Stephen Colbert and Jordan Klepper took a moment during their Monday night shows to express their frustration over the frequency of such tragedies and what's been done (or hasn't been done) to prevent subsequent shootings.
On The Late Late Show, Corden opened on a somber note, as he began discussing how in the wake of tragic events, “nothing” has been done.
“It pains us each time we see it here, and we talk about innocent people needlessly slaughtered,” the late-night host said. “We can’t imagine the pain and hurt those families and community feels today.”
Corden then mentioned a statistic about mass shootings that have occurred in America this year, something he felt “amazed” by.
“On the way in this morning, I heard a statistic they were saying on the radio that this was the biggest U.S. mass shooting in a place of worship. And it amazed me that these shootings are so common in America, that we now have a ranking system depending on the location of these tragedies,” Corden emotionally said.
Visibly frustrated, Corden began calling out President Donald Trump and Congress for their lackluster efforts to address the issue of gun control.
“And what can we say? Nothing. We got nothing. We didn’t say, 35 days ago when this happened in Las Vegas or the time before that or the time before that. It was too early to talk gun control after Vegas. And now the president says it’s too early to talk about gun control after Sutherland Springs. And once again, though, it is too late for the victims. My prayers are for this country’s leaders to do something about this.”
Earlier, on CBS' Late Show, Colbert shared the same frustrations as Corden, categorizing “doing nothing” as “unnatural” and “inhumane.”
“I don’t have the slightest idea how to adequately address the attack in Sutherland Springs yesterday,” Colbert began. “Everyone’s heartbroken after this happens, and you wanna do something but nothing gets done. No one does anything. And that seems insane. “
The late-night host then emphasized that the lack of action creates a sense of hopelessness, something he urges is “not the answer.”
He added: “You cannot give up in the face of evil...Nothing gets done to control the guns that killed 10,000 people a year in America. Doing nothing is unacceptable. It’s unnatural. It’s inhumane. It just goes against our nature. We want to fix things.... This hopelessness, this tirelessness you feel when nothing gets done is something we can’t get into, because I actually think for some…truly evil people out there who want you to feel powerless for a buck. Because if you feel powerless, you know what might make you feel more powerful? Going to buy a gun. It’s a vicious cycle. It happens, nothing gets done to get rid of the guns and people buy more guns to protect themselves. “
Trying to offer encouragement in the wake of the tragic event, Colbert encouraged everyone to vote in the 2018 midterm elections. “There is one power you must never forget, that is you can vote in 2018. Vote for someone who will do something, because this is an act of evil and the only thing necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.”
Meanwhile over on Comedy Central's The Opposition With Jordan Klepper, the host opened his show with dark humor as a way to address the need for change on gun control.
“Yesterday, an angry deranged man with a gun took innocent lives in a kind of violence none of us thought we’d ever see,” Klepper began, sitting behind an anchor desk piled high with newspapers.
“Our nation experienced a heartbreaking unparalleled tragedy,” he continued, proceeding to read from the front page of a newspaper in the pile on his desk. After realizing he was reading a story about the Las Vegas massacre, Klepper began sifting through the newspapers attempting to find the correct date of the Texas shooting.
Ultimately Klepper grew exhausted, as he began explaining how incomprehensible it was to have so many shooting headlines from a single year.
“These are all mass shootings from this year?! This is too much,” Klepper yelled. The Opposition host then pleaded for change, sickened by the consistent news of tragic shootings. “We need to do something about — this desk! How am I supposed to tell any of these apart?” Klepper said.
“We need rules in place to keep this from happening. I am sick of this. All of this, right here, is unacceptable.”