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Stephen Colbert says America’s gun culture is ‘melting down’

Click to play video: 'Stephen Colbert tears into Republicans for inaction on gun control' Stephen Colbert tears into Republicans for inaction on gun control
WATCH: Talk show host Stephen Colbert rips into politicians like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who he says are "standing firmly in the way of changes that could save lives." – Aug 6, 2019

After two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, took place over the weekend, Stephen Colbert of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert opened his Monday evening show with a rage-fuelled monologue on American gun control.

While the 55-year-old host attempted to open the weeknight show on a positive note — with a “smile file” — he said he could not ignore the seriousness of the El Paso and Dayton attacks.

Colbert launched into a verbal attack against U.S. President Donald Trump, mocking the leader’s response to the shootings and his inaction on gun control.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Colbert noted that the mass shootings were the third and fourth in the U.S. in that week alone. Between the shootings in El Paso and Dayton, 31 lives were lost and 51 additional victims were injured.

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READ MORE: Hospital dogs flown to El Paso to provide support to victims, first responders

Colbert proceeded to compare the current state of U.S. gun control to the likes of HBO‘s historical drama series Chernobyl.

The show revisits the events leading up to and proceeding the nuclear disaster, which took place at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Pripyat, Ukraine on April 26, 1986.

“Over and over again in [the show], a scientist or engineer will tell a politician: ‘Hey, we’ve got a real problem here. The nuclear core is going to melt down and kill everyone,'” Colbert said.
A radiation warning sign is placed near the checkpoint Maidan of the state radiation ecology reserve inside the 30-kilometre exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, some 370 kilometres southeast of Minsk, Belarus. AP Photo/Sergei Grits

“But the politicians refused to believe it because any acknowledgement of failure threatens their position of power, and their power is more important than saving any lives.”

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Colbert continued: “What’s that got to do with anything? Well… I think at this point, it’s clear that America’s gun control is melting down, but the Republicans in Congress would rather maintain their power than save lives.

READ MORE: Ohio’s governor outlines gun violence proposal following Dayton mass shooting

“After every one of these tragedies we go, ‘We should have sensible gun legislation,'” the talk show host added.

“Everybody wants sensible gun legislation, and nothing happens. Well, maybe it’s time for senseless gun legislation.

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“Turn in your assault weapon, and in exchange, we’ll give you a giant pork sausage,” he said.

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“It’s even more phallic than your gun, and it’s only going to hurt you.”

The crowd erupted in laughter.

READ MORE: Man who builds crosses for U.S. mass shootings — ‘I’ve been to way too many’

During his remarks at the White House on Monday, Trump mixed up Dayton with Toledo, another Ohio city, as he spoke about the shooting.

“May God bless the memory of those who perished in Toledo [Ohio],” the president said during the live news broadcast. He did not acknowledge the mishap.

Colbert criticized this as well, saying: “Today, Trump put on his president pants and addressed the tragedies in El Paso, and Dayton, Ohio — or tried to.

“Wrong city, but don’t worry sir — it’s not like Ohio’s that important in presidential elections.”

While Colbert mocked Trump for mixing up the Ohio cities, he commended El Paso native Beto O’Rourke — a current 2020 Democratic presidential candidate — for a very blunt and curse-filled interview with the press.

READ MORE:  Mourners sing ‘Hallelujah’ at Dayton, Ohio vigil to honour victims of mass shooting

O’Rourke, 46, was asked if there was anything he thought the president could do in response to the mass shootings.

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“What do you think?” he responded. “You know the s— he’s been saying. He’s been calling Mexican immigrants racists and criminals.

“Members of the press… what the f—. I don’t know what kind of question that is.”

WATCH: ‘Stop the hatred’ — Beto O’Rourke slams Trump over recent shootings

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‘Stop the hatred’: Beto O’Rourke slams Trump over recent shootings – Aug 5, 2019
O’Rourke continued: “Connect the dots about what [Trump’s] been doing in this country. He’s not tolerating racism, he’s promoting racism. He’s not tolerating violence, he’s inciting violence.”
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Colbert commented on O’Rourke’s remarks, saying: “Well said. Refreshing candour. It’s all well and good to offer thoughts and prayers, but sometimes you want shouts and swears.”

READ MORE: U.S. Congress weighs response after 2 mass shootings

“So who’s to blame for these shootings?” Colbert said as he wrapped up his monologue. “Trump had a, let’s say, thought.”

The talk show host played a clip from Trump’s remarks following the El Paso and Dayton shootings, with the president saying: “We must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace.”

WATCH: Can gaming breed violence in people?

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Colbert added: “There is no link between video games and shootings. Every country has video games, but these tragedies only happen here.”

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The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs weeknights at 11:35 ET/PT on Global. Watch clips from the segment in the video above.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca

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