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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
“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.
“It’s even more phallic than your gun, and it’s only going to hurt you.”
The crowd erupted in laughter.
During his remarks at the White House on Monday, Trump mixed up Dayton with Toledo, another Ohio city, as he spoke about the shooting.
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.
O’Rourke, 46, was asked if there was anything he thought the president could do in response to the mass shootings.
“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.”
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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.”
“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.”
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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.”
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs weeknights at 11:35 ET/PT on Global. Watch clips from the segment in the video above.