Jimmy Kimmel Tears Up In Emotional Monologue About Las Vegas, His Hometown

"There is more that we can do. And we need to do it."

Less than 24 hours after a gunman killed 59 people and injured more than 500 others attending the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel used the opening monologue of the October 2 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! to address the tragedy and call for a change in gun laws nationwide.

The speech, which lasted just under 10 minutes, saw the 49-year-old get emotional multiple times as he tried to make sense of yet another "terrible, inexplicable, shocking, and painful tragedy."

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Kimmel, who spent much of his childhood in Las Vegas, began by offering his sincerest condolences to the victims and their families. "This morning we have children without parents and fathers without sons, mothers without daughters," he said. "It's the kind of thing that it makes you want to throw up or give up. It's too much to even process: all these devastated families who now have to live with this pain forever because one person with a violent and insane voice in his head managed to stockpile a collection of high-powered rifles and use them to shoot people."

The father of four then disputed the notion there's nothing we can do to prevent an atrocity like this from happening again, specifically expressing anger towards politicians who continue to support fewer restrictions related to gun ownership. 

In Nevada, for example, every citizen has the right to bear arms and here is no mandated waiting period before buying a gun. CNN also reports permits are not needed to buy a gun, nor is an individual required to undergo a background check or get a license or register a firearm. In addition, there's no limit on the number of guns a person can buy at one time, and carrying an unconcealed firearm in public is legal. It's also legal to own assault weapons and large-capacity magazines for ammunition.

While acknowledging that the frustration towards lawmakers who opted not to reform gun control after tragedies such as San Bernardino, Charlotte, and the Pulse Nightclub shooting is understandable, Kimmel argued in favor of advocating for "common sense" policy changes. These include, according to a passionate Kimmel, passing laws that would forbid those who suffer from mental illness and those who are on the no-fly list from purchasing a gun. Tthere are organizations working diligently to reform gun laws on both the national and state level.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, for example, is an organization that is striving to create a safer America by cutting gun deaths in half by 2025. To do that, the campaign is working hard to ensure background checks are applied to all gun sales, stop gun dealers, and lead a new national conversation and change social norms around the real dangers of guns in the home.

Another organization worth noting is Everytown for Gun Safety, which was founded less than two years after the Sandy Hook massacre that took the lives of more than two dozen elementary school students and their teachers. Everytown's mission is to end gun violence and build safer communities by championing (via legislation) a criminal background check for every gun sale, supporting laws that save lives by keeping guns away from domestic abusers, and saving lives by educating people about responsible gun ownership.

In the conclusion of his moving monologue, a frustrated Kimmel called for action. "There is more that we can do," he declared. "And we need to do it."

For information on how you can help after the Las Vegas shooting, please click here.

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