Late Night Commentary: Las Vegas Shooting

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When the news about the mass shooting in Las Vegas happened, the largest mass shooting in US history, I was unplugged from the internet and social media in particular working like mad on our next episode of the Skaana podcast.  So it wasn’t until Monday afternoon that I learned about this tragedy.

And while I took a moment in the middle of the work-storm to send everyone involved my prayers, I really didn’t have time to process or feel the pain of what happened Sunday night until today.  It didn’t take much, a few moments of tuning in to late night commentary and to the feeds on facebook, to begin to let it all sink in.    Sometimes when events in the world seem too horrible to contemplate, I personally find it really helps to hear what other people are thinking, and in particular what those who are out there in front of the cameras for the world every night telling jokes have to say.    I find listening to their commentary helps me process and get a better handle on what’s happening, and sometimes even lets me cry a bit about the whole mess of a situation that we are living in.

So because I’m trying to understand this, and I want us all to learn from what is happening right now and change (!) I thought I would just share and summarize what our late night hosts are talking about, rather than rant or get mad about gun control, or the senseless tragedies being enacted every day in the USA at a rate never before seen.   I can only hope that something in what is said in this collection can help you too.    Many of us are grieving.    But it’s not enough.   More has to be done and this is preventable.  I am so sorry to everyone who has lost a loved one – that their deaths did not have to happen Sunday night.    More than anything in the world I wish this was not so.

Sometimes, late night comedians provide truly great political commentary, or savage criticism.   Sometimes, they just show up and are human and talk about what how they are dealing with world and us events in their own ways.    Everyone approached this a little differently.   And there is a common thread throughout it all – on masse – there is a call for republicans in congress to DO SOMETHING about it.

Colbert to Trump “Do something the last two presidents haven’t been able to do.”

Colbert, rather than go on the attack, had a frank series of comments for congress, minus all of the snark and snap he’s become so well known for in regards to the Trump administration. He rose to occasion and spoke directly to Trump in a serious tone, presenting a challenge for Trump’s ego, showing once again he has a savvy political grasp of what may be needed to appeal to the President at Large. “You’ve said you wanted to be a transformative president who doesn’t care about the way things have always been done in Washington DC. This is your chance to prove it, and I mean this sincerely.

You do not owe the republicans anything. You know the republicans tried to stop you from being president, well screw em. You want to make America great again, do something the last two presidents haven’t been able to do.”

Pass any kind of common sense gun control legislation that the vast majority of Americans want. Because if we are facing pure evil then by all means offer thoughts and prayers, but then think about what you need to do and then pray for the courage to do it.

How could there be a file of mass shooting remarks for a late night host? When did that become normal? When did this become a ritual, and what does it say about us that it has?

Conan OBrien: The Reality Staring Us in the Face

Conan OBrien took a moment to talk about how the world has changed since he started in television 24 years ago, and to reflect that he now has a file folder of statements from previous episodes where he has had to make about mass shooting.

Kieth Olbermann: American History is Death by Gun

Kieth Olbermann gives an overview of the second amendment and our history, and called for the end of the NRA. The authors of the second amendment did not address, could not conceive of such arms, such instant mechanized death any more than they could have conceive of nuclear weapons. The second amendment does not give you the right to own those either. It is time to end the lies about the second amendment.

Our American history is death by gun. That must end. It always seems like the worst displays of humanity in this country are immediately followed by the best, and sadly that is followed by no action at all and then it repeats itself.

Because when you say , which you always say, now is not the time to talk about it, what you really mean is there is never a time to talk about it. And it would be so much more honest if you would just admit that your plan is to never talk about it and never take any action.

Seth Meyers asks if this is just the new normal.

Seth Meyers just seemed defeated, and wondered if this is just how things are now. James Cordon and Trevor Noah talked about how strange and unimaginable the levels of gun violence are compared to other countries.

James Cordon: For those victims last night it’s far too late

“That’s a record that’s been set twice in just the two and a half years that I’ve been living in America. Here’s another statistic; 11, 660 people have died from gun violence in the last 275 days in this country. Now I come from a place where we don’t have shootings at this frequency so its hard for me to fathom. But it should be hard for everyone to fathom. Gun violence should not be a staple of American life.

Some people say it’s too early top talk about gun control. For those victims last night it’s far too late.”

Trevor Noah: Every shooting is the worst for someone. Every shooting is the worst for someone.

We seem to do everything to avoid talking about guns. I’ve never been to a country where people are as afraid to speak about guns.

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