It did not take long for Hollywood to weigh in on the shooting tragedy with late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel going off on a political rant about Sunday’s deadly shooting in Las Vegas, saying “now is the time for political debate” about gun control.
Dismissing as inadequate calls for prayers for the victims by President Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Jimmy Kimmel Live host said on Monday: “they should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country.”
Kimmel railed against lawmakers who “won’t do anything about this because the NRA has their balls in a money clip,” insisting that their “thoughts and your prayers are insufficient.”advertisement - story continues below
The comic responded to those saying there was nothing that could have been done to stop Sunday’s attack. “I disagree with that intensely,” Kimmel said, “because of course there’s something we can do about it.”
“There are a lot of things we could do about it. But we don’t,” he continued, “which is interesting because when someone with a beard attacks us, we tap phones, we invoke travel bans, we build walls, we take every possible precaution to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But when an American buys a gun and kills other Americans, then there’s nothing we can do about that.”
The ABC funnyman’s comments came after suspected gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas Sunday, firing down hundreds of rounds of bullets on thousands of revelers from the 32nd floor window of his hotel room at the nearby Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.advertisement - story continues below
Kimmel, who lived in Las Vegas for many years, was equally dismissive of White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders’s plea that “this is not the time for political debate.” He said, “I don’t know, we have 59 innocent people dead. It wasn’t their time either, so I think now is the time for political debate.”
Kimmel chastised lawmakers who have advocated for Second Amendment rights using examples and characterizations of legislation popular among the anti-gun left, many of such examples having no clear relevance to Sunday’s tragedy.
Of President Trump, for example, Kimmel said, “In February he also signed a bill that made it easier for people with severe mental illness to buy guns legally.”
This talking point about February’s repeal of a ban on certain social security recipients has nothing to do with “severe mental illness.” Those “adjudicated as a mental defective or has … committed to any mental institution” are prohibited from owning firearms under the 1968 Gun Control Act, unaffected by the legislation Trump signed. Kimmel made no claim that Las Vegas shooting suspect Stephen Paddock has ever been diagnosed with a mental illness. Breitbart News is aware of no such diagnosis.