Stephen Colbert Blasts Senate's Gun Vote in Wake of Orlando Massacre

Stephen Colbert verbally obliterated the Senate on Tuesday following their failure to pass new gun control measures in wake of the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.

The Late Show host lambasted the government for its inability to come to an agreement on any of the four newly proposed bills that would make it more difficult for guns to get into the hands of both criminals and the mentally unstable following the June 10 shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Newly proposed measures also would have prevented anyone on the Terror Watch List from being able to purchase high-power assault rifles.

“After the attacks in Orlando, Florida, I thought maybe the government might do their job and pass any kind of law,” he said. “Ninety-two percent of Americans want to expand background checks for gun buyers and you ignore them. Since when does just eight percent of the population get to have total control of an issue?”

What followed Colbert’s befuddlement was a biting string of takedowns in which the comedian pointed out that even dogs, small rodents and Kardashians prove more effective than Congress on a day-to-day basis.

Watch Colbert rip the Senate a new one above, then sound off below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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48 Comments
  1. Diane says:

    It’s outrageous that they aren’t doing their jobs, which is to work for their constituency. They should be replaced! A mini-revolution! Nobody but military and police should be able to buy rapid fire weapons, nobody on the no-fly list should be able to buy any kind of gun and if someone is on the FBI watch list, they should be watched!

    • Concerned Citizen says:

      Great Point!! I remember watching a movie once where only the police and military had guns. It worked out well for…. the police and the military – and their handlers. The movie? Schindler’s List. Get a clue.

      • Isa says:

        With all due respect but that’s bullsh**. I live in the Netherlands where only police and military forces are allowed to carry guns and I feel completely safe. Don’t need a gun, don’t want one. It works that way for most of the world but somehow Americans don’t seem to understand that weapons have no place in a civilized society.

        • 221bsam says:

          I’m from England, agree completely, Americans seem to think they’re still defending the Frontier *facepalm*

        • Dave says:

          Netherlands surrendered to Hitler after just 5 days, and Jews were taken to concentration camps. I suggest you read The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.

          On the other hand, a small number of Men in Warsaw held off the Germans for 6 weeks. Imagine how much better an entire armed citizenry could have done.

          • Dave says:

            Also, half the Swiss are armed, and murder rate is very low, and Hitler never invaded them, even though they had enough gold to fund his entire campaign.

          • Poland’s army rode out against the German tanks on horses and got slaughtered, ending up with 6 million people dead–what is your point?

            The US has the largest military in the world. Joe the Plumber doesn’t need to worry the Nazis are coming.

          • A fan of TV says:

            Dave, Switzerland’s murder rate is very low, but it’s suicide-by-gun rate is proportionally enormous, because every Swiss citizen is forced to serve in the Swiss military for two years, and all who do this get to keep their gun when they leave. Comparing the US situation to the one in Switzerland is fallacious to the nth degree, as well, considering one society insists on no war and neutrality, and the other, well, believes in exactly the opposite. These positions inform the domestic landscapes of both countries pretty significantly, and make comparing gun issues in the two States highly problematic and non-empirical.

  2. Charles g says:

    Just because you want something to pass does not mean the senators not from your state’s constituent’s want the same as you. The coats ridiculous disdain for the 2nd amendment just blows my mind. The people in the middle of America believe int he Constitution and believe that a person should have due process to be able to be taken off a list once you are put on.
    And the ignorance of people not understanding weapons, good lord. the rifle the guy in Orlando used was not a rapid fire gun. One pull one bullet. Please do some research

    • wjm980 says:

      Thankfully, when Clinton wins in a landslide and Republicans lose the Senate, things will change….rapidly. Once it’s clear sensible (to all but the RWNJs) gun control and immigration reform will happen, Republican heads all over the country will start to explode. Thankfully, for the rest of us, said explosions will not pelt us with very much brain matter.

      • e. says:

        Um… I’m a liberal but I wouldn’t count on Hillary touching sh*t when it comes to gun rights. We will see.

        • A fan of TV says:

          This is probably true but she’ll have to try. No one has focused on it as a campaign promise as much as she has (not even Bernie) and especially if Trump’s plummeting popularity and inability to fundraise for his party results in the GOPs loss of a Congressional majority, failure to at least TRY to make it harder for insane or violent people to get guns would be a massively missed opportunity to show the NRA they don’t actually run American politics. I can’t speak to Hillary’sbenevolent motivations in becoming president, but I believe than any President primarily supported by people who hate the NRA, any President who loves being number one, would take that evil terror organization down a peg or two.

          • Charles g says:

            well The GOP will probably lose the Senate, but they will not lose the House. So we are back to more gridlock. The GOP have Gerrymandered the districts so they will be in power for a long time

          • A fan of TV says:

            There is an outside chance they could lose Congress this time, too. There are many GOP members in blue states or swing states who may be deeply hurt by Trump’s rhetoric. The Dems need to turn 30 seats to take back the House, and there’s no guarantee they won’t get there this time around as has been the case in previous years. Trump has raised next to nothing for the Congressional and Senate races, relying entirely on the free press centred squarely on him, but which does nothing for Kelly Ayotte in NH, etc.

      • Lucifer says:

        It completely blows my mind that all you you lunatics are 100% alright with restricting a person’s rights based on their name being on a government watch list – which does not require due process.

        Seriously, you know what gets you on one of those lists? Flying too often. Having a name similar to a terrorist, usually a middle eastern name – even kids! Making jokes that could come off as anti-government or American. And an endless amount of stupid reasons.

        The ACLU has also been rallying against laws that could restrict a person’s right for being on a watch list without due process and want them reformed. They have hundreds of lawsuits against many of those lists for people who are trying to get off of them, because it’s pretty easy to get put on and nearly impossible to be taken off. If you believe a citizen’s right to purchase a gun can be revoked for being on a list that does not require due process, then you must also agree other rights they have can and should be revoked.

    • Guiseppe55 says:

      I love how these RWNJs tout the 2nd amendment like it’s one of the Ten Commandments. These idiots don’t realize the entire purpose of the constitution was that it is a living document that is meant to be changed as the world/country changes. Our founding fathers had the foresight to know that the country and its people would change overtime, so they knew they had to create a government capable of changing too.

      • Davidj says:

        Agreed. And the Constitution only says we have a right to arm ourselves, it doesn’t say we have a right to any and every weapon we want– and even the ultra-right wing Justice Scalia said the same thing about the issue, that it is “not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever.”

        And you can be sure if the Founders had any idea the kind of military style assault weaponry that would be available to the general public, they would have put in a LOT more restrictions than they did, given today’s guns about a THOUSAND percent more deadly and effective than the guns back then.

        But apparently that’s the brand of “common sense” the right likes to conveniently ignore when it comes to their issues. Lol

      • R says:

        And they built in a mechanism for change: amendments. If enough people dislike the second amendment, they can vote for representatives that will propose and ratify an amendment repealing or altering the second amendment. I have no love for guns, but I do believe if people desire a change in the constitution, it should be amended, not re-interpreted.

      • Angela says:

        This. Thank you. I am so sick and tired of people throwing the Second Amendment argument around like it’s a done deal, without understanding the time period and context in which that amendment was written,.and the fact that it was referring to a well-regulated (gee, that sounds almost like a form of control, regulating something, does it not?) militia. It does NOT mean any ol’ average Joe can pick out any gun they want willy-nilly.

    • Gwen Loomis says:

      So in Charles g’s mind, the guy in Orlando wasn’t that bad because he didn’t use a rapid-fire assault rifle? Give me a break. And “ridiculous disdain” for the 2nd Amendment? What about complete ignorance of the Declaration of Independence? “…that among these rights are LIFE…”!!!

    • Angela says:

      I’m from Middle America and I very much support gun control. Please do not speak for all of us here in the heartland.

  3. Steven says:

    “Since when does just eight percent of the population get to have total control of an issue?”
    I really don’t want to be a jerk, but the LGBT population is about 5% of the population, and they have total control over the issue. So that’s at least one example. Not saying that’s a bad thing of course, just giving an example.

    • peterwdawson says:

      You just equated wanting equal human rights to wanting to acquire a weapon with less difficulty than a gun, a divorce and a pet (to name a few examples). Yeah, jerk is an understatement.

      • Steven says:

        I’m not equating anything, Peter. I’m simply stating that there are other issues that can be driven to a successful conclusion by a determined minority. Steven Colbert asked a question. The LGBT’s fight against inequality is simply the first answer that came to mind.

        • Matt says:

          Maybe only 5% of the population identifies as LGBT but more than 50% is sympathetic to their cause and so the comparison is flawed. 92% want sensible gun control and are ignored repeatedly by elected officials who are only interested in serving the special interests funding their campaigns.

          • Steven says:

            Actually, you’re wrong. While it may seem like more than 50% of the population is sympathetic to their cause, the numbers do not support that view. Take a look at the various Proposition 8 type efforts to block gay marriage state-by-state. Wikipedia has them arranged in a convenient chart. In all but two states (Arizona and Minnesota) the effort to ban gay marriage through legislation was successful. In most cases, the results were landslide victories for those opposed to gay marriage. (For example, in California, Proposition 8 was passed by a margin of 52.24% to 47.76%). It was only through the intervention of the Supreme Court that gay rights were (correctly!) upheld.

        • peterwdawson says:

          Yes, you’re equating it, just by comparing them within the same discussion. Now how about justifying that horrible decision instead of trying to semantic out of it?

    • wjm980 says:

      The difference is that huge numbers of the non-LGBT population agrees with much of what the group is advocating.

      • Will says:

        and a large amount of non-gun owners believe in the power of the constitution. Let’s not forget…that the terror watch list is a holdover from the Bush era…and was designed to be nothing more than a tool for airlines to deny passage to suspected terrorists. It was designed to be quick and easy to try and curtail a potential enemy. However the placing of a person ON that list happens simply by adding the name. There is no due process, no court order, no finding of fact…just a decision by someone in power.

        Now just denying someone the ability to travel by air…that’s not a terrible thing. It’s not a right but a privilege and so not bound by the constitution.

        However…taking away someone’s second amendment right to a weapon without due process IS spoken of in the constitution. The fact is…it’s written there. If you want to change the law…you have to go through a constitutional congress…have an amendment proposed and voted and ratified…and by the way…the wording of this article saying it would take ONLY the right to an assault rifle is a misnomer. It would have made it impossible for anyone on this list to purchase ANY gun.

        I agree that something needs to be done…but I also agree that it needs to be done RIGHT.

        • Davidj says:

          Except that the NRA has no intention of letting ANY gun control legislation pass. Even very modest and sensible control that *they actually helped craft* a couple years ago with the republican Manchin they ultimately bailed on after their membership freaked out about it. Because that membership so hates and distrusts the government that they’ll find a reason to rip apart any legislation that comes along, no matter how well-written it may be.

          • Steven says:

            And that unhappy state of affairs will continue until people grow tired enough of mass shootings that they vote the NRA funded politicians out of power. All the NRA can do is hold out their stacks of cash. If enough politicians say “no thank you” instead of accepting the donations, something might get done. Until then, enjoy the status quo.

        • A fan of TV says:

          The majority of Americans support gun control. A greater percentage of Americans support gun control than those who support the second amendment, period. The majority of Americans may believe in the importance of the constitution, but that does not mean they believe in it strictly as written and believe it should never change.

    • A fan of TV says:

      Negative, buddy. While the LGBT community may be a statistical minority, they are supported by the majority of Americans, which means that states who maintain anti-LGBT laws are working for the minority.

  4. Davidj says:

    Unfortunately I think John Oliver is right that the pro-gun side– even as small as they are– are just SO much more fanatical and energized over this issue than the rest of us. Any time there’s even the slightest hint of gun control mentioned, they swarm the capitol and demand that it be stopped. And until the other side can put in that kind of effort things are never going to change sadly.

  5. Tracee says:

    The Senate doesn’t care about American lives. They think we deserve to die if we are in Bible study (Charleston), in the club, in the movie theater, in school. I am a gun owner but I don’t think it’s so radical to make sure that people on the terror watch list shouldn’t be able to murder people just trying to enjoy their lives and causing no harm to others! And I HATE the fact that many Americans are so lazy that we won’t even rise up and exercise the right to vote – people were KILLED and had German shepherds and fire hoses turned on them for this right – in large numbers in our best interests to elect people who are fully against homegrown terrorists who threaten us. It’s sad. But, given the US’ history and unwillingness to meaningfully progress, we’re probably doomed with no hope whatsoever.

  6. Bella says:

    There are people on the no-fly list who don’t belong there. An 8 year-old boy, a Senate aid, etc. No one gets notice they are on the list until they try to fly somewhere. There is no hearing or procedure to get yourself off of it. The Republicans proposed that if someone on the list tries to buy a gun, it’s put on hold until they have a due process right to have a hearing that would determine if they should be on the list or not. The Democrats wouldn’t go for it. The IRS kept 400 conservative groups from getting exempt status for no other reason than that they could. Do you want any government official, whether right, left, or middle, to have the power to put you on any list they want and you be powerless to fight it? As far as guns are concerned, murder is already illegal. Do you think making it harder for people to get guns is going to stop an Islamic terrorist? Why smear all gun owners, the vast majority of whom are law-abiding? How many crimes have been prevented because of a law-abiding gun owner? Those aren’t headline news, but there are numerous instances of them. As far as needing only a few bullets is concerned, did you happen to pay attention to the fact that 70-80 % of the shots fired by law enforcement missed? If you’re terrified and being faced with a criminal, or two, who have entered your home, you’re going to need more than one bullet each. Passing new laws, which trample on the constitutional rights of others, just to make you feel like you’ve “done” something is unacceptable.

    • Matt says:

      Over 10,000 deaths caused by firearms a year is unacceptable. No other country has the same issue with gun violence and if you believe that the ease with which people can buy guns does not contribute to the mass slaughter of innocents then allow me to tell you about this bridge in Brooklyn I have for sale.

  7. Sara says:

    Why in the world would they not pass a law that restricts people on the terror watch list from buying assault rifles?!!!! WTF!!

    • Davidj says:

      Because clearly it’s more important not to inconvenience someone wanting to buy a gun than to prevent even one extra death that might be caused by a powerful assault weapon.

    • Tom says:

      Because like most laws, there is hidden language. How is one put on the list? What are the criteria? How will it not be abused?

    • Lucifer says:

      You know how you get on the terror watch list or any other government watch list? Saying something suspicious, even if it’s a joke. Having a name that resembles a terrorist’s name, even children! There is no DUE PROCESS. You people are absolutely ignorant about laws and then carry about them. If you believe a citizen’s right to purchase a gun can be revoked for being on a list that does not require due process, then you must also agree other rights they have can and should be violated. Also, the general public does not have access to assault rifles.

  8. Joey says:

    So much talk about the second amendment…
    .
    Just wondering, but when did “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” become “Any individual, acting by themselves, can own any type of firearm without any regulations at all”?

    • Steven says:

      That’s easy. District of Columbia v. Heller, and McDonald v. Chicago.

      • Joey says:

        Nice try, but neither Heller nor McDonald said that there should be no regulations whatsoever on an individual’s “right” to bear whatever firearms they want.

  9. GEM says:

    American Pandora’s box has already been opened and cannot be closed again. My country doesn’t manufacture guns and we still have a problem with them. How much so with a country that manufactures all types. Violence has become acceptable on tv a long time ago and this has psychologically changed a lot of people over a period of time. That peace and safety is never going to come back again because its the new world that we have silently sat by creating.

  10. Nisha says:

    I’m glad that I live in Canada…

  11. My says:

    Thank you, TV line, for posting this and things like it.

  12. Mark says:

    I know this was on TV, but I come to this site for TV news, not to see more politics. When I want politics, I watch the news, not hop on this page.