In light of the Nov. 5 shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, which left 26 people dead and 20 injured, Stephen Colbert offered his Late Show audience words of comfort and encouragement on Monday.
Though Colbert began by admitting he doesn’t have “the slightest idea how to adequately address” the attack, which happened just 35 days after the mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival, he went on to tell his viewers not to feel despondent in the face of tragedy.
“Everyone is heartbroken when this happens, and you want to do something, but nothing gets done. No one does anything. And that seems insane,” he said. “And it can make you feel hopeless. Now, I don’t know what to do, but I know that hopelessness is not the answer. You cannot give up in the face of evil.”
Despite his frustration that mass shootings in America fail to result in meaningful gun control legislation, Colbert reminded his audience that feeling hopeless only helps the bad guys.
“I actually think that there are some people out there — some truly evil people out there — who want you to feel powerless, just for a buck,” he said. “Because if you feel powerless enough, you know what might make you feel more powerful? Going to buy a gun. It’s a vicious cycle.”
Given that general elections are taking place across the country on Tuesday, and 2018 midterm elections are approaching, Colbert closed by urging his viewers to make their voices heard by casting their ballots.
“There is one power you mustn’t ever forget, and that is you can vote,” he said. “Vote for someone who will do something. Because this is an act of evil, and the only thing necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.”
Watch Colbert’s full speech in the video above, then drop a comment below with your thoughts.