“This is not a time for moments of silence,” a deeply affected Jimmy Kimmel said at the opening of his late-night show Wednesday, the first taped after news of the Uvalde elementary school massacre became public. “This is a time to be loud, and to stay loud, and not stop until we fix this.”
In a nearly nine-minute monologue filmed when Jimmy Kimmel Live!‘s in-studio audience was not present, the host begged elected officials to enact gun safety legislation in an effort to end mass killings.
His impassioned comments came in the wake of an attack that took the lives of 19 children and two adults Tuesday when a gunman opened fire at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The 18-year-old suspect also was killed. The tragedy marked the deadliest American school shooting since the murders at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary nearly 10 years ago.
At several points in the monologue, Kimmel was on the verge of tears and had to pause to collect himself.
“There have been 27 school shootings so far this year in this country — and it’s May,” he said. “How does this make sense to anyone? These are our children, and our representatives are supposed to represent us. We want limits on who could walk around with an AR-15, and it damn well shouldn’t be a teenager who works at a fast-food restaurant. If we can’t agree on that, forget it.”
Kimmel also directly addressed Texas politicians Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Greg Abbott, telling them: “It’s OK to admit you made a mistake. In fact, it’s not just OK, it’s necessary to admit you made a mistake when your mistake is killing the children in your state. It takes a big person to do something like that. It takes a brave person to do something like that. And do I think these men are brave people? No, I don’t, but and I would love it if they surprise me.”
He later added asked his audience to help him hold lawmakers accountable. “You make sure that unless they do something drastic, let’s make sure that not one of any of these politicians ever holds office again.”
Press PLAY on the video above to watch Kimmel’s emotional monologue, then hit the comments with your thoughts.