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Jimmy Kimmel gets emotional in monologue about his hometown Las Vegas

The late-night host fought back tears and championed gun laws while speaking about the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas.
/ Source: TODAY

Jimmy Kimmel fought back tears and challenged political leaders to act against gun violence during an impassioned monologue on Monday night about the mass shooting in his hometown of Las Vegas.

The host of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" mourned the loss of 59 lives and lamented the more than 500 injured from the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. A lone gunman opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 people on Sunday night during a Jason Aldean concert at a country music festival.

"This morning, we have children without parents and fathers without sons, mothers without daughters. We lost two police officers. We lost a nurse from Tennessee. A special-ed teacher from a local school here in Manhattan Beach. It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to throw up or give up."

"It’s too much to even process — all these devastated families who now have to live with this pain forever because one person with a violent and insane voice in his head managed to stockpile a collection of high-powered rifles and use them to shoot people."

Kimmel then took issue with those who feel the situation with gun violence in America cannot be changed.

"There are a lot of things we can do about it,'' he said. "But we don’t, 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. And the Second Amendment, I guess, our forefathers wanted us to have AK-47s is the argument, I assume."

Kimmel also excoriated President Trump and Republican congressional leaders about the issue of gun control. He showed photos of 56 senators who voted against a bill to close loopholes surrounding gun purchases that was proposed in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting last year that killed 49 people in Orlando.

"President Trump is visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday,'' Kimmel said. "He spoke this morning, he said he was praying for those who lost their lives. You know, in February, he also signed a bill that made it easier for people with severe mental illness to buy guns legally. The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, a number of other lawmakers who won’t do anything about this because the N.R.A. has their balls in a money clip, also sent their thoughts and their prayers today — which is good. They should be praying. They should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country. Because it is, it is so crazy."

The emotional show opener marked Kimmel's latest appeal to political leaders over a national issue. As he noted in his monologue, "I want this to be a comedy show. I hate talking about stuff like this. I just want to laugh about things every night, but that — it seems to becoming increasingly difficult lately."

In recent weeks, he's dedicated multiple monologues to attacking the Republican-created healthcare plan, saying it would not prevent discrimination based on pre-existing conditions or insurance companies imposing lifetime caps on coverage while lowering premiums for middle-class families.

The fight was inspired by his infant son, Billy, who needed open-heart surgery three days after he was born in April.

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.