Gun control. That was the response from late-night talk show hosts Monday night after the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas Sunday that left 59 people dead and hundreds more injured.
On Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, a South African native, observed that “I’ve never been to a country where people are as afraid to speak about guns,” referring to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders who, among others, said now is not the time for political debate about guns.
Noah added that “when a plane crashes, we talk about plane safety immediately. When a bridge crashes, we talk about infrastructure immediately. We seem to avoid to do everything to talk about guns.”
The 33-year-old also noticed disparate reactions from President Donald Trump to the violence at a country music festival at the Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort Sunday and hurricane-hit Puerto Rico.
Noah said Trump’s response to Puerto Rican officials requesting more aid, only to be told that they weren’t doing enough, lacked compassion. But the president’s address to the nation Monday after Las Vegas showed “you do have the ability to display sympathy—just not for certain people.”
Noah continued: “You’re speaking about people who’ve been shot...you go, in this moment let’s just acknowledge their pain and suffering. And then Puerto Ricans, you’re like, let’s talk about what they could have done.”
“People speak about mass shootings like they are national disasters, like there’s nothing you can do,” Noah said incredulously. “There is something you can do.”
Meanwhile, on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, Meyers appeared forlorn as he addressed the issue of gun control.
The comic said “we’ve talked about gun violence on this show before” but “history repeats itself” every time a new attack takes place because Congress does not reform the law. Instead, Meyers simply asked for transparency.
“When you say, ‘Now is not the time to talk about it,’ what you really mean is, there is never a time to talk about it. It would be so much more honest if you just admit that your plan is to never talk about it and never take any action,” Meyers said.
Stephen Colbert, host of CBS’ The Late Show, also had a message for Congress on his show Monday night, appealing to lawmakers to make changes to the law to make it harder to acquire guns.
“Congress can be heroes by doing literally anything—universal background checks, or come up with a better answer. Enforce Obama’s executive order that denied the mentally ill gun purchases, or a better answer. Doing nothing is cowardice,” said Colbert.
The comedian ended his sober opening monologue with a message directly to Trump.
“You’ve said you want to be a transformative president who doesn’t care about the way things have always been done in Washington. This is your chance to prove it,” Colbert began. “You want to make America great again? Do something the last two presidents haven’t been able to do—pass any kind of common gun control legislation.”