Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles Guns

Stephen Colbert rails against hopelessness after the latest mass shooting, calling inaction 'inhuman'

"The world is a harrowing place, and sometimes you just don't know what to say about it," Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show. What can you say after Sunday's attack on the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, with 26 people "on a Sunday, going to love and serve the Lord, gunned down by a madman with semiautomatic weapon and body armor," just 35 days after the largest mass shooting in U.S. history? he asked. "Everyone is heartbroken when this happens, and you want to do something, but nothing gets done. No one does anything, and that seems insane, and it can make you feel hopeless."

"I don't know what to do, but I know that hopelessness is not the answer," Colbert said. Congress won't do anything, but doing nothing isn't just unacceptable, "it's unnatural, it's inhuman, it just goes against our nature — we want to fix things," he added. "Five thousand years ago, if your village had a tiger come into it every day and was eating people, you wouldn't do nothing — you would move the village, you would build a fence, or you would kill the tiger. You wouldn't say, 'Well, you know, I guess someone's going to get eaten every day, because the price of liberty is tigers.'"

So don't give in to feelings of powerlessness, Colbert said. "I actually think there are some people out there, some truly evil people out there, who want you to feel powerless, just for a buck. 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." If you don't like it, there is one power you have and should probably use, he added: "You can vote." Watch below. Peter Weber