As America wound down after another day of trying to recover from the current worst mass shooting in modern American history (I see you, Wounded Knee), late night comedians and hosts had something to say about it. Well, except Jimmy Fallon. Pffft.
The message was universal and clear — we need greater gun control laws to combat worsening gun violence, which has become devastatingly normalized in America, but our elected officials, and let’s be honest here, the Republicans in the House and Senate reliant on financial contributions from the NRA, are too cowardly to do anything about it, regardless of what their constituents want.
The vast majority of Americans agree, as evidenced by polls and research. The Pew Research Center polled both gun owning and non-gun owning Americans in March and April of this year. This is what they found: 89% of Americans endorse a ban on allowing people with a diagnosed mental illness from gun ownership. 84% of Americans are in favor of background checks for gun sales at gun shows and between two private parties. 83% of Americans support banning individuals that appear on the no-fly or watch lists from purchasing guns. 71% of Americans support creating a federal database tracking gun sales. 68% of Americans favor banning the sale of assault-style weapons. And 65% of Americans are against the sale of high capacity magazines.
So why the disconnect? How are these mass shootings allowed to continue? Why do Americans keep voting in elected officials that cower to the gun lobby? How is it even possible that just this week, Congress may vote on several measures that will roll back current gun legislation, including legalizing silencers and the sale of armor piercing bullets, via the SHARE Act, legislation the NRA supports. What is it about America that we are unable to address something every other developed nation in the world has addressed with great effectiveness?
Something is amiss when our late night comedians demonstrate more humanity, decency, and courage than the men and women we elect to represent us. We are told by the White House and Fox News that now is not the time to discuss such matters. We are told that politicizing tragedy is shameful. We are told that bad people will always find a way to circumvent the laws. Fuck. That. Noise.
Watch these monologues (primary sources, yo), call your representatives, and demand better.