Jimmy Kimmel calls out Congress over inaction on gun control, says they're in NRA's pocket

The late night talk show host, who grew up in Las Vegas, ripped Congress.

ByABC News
October 3, 2017, 4:59 AM

— -- Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel ripped into Congress for being in the pocket of the NRA on Monday, one day after 59 people were killed in a shooting in Las Vegas.

Kimmel, who grew up in Las Vegas, specifically went after President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan in a direct call for action on gun control.

"President Trump is visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday, he spoke this morning, said he’s 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," Kimmel said in his monologue. "Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, a number of other lawmakers who won’t do anything about this because the NRA 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's so crazy."

Kimmel brought up a host of issues surrounding gun control in the U.S.

He showed photos of the 56 senators who chose to vote against a bill to close specific loopholes that exist to buy a gun in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016, which killed 49 people and was the deadliest shooting on modern record until Sunday. He also mentioned the bill Hillary Clinton tweeted about in the wake of the Las Vegas attack, which would allow silencers for guns.

Kimmel specifically referred to the November 1980 fire at the MGM Grand which killed 85 people. Kimmel was a child in the city at the time and related fire safety codes -- including changes to fire alarms and removing auto-locking doors -- were immediately changed in the wake of the fire.

"Why would we approach this any differently?" Kimmel asked of the Las Vegas shooting. "This is a public safety issue."

Kimmel referred to people on social media who say "there's nothing we can do about it" and disagreed.

"I've been reading comments from people who say this is terrible, but there's nothing we can do about it," Kimmel said. "But I disagree with that intensely because, of course, there's something we can do about it. There are a lot of things we can do about it. 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 to take every possible precaution to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Kimmel, whose show has never been as overtly political as other late-night programs like "The Daily Show," has waded into politics a lot lately.

The talk show host recently took issue with Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., who was one of the authors of the most recent attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare. Cassidy had appeared on Kimmel's show earlier in the year and proposed a test named after Kimmel to make sure it met the requirements the show's host laid out in the wake of his newborn son needing surgery.

Kimmel was not happy with the Cassidy-Graham bill, saying it did not meet his standards, and he called out the senator for the issues.