As expected, Monday’s late night talk show circuit, usually full of light hearted puns and tickling commentary, was intercepted by nationally felt somberness in the wake of Saturday night’s mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando, FL. This premeditated attack fueled by homophobia was the deadliest mass shooting in United States history, with 49 deaths.
Jimmy Fallon posed difficult questions during his segment, asking what he will tell his children about this attack; and what will happen if they’re gay in a culture of violent homophobia. He urged viewers to embrace the bravery of tolerance.
“Maybe there’s a lesson from all this, a lesson in tolerance. We need to support each other’s differences and worry less about our own opinions. Get back to debate and get away from believing or supporting the idea that if someone doesn’t live the way you want them to live you just buy a gun and kill them… bomb them up. That’s not ok”
Stephen Colbert lamented the tedious familiarity of this tragedy, admonishing the fact that little changes from one tragedy to the next, including our responses to them.
“Love in response to hate. Love does not despair. Love makes us strong. Love gives us the courage to act. Love gives us hope that change is possible. Love allows us to change the script. So love your country. Love your family. Love the families and the victims and the people of Orlando. But let’s remember that love is a verb, and to love means to do something.”
Seth Meyers went over some of the details of the shooting, including the choice of weapon. He chose to focus on responses to this tragedy including the outpour of support to surviving victims and affected families, responses from political figures like Donald Trump and President Obama.
“So while there were some who were busy callously exploiting the tragedy to spread bigotry and misinformation, let’s keep in our hearts the victims and applaud those acts of love and humanity that poured forth in Orlando and across the country because at the end of the day, that’s what will endure.”
Conan O’Brien exasperatedly stated what should be obvious to everyone by now: it is completely absurd that regular civilians are able to purchase and own semi-automatic assault rifles that can do so much damage in such a short period of time.
“I do not know the answer. But I wanted to take just a moment here tonight to agree with the rapidly growing sentiment in America that it’s time to grow up and figure this out.”