Like so many others on the late-night circuit, Trevor Noah commented on the Orlando, Florida mass shooting at a gay nightclub that killed 49 and wounded 53 others.
The Daily Show host opened Monday’s episode by recapping the attack, and showing footage of President Barack Obama commenting on yet another mass shooting. “I wonder if President Obama ever thought to himself that mass shooting speeches would be such a big part of his job,” Noah said. “You know, at this point, he’s hosted 12 State Dinners, but has had to make 16 mass shooting addresses.”
In his remarks, President Obama said America has to decide if this is the kind of country it wants to be — one where mass shootings have become so prevalent.
“The saddest part is every time this happens, it feels like America has already decided,” Noah said. “This is exactly the kind of country it wants to be. Because we know how this always plays out: We’re shocked, we mourn, we change our profile pics, and we move on. It’s become normal.” He then referenced his South African heritage. “I’m sorry. Maybe it’s because I’m new, but it’s not normal. And it shouldn’t be normal. We shouldn’t allow this to be normal.”
Noah compared the national and political response to mass shootings to tying shoelaces. “When I was a kid, I never used to tie my shoelaces. Because I was an idiot. … What I would do as a child, I would run around, I would trip on my shoelaces, I would fall down and cry,” he said. Noah recalled how his mother would come to comfort him and then explain that the reason he fell was because of the untied laces.
“We realized, I fell because of the shoelaces. I’ll tie them then move on. I knew I had to move on, but I had to tie the shoelaces first,” he said. “I had to change something. I could’ve said, ‘Mom why are you bringing shoelaces into this conversation? Why are you blaming the shoelaces for something the sidewalk did to my knees? Who even says there’s a connection between anti-shoelaces and falling anyway? You’re violating my right to keep my shoelaces untied!’ I didn’t say that. You know why? I realized after falling, after falling a lot, that there was a connection between leaving my shoelaces untied and getting hurt. That’s why I didn’t say that to my mom.”
While Noah called the Orlando mass shooting a “complicated incident,” he noted that it had roots in accessibility to guns. “There’s elements of terrorism, homophobia, mental health. But it is glaringly obvious: America needs to make it a lot harder for people who shouldn’t have guns to get guns. To many of us, it seems crystal clear.”
Watch the full segment below — which includes sobering video of an Al-Qaeda spokesperson saying in 2011 how easy it is for terrorists to acquire guns legally in America.