James Corden makes powerful call for gun control: 'Gun violence should not be a staple of American life'
James Corden opened Monday’s The Late Late Show with a powerful monologue that both honored the victims and survivors of Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas and acted as a call-to-action for those citizens upset with the nation’s gun laws.
“We’ve all been coming to terms today with the horrifically sad news and awful images coming out of Las Vegas this morning. A crowd gathered together in unity enjoying a music concert unaware that moments later their lives would change forever. Their families, hearing the news that their son, daughter, mother, father or friend isn’t ever coming home is something I can’t begin to imagine,” Corden said Monday. “To them, and to the hundreds who survived but now face battles with their injuries and memories, we’re thinking of you tonight.”
A gunman opened fire on attendees at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Sunday, shooting from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. At least 59 people were killed in the attack with more than 500 injured, making it the deadliest mass shooting in United States history.
On Monday, Corden acknowledged the “bravery and heroism” of the concert goers, first responders, and Las Vegas medical professionals in the wake of the attack and noted how hundreds of Las Vegas residents lined up to give blood on Monday. “Because that’s what people do,” Corden said, citing the terror attack in Manchester, England, during an Ariana Grande concert and the Orlando, Florida, Pulse nightclub shooting (the previous deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history) as other examples where citizens gave blood. “It’s what they do in every city where a horrific attack takes place. Those will be far greater examples of true human nature than that shooter on the 32nd floor,” Corden said.
The host then acknowledged the statistics on gun violence in America in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre. “Last night was the biggest mass shooting in United States history. That’s a record that’s been set twice in just the two and a half years that I’ve been living in America,” he said. “Here’s another statistic: 11,660 people have died from gun violence in the last 275 days in this country. Now I come from a place where we don’t have shootings at this frequency, so it’s hard for me to fathom. But it should be hard for everyone to fathom. Gun violence should not be a staple of American life. Some say it’s too early to talk about gun control. For those victims last night, it’s far too late.”
In the wake of the Sunday attack, a debate arose over whether speaking about gun control in reference to Las Vegas was warranted. Said White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday: “Today is more, again, like I said, a day of reflection, a day of mourning, a day of gratefulness for those that were saved. I think that there will be certainly time for that policy discussion to take place, but that’s not the place that we’re in at this moment. Certainly, I think there’s a time for that to happen.”
Corden, however, refuted that notion. “Forgive me, as I’m just a foreigner here and some of you may feel I have no place to say this, but how does every other developed country do a better job of preventing these attacks? We can’t be surprised that gun crime will always occur when there is such wide availability of guns,” he said, before quoting Robert Kennedy. “‘Tragedy is a tool for the living to gain wisdom, not a guide by which to live.’ Now is the time for gaining that wisdom. Somewhere, it has to stop. Maybe the time for thoughts and prayers of congress members and the president have passed. We need to look to them to actually do something to prevent this from ever happening in the future. In the meantime, we mourn those who lost and we think of those who are suffering tonight.”
The Late Late Show With James Corden