Stephen Colbert addressed viewers from his desk on The Late ShowMonday night as he challenged U.S. President Donald Trump and Congress to address gun violence by passing legislation to tighten restrictions on the availability of firearms.
Colbert’s challenge comes after a gunman killed at least 59 people and wounded over 500 others in Las Vegas at a music festival on Sunday.
“Today the national conversation is about the shooting in Las Vegas, and jokes aren’t appropriate to address the shock, and the grief, and the anger we all feel,” Colbert acknowledged.
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“This afternoon the president called [the mass shooting] an act of pure evil. And I think he’s right,” Colbert said. “So what then are we willing to do to combat pure evil?”
If Trump really wants to Make America Great Again, Colbert suggested he “do something the last two presidents haven’t been able to do: pass any kind of common sense gun control legislation that the vast majority of America want.”
Colbert gave Washington politicians a few ideas on what they could try to pass. “The bar is so low that Congress can be heroes by doing literally anything,” Colbert said before listing off some possible ideas. “Universal background checks, or come up with a better answer. Enforce Obama’s executive order that denied mentally ill gun purchases, or a better answer. Reinstate the assault weapons ban, or come up with a better answer. Anything but nothing.”
Addressing Trump, Colbert said, “Doing nothing is cowardice. Doing something will take courage.”
“Now, President Trump, you said you want to be a transformative president, who doesn’t care about the way things have always been done in Washington, D.C.” Colbert said.
Colbert went on to tell Trump that “this is your chance to prove it. And I mean this sincerely. You do not owe the Republicans anything. You know the Republicans tried to stop you from being president. Well, screw ‘em!”
“If we are facing pure evil, then, by all means, offer thoughts and prayers. But think about what you need to do, and then pray for the courage to do it,” Colbert said as he ended his plea to Trump.
Watch Colbert in the video above.