A tearful Kimmel, Meyers, Corden, Colbert and Whoopi made passionate pleas on their shows, while others turned to social media to share their sorrow and outrage.
Update 5/26/2022 2:54 a.m. PST
Jimmy Kimmel came out even before his audience on Wednesday's show to address the deadly mass shooting for the first time. The late-night host struggled to contain his emotions, breaking down several times, as he railed against politicians and media outlets attacking President Biden for demanding something be done.
After slamming the Senate for refusing to vote on the bipartisan background check bill they've had from the House since 2020, saying they're not listening to the constituents, but rather "those people who write them checks," Kimmel said it's actually our fault.
"This is now our fault because we get angry, we demand action, we don’t get it, they wait it out, we go back to the lives that we should rightfully be able to go back to," he said. "But you know who doesn’t forget it? The parents of the children at Sandy Hook and Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School and now Robb Elementary School. They won’t forget it."
He cited that firearms are now the number one cause of death for children and teens and called on the humanity of politicans from Texas, including Governor Abbott and Senator Cruz to be brave and admit they were wrong.
"It’s necessary to admit you made a mistake when your mistake is killing the children in your state," he said referring to the lax gun control laws passed last year in Texas. "This is not a time for moments of silence, this is a time to be loud and to stay loud and not stop until we fix this."
"There’ve been 27 school shootings in this country this year and it’s May," Kimmel said. "How does this make sense to anyone? These are our children. And our representatives are supposed to represent us. We want limits on who can walk around with an AR-15 and it damn well shouldn’t be a teenager who works at a fast food restaurant. If we can’t agree on that, forget it!"
After it aired, Kimmel wondered whether his monologue was "cut away" from "intentionally or inadvertently" by a Dallas ABC affiliate. WFAA, the network in question, later apologized "for technical difficulties that interrupted Wednesday's show at multiple points, including during his monologue on gun control." They then linked to the full monologue.
Seth Meyers got emotional as well, reflecting on how he knew it would be hard to talk about mass shootings when he first started on "Late Night," but that it turned out to be much harder, now that he has kids, to simply drop them off at school.
He then took "A Closer Look" at the whole situation, calling on the people in power to do something. "America has more guns than people. We have more mass shootings by far than any other peer nations," he argued. "Those two things are obviously related."
He then showed a clip from former Chief Justice Warren Burger who alleged that the 2nd Amendment has been "America has more guns than people. We have more mass shootings by far than any other peer nations. Those two things are obviously related," pointing out that "well-regulated" is right there in the original document, which would mean regulations, as in sensible gun control.
Meyers railed against the argument that the solution is to arm teachers and "turn schools into fortified military bases."
"They want to arm teachers and yet they’re not even willing to throw enough money at schools to get them history books that don’t end with the fall of the Berlin Wall," he pushed.
As for people decrying that this issue shouldn't be politicized, Meyers questioned, "What else is politics for? It’s a crisis. And this is what our political system is supposed to do: address the crisis."
update: 5/25/2022 7:10 AM PST
Late night and morning television reacted to the deadly shooting with a mix of sorrow and outrage.
On Tuesday night, Colbert spoke of the "unspeakable" event, saying that "while we can add our prayers for the dead, there is nothing that could ever be said that can approach the immeasurable grief of those families." He added: "But while we're at it, let's pray this time our leaders show a modicum of courage in trying to prevent this from ever happening again."
"Prayers won't end this, but voting might," he said, before urging viewers to vote for those who have spoken out in favor of gun control.
Over on James Corden's show, be began the night on a somber note as well -- in a message filmed after they had shot the rest of the episode, as more details came in.
"It's unfathomable," he said. "As a father I couldn't imagine the horror of that phone call. When I dropped my kids off at school this morning and kissed them goodbye, it doesn't cross your mind that that could ever be the last goodbye. The thought of that phone call, that your child is the victim of a mass shooting, it incomprehensible as a human being."
"I don't know what has to happen to change things here," he continued. "I am constantly shocked by the number of people who must think that this is an okay byproduct to never make meaningful changes to gun laws. And it doesn't make sense to me. It doesn't reflect the country that I think America is. The America I've always admired. You have a problem, you solve it."
"America is one of the most backward places in the world," he said, before pointing out the lack of school shootings around the world. "Nothing will change. Gun money will continue to get in the way of morality. So, just as I stood here in this studio last week and I talked about a mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, today, heartbreakingly, it is an elementary school in Texas. And I'll probably be stood here talking again in another week or two about another place."
The shooting was, of course, the main topic of the day on "The View" as well, where all the cohosts called for gun control and called out politicians for not doing enough.
"I swear to God, if I see another Republican senator talking about their heart being broken, I'm gonna go punch somebody, I can't take it," said Whoopi Goldberg. "If your thoughts and prayers were really with everybody, you'd have done something by now."
Joy Behar urged lawmakers to "stop gaslighting" everyone by pointing to mental illness and saying "you can have a good guy stop a bad guy with a gun" -- while Ana Navarro asked "What happened after Sandy Hook?" and criticized her own party by saying "Republicans are being held hostage by the NRA."
"There is no reason why an 18-year-old should have access to weapons of war that can kill children in a matter of seconds," she added.
Whoopi also called out Texas Governor Greg Abbott for sighting 22 bills this year "making it easier for mass shooters to to buy, carry and own guns in his own state" -- and asked him to apply some of the restrictions on abortions to guns.
.@JoyVBehar: "Stop saying 'it's not guns that kill people, it's people that kill people' — it's guns that kill people."
Ted Cruz and his Ilk say there is nothing to do but to pile on more guns. “More killing is the answer.” He is running a violent death cult. There are lots of countries with sensible gun laws that aren’t dealing with this. This is only America. https://t.co/UebvlzjtY2
Texas- where the Governor sends Christmas cards posing with assault rifle whose only purpose is to kill as many humans as possible and then pretends he is sad when someone actually uses those rifles to kill as many humans (CHILDREN) as possible . Abbott- a champion hypocrite!!!
Babies. We can't get numb to this. These are our babies, our families. How many of our babies need to be murdered for folks to be moved to action? What is the magic number? NONE of our babies are disposable. NONE of our neighbors, loved ones, hell strangers, are disposable! Sick
On Tuesday night, Matthew McConaughey addressed the mass shooting at an elementary school in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas, laying the blame for the tragedy at the feet of every adult in America who is failing its children.
The actor said that "we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us," and he demanded that we do more than "exhale once again, make excuses, and accept these tragic realities as the status quo."
He demanded action, writing that "this is an epidemic we can control," arguing that no matter our political affiliation, "we all know we can do better. We must do better."
Taylor Swift shared a powerful live statement from Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, who forewent a traditional pre-game press conference to rail against a political machine he feels is holding Americans "hostage," sacrificing children to hold onto power.
Kerr refused to talk about basketball or take any questions. Instead, he demanded, "When are we gonna do something? I’m tired, I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I’m tired of the moments of silence -- enough!"
Talking about universal background check legislation that passed the House two years ago but has been stalled in the Senate, Kerr said, "We are being held hostage by 50 senators in Washington who refuse to even vote on it despite what we, the American people, want."
He cited that 90 percent of Americans on both sides of the political aisle support universal background checks. "They won’t vote on it because they want to hold onto their own power. It’s pathetic -- I've had enough," Kerr concluded his speech before storming off.
"Steve's words ring so true and cut so deep," Swift captioned her own share of Kerr's press conference. She described herself as "filled with rage and grief, and so broken" by so many mass shootings, and "by the ways in which we, as a nation, have become conditioned to unfathomable and unbearable heartbreak."
Filled with rage and grief, and so broken by the murders in Uvalde. By Buffalo, Laguna Woods and so many others. By the ways in which we, as a nation, have become conditioned to unfathomable and unbearable heartbreak. Steve’s words ring so true and cut so deep. https://t.co/Rb5uwSTxty
At least eighteen students and three adults were killed during a shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday.
According to Governor Greg Abbott, the shooter was an 18-year-old student from Uvalde High School -- we are not naming the shooter. It's believed the gunman, who reportedly shot his grandmother and crashed his car near the school before the spree, was killed by responding officers.
The shooter had a handgun and possibly a rifle, said Abbott.
Addressing the nation on Tuesday night, President Joe Biden said, "As a nation, we have to ask: When in God's name are we gonna stand up to the gun lobby ... do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?"
"Why are we willing to live with this carnage? Why do we keep letting this happen? Where in God's name is our backbone?" he continued. "It's time to act. It's time for those who obstruct or delay or block commonsense gun laws, to let you know: We will not forget. We can do so much more, we have to do more."
Many celebrities took to social media as the situation unfolded, echoing Biden's remarks regarding gun control in the wake of another mass shooting:
My heart absolutely breaks for the children, staff and families at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The lack of progress around how to protect innocent lives from senseless gun violence is FAR past SHAMEFUL in this country.
Jesus Christ. Another mass shooting in America. This time in an elementary school. How many Americans, how many little kids, need to die before we finally say enough and throw-out those standing in the way of gun reform? 💔
Fuck US politics. 14 kids dead. IN TEXAS. WHERE ABORTION IS ILLEGAL BECAUSE WE CARE ABOUT "BABIES". WHAT ABOUT THESE BABIES? TEN YEAR OLDS ARE BABIES BUT THEY'RE ALREADY BORN SO .... let them DIE because guns have more rights. Fucking disgusting. FUCK YOU @GregAbbott_TX@tedcruz
Fuck you @NRA Fuck you, every elected official who’s voted against gun reform. Fuck you @GregAbbott_TX and fuck you, every Republican voter who claims to be “pro-life” but don’t actually give the slightest shit about humans once their born. You are ignorant and complicit.
As a mother, this is the tragically unimaginable. School should be a SAFE place. My heart breaks for the pain and suffering of every family member and loved one connected to today’s events in Texas. My prayers are with you 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾