Last night, Late Show host and Catholic enthusiast Stephen Colbert addressed a killing spree at a Texas Baptist church on Nov. 5 that left 26 people dead. In a monologue during his show, Mr. Colbert said that the greed of the gun industry hampers efforts to regulate firearms.
“I actually think that there are some people out there—some truly evil people out there—who want you to feel powerless just for a buck because if you feel powerless enough, you know what might make you feel more powerful? Going to buy a gun,” Mr. Colbert said. “It’s a vicious cycle.”
Mr. Colbert’s words called to mind Pope Francis’ critique of the arms industry during a speech to the U.S. Congress in 2015, in which he asked why weapons were so readily available to those who would use them to harm others.
“Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood,” the pope said.
The CBS host urged his viewers not to lose hope.
“Everybody is heartbroken when this happens and you want to do something but nothing gets done; no one does anything. That seems insane,” Mr. Colbert lamented. “And it can make you feel hopeless. I don’t know what to do, but hopelessness is not the answer. You cannot give up in the face of evil.”
He contrasted the inaction to a story about an ancient village under siege from a tiger who was killing villagers everyday.
“You would move the village, you would build a fence or you would kill the tiger. You wouldn’t say, ‘Well, I guess, someone’s going to get eaten every day because the price of liberty is tigers,’” he said. “You take some action.”
“Doing nothing, as I’ve said before, is unacceptable. It’s unnatural. It’s inhuman. It just goes against our nature. We want to fix things,” he said.
He suggested that for Americans, it means exercising the right to vote.
“Vote for someone who will do something because this is an act of evil and the only thing necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing,” he said.