Remember when the job of late-night comedians was to make us laugh?
Jimmy Kimmel has apparently decided that his role is instead to be a self-appointed lecturer of morality and laws… and he has now resorted to pure propaganda to do it.
On Friday, the nation was shocked by a tragedy in Texas. A 17-year-old student allegedly entered Santa Fe High School and killed ten people. He was likely planning on even more mayhem, if reports of improvised explosive devices are correct.
The young people who were impacted by that heinous crime were without a doubt shaken and distraught in the aftermath of the violence, as anyone would be. Being empathetic or deeply moved by their pain is natural — but using them as political pawns for an agenda is not.
That’s exactly what Kimmel did on Friday evening.
The sanctimonious “comedian” used his show to broadcast an edited montage of grieving teenagers, many still in shock. Juxtapositioned with the crying witnesses were clips of Republicans — only Republicans — voicing their support for the Second Amendment and the right of individuals to defend themselves.
Kimmel’s in-your-face point was clear: Conservatives and the constitutional right to bear arms were to blame for this tragedy, not the criminal himself.
But it gets even worse: The video montage was complete propaganda. At the end of the clip, the logo of “Everytown for Gun Safety” appears.
Yes, it was apparently a video produced by one of the most liberal gun control groups in America, broadcast by Kimmel without even bothering to take the logo off the end.
That’s more than a minor point. Think about it: Everytown is by all measures a political lobbying group. It is financed by Democrat Michael Bloomberg, and one of its stated goals is to match the National Rifle Association in influence.
That means that Kimmel, on ABC’s public television airwaves, purposely broadcast the hit piece of a biased political organization backed by the left. That’s not commentary. That’s open partisan grandstanding.
Apparently supporting a group of like-minded citizens with common concerns — like the NRA — makes some Americans blood-splattered monsters, but pushing the propaganda of a leftist group with the opposite views makes Kimmel a hero in his own eyes.
Of course, he left out video of politicians on the left claiming to support the Second Amendment. There was no clip of Barack Obama — “Second Amendment rights are important,” he said in 2016 — or of Joe Biden urging Americans to “buy a shotgun.“
No, those would have undermined the sanctimony.
Remember, none of the young students in shock and grieving in the video gave their consent to be used as a political tool by Kimmel. The video was a mashup of news clips, which means that the teenagers likely had no idea they would be used as pawns by the country’s lecturer-in-chief.
It’s actually a safe bet that Kimmel doesn’t know the full political views of the students he chose to exploit for the stunt. As we saw after the Parkland tragedy, a good number of students and parents do support the Second Amendment even in the face of disturbing crimes.
In other words, the late night blowhard is pretending to speak for students, but doesn’t actually know what they believe. It’s a focused effort to shame law-abiding citizens and project guilt onto people who had nothing to do with the crime.
It’s also hysteria over reason — exactly the wrong approach to take when emotions are running high and fundamental rights are being debated. As Mike Huckabee once said about the Parkland activists, “emotion is a terrible substitute for truth.”
The students affected by this tragedy should be emotional. It’s impossible not to be. But serious-minded adults — a category that ostensibly includes Kimmel — need to step back and avoid the trap of emotionalism and hysteria over logic and reason.
If we manage to take a deep breath, the truth becomes clear: Incidents like Parkland, Florida and Santa Fe, Texas are absolutely tragedies, but they’re also surprisingly rare.
The actual statistics show that schools are some of the safest places in America — and students actually have a higher chance of being killed riding their bicycles or walking to school than they do sitting in a classroom. That isn’t hyperbole, that’s documented fact.
Of course, this brings no comfort to the young people who witnessed horrible violence on Friday, nor should it be expected to. But it is our job as sober adults to look at the facts and consider a problem calmly, not trip over ourselves in hysterics because a comedian showed an edited mashup of pain on television.
That addiction to hysteria over logic also becomes evident when we ask a simple question: What does Kimmel actually want?
He wants less school violence, yes. So does every sane American, no matter how they identify politically.
What actual policies, besides feeling morally superior on television, does Kimmel want to see? If you say “getting rid of assault rifles” or even “ban common semi-auto firearms,” here’s the reality: The criminal at the Texas school didn’t use either of those.
By all reports, he used a basic Remington pump-action shotgun and a .38 revolver. He also apparently was planning to use improvised pressure cooker bombs, hammering home the point that almost anything can be used for violence if a deranged person has the will.
Pump shotguns and revolvers have existed for well over a hundred years, as anybody who has seen an old west movie knows.
Again, ask: What does Kimmel want? If it’s to ban shotguns and revolvers that go back to the 1800s, this is an absolutely radical stance that would completely tear up the Constitution, not to mention be impossible to enforce.
If it’s not that, then what? When you step back and look at the facts combined with his use of propaganda and emotional theater, the answer becomes clear: He wants to feel pompous and superior, talking down at law-abiding Americans while kept safe by his own contingent of armed, private security.
That, in the end, is the real problem with the teary-eyed lectures from people like Kimmel. They’re disingenuous and dishonest, and the objective isn’t to have a genuine fact-based conversation about crime and gun ownership.
The objective is for elitists to feel smug, while using emotionalism as a chisel to undermine self defense and other fundamental rights. It may make for dramatic television, but there is more at stake than one unfunny comedian’s well-rehearsed act.
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