Justice

Stephen Colbert Speaks Out About Mass Shootings

October 4th 2015

By:
Diana Crandall

On Friday's "Late Show with Stephen Colbert" host Stephen Colbert opened the show with comments on the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon—warning of how dangerous it is to pretend another mass shooting won't happen.

“I can’t pretend that [the shooting] didn’t happen,” Colbert said. “But I think pretending is part of the problem. These things happen over and over again, and we are naturally horrified and shocked when we hear about them."

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“But then we change nothing,” Colbert continued. “And we pretend that it won’t happen again. Some say the answer is stricter gun laws, others say the answer is mental healthcare, that we need better treatment or just keep the guns out of the hands of the insane. Maybe it’s both, I honestly don’t know. But I do know that one of the definitions of insanity is changing nothing and then pretending something will change.”

As Attn: has previously reported, the U.S. experiences disproportionately high numbers of mass shootings in relation to the rest of the world. In fact, one-third of mass shootings occur in the U.S., despite being home to only five percent of the global population.

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Adam Lankford, a criminal justice professor at the University of Alabama, conducted research about mass killings in America. His research shows that the U.S. has 200 million more firearms in circulation than any of the other 171 countries he analyzed, as well as the highest number of mass shootings in the world: 90.

“It’s a bigger problem today than it was a decade ago and it may be a bigger problem in the future,” Lankford told Newsweek.