By Casey Quackenbush
June 14, 2016

“Sometimes events are so horrifying and bleak that to come out here and tell jokes, it’s just not really possible,” said Conan O’Brien Monday, during his first late-night show since the mass shooting in an Orlando nightclub that killed 49 people and injured 53.

Instead of the usual jokes, O’Brien used the opening monologue of his talk show Conan on TBS, to condemn the shooting and make a poignant and damming point on gun rights in America.

“I simply do not understand why anybody in this country is allowed to purchase and own a semiautomatic assault rifle,” he said. “These are weapons of war and they have no place in civilian life.”

Police officials described how the gunman — identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen — armed with an assault-type rifle and handgun, opened fire in the crowded Pulse nightclub in Orlando early Sunday morning. It is the largest mass shooting in American history.

“These mass shootings are happening so often now that lamenting them afterwards is becoming a national ritual.” Conan said. “I wanted to take just a moment here tonight to agree with the rapidly growing sentiment in America that it’s time to grow up, and figure this out.”

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