Stephen Colbert spoke about last week’s Parkland, Florida, school shooting and praised the student survivors who are now rallying for gun control.


“Like you, I was sickened and heartbroken, not only by the attack and the loss of innocent life, but by what I feared would be the complete lack of action by our leaders,” Colbert said to the crowd and camera. “And that feeling was quickly reinforced by statements like this from Marco Rubio, who completely abdicated responsibility,” he added before showing a clip of the Senator saying, “You could pass a law that makes it hard to get this kind of gun in a new condition, but you’re gonna struggle to keep it out of the hands of someone who’s decided that’s what they want to use.”

Meanwhile, students from Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglass High School are making noise to get lawmakers to act on gun control. “There is one group that does give me hope that we can do something to protect the children, and sadly it’s the children. The students from Parkland, Florida,” the host said, clapping. “These students saw their leaders doing nothing and said, ‘hold my root beer.'”

“My message for the people in office is, you’re either with us or against us. We’re losing our lives while the adults are playing around,” said a student in a clip played on the show. “To every politician who is taking donations from the NRA, shame on you,” said another.

Colbert agreed. “The adults aren’t cutting it anymore,” he said. “I think we need to change the voting age. Until we do something about guns, you can’t vote if you’re over 18.”

The host then applauded the students’ efforts in showing both courageous words and following up with actions. Many students organized and participated in a march and multiple walk-outs to support the survivors of mass school shootings. In addition, students traveled to Tallahassee to “bed lawmakers to reinstate the assault weapons ban.” They then witnessed the lawmakers deny their pleas.

“I hope these kids don’t give up because this is their lives and their future. Someone else might be in power but this country belongs to them. And there is reason for hope,” Colbert said. “Look at the #MeToo movement. A lot of men in power did not see that coming but it proved that change can happen overnight and this is an election year. So if you want to see change, you have to go to the polls and tell the people who will not protect you that their time is up.”