Ellen DeGeneres on Vegas shooting: ‘it’s easy to lose hope, we cannot do that’

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Ellen DeGeneres is skilled at reassuring people. I don’t always buy what she’s selling but when calamity strikes, I generally find comfort in Ellen’s message. So when she offers a message of hope for some reason I believe it, even if only briefly. As we unfortunately know, one such instance befell us Monday as we woke to the news of the Route 91 Harvest festival tragedy. Ellen tapes her shows a day in advance so yesterday she aired the show that she taped on Monday. Unlike some of the more somber openers we saw, Ellen asked us to keep hope alive.

Ellen DeGeneres opened her show on Tuesday with a reminder of love and compassion in the wake of the horrific Las Vegas mass shooting that left at least 59 people dead and more than 500 others injured over the weekend.

“I am hoping we can fill this room with love, and prayers, and hope,” DeGeneres said in her opening monologue. “That’s what I want right now. This show is airing on Tuesday, but we are taping on Monday, and we all woke up this morning to the news of the horrific shooting in Las Vegas. My heart is broken for everyone affected by what happened there.”
She continued, “I mean, we were just in Las Vegas a few weeks ago, and when you think of Las Vegas, it’s a place to escape and have fun and you never imagine anything like this could ever happen.”

DeGeneres noted that “there’s so much going on in the world right now,” naming the devastation in places like Puerto Rico and Mexico following recent natural disasters, “and on top of all that, something like this happens,” she said.

“I don’t know about you, but I feel sad, I feel anxious, I feel helpless,” DeGeneres said. “And it’s very easy to lose hope, but we cannot do that. We cannot do that.”

“I always say that there’s a lot more good in the world than there is bad, and I continue to believe that,” she added. “And that is what we have to focus on. I see it everywhere. You look in Las Vegas, and people were helping each other. People lined up at 4:30 in the morning just to donate blood.”

Concluded the host, “The world is full of amazing people. Good will always win. Love will always win. We will continue to shine a light on those people on our show.”

[From People]

I know this can be read as a little Pollyanna-ish but I don’t think Ellen’s asking us to turn a blind eye to hate, just to remember hope. And as hard as it is to see any hope right now, I appreciate her attempt. I’ve included the full opening at the bottom of this post because to bolster her argument that good still exists, Ellen played a montage of people she said inspired her. Some stories are big, like the people who lifted a burning car off a motorcyclist trapped under it and some are smaller like a woman who paid some firefighters’ check. (Plus a bonus clip of Chris Hemsworth meeting the guy who returned his wallet.) It won’t mend a grieving heart but it does offer a moment’s reprieve during an ugly time.

With all that has happened, we’ve seen that good people rose above the tragedy. In Vegas, there are countless tales of people who saved a person they’d never met, shuttled victims in their vehicles or loaned their trucks to strangers so they could. Jonathan Smith is credited with 30 rescues and he took a bullet to the neck while doing so. Out of Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico there are countless stories of neighbors reaching out. San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz was photographed wading through floodwaters with a bullhorn to find trapped citizens. When Diego Luna appeared on Conan last week, he spoke about the Mexican earthquake. Although he stressed how devastating it was, he also emphasized the fact that the moment the ground stopped shaking, Mexicans rushed to each others’ aid, with no thought of what it would cost them. It sucks right now. It really sucks and it just takes one rotten person to cause devastation. And we can’t forget that but I don’t mind reminders of how many good people are out there too.


Photo credit: WENN Photos, Getty Images and YouTube

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16 Responses to “Ellen DeGeneres on Vegas shooting: ‘it’s easy to lose hope, we cannot do that’”

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  1. Nicole says:

    It’s hard to hope when you know nothing will change

  2. Annabelle Bronstein says:

    This isn’t really what Ellen is saying, but it is driving me crazy to see all these comments of people “giving up” because “nothing is going to change” and feeling despair. Feeling hopeless and giving up is EXACTLY what the gun manufacturers and the NRA (same thing really) are counting on. Do not feel powerless, we are the majority!

    Ninety percent of Americans WANT sensible gun laws.. We are being held hostage by the tyrannical rule of a minority. What can you do? Let’s start with advocating for banning the sale of bump stocks like the LV killer used and making it so anyone who is found with a converted semi automatic will be found guilty of a felony and will no longer be allowed to legally purchase guns. It’s a small start but it’s a start. Remember: the NRA is counting on you to give up and move on, why give them that satisfaction? (And not that it matters but I’m a gun owner.. NO civilian needs even a semi automatic gun to hunt, for sport, or for personal protection. It’s literally overkill).

    • Chingona says:

      Yes, thank you. It is also driving me crazy seeing everyone saying there is nothing we can do or sending prayers and moving on. We need to come together and fight to change the laws in this country. I am also a gun owner and is ridiculous how easy it is to buy a gun in Florida and get your concealed weapons permit.

      • Snowflake says:

        Oh, yeah, I live in Florida. I was shocked how easy it was for me to get my concealed weapons permit

      • Annabelle Bronstein says:

        I also believe there should be a REAL gun safety training as a requirement to own a gun. Even with training, people make mistakes, because we are human. The problem is a human mistake with a gun is deadly. Just yesterday I read an all too familiar story of a father accidentally discharging his weapon during cleaning, killing his beloved son. I think it was actually in Florida. i guess a man with 20 years shooting experience forgot not to clean a loaded gun? 🙄

      • Chingona says:

        In Florida in order to buy a gun from a store or licensed dealer you need to pass a three day background check or have a concealed weapons permit.( A friends abusive husband who had been arrested for beating her with a belt while pregnant passed the three day background check because of an error in his name when arrested)If you buy from an individual or at a gun show etc. neither of those are needed. No weapons in Florida have to be registered. In order to get a concealed weapons permit you take one single 1 or 2 hour class(in which no questions where asked of me) and then can go down and apply for your permit. I was expecting a long test so I studied for it and I just had to fill out a questionnaire about myself.

  3. Mermaid says:

    The video montage she showed made me cry. I do believe there are more good people in this world than bad. I try to be extra kind to strangers and donate to the Red Cross.

    • Nicole says:

      Please donate to another worthy cause. The Red Cross is KNOWN for mismanaging hundreds of millions of dollars.

      • Mermaid says:

        I donate to many other causes as well. And I volunteer at my kids’ school and the food pantry. It’s so sad to me that our President is not a role model for children so I feel we as citizens really need to step up.

      • Nicole says:

        We definitely do. Just saying donating to the ARC does not guarantee anyone in need will ever see that money. I’m from florida and people were really upset by their hurricane response (and lack thereof). ProPublica did a very in depth piece on how they’ve managed to “misplace” most of the 500 million dollars for haiti.

  4. robyn says:

    Described as a perpetrator of unspeakable evil, the shooter of innocents at a concert fits the bill. However, a society willfully blind to the horrors and pain caused by easy access to extreme weaponry is also evil. Leaders are touched by evil when they say “not the right time to talk about gun violence” because they fear not getting the funds to run their campaigns. Voters are touched by evil when they pick legislators who falsely use the second amendment and other excuses to perpetuate gun sales. Praying and hoping is great but when action is needed, non-action is definitely part and parcel of what’s evil.

  5. AideVee says:

    I am in Britain and on radio 4 this morning there was a speaker suggesting that, to achieve greater regulation, it would take enormous civic involvement to break apart the stranglehold that the NRA holds over federal government. Something akin to the Civil Rights movement where a critical mass of the population are able to actively challenge the existing status quo. I totally agree with the point above that the NRA want people to believe that nothing can change – how I would love for them to be proved wrong.

  6. emma33 says:

    Ugh, I don’t mind Ellen, but this was all too hopey-changey for me. Why not call for gun control? This is a problem with a solution; people don’t need hope and prayers, they need politicians to put a plan in place to stop this happening again.

  7. Aang says:

    Ellen’s gloves on aproach to important issues used to bother me. But I think she has helped normalize LGBT life for a segment of the country that would not have been open to it if it had been presented in a more confrontational way. She can do the same for gun control.

  8. Bellagio DuPont says:

    The time for the “hopey, changey” narrative is long gone on this issue…..Americans need anger now. Tiananmen square level anger. Intense, unified, red hot anger directed specifically towards the NRA and all their political supporters. Nothing else will shift this behemoth. JMHO

  9. booradley says:

    that was beautiful and made me cry like a baby. thank you for posting that. I needed that today