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John Oliver Returns to 'Last Week Tonight' & Shreds 'Thoughts & Prayers' After School Shooting

Photo Credit: Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images

HBO's John Oliver tore into those offering only "thoughts and prayers" after mass shootings, and explained why the latest school shooting in Florida is different.


Upon his return to Last Week Tonight after a months-long hiatus, host John Oliver did not hold back regarding last week's Valentine's Day Massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

"These events are now so familiar, we basically automatically know how each side will play out," Oliver said. "'Thoughts and prayers,' 'f*ck your thoughts and prayers,' 'it's a mental health problem,' 'yeah, but it's also a gun problem,' and then someone says 'now's not the time to talk about gun control,' and then everybody moves on until it inevitably happens again."

Besides opining on how useless "thoughts and prayers" are in comparison to meaningful prevention of gun violence, Oliver explains that children are acting more mature than adults, despite typically not even being allowed to curse in front of their parents.

"We call B.S.," stressed Oliver. "It is a little ironic that the people who are acting with the most maturity in this horrifying situation aren't even old enough to say the word 'bullshit' in front of their parents." Oliver then pointed out that those kids have already announced a gun control march next month, "and in doing so they're challenging adults to participate in a real conversation about gun violence."

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What inspires Oliver, however, is how students all over the country, including survivors of the Parkland massacre, are banding together to demand gun control. Though many are not yet old enough to vote, by 2020, 3.5 million new voters will get to have a say at the ballot box.

Our leaders best start listening to them.

Students across the country have planned walkouts for the coming weeks and months, and their leadership on the issue of guns is inspiring. If this trend continues, gun control will become one of the biggest campaign topics of the 2018 midterm elections.