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06/14/2016 12:04 pm ET

Stephen Colbert Urges America To Love In The Face Of Horror

"Love is a verb and to love means to do something," the “Late Show” host said.

"Late Show" host Stephen Colbert opened his broadcast urging viewers to love in the wake of the nation’s deadliest shooting, telling his audience, "Despair is a victory for hate.”

“Like you, I am sickened at the news,” he told his audience before describing Sunday's attack at a gay Orlando nightclub that killed 49 people and wounded more than 50.

“Naturally, we each ask ourselves: What can you possibly say in the face of this horror?” he continued. “But then, sadly, you realize that you know what to say, because it's been said too many times before.”

People carrying banners and candles paid tribute to victims of Sunday's mass shooting in a Tokyo, Japan, neighborhood on Tues
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
People carrying banners and candles paid tribute to victims of Sunday's mass shooting in a Tokyo, Japan, neighborhood on Tuesday.

Colbert noted that it’s easy to feel powerless and say, “That’s the way the world is now.” That's not the way it has to be.

"I don't know what to do, but I do know that despair is a victory for hate. Hate wants us to be too weak to change anything,” he said.

“Love does not despair. Love makes us strong. Love gives us the courage to act. Love gives us hope that change is possible. Loves allows us to change the script,” he said. “So love your country. Love your family, love the families and the victims and the people of Orlando, but remember that love is a verb and to love means to do something.”

People attend a vigil being held in Los Angeles on Monday for the victims a mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlan
Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
People attend a vigil being held in Los Angeles on Monday for the victims a mass shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Colbert joined the voices of several other talk show hosts who took time out of their programs to condemn the violence.

“Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon reflected on his two young daughters, asking: “What if my kids are gay? What do I tell them?”

“Maybe there’s a lesson from all this, a lesson in tolerance. We need to support each other’s differences and worry less about our own opinions,” he went on.

Conan O'Brien, for his part, addressed gun control, particularly the importance of limiting the sale of semi-automatic assault rifles like the one used by Sunday’s gunman.

Candles are seen being lit during a vigil that was held for the victims in Manila, Philippines, on Tuesday.
Dondi Tawatao via Getty Images
Candles are seen being lit during a vigil that was held for the victims in Manila, Philippines, on Tuesday.

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

Later in his program, Colbert interviewed Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly. They discussed Donald Trump’s response to the mass shooting, which he used to further his problematic calls to prevent Muslims from entering the U.S.

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