Jon Stewart Speaks About Orlando Mass Shooting: ‘A Difficult Week for Team Civilization’


Since his departure from The Daily Show, comedian and commentator Jon Stewart has been keeping busy in a variety of ways, including by emceeing last week’s Department of Defense Warrior Games, where he briefly addressed the tragic terrorist mass shooting in Orlando, Florida that killed 49 people. Stewart told the crowd that, “it was a difficult week for what I like to call Team Civilization,” but movingly explained why he continues to have hope, and what he wishes people would do instead of dwelling on the actions of murderers like the Orlando shooter:

The horrors that we’ve witnessed can make you feel as though you’ve lost faith in our ability to persevere through those times, so when I say I am in need of support, there is almost nothing in the world that gives me more support than witnessing the tenacity and the resilience and the perseverance of, especially, our wounded warriors in their endeavors. They’re the ones that make me feel like, “Oh, right, we’re gonna be okay.”

On the news, they’re always saying, “How do you talk to your kids about the violence that occurs in this world, and how do you tell them that there are bad people in this world, and they’re going to do bad things?” And I brought my son tonight, my son Nate, because I realized that it’s time to stop telling them about the rare individuals that do harm, and tell them more about the people whose names we don’t know.

During a press availability at the event, Stewart also talked about what got him involved with veterans’ causes, and he explained that it stemmed from a desire to know what he was talking about when he took stances like his opposition to the Iraq War:

It honestly came from not wanting to talk out of my ass. Back in the early days of the Iraq War, I was very vocal about my disapproval of the way that it had been handled. And I realized, pretty short into that, that I didn’t really – I knew what I was talking about in a pundit way, in a pontificating way, but I didn’t know anybody who was affected by it, who was in it.

The Warrior Games was created in 2010, and features competition between wounded warriors from all branches of the military.

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