David Letterman struck an uncharacteristically somber note Monday night, addressing the Newtown, Connecticut shooting for nearly seven minutes.
Returning from commercial, the comedian, looking visibly saddened, noted the beauty of the Christmas decorations on CBS' Late Show set.
He then touched upon the senseless massacre of 26 people - including 20 children - at Sandy Hook Elementary School, saying, "It makes me so sad."
"The lights ... they're really for kids. You think about this horrifying circumstance. What part of that do you think about that's going to make any difference?"
"Do you think about the kids in the class? That's too awful to think about," said Dave, himself the father of a little boy and a Connecticut resident for many years.
"Do you think about the parents and their friends and getting that message from the school and finding out that their lives are irrevocably broken, ruined?"
"You think about your own kid. I take him to school every now and then. Are we supposed to be worried about dropping our kids off at school now?"
"I never worried about it before. I always thought, well here, school is a good place where my son will be free of the idiot decisions made by his father."
Letterman then addressed both gun control and mental health, areas that have become the focus of a fiery public debate over policy reform.
"Believe me, I'm not dumb enough to think that this is a problem of guns," Letterman said. "Before there were guns, people were killing one another."
"And you can't just say that it's mental health or emotional problems because people with all manner of problems don't necessarily kill each other."
But citing a document prepared by the show's researchers, Letterman did go on to acknowledge some frightening statistics about firearms.
"Since 1994, there have been 70 episodes of school shootings, (all) after the Brady Bill had passed (in 1993). Good lord, does that surprise you?" he asked.
Letterman acknowledged that listening to President Barack Obama's Newtown speech at Sunday night's memorial made him "feel a little bit better."
"He's going on the record, (taking) some kind of action... In a small measure, I feel better that he's looking out for us in that regard. It's a sad, sad holiday season."