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Last night, Jon Stewart looked at the testimony at the Senate hearing from those opposed to any sensible actions to limit gun violence, from Gayle Trotter to Wayne LaPierre.

First up, a quick look into the philosophy of not enacting any gun regulation.
WAYNE LaPIERRE (1/30/2013): If you look at why our Founding Fathers put it there, they had lived under the tyranny of King George, and they wanted to make sure that these free people in this new country would never be subjugated again and have to live under tyranny.
Or... democratic decisions they don't agree with.  I mean, you know.  That's what the guns are for.  All right, so the idea is guns are a bulwark against tyrannical fascistic all-powerful dictatorship that — while not present now, might — against all American democratic traditions of checks and balances that have served us well for 247 years... ehhhhhhhh.

Why else do we need guns?

WAYNE LaPIERRE (1/30/2013): What people all over the country fear today is being abandoned by their government.
The fascistic... what, what?!  The fascistic... the... I'm lost.

....

GAYLE TROTTER (1/30/2013): I would like to begin with the compelling story of Sarah McKinley.  Home alone with her baby, she called 911 when two violent intruders began to break down her front door. ... Ms. McKinley fired her weapon, fatally wounding one of the violent attackers.  The other fled.

Powerful!  Anecdotal, but powerful.  Doesn't go with the fact that according to most studies, you're far more likely to be killed or hurt by a gun in the house than to use it against an assailant.  But still, powerful, emotional case for the AR-15.

1/30/2013:

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE, D-RI: Ms. Trotter, quick question, Sarah McKinley, in defending her home, used a Remington 870 Express 12 gauge shotgun that would not be banned under the statue, correct?  Under the proposed statue.

GAYLE TROTTER: I don't remember what type of weapon she used.

(shocked audience laughter)

You don't remember?!?  You told a James Joycian story about some lady and the marauders!  I could smell what she was making for fucking dinner in that story!  And you don't remember the gun, i.e., the only detail relevant to this hearing??  It was a non-banned weapon, a shotgun.  Doesn't your own story subvert your case?  Why do you need an AR-15?

GAYLE TROTTER (1/30/2013): The peace of mind that a woman has as she's facing 3, 4, 5 violent attackers, intruders in her home with her children screaming in the background — the peace of mind that she has, knowing that she has a scary-looking gun gives her more courage when she's fighting hardened violent criminals.
When did it turn into 3 and 4 and 5??  Jesus, where does she live, the Alamo?

....

WAYNE LaPIERRE (1/30/2013): When it comes to background checks, let's be honest.  Background checks will never be universal because criminals will never submit to them.
Good point.  Let's pass laws that only criminals will immediately obey.  Let's do that.

"Hey, what's this 'Thou shalt not kill'?  You know, murderers are just going to bypass that, they'll find a way around it."

I mean, I just don't know who to trust here.  I mean, I know the main lobbyist for gun manufacturers has a unique insight and expertise into whether background checks really work, but just for shakes, let's ask someone else.  You!  Guy dressed up like he's fresh off the set of The Wire.  What do you think?

BALTIMORE COUNTY POLICE CHIEF JAMES JOHNSON (1/30/2013): Background checks work.
Says you!  Baltimore County "police chief".  Back it up.
BALTIMORE COUNTY POLICE CHIEF JAMES JOHNSON (1/30/2013): They stopped nearly 2 million prohibited purchasers between 1994 and 2009. ... Extending a background check to all firearms purchases can easily be implemented, and it should be, without delay!
Well, you say that, and they say it doesn't work at all, so let's teach the controversy.

So humor me.  Let's say for a minute background checks will work.  Any reason not to do it?

WAYNE LaPIERRE (1/30/2013): I just don't think law-abiding people want every gun sale in the country to be under the thumb of the federal government.
Except that literally almost all of them do.  Including 93% of Americans and 85% of people living in a household with a member of the NRA.  In fact, I know a gentleman who makes a pretty wonderful case for universal background checks.
WAYNE LaPIERRE (5/28/1999): Let's talk about what's reasonable and what's not.  We think it's reasonable to provide mandatory instant background checks for every sale at every gun show.  No loopholes anywhere for anyone.
Wow, background checks used to be supported by 100% of Waynes LaPierre.  By the way, that might have been the last time Wayne LaPierre said, "we think it's reasonable", and followed it up with something actually reasonable.
And then Jon noted that no matter what Obama does, he will always be hated and disrespected by the NRA/Fox News types, even when he said he goes skeet shooting.
REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN, R-TN: Why have we not heard of this?  Why have we not seen photos?

DANA PERINO: Where's the picture?  I mean, they release a photograph of President Obama doing everything except for flossing.

Why won't the black man half the country lives in fear of release a picture of himself holding a gun?  I don't understand.  It would put everyone at ease.  Why won't he do it?  (wild audience applause)

....

The point is, Mr. President, what are you doing?  Why try?  As far as most of your opponents go, no measure of détente, true or disingenuous, will ingratiate you to your opponents.  It's a fool's errand.  As was perhaps best summed up in the Dr. Seuss classic, Oh, the People Who Hate You!

May I?  Let me turn over here.  You got this?

They do not like you, Barack Obama.
Whether on a plane, a train, or llama.

They do not like you shooting skeet,
They do not like you eating meat,
They do not like you drinking beer,
Or even if you roped a steer.

They won't like you with the monster trucks
Because, young man, they do not give a fuck.

They do not like you when you pray,
They did not like you anti-gay.
They do not like you cutting tax,
They could not stand when you wore your mommy slacks.

You cannot reach across the aisle
'Cause everything you do is vile.

They complained when you killed Osama.
So on a train, a plane, or a llama,
Rolling a 44 at Bowl-O-Rama,
Despite your nice white Kansas momma, comma,
They do not like you, Barack Obama.

(wild audience applause)
Video and transcript below the fold.

We begin tonight in Congress, where the Senate sought to take advantage of the very narrow window of opportunity in this country between mass killings to get in a quick discussion of possible gun control legislation.  First up, a quick look into the philosophy of not enacting any gun regulation.
WAYNE LaPIERRE (1/30/2013): If you look at why our Founding Fathers put it there, they had lived under the tyranny of King George, and they wanted to make sure that these free people in this new country would never be subjugated again and have to live under tyranny.
Or... democratic decisions they don't agree with.  I mean, you know.  That's what the guns are for.  All right, so the idea is guns are a bulwark against tyrannical fascistic all-powerful dictatorship that — while not present now, might — against all American democratic traditions of checks and balances that have served us well for 247 years... ehhhhhhhh.

Why else do we need guns?

WAYNE LaPIERRE (1/30/2013): What people all over the country fear today is being abandoned by their government.
The fascistic... what, what?!  The fascistic... the... I'm lost.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM, R-SC (1/30/2013): You could find yourself in this country in a lawless environment through a natural disaster or a riot. ... Marauding gangs going throughout the area, burning stores, looting and robbing and raping.
(shocked audience laughter)

You know, if you close your eyes, Lindsey Graham delivers a pretty good Tennessee Williams monologue, I think.

(in Southern accent)  "You don't understand, there are marauders out there.  They are stealing virtue, and me, here, on a staircase, in only a négligée, with just my parasol and a julep to protect me."

So burning stores, looting, robbing, and raping.  They may be a marauding gang, but you have to admire their ambition.  That's a marauding gang that's going places.

So we need guns to protect us from a government on the verge of both fascism and impotence.  Hasn't gone either way, but it could!  But no one has suggested disarming the populace.  That's the point.  What we're talking about is restricting certain military-style weapons, as we already do with tanks and bazookas and — I don't know — napalm.  What's the problem with that?

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TX (1/30/2013): I am holding in my hand a pistol grip.  Under this proposed legislation, if this piece of plastic, this pistol grip, were attached to this rifle, it would suddenly become a banned assault weapon.

Actually, it'd still be just a picture of an assault weapon.  Which, even under Obama's tyrannical reign, would still be legal.  Pictures would still be legal.  Although, fair point.  There are some arbitrary aspects and silly aspects to the legislation that perhaps a fresh-faced young legislator, clearly eager to make more effective gun control legislation, could shape, (coughs) Ted Cruz.  Maybe don't make it about the grip, but fire rate, magazine size.
SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY, R-IA (1/30/2013): We hear that no one needs to carry larger magazines than those that hunters use to shoot deers.  But an attacking criminal, unlike a deer, shoots back.
Oh, really?  Unlike a deer?  Someone hasn't seen Bambo.

"Lyme is the disease, Bambo is the cure!"

....

This gun control discussion is off to a pretty standard and somewhat redundant start.  Are there any new arguments that can help push the assault weapon discussion forward?

GAYLE TROTTER (1/30/2013): Young women are speaking out as to why AR-15 weapons are their weapon of choice.
(shocked audience laughter)

Worst J-Date profile entry ever!

Look, that's, what do you call it there, gun activist Gayle Trotter, she's got a story to tell about why ladies need AR-15s.

GAYLE TROTTER (1/30/2013): I would like to begin with the compelling story of Sarah McKinley.  Home alone with her baby, she called 911 when two violent intruders began to break down her front door. ... Ms. McKinley fired her weapon, fatally wounding one of the violent attackers.  The other fled.

Powerful!  Anecdotal, but powerful.  Doesn't go with the fact that according to most studies, you're far more likely to be killed or hurt by a gun in the house than to use it against an assailant.  But still, powerful, emotional case for the AR-15.

1/30/2013:

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE, D-RI: Ms. Trotter, quick question, Sarah McKinley, in defending her home, used a Remington 870 Express 12 gauge shotgun that would not be banned under the statue, correct?  Under the proposed statue.

GAYLE TROTTER: I don't remember what type of weapon she used.

(shocked audience laughter)

You don't remember?!?  You told a James Joycian story about some lady and the marauders!  I could smell what she was making for fucking dinner in that story!  And you don't remember the gun, i.e., the only detail relevant to this hearing??  It was a non-banned weapon, a shotgun.  Doesn't your own story subvert your case?  Why do you need an AR-15?

GAYLE TROTTER (1/30/2013): The peace of mind that a woman has as she's facing 3, 4, 5 violent attackers, intruders in her home with her children screaming in the background — the peace of mind that she has, knowing that she has a scary-looking gun gives her more courage when she's fighting hardened violent criminals.
When did it turn into 3 and 4 and 5??  Jesus, where does she live, the Alamo?  What are you talking about??

So let's move away from these controversial proposals to the National Rifle Association's proposals.  We'll move to something slightly more mainstream: universal background checks.

SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY, R-IA (1/31/2013): Well obviously, we have some background checks.  It's how encompassing you do it.  Do you do it for one father selling to a son or another relative?  How do you cover everything?  I think that's the issue.  And also the extent to which you have private sales on Sundays between relatives.
(confused audience response)

I'm not going to pass judgment on a culture which is clearly somewhat foreign to me, but is that really how it works?  Sunday is Family Gun Swap Day?

Is that how it goes?  Cuz I gotta get out more.  Anyone else have a reason?

WAYNE LaPIERRE (1/30/2013): When it comes to background checks, let's be honest.  Background checks will never be universal because criminals will never submit to them.
Good point.  Let's pass laws that only criminals will immediately obey.  Let's do that.

"Hey, what's this 'Thou shalt not kill'?  You know, murderers are just going to bypass that, they'll find a way around it."

I mean, I just don't know who to trust here.  I mean, I know the main lobbyist for gun manufacturers has a unique insight and expertise into whether background checks really work, but just for shakes, let's ask someone else.  You!  Guy dressed up like he's fresh off the set of The Wire.  What do you think?

BALTIMORE COUNTY POLICE CHIEF JAMES JOHNSON (1/30/2013): Background checks work.
Says you!  Baltimore County "police chief".  Back it up.
BALTIMORE COUNTY POLICE CHIEF JAMES JOHNSON (1/30/2013): They stopped nearly 2 million prohibited purchasers between 1994 and 2009. ... Extending a background check to all firearms purchases can easily be implemented, and it should be, without delay!
Well, you say that, and they say it doesn't work at all, so let's teach the controversy.

So humor me.  Let's say for a minute background checks will work.  Any reason not to do it?

WAYNE LaPIERRE (1/30/2013): I just don't think law-abiding people want every gun sale in the country to be under the thumb of the federal government.
Except that literally almost all of them do.  Including 93% of Americans and 85% of people living in a household with a member of the NRA.  In fact, I know a gentleman who makes a pretty wonderful case for universal background checks.
WAYNE LaPIERRE (5/28/1999): Let's talk about what's reasonable and what's not.  We think it's reasonable to provide mandatory instant background checks for every sale at every gun show.  No loopholes anywhere for anyone.
Wow, background checks used to be supported by 100% of Waynes LaPierre.  By the way, that might have been the last time Wayne LaPierre said, "we think it's reasonable", and followed it up with something actually reasonable.  We'll be right back.
Meanwhile, Stephen noted how there are now teaser ads for the actual upcoming ads for the Super Bowl, which has also led to a chicken wing shortage.
He then couldn't believe that crows could learn to use tools.

Jon talked with actor Jason Bateman, and Stephen talked with music critic Matthew Guerrieri.

Originally posted to BruinKid on Fri Feb 01, 2013 at 06:01 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), and Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group.

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