Not to be a nanny liberal, but by the weight, look, and sound of this prop, it might be a real gun. I don't like giving sermons about safety, but I really hate hearing eulogies. Every day people are maimed and killed because they are unfamiliar with one simple rule.
* You never, ever point a gun at anyone, not even yourself, unless you are going to use it.
It's a simple rule that applies when you are loading, unloading, cleaning or handling a weapon in anyway. Period. If you follow this simple rule you can avoid being a statistic. I personally knew a man who shot his wife playing around because he did not follow this simple rule. She lived and they remained married(miracle), but she was shot in the ass and the bullet came out near her belly button. This is not a trivial wound for anyone, especially a woman. And, there have been people over the years who have been killed with Hollywood prop guns for various reasons. It's not common but it happens.
I have heard story after story about how friends have had near miss calamities because they started pulling a trigger on a gun they thought was empty. Or, did something stupid when they were drunk. If Colbert is going to do a skit with a gun, I would hope that it would be about as nonfunctional as possible, made of wood or something. I say this because I love Colbert a lot and what he did was more dangerous than I think he or a lot of people realize.
The Irony about this whole thing is that he was doing a piece on the NRA. We have a desperate need in this country for education about gun safety because there are so many untrained shooters, and so many needless fatalities. This is supposed to be the fucken NRA's job but instead they're on some half-baked political shit. While the these right wing scam artist are busy shaking up the political landscape for the enrichment of their racket there are real life losses we are suffering every day.