Just two days after returning from a weeks-long haitus from “The Daily Show,” host Jon Stewart has already made headlines by brandishing a plastic gun in a segment on gun control featured in Tuesday night’s episode.
Stewart, in his second show since mid-December, pulled out a plastic gun while discussing gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting.
“In the wake of some events that have happened: Newtown, Aurora, Portland, Tucson. … It’s a 22-miute show, so I’m not gonna list everything. Finally, everyone from the NRA to the Marin County Kumbaya Patrol is ready to talk about gun violence,” Stewart said as he introduced a new segment on his show, “Scapegoat Hunter.”
Stewart then showed clips of various interviews with NRA spokespeople who blamed mass shootings on seemingly every cause besides guns themselves. Stewart, in an effort to create “a conversation” with “no bad ideas,” conceded that American media do go out of their way to glorify violence.
Following that, Stewart showed a barrage of clips from right-wing pundits heralding the collapse of America and an rise in crime, "socialism" and poverty. Then he was once again back in frame holding a plastic assault rifle.
Stewart used the plastic gun to illustrate how he believes right-wing fear-mongering increases paranoia in some circles and fuels the sale of guns across the country.
As Stewart began to close out the “Scapegoat Hunter” segment, he stated, plastic gun in hand, that while the country does need to address the issues of mental illness and violence in the media, a legitimate national conversation about gun control is long overdue.
“We can blame movies, or video games, or the mentally ill, or God. And it’s a complex problem, and all solutions have to be on the table,” Stewart said. “But it is time we talk about guns."
"Their paranoid fear of a possible dystopic future prevents us from addressing our actual dystopic present," Steward added after the commercial break. "We can’t even begin to address 30,000 gun deaths that are actually, in reality, happening in this country every year - because a few of us must remain vigilant against the rise of Imaginary Hitler.”
Stewart's use of the plastic gun prop comes only a few days after Alex Jones and Piers Morgan engaged in a heated on-screen debate over gun control. While Stewart clearly wants to push for a calm, reasonable discussion on gun control, it seems that many in the media may be unprepared to sit down and have a mature discussion on the issue.
Watch Jon Stewart pull out a plastic gun and discuss gun control in the “Scapegoat Hunter” segment of “The Daily Show” below.
Eric Brown is an IBTimes political reporter who eats far too much pizza. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and currently resides in Brooklyn.