Samantha Bee brought her usual caustic humor to a discussion of the Senate’s recent debate over gun rights.
Last Tuesday, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut led a 15-hour filibuster effort in the Senate to push the legislative body to take up gun control measures. Two of these measures were sponsored by Democrats: one focused on preventing anyone on the terrorist watch list from buying a gun, while the other aimed to expand background checks to incorporate firearm purchases made online or at gun shows.
“If you’re wondering how those amendments are even controversial when 90 pecent of Americans, including gun owners, want universal background checks, and zero percent of Americans want terrorists to have guns, then you must have been living under a rock,” Bee declared. “Which is fine: that’s a good place to hide from an active shooter. Stay there.”
Bee went on to note that several famous Republicans, including President Reagan, the elder President Bush and Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger (appointed by President Nixon), all disagreed with the N.R.A.’s hard-line stance on guns at some point. Bush Sr., for example, resigned from the N.R.A. in 1995, while Reagan expressed support for the Brady Bill – legislation that aimed to “establish a national seven-day waiting period before a handgun purchaser could take delivery” – in an op-ed in The New York Times.
Reagan, who survived an assassination attempt, provided the impetus for the edgiest moment in Bee’s segment. “There’s nothing like getting shot to put you on the side of gun control,” she said. “At this rate, most Americans will come around in the next year or two.” The audience responded with audible groans.
On Monday, four gun control measures failed to advance on the Senate floor.
Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Samantha Bee and other late-night hosts responded to the Orlando shooting with poignancy and gallows humor.