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During the January 8, 2013 episode of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart discussed gun control and the guest is General Stanley McChrystal.
The episode begins with Jon Stewart talking about current discussion of gun control and violence. Most of the clips shown are of people avoiding talking about gun control and shifting the blame onto another issue, such as violence in the media. Stewart argues that gun violence is unlikely to be a direct result of these influences, but agrees that there needs to be a discussion about the cultural in general and culture surrounding gun violence. Part of this culture includes the news and Stewart shows a number of clips of Fox News and their coverage of violence.
Another topic that people have tried to discuss instead of gun control is the mental health system. Stewart also agrees with the need to talk about this and to provide better and more comprehensive care to the mentally ill. He continues the clip and the gentleman talking argues for a list of all the “lunatics” nationwide.
The second segment is a continuation of the gun control topic and focuses specifically on actual discussion of gun control. Stewart starts this segment by saying he is assuming all those discussing are reasonable and that if common sense regulation could cut down on gun violence, why not try. He then shows some of the arguments people have against gun control. We already have it and it does not work. We have the right to guns. We ban murder and drunk driving but they still happen. Stewart then uses the example of drunk driving to prove that small things may not eliminate the problem, but does reduce the rate. Therefore, Stewart argues, we are not looking for a magic solution, but many little things that will help reduce the amount of gun violence. Stewart even makes a couple of suggestions of how to do this. On of these suggestions was to make guns less sexy. His comedic suggestions of how to do this were to cast Woody Allen in the next Bourne film or replace the gun shot sound effects with clown noises.
The guest on this episode was General Stanley McChrystal. Stewart and McChrystal spend a little bit of time talking about gun control and McChrystal’s stance that certain guns should not be in the hands of non-military personnel on military duty. They then move on to discuss the military’s work in Afghanistan. This discussion was kind of interesting. I wish they had gone into more detail on one point or the other, but I would imagine that, for anyone super interests, the General has spoken on either topic in more depth somewhere else. Overall, the episode was entertaining. It did feel a bit cathartic for me, since I get really frustrated by all the talk of gun control and violence which does not go anywhere.