I've been watching The Daily Show for well over a decade. I've watched The Nightly Show since it started. I've watched every episode of Samantha Bee's new show.
No more. I'm done. I will not sit here every weeknight and listen to them bloviate and whine about guns over and over and over again. I am sick of listening to lies about gun legislation. I am disgusted by seeing the same slimy tactics that the anti-abortion faction uses. I cannot listen to one more ass-hat claim that the phrase "well-regulated" in the Second Amendment is literally about modern regulation, in other words restrictions. That is quite the opposite of what the phrase meant at the time it was used, so to put it bluntly twisting its meaning now is simply lying.
This is a hugely frustrating thing for me. The Daily Show and its spin-offs were the core part of my nightly routine. I am unsure what I will do instead. This will cut into my socialization material, it will disrupt my sleep routine, it is almost a lifestyle change.
But fuck it. I can't stand those fuckers anymore. They used to be my heroes. Now they are just another group of fanatics lost to reason.
I had hope a couple nights ago. Both Trevor Noah and Larry Wilmore discussed the proposed amendments and their issues. Both of them clearly brought up how using the No Fly List to deny gun sales was a gross deprivation of due process, ineffective, and very ripe for abuse. Trevor even said that the experts they contacted all denigrated the idea, one even calling it a "pile of shit". But then he plowed on and demanded it be done anyway, fuck the consequences, simply so "something was done" to restrict guns somehow, in some way. Samantha Bee was visibly angry when she was speaking on the issue, and she slipped out of the usual "we need common sense" mantra and actually started using language that belied the true intent, banning guns. She wanted guns gone, and just wanted something, anything that moved towards that goal.
It really is very much out of the anti-abortion playbook. The Constitution protects it, it cannot be simply outlawed. So instead the opponents try to wrap it up in so much red tape and bureaucracy that it is impossible to actually access, even though it technically remains "legal". You want an abortion, first you have to walk through a picket line of people taking your picture and screaming in your face, calling you a murderer and spitting on you. Then you have to listen to legally-mandated propaganda filled with lies claiming it is far more dangerous than it really is. Then you have to wait an extended period of time and let whatever need drove you to it to tick away, slowly trying to make your need irrelevant by letting the clock expire and forcing the dire consequences on you anyway. "It was your own fault, after all." Finally, you have to pay exorbitant fees and have your private information stored in easily-hacked databases open to lots of corruptible officials, "just in case". No privacy for you, no. If you really want this thing, you have to be willing to be outed, named, and vilified. If you want a gun... well, I can just substitute that same list pretty much unaltered.
I believe in empowering people. If a woman wants an abortion, she should be able to get it, quickly and quietly. If a woman wants a gun, she should be able to get it, quickly and quietly. And since one significant cause of domestic violence is men demanding control over a woman's reproductive system and getting it through force, I maintain these two rights should be linked.
Not every rape could be prevented if the woman was armed. But some of them could be. And I want to look women in the eye and tell them I support their right to try protecting themselves.
Having said all of that, the background check thing doesn't seem so bad. But the attempt to open up mental health records to law enforcement as part of it is a horrible violation of medical privacy and due process. My own medical records clearly show I am level-headed, responsible, and non-violent. But in the hands of any law enforcement person, it could trivially be twisted to deny me many of my human rights. It has happened before (not to me, but to others) and it will happen again.
Fuck you, Trevor Noah. Doing "something" can be far, far more harmful than doing nothing. You made this point very clearly when you cited the response to 9/11 including the USA Patriot Act and the creation of the TSA and the DHS. You said it was an example of the US "doing something", when every single security expert said those things actually made things worse
for us instead of better! The only things that really did
help were the strengthening of cockpit doors, and the changed social dynamic around hijacking, both of which came about by Congress doing nothing
. "Doing nothing" was exactly the right response, the knee-jerk stupidity hurt us badly in the long term and will never be undone. Sadly, you seemed too stupid to realize you were actually making the opposite point that you thought you were.
Fuck you, Trevor Noah. Fuck you for ignoring the Congressman who clearly pointed out that none of the proposed legislation would have prevented Orlando. Fuck you for claiming we are in some sort of national catastrophe when all the data clearly shows violence is at a historical low and we are all safer than ever before. Fuck you, Larry Wilmore, for exactly the same reasons. And fuck you, Samantha Bee, for abandoning what used to be a brilliant show full of satire and insight and replacing it with a pathetic whining propaganda platform.
We have real problems in this country. Stop making up fake ones and focus on the ones that actually matter. Work on fixing income inequality, and economic opportunity inequality, and the lack of social mobility. Work on our regressive taxation system that accelerates the siphoning of wealth from the poor to the rich. Fight our pervasive surveillance society. Try to stop our extra-legal paramilitary apparatus embodied by the alphabet agencies. But for the love of God almighty, shut the fuck up about guns!