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Thoughts on Jon Stewart's response to gun control?

Sen. Charles Grassley(R) Iowa - "People who steal guns do not submit to background checks."

Jon- "Right, but people who steal guns do not submit to rules about stealing. But we still have them. Here's what's so crazy about this: the people in our country who've spent millions to get elected to a legislative body known as the Senate...are making the argument 'there's really no point in making laws because criminals are just gonna end up breaking them."

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I'd say Mr. Grassley and Mr.

I'd say Mr. Grassley and Mr. Leibowitz are both directing the discussion away from the actual issue, which is: Is it appropriate for the state to violate the privacy of good people who want to arm themselves?

If you have your fight regarding the question of whether background checks work, you've already given away your key position, which is your right to not have your background checked when you make the decision to protect your family in a certain way.

The rest is just a cute logic trick, whose reasoning is provably unsound. Background checks are screening to prevent gun crime. The issue is prior restraint, the assumption of criminality....The equivalent with regard to "laws against stealing" would be background-checking all people who attempt to buy or sell anything, in order to make sure all economic actors are decent people.

If Jon Stewart has the right to sacrifice my right to bear arms,

I fundamentally have the right to sacrifice his freedom of speech.

simple response.. we have

simple response.. we have rules against stealing because stealing is bad per se... guns are only bad if criminals have them. banning guns only stops those who abide by ther ban.

if he hasn't thought that far through the issue its probably because he's emotionally enmeshed in an elite culture that hates common americans and guns as a symbol of their culture and history.

The argument is logically wrong

"People who steal guns do not submit to background checks."

"...people who steal guns do not submit to rules about stealing. But we still have them."

If you look closely, Jon is actually comparing two incompatible things here. A background check (if implemented) would be a required behaviour, while the laws regarding stealing are meant to prohibit that behaviour.

You can't claim that just because we have laws that prohibit an unwanted behaviour, and criminals break them, it means that other laws which require a "wanted" behaviour make sense.

I invite you to fill in the blanks on your own:

"People who [commit a crime] do not [proposed regulatory action]."

"People who [commit said crime] don't follow the laws that prohibit [said crime], but we still have those laws. Therefore [proposed regulatory action] makes sense."

It's pseudo-logical nonsense.



There is nothing strange about having a bar of soap in your right pocket, it's just what's happening.

How dare you!!!!!!!

No critical thinking is allowed by orders of Homeland Security and Dear Leader (obombya). We are watching your every move. So get your tickets to Hong Kong while you still can fly.

Just kidding. Great response. :-)

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.”― Henry David Thoreau

Maybe he is trying to tell us

Maybe he is trying to tell us we don't need the law makers...
I never take anything he says to serious, it is all satire and scripted so I am unsure exactly where he stands. But he is good for pointing out the absurdity in our society and getting us to look at things from a new view.
I agree with the comments that laws are supposed to protect people and not hurt the innocent. When the laws are there to punish the innocent for victimless crimes then they are a problem.

But what if this comment was a stab at the law makers, simply pointing out how useless they really are. They are being paid millions after you factor in payoffs, yet contribute the least to society. In fact I say they do more harm than good to the people.

Key Difference

Laws are meant to protect the innocent. When those laws endanger the innocent by preventing protection or decreasing liberties, they are irrelevant.

It's Time to ReFrame the Debate on Gun Control

Instead of falling into the Piers Morgan trap of, "why do you need an AR-15 Assault Rifle?"; It's time that we start asking the questions. I'll kick it off with a few of my own. Please chime in.

Why do you want to take away my right to self-defense?

Why should the government, which is not above reproach, be the only ones with the guns?

How can we give up our guns and simply trust the government when they're currently trampling on our first, second, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth amendment rights? They're doing everything except forcing us to quarter troops and we're supposed to believe that if we give up our guns, things will improve for us.

Good point

I like where you are coming from. Same logic I use

The most simple explanation I

The most simple explanation I can come up with is this: There is nothing inherently wrong or immoral about buying/owning a gun. There is something inherently wrong or immoral about stealing private property. Having a law against inherently immoral acts knowing some criminals might break them is not hypocrisy. Having a law for no good reason is.

Yes, that is exactly the difference.

I would probably change "wrong or immoral" to "hurtful to other people"...but in a nutshell, you pretty much posted exactly what I was going to post.

While that definitely refutes Jon's argument, I find the broader argument for gun control harder to refute. That argument goes something like: gun ownership should be regulated by the govt because owning a gun impose a risk on other people who didn't consent to accept that risk.

Just to play devil's advocate, isn't that pretty much exactly the reasoning we use to justify laws against drunk driving?

Generally speaking, laws that try to manage behavior that's "risky" to other non-consenting people is a real gray area for me.

Maybe it comes down to weighing the risk of the action, the benefit of the risky action, the effectiveness of the legislation to minimize the risk, and the inconvenience/cost of that legislation.

I would disagree with that

"That argument goes something like: gun ownership should be regulated by the govt because owning a gun impose a risk on other people who didn't consent to accept that risk."

I don't see gun ownership in that way. My gun is no risk to others unless it's stolen (a law is broken). Those people probably didn't consent to the risk of theft either (of mine or their property), and yet, it exists.

Cars are far more dangerous than guns, but there isn't a debate over whether that is a risk other people may not have accepted.

If someone crashes into another's house, did he consent to that danger? My life is in danger with every passing car driven by a 16 year old. I didn't consent to that.

To those who make that argument, I would say "Life is dangerous, get over yourself" ;)

Just open the box and see

First off, that's not my argument...

It's the argument that proponents of gun regulation would make.

Second of all, there is some additional risk to others by you being armed, even if it's never stolen. Could be very small...but there is some. Some kid might find it and shoot himself or you might use it mistakenly against someone or someone might accidentally be shoot. Of course, there is also a benefit to others by you being armed, as the more people are armed, the less likely criminals are to commit crimes against others, even unarmed people. There's also a benefit to yourself by being armed, in that you have a greater degree of self defense. I guess my point is that all of that risk and benefit needs to be weighed out.

You're right that the use of cars poses a greater risk to people than the ownership of a gun. But that's my point...with cars, the risk is balanced by the use of cars being highly regulated. You have to be licensed to use one and even then, there are lots of traffic laws governing how you use it and a dedicated portion of police to monitor people's use of them. Not saying that's how it ought to be, but that's how it is.

I think "reasonable" proponents of gun regulation see guns like they see cars, a dangerous but useful tool that needs some regulation to offset the risks.

I also think pro-gun people who resist ANY effort to license or regulate the use of guns should also resist ANY efforts to license or regulate the use of cars, to be consistent.

Personally, I have no idea how much regulation is the perfect amount for either cars or guns...but would lean towards a minimal amount for both. That's why I favor a bunch of states having a bunch of policies, so we can actually SEE what works by experimentation.

Sorry, didn't intend that at you.

I quoted your statement about it, then answered it, in the way I would toward those who would use it that way. I agreed with your original comment though, I should have been more clear. :)

I agree with you that those resistant to ANY regulation of guns, for consistency, should resist any automobile regulation as well.

Agreed that there may be a small increased risk to others because of my gun. But, I suggest that same percent of increase of risk is associated with almost any device more complex than a pencil.

My neighbors heater may explode, and destroy my house along with his.

I know many people that open carry (legal in my state). These people are responsible gun owners, know the rules, and go to the range regularly, and have children. Their kids are actually less likely to have an accident with a gun, than a non gun owners child, IMO. They don't treat the gun as a taboo item, and are trained in what it is, handling, etc... depending on age.

I'm with you, I have no idea what a perfect amount of regulation would be, and would lean toward minimalist, though not zero. My open carry friends wouldn't even suggest NO regulation. ;)

I believe that personal freedoms should be maximized, but, just as importantly, personal responsibility. That second one really is the only way the first one works at all, IMO. :)

Just open the box and see

totally on the same page

I even was going to make the point that while your gun increases "some" risk to others, that's probably true for any item you own...my example was going to be a Q-tip...haha.

More and more, I'm coming to the conclusion that while I definitely tend to lean towards libertarian principles, I really don't know the optimal amount of regulation by government and I'm skeptical of anyone who claims to know exactly the perfect solution. Instead, what I keep coming back to is that we need to allow LOTS of systems to be tried with LOTS of varying degrees of government intervention. Basically, one big trial and error experiment...so we can actually see what works and what doesn't work.

Plus, having lots of different systems also gives us the option to choose what we want to live under. You and I would probably both choose a minimalist government system...but that might not be everyone's cup of tree. You and I would like to maximize freedom, but others might legitimately put other things ahead of freedom (equality, for example). Everyone wins if there's lots of options.

one further

Having a gang of psychopaths who enslave others through the immoral act of taxation (i.e., stealing) claiming that their proclamations about anything are worthy of any attention is the height of immorality and hypocrisy.

I'll bite... meandering thoughts off the cuff...

We already have background checks. Every gun acquisition available to me involves a background check on me. I would never steal a gun. I can't imagine buying one through the black market, but of course I can walk into my local sporting goods store and buy one retail at any time for I've passed the background check. I've also passed a background check for child care and another that allows me access to jails and prisons for service work and visitations.

We don't need stiffer or new or more laws. Perhaps we need stiffer enforcement of existing laws. Most politicians are too lazy to improve enforcement and instead aim their insipid efforts toward rationalizing the creation of more and more laws.

Stewart's right about one thing. We already have laws against stealing. Do we need new laws against stealing? I don't think so. We could certainly though, improve enforcement of existing laws against stealing.

What I liked about Stewart's comment is that he reminded me of our greatest political folly. It is the notion that we send people to Washington to make new laws. That's idiotic. We've had for over a hundred years all the laws we'll generally ever need. We should actually be paying Senators less and less as time goes by, for all that is left for them to really do is manage and appropriate funds for enforcement of laws that already exist. Oh, and that other thing representatives are increasingly supposed to do now that we have enough laws, consort with the other representatives in figuring out how to build or maintain a bridge or two here and there.

I tell people that they have the right to give up their freedom.

But that they are trying to force me and mine to give up our freedom. People have the opportunity to not own a gun, but that is never good enough for them. They always want to prevent others from having the freedom to choose for themselves.

If people want to be victims that is their right, but to force that decision on others is wrong.

A reasoned response made for a false premise.

Before anyone, including Jon Stewart, proposes any such legislation, he MUST ask himself?

1) Does government, under the Constitution have the AUTHORITY to implement a law?

2) Will the implementation of that law achieve the desired results; or, instead, do more harm than good (such as, either government using such a law to oppress citizens or someone blowing the heads off advocates of such a law)?

Perhaps Mr. Stewart should rethink his position.

(BTW, I am certain Mr. Stewart's response to my comment would be, "Well, when you put it THAT way..."

And now prepare for the

And now prepare for the predictable onslaught of "I've always hated Jon Stewart" comments, reversing previous posts of high praise for slamming the prez on the NSA.

I don't have to agree with everything the guy says... he's generally pretty funny and knows how to fire up his crowd.

No one dies if Jon Stewart makes a bad joke.


...but people die when the positions he advocates are implemented.

Since he doesn't actually

Since he doesn't actually make the rules, I accept that he has an opinion and he's entitled to voice it. Everyone has an opinion.


...but people die when the positions he advocates are implemented.

And he's not just one of "everyone" who has an opinion.

He's one of a select few with a HUGE mic, so he earns greater scorn when he apologizes for big government and advocates oppression.

You are assuming he is in

You are assuming he is in favor of "big government". How do you know for certain. Perhaps he is in favor of small government? Maybe he thinks some laws are better than no laws... I don't know. I doubt you have an NSA tap directly into the man's thinking.

haha, I was thinking this

haha, I was thinking this too. I still think he is pretty unbiased, even if I disagree with him on a few issues.

"Believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear." - Benjamin Franklin

He is clearly biased.

And he makes no bones about his bias. Nevertheless he is generally even-handed in his distribution of ridicule, so I give him credit for professional comedic integrity.

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