Isn’t it amusing when someone speaks with authority on a subject they know jack squat about?
Oh, I’m sorry. Amusing isn’t quite the right word here. What’s the word I’m looking for? Oh, right. Infuriating.
Jon Stewart made his name trying to straddle the line between journalist and comedian, jumping over it whenever convenient to avoid harsh criticism of his work. Now that he’s no longer behind the desk at The Daily Show, though, he doesn’t get to hide behind the journalist label.
Not that it matters when he says something this colossally stupid.
Comedian Jon Stewart made a joke this week about purchasing AR-15s.
Before a crowd of veterans attending the “Stand Up for Heroes” benefit at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden, Stewart launched into a bit about the relative ease at which one can purchase America’s most popular rifle.
After filling out an application and waiting two weeks, “they called to schedule a home visit to make sure the environment was going to be appropriate,” Stewart said, as reported by USA Today. “You know what? Never mind, sorry. I tried to adopt a cat. I got an AR-15 in three minutes online. It’s harder to adopt a (expletive) cat than to get an AR-15. What is wrong with us?”
No, Jon, you didn’t.
If you had actually obtained an AR-15 online, you’d have learned a few things. First, that buying a gun online and taking possession of a gun from online are two very different things.
Sure, you can hop online and find all kinds of guns available for sale. If you’ve got the space on your credit card or enough cash in the back for your debit card to handle the purchase, you can buy it all day long…
…only to have it shipped to a Federal Firearms License holder. From there, you have to fill out the relevant ATF forms, provide photo identification, wait for the background check to clear, and then you “get” your AR-15.
That is, of course, that you don’t live in a state that provides still more hoops to jump through, states like Illinois that require gun purchasers to have a Firearm Owner Identification Card prior to purchase.
But unless you happen to have an FFL, there’s no way an AR-15 purchased online is coming straight to your house.
Now, I get that Stewart was just going for a laugh here. Comedy doesn’t have to reflect reality.
However, he’s also someone who made his name by pretending to be a semi-trustworthy source for information. A lot of people still trust what he says, and if Jon Stewart says you can get a gun in three minutes online, they’re going to believe him. The problem is that it’s total bull.
Anti-gunners have been spreading that lie since the dawn of the internet. By now, any who care to know should understand that the law treats internet purchases like mail order guns, since before the world wide web was a thing. There’s no threat to public safety from it and there’s no skirting the law via the internet.
Yet this attitude persists.
If Stewart can’t learn this by now, then maybe it’s better that he didn’t adopt a cat in the first place. He’d probably be unable to learn how to care for it properly if he’s this slow.