When Oklahoma State Senator Nathan Dahm (R) tried to argue with Jon Stewart that loose gun laws make citizens safer, the TV host didn’t hear it.
“I’m a strong supporter of the Second Amendment,” the lawmaker said on Thursday’s episode of The Problem With Jon Stewart. the one amendment that “uses this very specific affirmative language.”
“Oh, it’s also the one right that uses the phrase ‘well regulated,'” replied Stewart, adding that he did not oppose the Second Amendment.
“I don’t want to ban guns. But you say more guns make us safer. When then? We have 400 million guns in the country. We had a spike and the number of gun deaths went up,” Stewart added. “So when exactly does that curve that takes you down hit? Would a billion guns do it?”
Dahm submitted several bills last year that focused on restricting gun control measures. A bill would strengthen Oklahoma’s anti-“red flag” law, which prohibits cities or counties in the state from enacting ordinances that allow law enforcement to temporarily confiscate firearms from someone deemed dangerous. He also filed a bill that would allow anyone with a license to carry a firearm in the state capitol.
His latest bill, filed in January, said that “a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition manufactured in Oklahoma, whether commercially or privately, and kept solely within Oklahoma borders, is not subject to federal law…including registration.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate there were over 45,000 gun-related deaths in 2020, a 34% increase since 2019 and a 75% increase over the previous decade, according to the BBC.
When Dahm argued that “the individual is the problem” and not easy access to guns, he literally shot himself in the foot.
“We need to look at the issues that these people are facing” rather than enacting sane gun laws, Dahm said — just for Stewart to remind him that his policies have “robbed the state of the ability to do this.”
“If you don’t have background checks and you don’t have registration and authorization, how do you know who has an issue regarding the people you give a gun to?” Stewart inquired, adding that Dahm “cleans up the mess “.
“That’s your subjective opinion,” Dahm replied, dodging Stewart’s question.
“That’s not my subjective opinion,” the former Daily Show host pushed back. “We have 50,000 gun-related deaths. This is not a subjective opinion. Those are dead people.”
“When the police go to a house full of guns, why don’t they breathe a sigh of relief knowing that this second amendment, not to be violated, is being exercised so successfully in this house?” Stewart later asked in a particularly poignant one Moment.
When Stewart suggested that simple gun registration would make both citizens and police officers safer, Dahm said registration was a violation of his rights — although he acknowledges other rights, as well as the right to vote, require registration.
The frustrated presenter continued to question Dahm about his alleged plans to ban children’s drag show readings. Stewart asked why he feels so strongly about physically harmless events and cares so little about gun violence.
“Because the government has a responsibility to protect children,” Dahm said.
“What you’re trying to tell me is that you don’t mind violating free speech to protect kids from this amorphous thing you’re thinking about,” Stewart said. “But when it comes to children who have died, you don’t give a damn about stopping that, because that mustn’t be hurt.”
“This is hypocrisy at the highest level,” Stewart said.
Watch the full The Problem with Jon Stewart interview on YouTube.