Saturday, June 4, 2022

'Full Frontal with Samantha Bee' goes to the NRA Convention

I concluded Trevor Noah examines gun violence by telling my readers "Samantha Bee uploaded videos about the NRA convention, which Jimmy Kimmel satirized, so I have at least one more post on this topic tomorrow. Stay tuned." I begin with the segment that was actually broadcast, Bad Timing: 2022 NRA Convention.

Amy Hoggart travels to Houston to talk to attendees of one of the most poorly timed events in history - the annual NRA convention - taking place 300 miles away and only four days after a mass school shooting in Uvalde.
I haven't featured Amy Hoggart since Full Frontal focuses on furries for April Fools Day, but this segment shows that I should put her in the spotlight more often. Her interviews are both hilarious and insightful. As for the serious point in the middle of all the comedy, it's a version of Upton Sinclair's "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." I don't know if any of the interviewees salaries depend on not understanding how their advocacy for gun rights has contributed to mass shootings and other gun violence, but I'm sure their self-images do, and I think that's just as important an impediment to understanding.

Hoggart also got two other points across, that none of the people she interviewed could mention the "well-regulated militia" opening clause of the Second Amendment, turning it into what I call the "Second Ammoment." She also mentioned the NRA's lobbying efforts. Samantha Bee herself tackled both of these in the web exclusive segment How the NRA Went From Responsible Gun Organization to Politically-Motivated Liars.

How did the NRA go from advocating for responsible gun ownership to a fringe extremist organization? No, they didn’t leave YouTube on autoplay. This is a digital exclusive.
Again, while the NRA has contributed a lot of money to politicians and influenced their positions, they're not as powerful as they once were. That's the good news. The bad news is that even more extreme organizations have filled the vacuum and performing the same function as the NRA, which has declared bankruptcy and moved to Texas. It reminds me of FDR saying "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." The gun rights people are both.

That's it for this series, for now. Stay tuned for the Sunday entertainment feature.

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