In a controversy pitting a fabulously wealthy, nanny-stater, anti-gun rights liberal versus conservative middle- and working-class gun-owning Americans, you can bet on Jon Stewart siding with the former over the latter.
Reacting to the news that Chipotle is requesting – at the urging of Mike Bloomberg – that their patrons not carry weapons in their stores, Stewart devoted a segment of his May 20 Daily Show to lambasting everyday Americans who own guns and who might have heretofore legally taken their guns into a local Chipotle. Naturally Stewart crudely caricatured the viewpoint of such Americans, perhaps thinking none of them watch his show anyway (MP3 audio here; video below):
What! Chipotle wants me to leave my guns at home! Spend twenty minutes at a fast-casual restaurant without a handgun? Why don't I just let the King of England (bleep) in my mouth?! How about that! Tyranny! Just curious, why did Chipotle have to institute a no-guns policy?
Stewart continued to mock conservatives:
We know the only way the stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. But here's the problem with open carrying of assault rifles: no one in that Chipotle knows you're a good guy.
While it may be politically convenient for Stewart to attack Second Amendment supporters in front of a liberal audience, it does not exactly represent constructive dialogue. Few conservatives are making the argument that Chipotle does not have the right to disallow gun owners from their franchises. They most certainly do.
Likewise, gun-owning burrito lovers can always decide to patronize a different restaurant that is more friendly to their views on gun rights. Contrary to the doctrinaire liberal belief, so-called “gun-free zones” are not exactly the safest places in America. Perhaps Stewart should keep that fact in mind before mindlessly attacking those who disagree with him on the Second Amendment.
Indeed, the ability to carry a concealed gun in Texas is the product, in no small part, of the aftermath of the 1991 Luby’s cafeteria shooting.
One of the survivors of the Luby’s massacre, Suzanna Hupp, was instrumental in pushing for Texas’s “shall-issue” concealed-carry permit law. Ms. Hupp noted that her gun was left in her car because, according to the law at the time, she was unable to keep it on her person, and, had she been packing heat that fateful October afternoon, who knows how many lives might have been saved.
For what it’s worth, Hupp was rebuffed by then-Gov. Ann Richards (D), who reportedly snarked that “there is not a woman in this state who could find a gun in her handbag, much less a lipstick.”
Ms. Richards lost her re-election bid in 1994 and her successor in office, George W. Bush, signed the concealed-carry measure favored by Hupp.
Mr. Stewart may think some gun-rights supporters are a little too gung-ho and use their alleged extremism for cheap laughs, but his snark and sarcasm shouldn’t be confused for a morally-superior argument on the issue at hand.
A relevant portion of the segment is transcribed below:
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
May 20, 2014
11:01 p.m. Eastern
JON STEWART, host: Let's begin with bad news for Americans who like to hunt and kill their own burritos.
TV HOST: Chipotle restaurants are asking you to leave your guns at home.
STEWART: What! Chipotle wants me to leave my guns at home! Spend twenty minutes at a fast-casual restaurant without a handgun? Why don't I just let the King of England (bleep) in my mouth?! How about that! Tyranny! Just curious, why did Chipotle have to institute a no-guns policy?
TV HOST: It follows a gun-rights demonstration at one of the chains’ Dallas restaurants this weekend. The protestors brought loaded assault-style weapons into Chipotle, upsetting some customers.
STEWART: Did that upset some customers? Now I get that. If I was looking to fear for my life in a fast food restaurant, I would go to Arby’s! Boom! Take that, inexplicable hatred of a restaurant that's never been anything but pleasant to me. What are we talking about here? Guys walked into a Chipotle brandishing assault rifles. We know the only way the stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. But here's the problem with open carrying of assault rifles, no one in that Chipotle knows you're a good guy. They just know you have a gun. And here's the thing, even if you put your gun up and go, don't worry, everybody! We're good guys! That's the type of thing a clever bad guy might say.