Jon Stewart: Gun Rights Debate Is 'A Business Plan For Arms Dealers'

Jon Stewart began his June 5 Daily Show with a 10-minute-long rant against Open Carry Texas, a pro-gun rights organization that recently received media attention for its members openly carrying guns into various chain restaurants throughout the Lone Star State. Doing so is perfectly legal in Texas, albeit rather rare in practice.

While the National Rifle Association (NRA) first condemned the behavior for showing a “lack of consideration and manners,” it later retracted those criticisms. And so Comedy Central’s favorite late night liberal had all the ammunition he needed to ruthlessly mock both NRA spokesmen and Open Carry Texas members, charging that the NRA is facing a  “quandary,” because while “you have a right to carry a weapon” under open carry, you also have the right to “respond with deadly force” according to Stand Your Ground laws, therefore creating a “perpetual violence machine.” Stewart finished with a liberal classic, claiming the entire debate boils down to “a business plan for arms dealers.” [See video below. Click here for MP3 audio]

Stewart seems comfortable disregarding both the notion that gun rights are worthy of protecting – even if he personally chooses not to exercise them –  and the fact that these demonstrations have not, in fact created “perpetual violence machine.” Indeed, “perpetual violence machine” sounds more like gun-control paradises like, well, the city of Chicago or Washington, D.C.

The bottom line is that the owner of a restaurant has the right to ask a patron to leave if he has a gun or is making other customers uncomfortable, just as that patron has the right to carry his gun. Property rights and gun rights can, and do, peacefully coexist in open-carry states like Texas, home to significantly more gun owners than Daily Show fans.   

See transcript below.

June 5, 2014
Comedy Central
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
11:09 p.m. Eastern
38 seconds


JON STEWART: So what the (bleep) are we supposed to do now?!

According to the NRA's basic principles, you have a right to carry a weapon, that may cause a reasonable person to believe they are in danger of great bodily injury, and they have a right, if they feel that way, to respond with deadly force! It's a perpetual violence machine! It's gun fight at the Golden Corral! Wait a minute... This isn't an argument about freedom at all, is it? This whole (bleep) thing is a business plan for arms dealers! Son of (bleep)!!

Laura Flint
Laura Flint is a 2014 summer intern for the MRC's News Analysis Division.