John Oliver returned to air on Last Week Tonight, saying it’s “incredibly exciting” to be back, though sad, because he once again had to kick off an episode addressing heartbreaking events at a school shooting.” This time it’s Parkland, Florida, where yet another school shooting left 17 dead and many more injured.
“These events are now so familiar, we now automatically know how each side will play out,” Oliver complained:
“Thoughts and prayers”
“Fuck your thoughts and prayers”
“It’s a mental health problem”
“Yea, but it’s also a gun problem”
“And then someone says now’s not the time to talk about gun control and everyone moves on until it inevitably happens again,” Oliver described.
This time, felt slightly different because, when the “now’s not the time” argument came out, kids from that school pushed back with ‘You know what? yes it f*cking is’.”
He played clips of Parkland high school kids insisting “we’re done with that” political dodge, complaining the suspect is too young to buy alcohol but not a “war weapon,” and one girl shouting “We call BS!” on various NRA-supported politicians who argue stronger gun laws would not have helped and that the surviving kids do not understand how government works.”
“It is a little ironic that the people who are acting with the most maturity in this horrifying situation aren’t even old enough to say ‘bullsh*t’ in front of their parents,” Oliver said.
Those kids already have announced a march next month and, in doing so, challenge adults to participate in a real conversation about gun violence, Oliver applauded, adding, “But, they will be up against it.”
As evidence, he played a CNN clip in which contributor/Trump supporter/former South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer got asked if Republicans would take notice of these kids’ concerns. Bauer began to spin:
“We have a cultural things we are not discussing,” he said. “When I grew up, it was Andy Griffith, you never had school shootings, we still had prayer in school, and we drove to school with guns in the car,” he insisted, saying we live in a “different time,” and pointing his finger at “the movie industry, the rap industry, radio in general” for “desensitized it,” adding, “Now we have kids eating Tide pods instead of discipline.”
Responded Oliver: “I call BS on that,” saying there are “So many things wrong with that, from the rap industry to the Tide pod,” To the fact that Bauer was born the year after Andy Griffith Show went off the air.
Which Oliver guessed meant Bauer had never have actually seen the TV series, or he might have known not only did the character played by Andy Griffith on the series never carry a gun, “he was happy to explain why,” rolling clip from the series in which the sheriff of Mayberry explained, ” show “when a man carries a gun all the time, the respect he thinks he’s getting might really be fear. So I don’t carry a gun because I don’t want the people of Mayberry to fear a gun. I would rather they respect me.”