In the latest episode of The Problem With Jon Stewart on Apple TV+, viewers are treated to a display of argumentative firepower as the host takes on the pitifully outmatched Nathan Dahm (R-OK), a self-proclaimed Second Amendment absolutist who authored the country's first anti-red flag law. As Dahm squirms under Stewart's incisive questioning, the flaws in Dahm's arguments become all too apparent, revealing a man outmatched in integrity and reasoning. Despite Dahm's attempts to employ rhetorical trickery, he is no match for Stewart's finley tuned bullshit detector, leaving viewers with a clear sense of the ethical chasm that exists between the two men.
Here are some highlights from the conversation:
On the falacy of more guns equals more safety:
Stewart: By the way, just for clarity sake. I'm not against the Second Amendment. I don't want to ban guns, but you're saying more guns makes us more safe?
Stewart: So, when? We've got 400 million guns in the country, we had an increase and gun deaths went up. So when exactly does this curve hit? That takes it down. Would a billion guns do it?
Rep Dahm: Let's just run those numbers. You know, 400 million [guns] 50,000 [gun deaths]. You're talking about less than a fraction of not even a percent, of a 100th of a percent
Jon Stewart: But it goes up, not down. So your argument is backwards.
On Dahm's claims that we need to focus on other problems besides gun deaths:
Dahm: If we're going to talk about protecting lives, that's a larger issue in America than guns is. If we're talking about individual lives, of ways that they can be protected, loss of life in America. There's loss of life through fentanyl, there's loss of life through obesity. The obesity crisis in America cost six times the number of lives as guns.
Jon Stewart: Right and you're the guy saying, "You know what would help this? Ice cream."
On the danger police face when responding to domestic calls:
Stewart: You are. You're also making it less safe for cops and for people. When the police go to a domestic call, it's the most dangerous call they can go on, in your world, If they knew that there were firearms in the house, that's a safer call. Is that what you're saying?
Rep Dahm: No. Because police treat every situation as a potentially…
Jon Stewart: But "more guns makes us safer." So why don't when the police go to a house filled with guns, why don't they breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that this second-amendment-that-shall-not-be-infringed is being exercised so fruitfully in this home?
On Dahm's hypocrisy:
Stewart: You want to ban drag show readings to children?
Stewart: Why are you banning? Is that free speech? Are you infringing on that performer's free speech?
Dahm: They can continue to exercise their free speech just not in front of a child.
Why? Because the government does have a responsibility to protect…
Stewart: [at mention of "responsibility to protect" he bends his ear] I'm sorry?
Dahm: The government does have responsibility, in certain instances…
Stewart: What's the leading cause of death amongst children in this country? And I'm going to give you a hint. It's not drag show readings to children.
Dahm: Correct, yes.
Stewart: So what is it?
Dahm: I'm presuming you're gonna say it's firearms?
Stewart: No, I'm not gonna say it like it's an opinion. That's what it is. It's firearms. More than cancer, more than car accidents. And what you're telling me is, you don't mind infringing free speech to protect children from this amorphous thing that you think of, but when it comes to children that have died, you don't give a flying fuck to stop that, because that "shall not be infringed." That is hypocrisy at its highest order.