Politicians as diverse as President Obama and Senator Toomey have struggled to put into words the reasons we gun safety laws make sense. Australian comedian Jim Jeffries ignites the gun control debate in a way the killing of 20 children at Sandy Hook elementary school or the shooting of a sitting congresswoman did not. His hilarious, but easy to understand arguments slays the second amendment during his current FreeDumb tour. In a sense, he brings a drone to a gun fight.
One of the more effective arguments for gun rights is that they are needed for protection of oneself or family. This argument persists despite statistics showing that guns are predominately used in criminal homicides not for protection. A study by the Violence Policy Center, via the Washington Post, shows guns between 2008 and 2012 were used in 42,419 criminal homicides and only 1,108 justifiable homicides -- defined as the killing of a felon during the commission of a felony by a private citizen.
Jim Jeffries decimates the guns are needed for protection argument with such good humor it may even silence the NRA. His comedy act does something dry statistics can't.
"The main one is that I need it for protection. I need it to protect me. I need to protect my family," said Jeffries. "Really? Is that why they are called assault rifles? Is it? I have never heard of these fuckin protection rifles you speak of."
The talented comedian used a horrific burglary that happened to him and his girlfriend to show gun ownership rarely protects you against violence.
I had a break in in Manchester, England where I was tied up. I had my head cut. They threatened to rape my girlfriend. They came through the window with a machete and hammer. Americans always go, Imagine if you had a gun. Alright, I was naked at the time. I wasn't wearing my holster. I was staring at the window waiting for machetes to come through. What world do you live in where you are waiting constantly fuckin' ready?"
The Australian understands our constitution and knows our history better than most Americans. He pointed out during the act that the arguments to keep the second amendment were similar to those proffered by Southerners to keep slavery.
Jeffries said, "You can not change the second amendment. I am like yes you can. It is called an amendment. If you can't change something called an amendment...See, many of you need a thesaurus. If you don't know what a thesaurus, get a dictionary and work your way forward. Don't think your constitution is set in stone. You have changed things before. You used to have prohibition in there. Right? Then people were like hey who likes getting fucked up. I like getting fucked up too. Let's get that one out. You used to have this other thing in America called slavery."
Jeffries will be appearing at the Keswick Theater in Glenside, Pennsylvania. With 10 people shot at a block party last weekend in Philadelphia, I hope politicians and gun safety advocates come to the show to learn how to shoot down the arguments of gun rights advocates. And laugh a little.