Sacha Baron Cohen’s New Show – Who Is America?
Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest project, “Who Is America,” has been announced with the release of an 11-minute trailer for an episode relating to guns.
Watching this video was probably the most painful 11 minutes of my life.
In character as supposed Israeli counter-terror expert Col. Erran Morad, Cohen sits down with pro-gun lobbyists from the Virginia Citizens Defense League and Gun Owners of America, convincing them that Israel has a program in schools where children as young as three are trained to use guns to defend their schools. Even worse, they offer their support for the “program.”
This is, of course, false. Hamas has released promotional videos showing young boys doing paramilitary exercises and executing Israelis, but Israel itself, it should not need to be said, has no program to teach toddlers how to shoot Uzis at “naughty men.” Indeed, the widely spread and largely false tale of Israel as a pro-gun paradise is something which could be the subject of a separate article.
Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, was apparently duped by the actor, agreeing to appear in a training video for “Kinder-Guardians,” purportedly teaching three- and four-year-olds how to shoot bad guys with the help of a song about where to aim. They also dressed up firearms with stuffed animals, violating a basic ethos of gun safety in that firearms are not toys and should not be played with, especially by young kids who don’t understand their potential for life-ending violence and what death really means.
Not satisfied with this level of making gun owners look like idiots, Van Cleave went further by saying that because kids this young haven’t developed a conscience, they’ll be able to shoot people without hesitation. He implied that this was a good thing.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America went farther – much farther. He laughed and shook hands with “Morad” after the latter said that rape didn’t count in the context of marriage. That reaction should probably get Larry Pratt canned from GOA, but he’s no stranger to scandal.
Taking his idiocy to the next level, Pratt loved the “Kinder-Guardians” video so much that he agreed to take it to members of Congress. Trent Lott, Joe Walsh, and Joe Wilson, current or former Congressmen, offered a full-throated backing of the potential program.
Thankfully, Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida was smarter, offering a healthy dose of skepticism at the idea of promoting a program to arm three-year-olds.
In case anyone was wondering, no, we should not be arming toddlers. For all its foibles, the NRA has knocked gun videos for kids out of the park with its Eddie Eagle program, which does not attempt to “train” kids to use guns or even give them a positive impression of guns – just to reinforce the idea that guns should not be played with and that kids should not touch them and immediately seek an adult if they do find a gun. Even some of the most ardent anti-gun people have given Eddie Eagle the support it rightly deserves.
That so many people who claim to be intelligent and devoted supporters of gun rights were taken in by Sacha Baron Cohen’s character and the outlandish ideas he conveyed causes me great dismay. Biting my tongue, I would call those in question cretins.
I care about the advancement of civil rights, including gun rights. These people have set us back, not brought us forward. Latching on to some crazy idea because you’re told that it worked in a foreign country, without doing any research at all on the concept or its cartoonish proponent, is simply moronic.
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