As expected, Amy Schumer completely rocked on Saturday Night Live last night. She launched her opening monologue by highlighting sexism in Hollywood and emphasizing the importance of being a good role model for young girls. The monologue was as smart as it was hilarious, because Amy Schumer. That said, last night, Schumer went beyond comedy. Last night on Saturday Night Live, Schumer (along with the rest of the SNL cast) took the opportunity to make a powerful point about gun culture in America.
The show opened with Schumer starring in a parody PSA about guns. The mock ad shows everyday slices of life —jogs, parties, dinner dates — as voice over explains what we all have in common.
“There are things we all share,” the ad says. “Love. Family. Connection. A sense of purpose. And also: Guns. Guns are there. In little events, and big ones, when things fall apart, or it all comes together. They unite us, comfort us, bring us joy, and strength.”
The sketch is classic Schumer: taking a hilarious, hard line on the social issues that matter to the comedian. The guns are used in ridiculous ways — given as a romantic gift in lieu of jewelry (Amy, the recipient, nails the cry-face), fired into the night sky by a lovey-dovey new couple, even given to a newborn as a comfort object. The sketch, in short, makes light of the ridiculous notion that a whole bunch of lethal weapons present in casual situations will make us feel safe.
“They unite us, comfort us, bring us strength,” the advertisement says, finishing with its tagline: “Guns. We’re here to stay.”
The darkly funny sketch underlines that hard truth about America’s gun culture. Those that believe that firearms should remain at the current level of accessibility often cite personal safety as their central reasoning. However, if you look at recent stats, they tell a much different story. There have been 52 school shootings in America in 2015, according to RT, and on Friday two of those school shootings occurred on the same day. And, as Vox reports, there are approximately 92 gun deaths per day in America, about 30 per day are homicides and about 58 are suicides. What this means is mass shootings kill roughly 500 Americans per year, gun homicides kill about 11,200 people a year, and gun suicides kill nearly 21, 200 Americans per year. None of those numbers scream safety.
We’re not surprised Schumer decided to take a hard stance on gun control. This past July, the actress and comedian was devastated to learn that a man had opened fire during a Trainwreck screening, killing two people and injuring nine. After that, Schumer joined her cousin Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, and made a pressing, pleading statement about guns and gun control.
“Unless something is done and done soon, dangerous people will continue to get their hands on guns,” Schumer said. “We need a background check system without holes and fatal flaws. We need one with accurate information that protects us like a firewall. The critics scoff and say, ‘Well, there’s no way to stop crazy people from doing crazy things,’ but they’re wrong. There is a way to stop them. Preventing dangerous people from getting guns is very possible. We have common-sense solutions. We can toughen background checks and stop the sale of firearms to folks who have a violent history or history of mental illness.”
Gun control was a reoccurring theme on SNL last night. It came up during Weekend Update, when Michael Che highlighted that yes, the Constitution says it’s OK to own guns, but it also says it’s OK to own people. And in another sketch, Amy plays a little schoolgirl, asking if she can take her gun to school. SNL took a hard line with gun control on this episode, and we admire these comedians for getting serious about this critical issue.
(Image via YouTube)