One week after John Oliver pleaded with lawmakers to actually take action on gun control, the Last Week Tonight host took a moment on Sunday to specifically shoot down the president’s new favorite proposed strategy for dealing with school shootings: arming teachers and school personnel.
Throughout last week, Donald Trump tested the waters, even presenting the idea at his “listening session” with parents and students—including some affected by the mass shooting at Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. “We need to let people know: you come into our schools, you’re going to be dead, and it’s going be fast,” Trump said then. Oliver offered a typically thorough, merciless critique of the president’s idea during Sunday’s introductory segment, which he kicked off with one logistical note: “First thing there,” he said. “‘You’re going to be dead and its going to be fast’ is already the slogan for Carl’s Jr., so you can’t use that.”
“Trump’s support for this clearly terrible idea seemed to develop over the week,” Oliver added. “He actually focus-grouped it on Wednesday during a listening session featuring survivors of the shooting—a session, incidentally, for which his own notes included a reminder to say ‘I hear you,’ which is what you might write down if you were a robot pretending to be a person pretending to be a robot pretending to be a person.”
When the president presented the idea of arming schools to the session attendees Wednesday, only one person raised her hand in support; several more raised their hands to indicate they did not like the proposal. To Oliver, that moment was the perfect microcosm for Trump’s presidency: “proposing a terrible idea in a tone-deaf way, then refusing to acknowledge he just lost the popular vote.”
As Oliver notes, the reasons not to arm educators are numerous: shooting assailants is not their job; there was already a deputy on the scene at Parkland; and the logistics, Oliver emphasized, would be a nightmare. Arming 20 percent of educational personnel on campuses nationwide would mean 700,000 people with guns in schools across America—so “it’s no wonder the NRA likes this solution,” he continued. “It involves buying hundreds of thousands of guns, and that’s their solution to everything. They’d probably deal with climate change by pointing a Glock at the ocean and daring that motherfucker to rise.”
Unsurprisingly, many teachers aren’t into the idea either. As National Education Association president Lily Eskelsen García told CBS This Morning, “This does not pass any common sense test whatsoever. . . The problem is that very dangerous people have very easy access to very dangerous weapons.”
“She’s right,” Oliver said.” And she’s using the patient, exasperated tone of a teacher explaining something to the dumbest student in her class—which, in a way, she is.”
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Westworld (Season 2)
HBO is once again hoping you’ll ignore the big Game of Thrones-shaped hole in its schedule and turn your attention back to the sci-fi mind game that is Westworld. The Emmy-nominated series, starring Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton, is ready to confound you once again in its second season. Until its spring 2018 premiere, take a trip back in time and revisit nine burning questions we still have about the finale.Photo: By John P. Johnson/HBO.
Yara Shahidi takes the lead in this youthful Black-ish spin-off set to air on Freeform starting Jan. 3, 2018. In this series, Zoey is finally off to college, stumbling through cringeworthy rites of passage like embarrassing herself at a frat party and hiding secrets from her parents.Photo: By Eric Liebowitz/Freeform.
Every superhero you love is coming out with a new movie in 2018. In no particular order, get ready for a bounty that includes: Black Panther,Avengers: Infinity War,Deadpool 2,The New Mutants,X-Men: Dark Phoenix,Ant-Man and the Wasp,Venom, and Aquaman.Photo: By Zade Rosenthal/©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Everett Collection.
The Winter Olympics
’Tis the season to watch a bunch of perfect human specimens fight for tiny gold medallions. This year’s Winter Olympics will kick off on Feb. 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.Photo: By Julian Finney/Getty Images.
After breaking out on Master of None and winning a historic Emmy for one of this year’s best TV episodes, Lena Waithe is ready to claim her spot in the prestige-TV realm. Enter The Chi, her Showtime series about young people coming of age in Chicago, set to premiere on Jan. 7.Photo: By Matt Dinerstein/SHOWTIME.
A Wrinkle in Time
The classic Madeleine L’Engle tale is finally coming to the big screen on March 9, 2018, thanks to Disney and director Ava DuVernay. The sci-fi story about a girl tesseracting her way through time to find her missing father will star newcomer Storm Reid alongside stars like Oprah Winfrey,Mindy Kaling,Reese Witherspoon, and Chris Pine.Photo: By Atsushi Nishijima/Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
After some catastrophic ups and downs, Han Solo’s origin story will finally be revealed to us on May 25, 2018. The Star Wars spin-off stars Alden Ehrenreich as the galactic smuggler and also features Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian and Emilia Clarke playing a mysterious character named Kira.Photo: From Lucasfilm Ltd./Everett Collection.PreviousNext
Laura BradleyLaura Bradley is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com. She was formerly an editorial assistant at Slate and lives in Brooklyn.