In the wake of the 49 murders at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Senate Democrats staged a 15-hour filibuster, finally leading to a vote on four gun control measures on Monday. None of those measures — designed to expand background checks and block firearm sales to those on the federal terror watch list — passed.
In the wake of the violence and the overwhelming American public opinion for stricter gun control, it’s hard to make sense of this vote. A CNN poll released Monday showed that 92 percent of responders wanted expanded background checks, 87 percent supported a ban for felons (who were paired, in the poll, with those who had mental health problems), and 85 percent are in favor of banning individuals on terrorist watch lists from buying guns.
Samantha Bee has one of the reasons why: the NRA.
On her show Full Frontal on Monday night, Bee tore into the relationship between the NRA and Senate Republicans like Ted Cruz and Mitch McConnell, the latter of whom has seen hundreds of thousands of dollars in NRA cash dumped into his reelection bid.
"I can’t imagine that the leader of the Senate majority would admit to being a puppet of the NRA in a televised interview," she said of McConnell, after showing a clip of him explaining why he’s blocking the vote on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.
Yes, there are some amazing jokes about the weirdness of the NRA and McConnell being a puppet. But what’s really fascinating and perhaps alarming is that Bee shows a segment of NRA spokespeople Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox spouting off about "political correctness" in the wake of the Orlando massacre, followed by a June 16 speech by Cruz on the Senate floor that completely parrots those talking points.
Bee explains that it wasn’t always this way. Republican and conservative icons like former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, and former Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger spoke out for gun control and against the NRA.
"There’s nothing like getting shot to put you on the side of gun control," Bee jokes about Reagan. "So, at this rate, most Americans will come around in the next year or two."