Trevor Noah, the host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, accidentally destroyed the case for gun control during his show on Wednesday night.
Noah’s accidental broadside against gun-free zones came during a portion of his opening monologue in which he made fun of a Minnesota man fed up with Islamic terrorism. The target of Noah’s ire was an ice cream shop owner in a small town southeast of St. Cloud, Minnesota — the site of a mass stabbing at a mall last weekend — who put up a sign outside of his restaurant that read, “Muslims Get Out.”
Noah mocked the store owner for a little bit, but then he moved on to the meat of his opening bit by mocking the man’s rationale for his “Muslims Get Out” sign:
You know what’s also strange is this man genuinely thought people who go around blowing people up would be stopped by a sign? You realize you’re talking to terrorists, not vampires. They don’t need to be invited in, alright? Or maybe he’s onto something, because if you think about it, we’ve never tried that. We’ve never actually tried to repel terrorists with signs. Yeah, maybe that’s all the airports need is a sign that says “No Terrorists,” yes? Yeah, and then guys are going to be walking going, “Oh, I was going to blow up the airport, but the rules are rules and they said I can’t come in. They said I can’t. They said I can’t come in.”
Does that argument sound familiar?
Noah probably doesn’t know it, but he just accidentally made an airtight case against gun-free zones in particular and gun control in general. He is 100 percent correct: people hell-bent on murdering as many people as possible don’t really care about silly signs or laws that tell them not to murder people. A sign that says “No Guns” will no more keep a violent jihadi from gunning down a bunch of innocent people than will a sign that says “Muslims Get Out.” And how do we know that gun-free zones, nearly always marked with signs designating them as such, don’t deter murderous psychopaths? Because mass shootings, rather than happening at gun ranges or in gun stores, keep happening in gun-free zones.
Contrary to Trevor Noah’s snarky assertion that “we’ve never tried to repel terrorists with signs,” our country has fecklessly tried for years to “repel terrorists with signs.”
The Sandy Hook massacre? Gun-free zone. Columbine? Gun-free zone. The Aurora movie theater shooting? Gun-free zone. The shooting last year at an Oregon community college? Gun-free zone. The shooting at a movie theater in Lafayette? Gun-free zone. The attack on a military recruiting center in Chattanooga? Gun-free zone. The Ft. Hood shooting? You guessed it: gun-free zone. The San Bernardino attack? Gun-free zone. And the massacre perpetrated by an ISIS enthusiast at an Orlando night club? Gun-free zone.
While Noah clearly doesn’t grasp the logical implications of his argument, his particular insight — that evil people who want to do evil things will find ways to carry out their schemes regardless of what signs you post or laws you pass — forms the foundation of the entire argument against gun control.
Bad people who want to murder you don’t care about your stupid signs and stupid laws.
New York City, for example, is a pressure cooker bomb-free zone. That mall in Minnesota was most definitely a weaponized knife-free zone. And yet… Terrorists don’t care that terrorism is illegal. They care about killing you. And they’ll kill you with whatever they can, whether it’s a gun, a knife, a pressure cooker, or a box cutter.
“Yeah, but this just proves we need to have stricter gun laws to prevent terrorists from getting guns in the first place,” Trevor Noah might respond. “Gun control is about more than just signs telling people not to do stuff.”
Except it’s not. The entire premise of gun control is that words on a piece of paper somewhere will prevent a terrorist from killing people. What is a law if not a sign that says what you’re allowed and not allowed to do? Yet time and time and time and time again, strict gun control regimes have completely failed to prevent mass murderers from committing mass murder. Chicago and Washington, D.C., have some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, yet those laws have done little to stem the tide of gun crime in those cities.
As Trevor Noah demonstrated via his mockery of the Minnesota man with the “Muslims Get Out” sign at his restaurant, the logic of gun control that says signs forbidding bad stuff stops bad stuff from happening is nonsensical. “Words stop bad things from happening” is just dumb. A sign that says “Muslims Get Out” will do absolutely nothing to prevent radical Islamists from wreaking havoc. Trevor Noah understands this. If only he would learn to apply his logic to the argument from gun controllers that all we need to end violence are a few more signs telling terrorists not to use guns.
UPDATE: YouTube has taken down the above clip due to a copyright claim, but Noah’s show posted the clip: