Like many in his profession, John Oliver jokes around a lot, but he always has a serious point. When it comes to gun control, Oliver points out the hilarity in America's lack of gun laws, comparing gun control in the U.S. to other countries and other issues. No matter what comparison he's using, Oliver makes it clear that he's in favor of gun control. In fact, he seems to think it's long overdue.
Oliver has a similar take on lots of issues in the United States, including women's rights and gay rights. He has become known for his comedic spin on serious issues, and he has even gotten the attention of lawmakers for his segments on The Daily Show and his own show, Last Week Tonight. He has also proven that he will go to great lengths to make his point about gun control: In 2013, he flew to Australia for a three-part segment on The Daily Show about the issue (more on this later!).
All jokes aside, Oliver isn't the only one who believes in gun control. According to Pew Research Center, a large portion of Americans steadily supports increased gun control laws, including expanded background checks and laws to prevent the mentally ill from buying guns. Jokes back on the table, Oliver shows that though there's not necessarily a wrong way to support gun control, the right way is surely to be funny.
When He Compared The TSA To Gun Control
Oliver has pointed out that gun control seems to lag behind other issues in this country when it comes to changing laws based on major national tragedies. He has said:
One failed attempt at a shoe bomb and we all take off our shoes at the airport. Thirty-one school shootings since Columbine and no change in our regulation of guns.
This same point could also be made about more recent tragedies. Following the Charleston church shooting in June, lawmakers were quick to remove Confederate flags from public buildings; however, there was almost no hope that gun laws would change at the same pace.
When He Compared The U.S. To Australia
During a three-part segment for The Daily Show in 2013, Oliver flew to Australia to interview John Howard, the former prime minister of Australia who implemented sweeping gun control legislation after a mass shooting in the country. The reform has led to a significant decline in the number of mass shootings, the number of homicides committed by shooting, and the number of suicides committed by shooting.
For the same segment, Oliver also interviewed Philip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a Second Amendment supporter. During the interview, Oliver even confused Van Cleave about the rationale for not having gun control laws with his usual use of sarcasm and dry wit.
When He Compared D.C. To The 50 States
In a segment on Last Week Tonight in August, Oliver referenced gun laws while making the case for a completely different issue: Washington, D.C.'s campaign for statehood. Along with a group of young children, he sang about why D.C. should gain statehood (and, therefore, greater autonomy and voting rights). At one point, they sang, "Let them have gun laws!" It wasn't much, but it shows that Oliver thinks gun control is an important issue to take action on.
Ultimately, Oliver focuses on the newsworthy topics of the day (or the week), but when that leads him to gun control, he never misses an opportunity to make a strong case.