(Note: This post contains spoilers for the first episode of “Who Is America?” on Showtime.)
Sacha Baron Cohen blasted pro-gun advocates in the first episode of his new series, “Who is America,” mostly by just letting them talk on camera, and goading them on. Playing an Israeli former soldier named Col. Erran Morad, Baron Cohen discussed gun control with a number of pro-gun advocates, and got them to go all-in on advocating arming toddlers.
You can watch this portion of the episode in the video embedded at the top of this post.
Baron Cohen started with Virginia Citizens Defense League President Philip Van Cleave, with whom he discussed the idea of arming children. Van Cleave mentioned that he had worked on a program that would train seventh and eighth graders in gun usage. He also basically discusses the virtue of child soldiers.
“They haven’t quite developed what we call conscience, where you feel guilty about doing something wrong, that’s developing,” Van Cleave said. “You’re learning right and wrong. If they haven’t developed that yet they can be very effective soldiers.”
Morad asks Van Cleave to help him make an instructional video on gun usage for three-year-olds (he notes they picked age 3 because “it’s called the Terrible Twos for a reason”), to which Van Cleave agrees. Next, Morad and Van Cleave appear in a cartoonish video, in which Van Cleave explains to kids how to use guns made to look like toys, including Puppy Pistol, Gunny Rabbit, Uzicorn and a rocket-propelled grenade painted to look like a rocket ship.
Finally, Van Cleave sings a song to help kids learn where to aim, to the tune of “Head, shoulders, knees and toes.”
“Aim at the head, shoulders, not the toes, not the toes,” he sings while holding up the Gunny Rabbit. “Eyes, ears, and belly, and nose. Head, shoulders, not the toes, not the toes!”
Next, Morad sits down with Larry Pratt, lobbyist and executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America, to whom he pitched the Kinderguardians idea. Pratt was very receptive to the idea.
“This segment of the conversation would absolutely cause heads to explode here in this country, because they’re so prejudiced against young people having guns, especially in schools,” Pratt said.
Morad then took the program to politicians, starting with Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, who refused to endorse the program without knowing anything about it. Morad found several people willing to jump on the Kinderguardians bandwagon, though, and created a promotional video of politicians and right-wing figures recommending the program.
“I support the Kinderguardians program,” former Sen. Majority Leader Trent Lott said. “We in America would be wise to implement it too. It’s something we should think about in America, about putting guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens, good guys, whether they be teachers or whether they actually be talented children or highly trained preschoolers.”
Next, Morad got Republican California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher to back the program, as well as South Carolina Republican Rep. Joe Wilson.
“A three-year-old cannot defend itself from an assault rifle by throwing a Hello Kitty pencil case at it,” Wilson said. “Our Founding Fathers did not put an age limit on the Second Amendment.”
The video also included conservative radio host and former Congressman Joe Walsh, who explained how the program would train children in a variety of semi-automatic and automatic weapons, as well as give them a “rudimentary knowledge of mortars.”
“In less than a month — less than a month — a first grader can become a first grenadier,” he said.
It was Pratt who got it the worst, though.
Morad had the lobbyist read off an explanation of the “science” behind why training children in firearms was a good idea, with a barrage of BS that would have been obvious to anyone a little more dialed in on pop culture.
“Toddlers are pure, uncorrupted by fake news or homosexuality,” Pratt said, apparently reading from a prompter. “They don’t worry if it’s politically correct to shoot a mentally deranged gunman, they’ll just do it.”
He continued: “The science behind this is proven. At age 4, children process images 80 percent faster than adults, meaning that, essentially, like owls, they can see in slow motion. Children under 5 also have elevated levels of the pheromone Blink-182, produced by the part of the liver known as the Rita Ora. This allows nerve reflexes to travel along the Cardi B neural pathway to the Wiz Khalifa 50 percent faster, saving time and saving lives.”
Apart from how ridiculous it is to suggest that toddlers can “see in slow motion” like owls, Pratt also missed that Blink 182, Rita Ora, Cardi B and Wiz Khalifa are all musical artists.
The video ended with most of the Republicans who’d appeared on it topping off the proceedings with a slogan.
“The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good kid with a gun,” Lott, Pratt and Walsh each said.
“Happy shooting, kids,” Walsh said to end the show.
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