Jon Stewart Rips Senator For Attacking Video Games During Gun Hearing

Jon Stewart Rips Senator For Attacking Video Games During Gun Hearing

As you might have heard, the US Senate shut down a bill this week that would extend background checks on gun sales — a bill that most Americans supported. And, of course, someone brought up video games.

Speaking on the Senate floor Wednesday, Nebraska senator Mike Johanns called it “ironic” that people who support the bill want gun control in real life but not in movies and video games.

“Apparently, we should ban these devices in rural Nebraska, where we grew up around firearms, but allow our children to idolize Hollywood stars committing mass shootings on the big screen, and then try it out for yourself in a graphic video game where the game is interactive, violent, and you are literally shooting at people,” Johanns said. You can see Jon Stewart’s brilliant reaction in the clip above.

It should be noted that Mike Johanns is an actual senator in the actual United States. This is a person who has actual power and influence on the actual laws of an actual country.

Here’s the full clip of Johanns’s remarks:

For more on violence and video games, check out our in-depth look at 25 years worth of research on the psychological effects of violent video games.


  • So what we’re saying here is that still in America, nothing has changed and nothing will… children died, people died and many more did since Sandy Hook and the mentally ill can get their hands on military grade firearms unhindered still!


    *sigh* I just don’t understand why they’re leading the world…

    • you should what the whole episode, John oliver interviews John Howard about the gun reforms he introduced

    • They aren’t leading the world in anything except gun deaths and mass shootings. At this point its probably safer to go to school in the middle east.

      In 10-20 years america is going to be so far down the shitter it wont be classified as first world, This will come about first and foremost due to their insane spending and debt causing another mass depression, readily available firearms everywhere and well basically we will all watch as the country burns itself from the inside out.

      • I have heard before that the moment China calls in all its world debts that the world will essentially bow to it… and yeah I agree totally.

      • You forgot to include greatest number of adult males incarcerated per captita and highest percentage of people who beleive in angels.

        • I’m fairly confident that Vatican City holds the top spot for that last one, it also has the most Popes per square kilometer.

          • You’d be surprised how many priests don’t actually believe in God, coupled with the ones who don’t believe in a literal interpretation of the bible, combined with people who just live there for non religious reasons, make up the numbers of vatican city.

          • My old priest when I was a teenager (Yes I was an altarboy… unmolested and proud! lol) once told me he didn’t believe every word of the bible. he said he used it more as a moral way of life rather than a literal interpretation. I think if more christians did that, there’d be a lot less issues with them…

      • They aren’t leading the world in anything except gun deaths and mass shootings.

        I wish that were true but at the very least they’ve got Hollywood and Hollywood has a major social influence on the world. They play a massive part in global media, which means they manage to set the global social climate based on their own local social climate. After 9-11 the media (without even trying) convinced a good chunk of the world that anti-American terrorist threats were aimed at the entire ‘western’ world, and that smashing up Iraq was the only way to defend themselves.
        If America weren’t a world leader I wouldn’t really care about their gun control laws, but they are so their decline into this paranoid, backwards thinking mess of a country is going to have global ramifications. We don’t just wake up one morning and cut ties with them. If they go down the crapper we’re going to pay the price.

        • I don’t think anybody anywhere outside the US actually bought the Iraq story. Even the nations that joined in did so against their own people’s wishes for reasons of political expediency.

        • Well Bollywood is bigger than Hollywood is actually, American pop culture does not have the influence people think it does, outside the English speaking world America has little pop culture influence.

      • And if you believe that nice motivational clip..

        While US highschools are terrible at maths, english, science and whatnot there’s one thing all American kids have! CONFIDENCE! 😀

        ….yeah.. lets just ignore the education issue and just prop up kids confidence! Coz if u got the balls to fake your resume and leg your work later in life thats all u need! 😀

  • He says this now but I seem to remember John using the phrase “interactive stuff film” to describe Mortal Kombat.

  • I watched this yesterday. I’d hardly say he ripped into him. There’s been better clips.

    The interview John Oliver did with John Howard on this episode was pretty bloody good though.

  • Look he’s got a point. Both should be looked at. Gun availability and the amount of violence in the media.

    Even on telly at 8pm you can see people getting shot and knifed on shows like law and order and stuff. It’s pretty ridiculous. If you watch violence all the time, it makes sense that you see it as an option in dealing with problems.

    We need to change the culture of the world. And 95% of us get ALL of our culture through the tv and the internet.

    Now I’m going to go rip someone’s face off in Bioshock Infinite. Because that adds so much to the experience. Wouldn’t be the same game if I could just knock them out with a pipe instead. No sir. Gotta have the exploding blood and brains thing happening for the visceral effect.

      • 8pm on a commercial station on a weekday night. Pretty hard not to watch it. You can catch a murder whilst flicking across channels.

        • haha okay sure, you know that TV shows come with parental locks now, if it’s too bad for your precious eyes you can put that on.

          • t I have 2 kids under 4. If you don’t think it’s a problem that they’re exposed to this kind of violence just by channel surfing around at 8pm at night, then you’re beyond help.

            We’re living in a society. You don’t need to be einstein to realise that the amounts of violence in our media in unhealthy. You keep on saying don’t watch, but I don’t think you’re using your brain when you say that.

        • Its only hard to avoid it if you switch your TV over to antennae. It almost never is in my house, especially not at 8pm!

    • I dont like seafood so I don’t eat it. I also hate Glee again I don’t watch it. So the problem is not he media, its the individual whi needs to take responsibility for their own actions.

    • Murder and violence was a problem long before violent media has been around. We have more or less the same violent video games in Australia and violent movies and we don’t have shooting massacres.

        • Yeah and the last was in 1996, so a bit before realistic violence started happening in video games. Look at Japan, violence is all through their movies and tv shows, they don’t have mass shootings. Let’s also look through history and use logic, mass killings and shootings happened way before violent movies.

        • Yeah, I’ve been to the memorial. But America seems to have them annually. When we first settled Australia it was a bloody mess. As time has gone by we have become a far less violent society despite our media becoming more violent.

          • They’ve got a population 10 times our size, and about 2 guns for every person. Makes sense that it would be a more of a problem there than here. I think our society is plenty violent though. There are places in Brisbane (where I live) that you do NOT walk through, even during the day. When I was a young guy and catching trains everywhere, I would often see muggings and fistfights. The only reason I wasn’t in a lot of bad situations was because I could talk a good game at the time. It was damn scary with the gangs and such.

            Just because we don’t have a lot of mass shootings doesn’t mean we’re not a violent society. I also used to work security at night clubs. A lot of people don’t hesitate too long before throwing punches in that environment. I was working some dodgy venues though.

            I don’t think anyone’s saying it’s all the medias fault (except for some retarded politicians). But the guy in the video just seemed to be making the point that the media and games are full of heavy violence. Just because it’s a correlation only, doesn’t mean that we should just forget about it, restrict weapons and crank the old ultra-violence on tele.

            I don’t see how anyone can doubt that it’s not good to be exposed to that kind of behaviour. I don’t think anyone’s saying stop it, just that it should be controlled a bit more. Now that I’ve got kids, I spend a bit of time thinking about what kind of world I want them to grow up in. I watch the other kids at day care and all they do is run around screaming ‘transformers!’ and ‘ninja turtles’. You know what happens in those cartoons? They fight. That’s the main purpose of the shows. And these kids are 3 and 4 years old. I don’t think it’s good. They’re being conditioned from day 1 to solve problems with violence. Because that’s what they see on tv.

          • That’s a nicely written reply that I find hard to disagree with on any level.

            Yeah, kids change how you see everything huh. My boys are
            7 and 8 now and despite the fact I was raised on films like Total Recall and Predator I’m really fussy about what my kids see.

            Over all I’m tired of the way people try and draw direct correlations between factors. Australia has gun control, so does Mexico yet Australia enjoys very low gun violence while Mexico is rife with it. So that’s why I hate politicians blaming one thing or another. There’s millions of factors which make us different from America. There’s a million reasons America is more violent than us and it ain’t just video games. That’s why I’m quick to point out that Australia has pretty much the same media as America but only a fraction of the violence. If these agenda driven politicians want to have any chance of fixing their problems they need to look at the heart of their problems, not the easy scapegoats..

        • Seems a mass shooting is an annual event in the USA, when was the last mass shooting we had since the reformed gun laws? Hmm? Oh im sorry i cant hear you.

          • While I support gun control you have to remember that before gun control was introduced here, there wasn’t exactly a hand gun in every second home. In Australia guns were very rare before gun control so all it did was take a small amount of guns of a small percentage of the population.but I do think America needs some form of gun control. But you’ll never get all the guns from people, it’s absolutely ingrained into their culture and identity as a nation.

  • It should be noted that Mike Johanns is an actual senator in the actual United States. This is a person who has actual power and influence on the actual laws of an actual country.

    You are acting like this isn’t a normal thing in America.

  • In retrospect, I should have clicked on the video first rather than reading the article. I would have made my previous post a whole lot less redundant 😛

  • “Mike Johanns called it “ironic” that people who support the bill want gun control in real life but not in movies and video games”

    I don’t think he knows what ‘ironic’ means.

    I didn’t need to look up Wikipedia to know which party this guy’s from.

  • I like how the shootings in Boston happened just days after gun control laws failed to pass. Never change, America.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!