Speed Reads

The Daily Showdown

Jon Stewart slams the NRA for killing an elephant-saving, terrorist-thwarting ivory law

Jon Stewart started out Wednesday night's Daily Show applauding the big carbon-emission deal between China and the U.S. on Tuesday, announced after he taped his light-hearted recap of the APEC summit. But while it's great that China is agreeing to cap greenhouse gasses, he said, the country is shamefully the top buyer of illegal African ivory and a major reason poachers killed 100,000 of the majestic creatures from 2010 to 2012, pushing them toward extinction.

The No. 2 retail market for elephant ivory is the U.S., though, despite the fact that it banned ivory imports in 1989. President Obama proposed regulations to close the big loophole, including banning the sale of ivory inside the U.S., and since ivory is a major funder of terrorist groups (and also a major killer of the GOP's mascot animal), Republicans were on board. "We have just witnessed something rarer in nature than the African elephant," Stewart said: "Bipartisan commitment to an issue." But there is one big roadblock: The National Rifle Association.

"Oh, NRA — is there anything that you won't try to kill that keeps other things from being killed?" Stewart lamented. NRA opposition, of course, prompted GOP laws to protect ivory in the U.S. "See, this is why we can't have nice things," he said dourly, "like elephants." --Peter Weber