Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles Guns

Samantha Bee compares the NRA to Scientology, hunts for converts

When it comes to gun legislation, Congress is "proving to be as tone deaf as a guy who owns all of Mike Huckabee's albums," Samantha Bee said on Wednesday's Full Frontal. "Pundits think they know the real reason we can't have not-riddled-with-bullethole things" — lawmakers are bought and owned by the NRA — and "they're not completely wrong: Politicians are bought, and they're pretty cheap," Bee said. "But tracking how the NRA actually influences lawmakers is a little more complicated than buy and sell."

She started with advertising. "Guns don't kill political careers, the NRA does, and lawmakers are scared stiff of attack ads" from the group — because they often work, Bee said. "Most of us know the NRA as a lobbying group for gun manufacturers, but to its hard-core members, it is more than that. ... Yes, the NRA is like a religion — specifically, the best religion, Scientology."

"At first, I thought it was ridiculous to compare these two organizations," but then she did some cursory research, Bee said. "Both of these cults are based on fanciful myths that, when repeated enough, their otherwise intelligent followers start to believe. One says that 75 million years ago, an intergalactic warlord nuked billions of people in volcanoes, and then there's the really crazy myth: that guns have nothing to do with gun violence. Both organizations despise the media" and "have delusions of grandeur." The NRA and Scientology both promise to make you a superhero, she said, "and the only thing you need to do to get that awesome power is keep buying things from them."

"It's not easy, but you can break free from this brainwashing cult," Bee said. "So if any NRA members are hate-watching us right now, there is hope." You can watch her pitch for NRA-to-Scientology converts below. Peter Weber