Previous: Hello! Meet Daisy!
Next: A MAJOR Casting Announcement



View count:6,554
Last sync:2022-05-27 16:30
Thinking about saying these things into a camera was overwhelming me, so I just said them into my microphone, I hope that's OK.

Universal background checks are opposed for very small and unimportant reasons, which leads me to believe that, in fact, this is all much more about playing politics than actual policy-making. And it's hard to say that the people playing those politics haven't been well-rewarded for it, so honestly I'm not sure what we can do.

41% of Americans live in a home with a gun, a percentage that rose quite a lot during the pandemic. We aren't going to ban guns in America. Some people might want that, but it doesn't matter because it is impossible. But there are lots of strategies we can put in place to actually make guns safer. Other countries have done it. The only thing standing in the way of us doing it in the US is wild, unfounded fears that are being manufactured and sold by people trying to consolidate their power.

Subscribe to our newsletter!
And join the community at
Help transcribe videos -
Learn more about our project to help Partners in Health radically reduce maternal mortality in Sierra Leone:
If you're able to donate $2,000 or more to this effort, please join our matching fund:
John's twitter -
Hank's twitter -
Hank's tumblr -
Good Morning John.

Around ten years ago I was scheduled to make a video on December 14th, 2012. I had a whole idea for it.

And then, the Sandy Hook attack happened and I did not know what to do. So I made a short video trying to be honest about where I was in that moment.

And I just went back and watched that video.

And my take away from that is that in that moment, the unique tragedy of Sandy Hook felt very unique. There had been other mass shootings and school shootings that created terror, and horror and tragedy.

But, like a young adult walking into an elementary school with an AR-15. I could not imagine that. And this time, we had all imagined it. 

We'd spent ten years imagining it. We've spent ten years preparing children for it. 

I got a letter from our school yesterday talking about the precautions they take. And like, no.

Like there aren't any precautions. We can't put the responsibility on schools to handle men with weapons of war. 

We cannot educate our children in bank vaults. We can't put razor wire around the playground.

It feels like this country is being constantly re-traumatized and that is made worse when we ask our leaders to try out some solutions and we hear some of them respond. 

"Now is not the time for politics"

And this phrase can be heard in two very different ways. 

Cause one definition of politics is 'the stuff we do to govern.' And by that measure, this is certainly the time for politics. 

Because political leaders are elected to implement policy. And the majority of Americans want meaningful policy changes when it comes to gun safety. 

But of course, there's also another meaning to the word politics. It's the game. The jockeying for favorability. Politics as theater.

Manipulation the electorate and doing all your fundraising. 

And I agree with that. This is not the time for theater. It's the time for the other kind of politics. The actual doing things kind. 

But instead, when they say "this is not the time for politics," what they're doing is the second kind of politics.

They're waiting until we get over it. Until the news cycle gets done with it.

And simultaneously they're saying Americans who have concerns about gun safety, they're not worried about kids. They're just playing politics. 

And that is disgusting. 

The fear of having your child not come home from school one day is just about the biggest possible fear. And so it seems like people who oppose gun safety legislation or want to use it as a wedge issue, have had to match that with a similarly big fear. 

But what fear could be that big? How could the fear of taking away not even your current assault rifle, but your right to buy one in the future in any way match the fear of having your child taken away?

Well, what about the fear of having everything taken away.

So that's what many of them resort to. Their argument is often literally that Americans need guns to fight against their government. 

People who want gun safety legislation want their leaders to take this problem seriously. And it's not like it isn't a problem because guns are now the number one killer of people under the age of 19. 

But after Sandy Hook, when bans on assault rifles or universal background checks were proposed, they countered the fear of losing your child in a school shooting with the fear that your government is a menace that cannot be trusted. And so you must be armed to protect yourself against them.

This is a fringe belief that has been promoted by politicians and pundits in order to create a wedge that can help them win elections. 

Sandy Hook has a lot of legacies, but the politicians and pundits who took the absolutely legitimate interest Americans had in gun safety legislation and used it as a wedge, not just to fight that legislation but to de-legitimize the government that they are sworn to uphold. That is the very worst of the second kind of politics. 

And every time they say "this is not the time for politics" that's the kind of politics I hear.

Your job is to take this country's problems seriously. Not to drum up fear and manipulate others into hating and being terrified of their fellow citizens and their government so that you can win a primary. 

John, I'll see you on Tuesday.