This European comedy sketch explains how the world sees America’s gun problem
From the outside, it’s just baffling.
When the rest of the world looks at America’s gun problem, it’s often with bafflement.
Sunday with Lubach, which is sort of like the Dutch version of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, looked at guns — specifically, the US’s love of firearms. And it’s very telling.
For one, the satirical Dutch video describes America’s love of guns as so bad that it is an illness: Nonsensical Rifle Addiction, or NRA — a reference to the biggest gun lobby group in the country.
“Dear fellow Europeans,” the video’s narrator begins, “a devastating humanitarian crisis is threatening a small country on the coast of North America: the United States of America.”
The video goes on to list some of the statistics related to America’s gun homicides and accidents from Gun Violence Archive: 24,000 injuries and 11,000 deaths so far this year, culminating to roughly 40 deaths a day. The video pins this on “a terrible epidemic.”
“NRA is a constitutional disorder caused by a dysfunction of the prefrontal Second Amendment in the nonsensical cortex, causing patients to shoot people,” the narrator explains. “It starts with an innocent Colt, but soon patients will show signs of shotguns, sniper rifles, and M16s even. Often, patients use silencers to hide their condition.”
The video goes on like this, showing pictures that you’d expect to see in a typical humanitarian crisis PSA about a major disease halfway across the world — black and white images, sad people, children suffering, and so on.
There are things in the video that some Americans, particularly supporters of gun rights, will surely disagree with or even find offensive.
But that’s kind of the point. To the rest of the world, this problem is straightforward: If you have a problem with guns, then you should deal with the guns directly. That’s what other nations have done, from Canada to the UK to Australia to Japan — and they see dramatically fewer gun deaths.
The empirical research shows these are related: Where there are fewer guns, there are fewer gun deaths. And gun control measures are truly followed with a reduction in gun deaths, suggesting that they save lives.
That America as a whole doesn’t seem to get this is baffling to much of the rest of the world. So Sunday with Lubach reaches far for an explanation: It must be a disease.
“We Europeans can help,” the narrator claims, citing programs like “the NRAA.” “But your help is needed urgently. We cannot turn away. So donate now.”
For more on America’s gun problem, read Vox’s explainer.