Jessi Turnure

Multimedia Journalist

Take a Shot at It

I wanted to dedicate this post to one of my favorites: Jon Stewarts’ Daily Show.   The Daily Show is one of my favorite “media outlets” to see how national and international news can be portrayed in a humorous way. I love Stewart and his colleagues’ humor and I’m all about poking fun at current affairs. Especially when people create problems that don’t exist, while many existing problems have not been conquered, much less heard of.

Like Missouri politics for example. Specifically, one Republican representative, Wanda Brown.

One of the Daily Show’s hilarious correspondents, Aasif Mandvi, spent the day with Brown, interviewing her about her “crusade”. The first thing I was able to say after watching this video was, “Is this real?”

Many Missouri lawmakers want to protect gun owners from any threat of workplace discrimination, just as state residents currently are protected for race, religion and gender.

Brown sponsored House Bill 1621 that, if passed, would make it illegal for employers to discriminate against people because they own or use guns. The bill overwhelmingly passed in the Missouri House, 115 to 36, according to the Missouri Journal of the House.

Brown’s goal was, “We would never consider giving up our First Amendment rights for a job. Why should we give up our Second Amendment rights?”

One of the main controversies stemmed from some lawmakers’ beliefs that maybe it’s more important to add protections based on sexual orientation than gun ownership. One of these lawmakers is Mike Colona, a Democrat representative from St. Louis who is gay.

“The Missouri House thinks it’s more important to protect the right to own a gun than take on real discrimination,” Colona said. “I could get fired tomorrow because of the person I’ve spent the past 18 years of my life with.”

Currently, Missouri has no law protecting discrimination of people who are gay in the workforce.

When Madvi asked Brown if she would support a law protecting this, she responded, ever so eloquently, “I don’t know. I have no idea.”

Turns out she ALREADY voted against a bill protecting LGBT discrimination in the workforce.

Brown: “Has that been on the ballot?” This just keeps getting better and better. “That I know, it has never been an issue that I have had to vote on,” Brown said.

Well actually, she voted against a bill on this topic one year ago.

Madvi: “How do you feel about someone being fired because of their sexual orientation?”

Brown: “Has that happened before?”

Well, Wanda, I’m no expert, but I’m willing to guess that this has happened a LOT more than someone being fired because of gun ownership.

Brown admitted she has no examples of employer discrimination against gun owners in Missouri. The other interviewees in the segment, all gun owners, didn’t even know that someone could be fired solely for gun ownership.

One of my favorite parts of the interview:

Madvi: “How many examples of gun owner descrimination do you know of?”

Brown: (Insert long, uncomfortable pause and a blank stare back at Madvi here) “Well, I’d rather not get into examples.”

She said it’s a preventative measure, protecting the second amendment and people in the future.

How many other “Wanda Browns” are out there influencing our government? Who knows what people east and west of us think of Missouri politics now. But I hope this isn’t what it usually sounds like behind the closed doors of the Missouri House and Senate.

Read more of the story here.

Read the bill here.

Watch the full video here: “Free at Last, Free to Blast” The Daily Show with Jon Stewart


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