"The Daily Show" aired its final episode of 2012 on December 13, just one day before a gunman shot 27 people in Newtown, Conn., renewing a national debate about America's gun control laws. Back for its second episode of the new year on Tuesday, Jon Stewart finally got the chance to tackle the media's response to the Sandy Hook massacre.
Fighting though a hoarse voice and a cold, Stewart spent most of his show on a segment called "Scapegoat Hunter," railing against some gun advocates' insistence on blaming everything but guns for gun violence. He even pulled out a plastic rifle, a la David Gregory.
"We can dance around the issue all we want ... but it is time we talk about guns," Stewart said.
"Why is it that there is no other issue with as dire public safety consequences as this that we are unable to make even the most basic steps towards putting together a complex plan of action to slow this epidemic spread?"
But Stewart did place some blame with the media -- and not just Fox News.
"There is no question that we glorify violence in our culture and it's something we have to consider," Stewart said. He imagined how some networks might have asked themselves how the Newtown school shooting would impact ratings -- "Is this massacre going to affect our new show, 'Massacre,' Friday nights at 8?" he joked.
Stewart closed out the segment with a passionate takedown of gun control supporters whom he believes are paralyzed by their fear of the government (as epitomized by Alex Jones' fiery rant to Piers Morgan).
Their paranoid fear of a possible dystopic future prevents us from addressing our actual dystopic present. We can’t even begin to address 30,000 gun deaths that are actually, in reality, happening in this country every year -- because a few of us must remain vigilant against the rise of imaginary Hitler.
Watch both segments below: