A number of Republican lawmakers and gun rights activists are seen expressing support for arming children as young as four years old in a new clip from Who Is America?, comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s new satire show.
Cohen, posing in disguise as an Israeli gun-rights activist, duped current and former Republican lawmakers Trent Lott, Dana Rohrabacher, Joe Wilson and Joe Walsh into supporting his fictional “Kinder Guardians” program.
Cohen first sits down with Matt Gaetz, a Republican congressman from Florida, who refuses to endorse the fictional program to give assault weapons to kindergarteners. “Typically members of Congress don’t hear a story about a program and then indicate whether they support it or not,” he says.
The clip immediately cuts to former Senate majority leader Trent Lott saying “I support the Kinder Guardians program.”
“A three year-old cannot defend itself from a assault rifle by throwing a Hello Kitty pencil case at it,” then says Joe Wilson, a Republican congressman from South Carolina. “Our founding fathers did not put an age limit on the Second Amendment.”
Wilson later told BuzzFeed News of his appearance in the show: “I was targeted due to my strong support of Israel and my open-door office policy.”
Also in the clip is former congressman Joe Walsh. “The intensive three-week Kinder Guardian course introduces specially selected children from 12 to four years old, to pistols, rifles, semi-automatics and a rudimentary knowledge of mortars,” says Walsh.
Walsh later tweeted: “Sacha Baron Cohen got me. Do I believe kindergarteners should be armed? Hell no.”
What can I say Bradley? @SachaBaronCohen got me. Do I believe kindergarteners should be armed? Hell no.
But, it's on me. Sacha fooled me good. Flew me out to DC for some made up friend of Israel award. I gotta live with it. https://t.co/r4juubOG9l
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) July 15, 2018
Cohen also roped in gun lobbyists, including Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America. He asked Pratt: “Do you think the liberals are using these school shootings to further their anti-tragedy agenda?” Pratt replies: “They’re trying.”
Addressing the camera, Pratt later says: “Toddlers are pure, uncorrupted by fake news or homosexuality. They don’t worry if it’s politically correct to shoot a mentally deranged gunman. They’ll just do it.”
Cohen also convinces Philip van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizen’s Defense League, to help make an educational video showing preschoolers how to use weapons. “Today we’re going to teach you how you can stop these naughty men and have them take a long nap,” Cleave says.
The pair then display a selection of guns dressed up as children’s toys, from the “Puppy Pistol” all the way to the “Uzicorn” and the “Rocket-Ship RPG.” At no point does Cleave appear to realize the show is satirical.
“Aim at the head, shoulders, not the toes,” he sings.
Cohen is known for playing parody characters, including Borat and Ali G. His new series Who is America? is seven-episodes long, and features the comedian playing four characters, including Israeli Colonel Erran Morad. It premiered Sunday night on Showtime.