Sacha Baron Cohen Got Republican Lawmakers To Endorse Idea Of Arming Kindergartners

Sacha Baron Cohen takes on the gun lobby in the first episode of his new Showtime series, Who Is America? The Borat prankster once got an entire rodeo crowd to cheer for what he described as America’s “war of terror” in Iraq, and now he has Republican lawmakers advocating for arming schoolchildren.

Sacha Baron Cohen keeps on managing to fool people with his disguises, even though his unconventional method of making moviegoers and TV viewers laugh has made him stand out in the world comedy. The British actor carefully crafts his own characters, which are usually caricatures meant to evoke specific emotional responses from his targets, and he wholly inhabits them while interacting with real-life people. As reported by Haaretz, one such character appears in Who Is America?, a beefed-up Israeli anti-terror expert named Colonel Erran Morad. In a new ten-minute preview of Cohen’s Showtime series, “Morad” describes himself as the “Terrorist Terminator.”

Cohen’s first target is the NRA. While posing as Morad, he complains about the gun rights organization’s plan to arm teachers, calling it “crazy.” However, it’s not because he thinks that it’s a bad idea to have guns in the classroom; he says that America should be arming its children, instead.

Morad then sets out on a quest to get politicians to back his “Kinderguardians” program, which is aimed at putting firearms in the tiny hands of toddlers. Those who he sat down with included Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), and former congressman Joe Walsh (R-IL). Gaetz is skeptical of the program.

“Typically, members of congress don’t just hear a story about a program and indicate whether they support it or not,” he says.

However, the other men seemingly agreed to express their support for Kinderguardians by reading from a pre-written script that’s part infomercial, part PSA. During his segment, Trent Lott says that he believes America should consider putting guns in the hands of “talented children or highly trained preschoolers.”

“A 3-year-old cannot defend itself from an assault rifle by throwing a Hello Kitty pencil case at it,” Joe Wilson says in a different clip.

Joe Walsh’s segment includes a line about how children as young as four can gain a “rudimentary knowledge of mortars” through the Kinderguardians program.

“In less than a month — less than a month — a first grader can become a first grenader,” Walsh says.

As reported by Entertainment Weekly, Joe Walsh confessed to getting duped by Cohen before Showtime released the footage of his Who Is America? segment. He labeled the tactics that Cohen used to gain access to powerful politicians “disgusting,” and he joined Sarah Palin — another person who has complained about being duped by Cohen — in calling for a boycott of the show.

For the first episode of Who Is America?, Sacha Baron Cohen also filmed sit-downs with Larry Pratt, the executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America, and Philip Van Cleave, head of the Virginia Citizens Defense League. They appear in two of the more surreal segments, with Van Cleave agreeing to star in an instructional video teaching 3-year-old kids how to protect their preschools using guns disguised as cute stuffed animals with names like “Puppy Pistol,” “Gunny Rabbit,” and “Uzicorn.” Cohen even gets Van Cleave to sing a song instructing kids to aim at the “head, shoulders, not the toes.”

Pratt, meanwhile, joins the duped congressmen in reading pro-Kinderguardians propaganda from a teleprompter. His script includes a lot of fake scientific “facts” about kids and guns, and it’s peppered with pop culture references, like “the pheromone Blink 182” and “the Cari B neural pathway.” Pratt had previously agreed that it was wise to teach toddlers how to use guns because they don’t have any fear of the weapons.

Who Is America? is currently available on demand, and it premieres on Showtime tonight at 10 p.m. ET. You can check out the sneak preview below.

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