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Amy Schumer tackles gun control in first 'SNL' appearance

Amy Schumer is seen in Los Angeles on

Amy Schumer is seen in Los Angeles on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015. Credit: Invision for the Television Academy / Phil McCarten

Whether through happenstance, or fury, or convenience or maybe just an unavoidable sense that the topic was finally, officially unavoidable, Amy Schumer used her first-ever "Saturday Night Live" guest host appearance to tackle . . . come on, you know by now: Guns.

The gun culture. The gun fixation. The right to bear arms and bear them with a hug and a smile. In a digital short that is going viral just about, oh, right now, Schumer, along with some other cast members, was featured Saturday in a mockumercial with the tagline, "Guns: We're here to stay."

"Whatever you're waiting for," said the soothing voiceover. "Whatever you're looking for . . . a sense of purpose, and also . . . guns!"

Schumer is then handed a tenderly wrapped box expecting -- what? a diamond, perhaps?

Instead, a gun. "Oh, I love it . . . "

"Weekend Update" also picked up the theme, or the cudgel, then slammed it home: "I know the forefathers said you have a right to own guns," said "Update" co-anchor Michael Che, but they "also said you had a right to own people."

It was a highly unusual -- almost unprecedented -- assault on the right to bear arms by TV's longest running and best-known live comedy series. But something about the past few days and weeks made this assault inescapable. "SNL" has to stand for something after all these years. Maybe this is the stand.

Schumer's ties to gun debate were, as you know, established on July 23, 2015, when John Russell Houser, a 59-year-old mentally disturbed drifter, who was also heavily armed, opened fire in the Grand 16 cineplex in Lafayette, Louisiana, during the 7:10 p.m. screening of Schumer's movie, "Trainwreck." Two young women, Mayci Breaux, 21 and Jillian Johnson, 33, were killed. Nine others were wounded. Schumer later appeared alongside her cousin, Sen. Chuck Schumer, in a plea for gun control.

However, Saturday's mockumercial -- one of those "SNL" sendups that ridicule the ad industry habit of consecrating the deep, quasi-religious bonds consumers presumably have with a diverse and ridiculous array of products, in 30-second bursts -- may have found its true inspiration from a New York area teen, Sarah Clements, a Newtown, Connecticut, high school senior whose mother survived the Dec. 14, 2012 rampage in Sandy Hook.

"We need your voice in this movement," Clements wrote Schumer, in an open letter published on in late July. "We need your help."

Schumer later tweeted Clements, first correcting the spelling of Breaux's name, "Don't worry I'm on it. You'll see."

She was on it Saturday.

A victory for a comedian who usually explores the unsanitary dating rituals of the modern male/female Millennial -- and whose other skits Saturday were only so-so?

Consider that last week, on the "SNL" season premiere, a candidate for the president of the United States had nothing to say about guns.

So yes, a victory.


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