In the early hours of Sunday, June 12, a gunman entered the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, killed 49 people and injured 53 others. Terrorism and gun control were immediately thrust (again) into the spotlight, and one of the most-shared videos in the media firestorm surrounding the latter featured an Australian comedian ridiculing an American audience for their love of guns. The comic’s name? Jim Jefferies
The 39-year-old performer’s previous comedy special, Bare, featured a 15-minute segment dedicated to guns, the violence associated with their use and those who use them, and Australia’s infamous Port Arthur massacre. Jefferies compared his homeland’s decision to outlaw guns after the 1996 mass shooting to America’s apparent apathy to gun control, and he was loathed and loved for it. So much that he was forced to revisit it in Freedumb, his latest special for Netflix.
Ahead of Freedumb‘s premiere on Friday, July 1, we talked to Jefferies about his fascination with the Second Amendment, being an atheist in Jerusalem, and what it’s like getting old as a stand-up.
I wasn’t expecting you to talk gun control again, but it’s still timely, unfortunately.
Yeah, I had to bring it up again because most people know me for that routine. It’s only been a year or so since that happened right after Charleston, but I wanted to address it because 50 percent of every mention of me is regarding gun control now. So I have to comment on it.
Do you mind?
I don’t mind having to talk about it, no. It’s something I’m fairly passionate about as well, so it’s not a subject matter that doesn’t continue to come up in my head. I’ve got more stuff about it since I’ve recorded Freedumb. There’s a third routine now, and it won’t end.
They’re not going to change anything. If politicians have a sit-in at congress for 20 hours or whatever the fuck it was, and the Republicans won’t even allow a vote to stop terrorists — people who were on the terrorist watch lists — from having a gun, then we’re not getting any new laws anytime soon. And it’s a shame because I think most people want them. I even think members of the NRA want certain laws, but nothing’s going to happen. It’s bizarre.