After a break for the holidays, "The Daily Show" returned on air with host Jon Stewart sparking controversy about the way he handled talks of gun control.
Stewart appeared on the show with a fake assault rifle on Tuesday's broadcast while talking about the topic.
The Comedy Central program kicked off with a segment titled "Scapegoat Hunter," in which Stewart talked about the National Rifle Association's unwillingness to associate any rise in gun violence with guns themselves. The show moved on to a montage of people against gun control and when the video segment ended Stewart appeared brandishing a gun.
"I'm not sure what happened," said Stewart with the plastic assault rifle in his hands. "I blacked out in the middle of that, and woke up with an AK in my hand...I don't know...or whatever this is. I'm sure I'll get letters about what this really is, which is plastic, is what it really is."
He continued his rant about the NRA while holding the fake gun, which The Atlantic Wire said resembled a M16A2.
"We can blame movies, or video games, or the mentally ill, or God," Stewart said. "And it's a complex problem, and all solutions have to be on the table. But it is time we talk about guns."
Stewart then played a clip of radio host Alex Jones yelling at television host Piers Morgan about the issue before adding that there is a "significant problem is that so many people are bracing for an imaginary future instead of focusing on a very troubling present."
"Their paranoid fear of a possible dystophic future prevents us from addressing our actual dystophic present," he continued. "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."
A clip from Stewart's segment has since gone viral and has helped spark debate across the country on the topic of gun control.