Piers Morgan Pushes Gun Control on The Tonight Show
Speaking on a different show but making the same tired liberal points,
CNN's Piers Morgan hit the American "mentality" on guns and attacked the
NRA on Thursday's The Tonight Show. Of course, Morgan probably reached more of an audience at NBC than on his own CNN show.
"And the crucial thing in America now is you've got to somehow change the mentality and the culture to reduce the number of guns," the liberal CNN host insisted, pointing to other countries as an argument in favor of gun control.
[Video below. Audio here.]
"I just don't believe the founding fathers ever envisaged the
rights of somebody to buy one of these military-style rifles were more
important than the rights of a young child at school not to be murdered," Morgan ranted.
He was pleased by the incessant media coverage of the gun issue:
"I think the media coverage tends to be very, very hyper for a couple of weeks. What I'm encouraged by, about this, is we're nearly two months later, and it's still leading the news."
And Morgan also took aim at the NRA and hit Democrats from the left on guns:
"What I want to accomplish is just a continued debate where you begin to chip away at the NRA's ridiculous power over politicians. I mean, the idea that you have so many Democrats, in particular in the Senate, who are prepared to probably go against their conscience on this, on an assault weapons ban, because they're worried that the NRA will then fund their rivals and kick them out. I think it's political cowardice. They've got to stand up on their principles, stand up for their conscience, and stand up for the American people."
A transcript of the segment, which aired on The Tonight Show on February 1 at 12:11 a.m. EST, is as follows:
JAY LENO: Now, gun laws are very different in England than they are here, correct?
PIERS MORGAN: Yeah, I mean, the reason I care passionately about this is that in the mid-'90s we had a similar thing to Sandy Hook at a school in Dunblane in Scotland. And 16 five year-old children were blown to pieces by a maniac with guns. And as a result, everybody came together, left and right, the politicians, the public, everyone – police. And we did a national handgun ban. All assault weapons were banned. And as a result, Britain just doesn't have many guns.
If you want use a gun, you have to have a proper license. You have to go to a range or a secure place. And we only have between 30 and 50 gun murders a year. Now, America has 11 to 12,000, and it's just getting worse and worse. There are more and more massacres. More and more mass shootings. And more and more gang crime – in places like Chicago. And I just think something has to give. You can't -- people keep saying to me, on the gun rights side, the more guns you have, the safer America is. But, you have 300 million guns and you have worst gun crime rate of any of the advanced countries in the world. And the math is not difficult to work out.
LENO: Well, to me, the problem seems like you go buy a gun, you go to a gun store, you get the background check. You go out to the gun show, out at wherever it might be, and you can buy a shopping cart full of guns. It seems to me responsible gun owners would want to have background checks for every gun sold.
MORGAN: Well, that should just be an automatic thing. I mean, the idea that 40 percent of all gun trades in America have no background checks is clearly lunacy. As is the lack of real investment and funding into mental health. But what I would say is, in countries like Britain and Australia and Japan that have tough gun control and very little gun crime, we have the same violent videos. The same Hollywood movies. The same mental health issues. What we don't have is the ability for mentally ill people or criminals to get their hands on guns. And the crucial thing in America now is you've got to somehow change the mentality and the culture to reduce the number of guns.
LENO: It's hard to change because you can't take away something people have always had.
MORGAN: But no one's talking about confiscation.
LENO: I gotcha. I gotcha.
MORGAN: No one's talking taking any guns away. But why does any civilian need a military-style assault rifle that can fire 100 bullets?
MORGAN: Nobody needs that.
LENO: So, why is the NRA so threatened by this?
MORGAN: Well, the NRA makes its business from gun sales. And be under no illusion every time there is a massacre, out they come. That Wayne LaPierre character, he was at it again yesterday, raising fear. He says, if everybody -- if there was a shooting here, he'd say, if everyone in this audience had an AR-15, they would have taken out the shooter. Actually what would have happened, it would have been like the Wild West, and many more people would have been killed. But as a result of what he says, a lot of Americans go out – listen, today, Walmart announced that they are limiting American customers to only three boxes of ammo each. You know why? Because since Sandy Hook, sales have soared of guns and ammunition. This is a crazy response to a massacre that killed so many young Americans. And the culture has to change.
LENO: Now, what do you think of the media coverage of all this?
MORGAN: I think the media coverage tends to be very, very hyper for a couple of weeks. What I'm encouraged by, about this, is we're nearly two months later, and it's still leading the news.
LENO: You know something that bothers me, these people are always labeled as the "mastermind" of this. They're not masterminds. Most of these people are just morons. They're idiots. They're mentally deficit. But the media paints them like they're some sort of genius who were able to do this, that and the next thing. So, consequently, other morons see this and think, oh, I wanted to do that –
MORGAN: I completely agree with that and I don't think the media is blameless at all. And you have to be very careful how you do it. But the bottom line, Jay, is you've got to make it as difficult as possible for these people to get their hands on the killing machines. The difference between a handgun or a pistol in a school, in a short period of time, and one of these AR-15s with 100 -- I mean the guy at Aurora had a a magazine with 100 bullets. The guy at Sandy Hook had enough magazines on him to kill the entire school.
LENO: I know, and the media makes you think this takes place over the course of a half an hour. In Aurora, I believe, all – it was 28 seconds or some, some ridiculous thing like that.
MORGAN: Nothing. He just came out and like Ramrod, spray-gunned the theater. And the idea that some have that had other people been armed, they all got armed and started shooting, this would have saved any lives, I think is ridiculous. But, I get the gun culture here. I get the Second Amendment, I respect it, and the Constitution. I just don't believe the founding fathers ever envisaged the rights of somebody to buy one of these military-style rifles were more important than the rights of a a young child at school not to be murdered.
LENO: So what do you want to accomplish through your show?
MORGAN: What I want to accomplish is just a continued debate where you begin to chip away at the NRA's ridiculous power over politicians. I mean, the idea that you have so many Democrats, in particular in the Senate, who are prepared to probably go against their conscience on this, on an assault weapons ban, because they're worried that the NRA will then fund their rivals and kick them out. I think it's political cowardice. They've got to stand up on their principles, stand up for their conscience, and stand up for the American people.
-- Matt Hadro is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center