Appearance Alert!
MRC's Brent Bozell on FNC's The Kelly File, Friday 9:40pm ET/PT

Piers Morgan Stumbles Over Second Amendment; Hails 'Most Courageous' Bloomberg

Piers Morgan still can't get basic details about the gun rights debate right, even after his protracted involvement in the controversy, as he revealed on Tuesday's CBS This Morning. Morgan incorrectly claimed that the First Amendment – not the Second Amendment – protected the right to keep and bear arms: "I have no problem...with a family exercising their First Amendment (sic) right to defend their families with a handgun at home."

The CNN host also praised New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his prominent vocal and monetary support of gun control, and took President Obama to task for his apparent lack of action on the issue: [MP3 audio available here; video below]

PIERS MORGAN:  Mayor Bloomberg, to me, is the single most courageous politician in America....President Obama, I think, has done his best, but he's achieved nothing. He went to Sandy Hook very publicly, and he promised those families he would get action. To date, he has delivered absolutely nothing.

Anchors Norah O'Donnell and Charlie Rose introduced the British TV host by playing a clip of a heated segment from Monday where he blasted the Second Amendment Foundation's Alan Gottlieb as an "idiot", and wildly blamed his guest as "the reason that so many people get killed by guns in America". After a brief discussion about Morgan's new book, Rose raised the gun issue. The gun control supporter answered by again attacking Gottlieb:

MORGAN: Here's the thing about guns. I had a guy on last night – Adam Gottlieb from the Second Amendment Foundation. He wanted to have a campaign to turn the first anniversary of Sandy Hook into 'Guns Save Lives Day'. A more repulsive way of commemorating that day would be hard to imagine....I was reading a statement from the daughter of the principal of that school who was killed – her outrage at this idea of this campaign – he began to laugh in the middle of me reading the statement. And it showed to me the utter crassness of some of these pro-gun rights people, in just failing to understand the decimation that guns can cause to so many lives.

Morgan continued by spouting one of his favorite talking points – how his native country passed draconian gun control measures after the 1996 school massacre in Dunblane, Scotland. Surprisingly, O'Donnell, who once shamelessly regurgitated President Obama's pro-gun control talking points during an April 2013 segment with Senator Johnny Isakson, specifically cited the Second Amendment as a civil rights protection that the U.S. has. Despite this, the CNN host still made his gaffe:

NORAH O'DONNELL: But you were talking about banning guns. I mean, we have the Second Amendment here in America, and there are more than 100 million gun owners in this country. It is – it is a right that many Americans enjoy and use safely.

MORGAN: I have no problem, in a country with so many guns in circulation, with a family exercising their First Amendment (sic) right to defend their families with a handgun at home. But nobody can tell me that any civilian in America needs a military-style assault weapon; or a magazine which has thirty to a hundred bullets, as we saw at Aurora [Colorado] or at Sandy Hook.

And the idea that you can't even, in Congress, pass background checks; that you can't even get through a law that 90 percent of the American people support, which would mean that you could determine if somebody buying a gun was a criminal or mentally-insane – this is the stuff of madness.

Rose then brought up Bloomberg and Obama, which Morgan replied to with his compliment of the first and critique of the latter. He also cited former President Bill Clinton's analysis of the politics of the gun issue:

MORGAN: Bill Clinton...told me an interesting thing. He said, 'Look, the NRA marshals itself so well. They go after any politician in America – any stage, any level – and they drive them out of power with their well-funded resources, which come from the gun manufacturers'. He said, 'Until the American people – many of whom express outrage at these atrocities – until they go to the ballot box and vote with their feet and say – right, we are going to vote against people that support no assault weapons ban – nothing will change'. And he's right.

The full transcript of the Piers Morgan segment from Tuesday's CBS This Morning:

PIERS MORGAN (from CNN's "Piers Morgan Live"): And you're the reason that so many people get killed by guns in America – because idiots like you – and I use that word very deliberately-

ALAN GOTTLIEB, SECOND AMENDMENT FOUNDATION: Thank you for your name-calling; thank you for your name-calling-

MORGAN: Think it's funny – think it's funny to laugh in the middle of me reading a statement-

GOTTLIEB: Well, Piers, the problem is-

MORGAN: From the victims' families at Sandy Hook [Connecticut].

NORAH O'DONNELL (live): Piers Morgan is never one to shy away from a heated conversation. For nearly two decades, he's made a name for himself – first in Britain, and now, in the U.S. He's the host of 'Piers Morgan Live' on CNN.

CHARLIE ROSE: He's also the author of a new book. It is called 'Shooting Straight: Guns, Gays, God, and George Clooney'. It is published by an imprint of Simon and Schuster, a division of CBS. Welcome.

[CBS News Graphic: "Shooting Straight: Piers Morgan Takes Aim At Power, Politics And Guns"]

PIERS MORGAN, AUTHOR, "SHOOTING STRAIGHT": Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here.

ROSE: Now, what's the George Clooney part? (O'Donnell laughs) I get guns; I get gays; I get God.

MORGAN: He actually – it's funny – I saw him last week at a thing for his movie, 'Gravity'. And he said, 'I'm in your book title? So, how many of those things apply to me?' I went, 'George, that's between you and your lord'. (Rose and O'Donnell laugh) He's in there, because he's just great fun. You've had George Clooney on. I wondered, what celebrity I thought encompass what real stars should be – you know, chivalrous; charming; very talented; and has a very serious side, with all the stuff he does in the Sudan. So that's why he made title.

ROSE: Right there with God-

MORGAN: With God- (O'Donnell laughs)

ROSE: Yeah. You call Congress 'gutless', because they refuse to – to take action on guns. You got some pushback from people who said, get that guy out of America. He's not an American.

MORGAN: Actually – well, there's a petition in America to have me deported. But there's also, on the back of that, a petition in Britain for me to stay here. So I was trapped (unintelligible) of parachuted into Jamaica (unintelligible).

Here's the thing about guns. I had a guy on last night – Adam Gottlieb from the Second Amendment Foundation. He wanted to have a campaign to turn the first anniversary of Sandy Hook into 'Guns Save Lives Day'. A more repulsive way of commemorating that day would be hard to imagine. So, I had him on last night. I was reading a statement from the daughter of the principal of that school who was killed – her outrage at this idea of this campaign – he began to laugh in the middle of me reading the statement. And it showed to me the utter crassness of some of these pro-gun rights people, in just failing to understand the decimation that guns can cause to so many lives.

ROSE: What is about America and guns, in your judgment?

MORGAN: It's a fascinating thing, Charlie, because in Britain, in the mid-90s, we had an outrage in Dunblane in Scotland. Sixteen young children – same age as Sandy Hook – were all murdered by a gunman. And everyone came together – politicians on the left and right. It was never partisan. The media collectively – the Daily Mirror – which I was the editor-in-chief – campaigned very strongly on this. The public were united. And as a result, all assault weapons were banned. All handguns were banned.

Now, two things have happened since. The average murder rate from guns in Britain is 35 people a year. That is the number of Americans that get killed every day from guns. But it's worse than that. In America, another 50 will die today from suicide from guns because of the ready availability of guns in homes. Add to that – a hundred thousand Americans a year get hit by gunfire. Now, you know, you can look at places like Britain or-

O'DONNELL: Well, we have-

MORGAN: Germany or Australia – wherever you bring in tough, sensible gun safety control measures, you have less death. And that's all I'm about. I just want fewer Americans to be killed by guns.

O'DONNELL: But you were talking about banning guns. I mean, we have the Second Amendment here in America, and there are more than 100 million gun owners in this country. It is – it is a right that many Americans enjoy and use safely.

MORGAN: I have no problem, in a country with so many guns in circulation, with a family exercising their First Amendment (sic) right to defend their families with a handgun at home. But nobody can tell me that any civilian in America needs a military-style assault weapon; or a magazine which has thirty to a hundred bullets, as we saw at Aurora [Colorado] or at Sandy Hook.

And the idea that you can't even, in Congress, pass background checks; that you can't even get through a law that 90 percent of the American people support, which would mean that you could determine if somebody buying a gun was a criminal or mentally-insane – this is the stuff of madness.

ROSE: But you're pretty much where – how are you different from where [New York City] Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg is, and where President Obama is?

MORGAN: Well, Mayor – Mayor Bloomberg, to me, is the single most courageous politician in America. The cowardice as-

ROSE: And President Obama?

MORGAN: President Obama, I think, has done his best, but he's achieved nothing. He went to Sandy Hook very publicly, and he promised those families he would get action. To date, he has delivered absolutely nothing.

Bill Clinton, who I interviewed a couple of weeks ago, told me an interesting thing. He said, 'Look, the NRA marshals itself so well. They go after any politician in America – any stage, any level – and they drive them out of power with their well-funded resources, which come from the gun manufacturers'. He said, 'Until the American people – many of whom express outrage at these atrocities – until they go to the ballot box and vote with their feet and say – right, we are going to vote against people that support no assault weapons ban – nothing will change'. And he's right.

O'DONNELL: Let me ask you about CNN. You've been there – it's going to be almost three years. Will you stay?

MORGAN: Well, Larry King did 25 years. My God, I've got admiration for that man. I mean, he's – the only man with more longevity or stamina is the great Charlie Rose. (O'Donnell and Rose laugh) I will be taken out of CNN kicking and screaming. I absolutely love it. I think it's a fantastic network. It's a great news – place to be. I wrote the book because – not just about guns, but it's a diary of my three years there – the good, the bad, the ugly, the entertaining, the tragic.  And it's been a wonderful ride, and long may it continue.

ROSE (to O'Donnell): Go ahead.

O'DONNELL: I think we got to go. We're out of time.

ROSE: Oh, are we really?

O'DONNELL Yeah. That's what they're telling me-

ROSE: Okay. I was just getting started here – (cross talk) thanks, Piers.

— Matthew Balan is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Matthew Balan on Twitter.