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Piers Morgan Tries and Fails to Enlist Rick Warren in His Anti-Gun Crusade

The pastor eschewed politics when pushed to talk about his son's death, refocusing the conversation on mental illness.

by
Paula Bolyard

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December 5, 2013 - 11:03 am
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On Wednesday, Piers Morgan continued his anti-gun crusade, interviewing Neil Heslin, whose son Jess Lewis was tragically killed in the Newtown shooting, and also author and Pastor Rick Warren, whose son committed suicide in April after a long struggle with mental illness.

Warren was there, purportedly, to pitch his new book, The Daniel Plan, which focuses on weight loss and healthy eating. However, Morgan couldn’t resist trying to pull Warren, whose son killed himself last April with a gun he purchased on the internet, onto his ban-the-guns-bandwagon, asking him to react to the release of the 911 tapes from the Sandy Hook massacre.

Morgan asked, “We’ve seen so many incidents since then — the naval yard shooting and the Virginia senator, Creigh Deeds, and so on. A lot of incidents come back, it seems, to this lethal cocktail of mental illness and the ready availability of guns. No one seems to be tackling this. How do we get to grips with this?”

Warren, conceding that there are almost as many guns as people in the United states, said he couldn’t foresee a future where guns could be taken from law-abiding citizens. “First of all, the Constitution allows them to have it.” Warren then turned the conversation to the issue of mental illness, saying that we should focus on what we could do to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill people. “I don’t care whether you’re conservative or you’re liberal or anywhere in between…everyone’s going to agree. Guns do not belong in the hand of mentally ill people,” Warren said.

Undeterred, Morgan tried a second time to enlist Warren in his anti-gun movement:

What does it say, though, that a great country like America, the greatest superpower of the world, that here we are a year after twenty elementary school children were literally blown to pieces in their classrooms, and the president stood there a few days later and literally said, “I will take action,” and here we are a year later and absolutely nothing has been done. Nothing. No background checks brought in. No ban on assault weapons. No ban on high capacity magazines.

“Nobody in Washington has done anything to try and prevent this happening again. What does that tell you about the state of the debate about all this?” Morgan demanded of Warren.

Warren again deflected and for a second time turned the discussion to the problem of mental illness.

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Top Rated Comments   
"What does it say, though, that a great country like America, the greatest superpower of the world..."

I just love this line of argument, implying that there's something wrong with "a great country like America, the greatest superpower of the world" not having things all the other industrialized nations have, like gun bans and socialized medicine. They never stop to think not having those things might be a part of why we're "the greatest superpower of the world."

In fact, now that I think of it, Morgan's former home country used to be a great superpower too -- before it had gun bans and socialized medicine.

I'm sure I'll hear all kinds of "correlation is not causation" arguments, but it just might be a correlation worth looking into.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"whose son killed himself last April with a gun he purchased on the internet, "

Not so fast! There isn't really any such thing as "buying a gun over the internet", at least not legally. You can find a private party offering a gun for sale via the internet, but to actually transact the sale requires a face-to-face meeting.

And plenty of retailers offer guns for sale on the internet, but they can't ship them to you. The gun has to go to a FFL in your state of residence, and to actually take delivery of the gun you have to go and have a, yes, face-to-face meeting with the FFL, go through the exact same background-check process as if you were buying the gun from a local brick-and-mortar store.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
“We have, since the Reagan administration, the number of facilities — the beds — for the mentally ill has dropped tenfold.”

Shame on you Pastor Warren. Your statement would lead us to believe that the nasty Republicans have conspired to throw the mentally ill out on the street to save money so that the rich can have lower taxes. That's not the case.

The reason beds are down tenfold is because progressives have brought lawsuit after lawsuit to make it virtually impossible to confine the mentally ill. We couldn't fill the beds if we had ten times more than we have now, but the courts would be busier making sure the mentally ill were not held against their will.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (30)
All Comments   (30)
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The thing is that the UK is actually MORE dangerous with all that gun banning. Far more people are murdered in the UK, per capita, since gun control started in 1968. The absolute number as well as the percentage were relatively consistent until they started taking guns away and criminals knew law-abiding citizens would not be armed.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, I saw that too. The gun banners should focus on how best to treat mentally ill people and how to get the mentally ill off the streets and into proper care facilities, IF we had them. There are a number of mentally ill roamiing the streets of my neighborhood, screaming at the clouds and following people. We are told to avoid looking them in the eye...ha ha ha can you imagine such lunacy?... not by the mentally ill but by our so called *authorities*. What a blast. And society seems to want to blame the mother of that poor crazy little bastard in Newtown. No, it is the lack of concern for those who are mentally ill on the part of society that nothing is done about it. This has nothing to do with guns. I wish PMorgan would go back to England or simply shut up. His ego must be enormous! He thinks he is going to save America the Brittish way...ha ha ha, how many times must we battle those Brits on our own soil, maybe the French will help us again, ha.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Piers Morgan? Who is Piers Morgan and why is he in our country? He is a good example of why more stringent policies are necessary to weed out the enemies of our country.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Perhaps "comprehensive immigration reform" would rid us of him!!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
ha ha ha
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The mentally ill should not be automatically excluded from having firearms. Most mental illnesses do not manifest in ways that are dangerous to others. The best the gun-grabbers can claim is lowering the rate of suicide, but still that's not their call. Even people with Bi-Polar disorder have a right to own a weapon for personal defense.

In fact, there are studies that show that mental illness is a red herring when it comes to gun safety. The mentally ill are, as a whole population, only slightly more violent than the mentally healthy. It's only a minority of diagnoses that are sufficiently "out there" and risky.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
If you mean everyone with a mental illness diagnosis, yes, they are not terribly more dangerous than the general population. Those with severe mental illnesses are between 5.56x and 10x more likely to commit a violent crime than those people with no mental illness diagnosis.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well that is interesting. I still think an insane, mentally ill person with a gun is about as responsible as a monkey with a machine gun.

"Even people with Bi-Polar disorder have a right to own a weapon for personal defense."

Now that is a really powerful statement.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Rick Warren's right. Recently, I became interested in getting in touch with a patient I cared for years early when I worked on the Hem-Onc unit of a major children's hospital.

I got no help from the hospital, due its obsession with HIPA regulations. I couldn't even get them to set up someone in the middle to ask if I could contact her and her family.

However, I did have a copy of a full-page newspaper article from when the child was being treated. I remembered her name but not that of her parents. With her parent's names as well as that of her two brothers from the article, I had no trouble locating her online.

That is pitiful. Too much secrecy is as ridiculous as too little. And nothing scares physicians like federal laws and the possibility of lawsuits. It makes them behave in ways that are very harmful. Obamacare, if it manages to survive, is going to do even more harm.

--Michael W. Perry, author of My Nights with Leukemia: Caring for Children with Cancer

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
That is pretty crazy. At the very least they should have been willing to take down your name and number and ask the family if they wanted to contact you. That way if your visit was unwelcome, the family could have merely thrown the number away, and tell the hospital people to not deal with you anymore.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"What does it say, though, that a great country like America, the greatest superpower of the world..."

I just love this line of argument, implying that there's something wrong with "a great country like America, the greatest superpower of the world" not having things all the other industrialized nations have, like gun bans and socialized medicine. They never stop to think not having those things might be a part of why we're "the greatest superpower of the world."

In fact, now that I think of it, Morgan's former home country used to be a great superpower too -- before it had gun bans and socialized medicine.

I'm sure I'll hear all kinds of "correlation is not causation" arguments, but it just might be a correlation worth looking into.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
While Correlation do not necessarily define causation - it most certainly doe not rule it out!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Perhaps Mr. Morgan should try the Quakers.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Don't tell him that Annie Oakley was a Quaker...
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"whose son killed himself last April with a gun he purchased on the internet, "

Not so fast! There isn't really any such thing as "buying a gun over the internet", at least not legally. You can find a private party offering a gun for sale via the internet, but to actually transact the sale requires a face-to-face meeting.

And plenty of retailers offer guns for sale on the internet, but they can't ship them to you. The gun has to go to a FFL in your state of residence, and to actually take delivery of the gun you have to go and have a, yes, face-to-face meeting with the FFL, go through the exact same background-check process as if you were buying the gun from a local brick-and-mortar store.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Warren has said that his son bought an "unregistered" gun over the internet. It was later reported by police that the serial number had been removed from the gun, so it could not have been legally sold (or traced). So as usual, additional laws should not have helped in this situation.

http://www.mediaite.com/online/rick-warren-says-son-used-unregistered-gun-purchased-on-the-internet-to-commit-suicide/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Why the ten fold decrease????? Call your local ACLU Chapter and ask them. Ask them about "mainstreaming" paranoid schizoids, manic depressives with violent tendencies. Ask the American Psychiatric Assc, about "mediicative norming", self administered of course. Ask your local homeless "advocacy group' how it's merely another "Lifestyle choice". Don't expect a straight answer, much less a hint of responsibility, that would be "judgemental".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Wait ... Creigh Deeds was stabbed.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
With Piers, the hand bone's connected to the toe bone. The toe bone's connected to the arm bone. The arm bone's connected to the...gun. See?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Yes, he was stabbed. Then his son killed himself with a handgun.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
His son couldn't find a gun in the knife drawer.

Cheers
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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