CNN host Piers Morgan harangued Gun Owners of America’s executive director Larry Pratt Tuesday, calling Pratt “unbelievably stupid” and “dangerous” for stating basic facts. Video at the link, but here’s a taste of Morgan’s rant.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: The AR-15, as we’ve now seen from the last three mass shootings in America, Aurora, the shopping mall in Oregon, and now at Sandy Hook school, is the preferred choice of weapon for disturbed young men who want to commit mass atrocity, can fire hundreds of bullets at rapid speed, if you have the right magazines.
The president of the United States has indicated he wants to ban assault weapons like this. What is your view?
LARRY PRATT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA: I think we need to ban gun control laws that keep people from being able to protect themselves. The problem is not going to go away if we ban this or that gun. We’ve tried that. That doesn’t work. Doesn’t even work in England. You have mass murders there all over Europe. There have been mass murderers.
MORGAN: You’re talking complete and utter — you are talking complete and utter nonsense.
PRATT: The solution is for people to be able to defend themselves at the point of the crime and not wait for 20 minutes for the police come after everybody is dead.
MORGAN: What you’ve just said, Mr. Pratt, was an absolute lie. The gun murder rate in countries like Britain or Germany or Australia, we’ve all suffered massacres many years ago, similar nature, have — there are 35 people killed a year. Your country has 12,000.
PRATT: Your murder rate has — your murder rate is lower than ours, that is true. Your violent —
MORGAN: Lower? It’s 75 against 12,000 in Australia.
PRATT: Your violent crime rate —
MORGAN: They had a massacre. And they got rid of the assault weapons.
PRATT: Your violent crime rate is higher than ours as is the violent crime rate in Australia. America is not the Wild West that you are depicting. We only have the problems in our cities, and unhappily, in our schools where people like you have been able to get laws put on the books that keep people from being able to defend themselves.
I honestly don’t understand why you would rather have people be victims of a crime than be able to defend themselves. It’s incomprehensible.
MORGAN: You’re an unbelievably stupid man, aren’t you?
PRATT: It seems to me that you’re morally obtuse. You seem to prefer being a victim to being able to prevail over the criminal element. And I don’t know why you want to be the criminal’s friend.
MORGAN: What a ridiculous argument. You have absolutely no coherent argument whatsoever. You don’t — you don’t actually give —
PRATT: You have no —
MORGAN: You don’t give a damn, do you, about the gun murder rate in America? You don’t actually care. All you care about —
PRATT: It seems to me that facts don’t bother you, do they, Mr. Morgan?
It is a fact that Britain has banned handguns, and as of 2009 has the highest violent crime rate in the EU.
It’s also a fact that shows of force stopped the Sandy Hooks killing, the shooting in San Antonio over the weekend and the Oregon mall shooting. An earlier show of force could have stopped the Sandy Hooks tragedy before so many lives were lost.