CNN’s Piers Morgan came out with guns blazing Tuesday night when he repeatedly clashed with a gun proponent who advocated relaxing gun laws and allowing teachers to carry weapons in the classroom in wake of the school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. At one point, the outspoken Brit said to his guest: ‘You’re an unbelievably stupid man, aren’t you?”
During the tense interview, Morgan’s guest, Larry Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, maintained guns are not the problem. “The fact of the matter is with guns, comes safety if the guns are in the hands of the good guys, and when you say the good guys can’t have guns, the bad guys have a monopoly and horrible things such as the shootings at the schools take place,” Pratt said.
Morgan then asked Pratt for his reaction to President Obama indicating he wants to ban guns like the .223-caliber rifle by Bushmaster, the rapid-fire weapon used by gunman Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook massacre, which left 20 children and six adults dead.
Pratt responded: “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. It doesn’t even work in England. You have mass murders there...all over Europe there have been mass murders…”
At this point, a clearly angry Morgan interrupted, saying: “You are talking complete and utter nonsense.”
As Pratt continued talking, Morgan spoke over him, saying: “What you just said Mr. Pratt was an absolute lie. The gun murder rate in countries like Britain, or Germany, or Australia…they’ve all suffered massacres many years ago, of a similar nature…there are 35 people killed a year…your country is 12,000.”
Pratt responded: “Your murder rate is lower than ours, that is true…”
Morgan -- again raising his voice -- barked: “Lower! It’s 35 against 12,000!”
As the men talked over each other, Morgan continued, saying: “In Australia, they had a massacre… and they got rid of these assault weapons.”
Pratt then responded: “America is not the wild west that you are depicting. We only have the problem 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.”
At that point, Morgan, clearly at his wits end, said: “You’re an unbelievably stupid man aren’t you?”
In response, Pratt called Morgan “morally obtuse,” adding “you seem to prefer being a victim than being able to prevail over the criminal element, and I don’t know why you want to be the criminal’s friend.”
Morgan responded by saying: “What a ridiculous argument. You have absolutely no coherent argument whatsoever. You don’t give a damn do you about the gun murder rate in America? You don’t actually care.
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After the show, Morgan took to Twitter, writing: “Still seething after tonight's show. Just can't understand the mentality of those who insist the only answer to #Newtown is MORE guns.”