Return to Transcripts main page

Piers Morgan Live

Gun Control Debate

Aired January 12, 2013 - 21:00   ET


PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Tonight the most explosive debate in this country, guns, where do you stand?


ALEX JONES, HOST, "THE ALEX JONES SHOW", INFOWARS.COM: 1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms.

MORGAN: Listen again to the fiery interview people are still talking about, the infamous Alex Jones.



MORGAN: How many gun murders were there in Britain?

JONES: How many great white sharks --

MORGAN: No, how many --

JONES: -- kill people every year but they're scared to swim?


MORGAN: Also a man who knows all too well the tragic toll of gun violence, former Congressman Patrick Kennedy on that radical rant.


PATRICK KENNEDY, FORMER U.S. CONGRESSMAN: I was just disturbed, disturbed as a human being that this is what our civil discourse has come to.


MORGAN: And I go toe to toe with this gun advocate.


MORGAN: Now what you're doing is deliberately lying, deliberately twisting it.


MORGAN: This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT. Good evening. In the weeks since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, America has been focusing on guns as never before. I've talked to people on both sides of the issue this week and I want to revisit the best and the worse of those interviews tonight.

But first I want you to know exactly where I stand on guns. I'm in favor of a nationwide ban on military-style semiautomatic assault weapons and high capacity magazines. I want to close the gun show loophole and require private dealers to run background checks on all buyers of all guns at gun shows. And I want to President Obama increasing federal funding for mental health treatment for all Americans who need it.

I think these are perfectly reasonable steps to help this country begin to stop the tide of gun violence, but not everybody agrees. In fact several gun advocates put together a petition on the White House official website no less to have me deported for my views. Here's what happens when I sit down with one of the men behind the petition, Alex Jones.


MORGAN: Welcome to you.

JONES: Piers, thanks for having me.

MORGAN: Why do you want to deport me?

JONES: Well, we did it as a way to bring attention to the fact that we have all of these foreigners and the Russian government, the official Chinese government. Mao said political power goes out the barrel of a gun. He killed about 80 million people because he's the only guy that had the guns. So we did it to point out that this is globalism, and the mega banks that control the planet and brag that they've taken over in Bloomberg, AP, Reuters, you name it, brag that they're going to get our guns as well.

They've taken everybody's guns but the Swiss and the American people. And when they get our guns, they can have their world tyranny while the government buys 1.6 billion bullets, armored vehicles, tanks, helicopters, predator drones, armed, now in U.S. skies, being used to arrest people in North Dakota.

The Second Amendment isn't there for duck hunting. It's there to protect us from tyrannical government and street thugs. Take the women in India, your piece earlier on CNN I was watching during Anderson Cooper's show didn't tell you that the women of India have signed giant petitions to get firearms because the police can't and won't protect them. The answer is --


Wait a minute. I have FBI crime statistics that come out a year late, 2011, 20-plus percent crime drop in the last nine years, real violent crime because more guns means less crime. Britain took the guns 15, 16 years ago, tripling of your overall violent crime. True we have a higher gun violence level, but overall muggings, stabbings, deaths, you -- those men raped that woman in India to death with an iron rod four feet long.

You can't ban the iron rods. The guns, the iron rods, Piers, didn't do it. The tyrants did it. Hitler took the guns. Stalin took the guns. Mao took the guns. Fidel Castro took the guns.

MORGAN: How many --

JONES: Hugo Chavez took the guns, and I'm here to tell you, 1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms. It doesn't matter how many lemmings you get out there on the street begging for them to have their guns taken. We will not relinquish them. Do you understand?

And that's why you're going to fail. And the establishment knows no matter how much propaganda, the republic will rise again when you attempt to take our guns. My family in the Texas revolution against Santa Anna, my family was at the core on both sides starting that because Santa Anna came to take the guns at Gonzalez, Texas.

Piers, don't try what your ancestors did before. Why don't you come to America? I'll take you out shooting. You can become an American and join the republic.

MORGAN: You finished?

JONES: Yes, I am finished. You will not take my right. You go through background checks to get guns. How about Prozac? You know the number -- oh that's a big sponsor, isn't it, are that whole class of drugs.

MORGAN: Let me ask you a question.

JONES: No, whoa, got to cut that off, don't you? Don't want to talk about -- the U.S. number one cause of death is suicide now because they give people suicide mass murder pills.

MORGAN: Calm down. Calm down.

JONES: Your answers give more money to the psychiatrists and psychologists to put more crazy people on drugs to make them kill people, Piers.

MORGAN: Let's try and have a debate here.


MORGAN: Answer me this question.

JONES: I'm sick of the same old script here, bud.

MORGAN: That's fine, bud. How many gun murders were there in America last year? Do you know?

JONES: There were about 11,458, and about 74 percent of those were gang related, gang bangers shooting each other. You get three and a half to four thousand -- MORGAN: OK. That wasn't --

JONES: How many people died from infections in hospitals? 197,000.

MORGAN: So let me just ask you a second question.

JONES: That's right.

MORGAN: How many gun murders were there in Britain last year?

JONES: How many great white sharks --

MORGAN: No, how many --

JONES: kill people every year but they're scared to swim?

MORGAN: Right. How many gun murders were there in Britain?

JONES: A very low amount and I already went over those statistics.

MORGAN: How many, do you know?

JONES: That was only a few hundred.

MORGAN: No, no. How many gun murders?

JONES: I actually, actually did pull up the statistics. Here, let me pull them out right here. I figured you'd do that.

MORGAN: Gun murders last year.

JONES: Oh, wait. U.K. violent crime, capital of Europe, "London Telegraph." Here let me give you more.

MORGAN: Yes. It's quite a simple question.

JONES: Well, that's the oldest --

MORGAN: You're a very loud man.

JONES: That's the oldest, no, no, that's the oldest Perry Mason tactic --

MORGAN: You make a lot of noise.

JONES: -- to ask me some little factoids.

MORGAN: But they're not little factoids.

JONES: I already said earlier --

MORGAN: We're talking about a country.

JONES: -- England has a lot lower gun crime rate because you took all the guns.

MORGAN: Let me. Let me -- exactly my point.

JONES: But you've got hoards of people burning down cities and beating old women's brains out every day.

MORGAN: What a ridiculous (INAUDIBLE).

JONES: They arrest people in England if they defend themselves. That's on record. My God, you have got a total police state. Everybody is fleeing that country because the, oh, you've had to flee here, bud.

MORGAN: I fled here?

JONES: Why don't you tell folks -- yes, you fled here. Why don't you go back and face the charges with the hacking scandal?

MORGAN: Answer this question. How many guns --

JONES: Why did you get fired from "The Daily Mirror" for putting on fake stories?

MORGAN: How many --

JONES: You're a hatchet man of the new world order. You're a hatchet man. And I want to say this right here. You think you're a tough guy? Well have me back with a boxing ring in here, and I'll wear red, white, and blue, and you can wear your jolly roger.


JONES: You know when you --

MORGAN: Let's try again. How many gun murders were there --

JONES: Oh, you're going to bang your fist now?

MORGAN: -- in Britain last year?

JONES: How many chimpanzees can dance on the head of a pin? I already went over those statistics.

MORGAN: Do you know the answer?

JONES: No, I don't.

MORGAN: And you said hundreds.

JONES: It's very low.

MORGAN: You said hundreds.


MORGAN: It's actually 35.

JONES: Well, the point is you can --

MORGAN: Against 11,000. Do you understand the difference between 11,000 and 35?

JONES: Hey. Yes, England wants to ban knives now because tens of thousands are getting stabbed.

MORGAN: But do you understand the difference --

JONES: The knives? The knife doesn't kill people. The gun doesn't kill people.

MORGAN: Do you understand -- yes. Do you understand the difference?

JONES: Do you understand --

MORGAN: -- between 35 --

JONES: -- you're not going to pull on America's heartstrings?

MORGAN: -- and 11,000?

JONES: They know your script. OK? You're not going to get our guns. By the way, you guys always say we just want to take the semiautos. OK, and all this other stuff when semiautos aren't even -- rifles aren't even used but in a fraction of the crimes. You can pull those numbers up, OK?

MORGAN: Well --

JONES: No, no, no. Hold on.

MORGAN: -- let me ask you one question. Which weapon was predominantly used in the Aurora movie theater shooting?

JONES: M-4 AR-15 variant.

MORGAN: So it was a semiautomatic assault rifle.

JONES: Yes. Again --

MORGAN: OK, next question.

JONES: But statistically it's very, very low.

MORGAN: That was -- do you agree it was the single biggest shooting in the history of America in terms of people hit by a shooter? Do you know that?

JONES: No. I believe that there were others.

MORGAN: No, no. It's --


JONES: Some others you talk about over 30.

MORGAN: No, no. This was the single biggest mass shooting by --

JONES: Well, listen, you just don't want --

MORGAN: No. I'm just --

JONES: There have been bombings of Wall Street.

MORGAN: Let me ask you a second question.

JONES: Are we going to -- listen, why do you have the pilots have firearms?

MORGAN: Let me ask you a second question.

JONES: And we trust them to fly the planes.

MORGAN: You've had a lot to say. Just answer this question.

JONES: No, my point is the Second Amendment is sacrosanct.

MORGAN: Do you know --

JONES: You're not getting it.

MORGAN: Do you know which weapon was used in the Oregon shopping mall mass shooting recently?

JONES: I understand that people who are mentally ill on all the serotonin reuptake inhibitors --

MORGAN: Do you know what weapon --

JONES: -- display these shoot-em up games --


JONES: -- want to go out and do this.


JONES: Because there's criminals I don't lose my rights, Piers.

MORGAN: Alex. Alex.

JONES: Because there's criminals I don't lose my rights.

MORGAN: Alex. Just answer the question.


MORGAN: Do you know what the weapon used was?

JONES: Listen. Let me ask you a question.

MORGAN: No, no. Answer --

JONES: I've got the FBI statistics --


JONES: Listen.

MORGAN: No, no.

JONES: -- that the so-called semiautos that you talk about --

MORGAN: Let's take a break. Let's take a break. When we come back try --

JONES: Again, you're not going to get the guns.

MORGAN: When we come back, try and answer my question. OK?

JONES: Yes. All you're going to do is sit there and play little factoid questions. Overall crime has gone up and 20 percent.

MORGAN: That's just about that.


MORGAN: It's not easy to get a word in, but things are going to get even more heated when we come back, Alex Jones' bizarre 9/11 conspiracy theory.


MORGAN: Back now with more from my interview with Alex Jones, host of "THE ALEX JONES SHOW" and the man behind the petition to deport me for my views on guns.


MORGAN: So, Alex, here's how this is going to work. And it's entirely down to you. I'm going to ask you some questions. In the spirit of a proper debate, and you've had a lot to say so far on the show, a lot of it aimed at me, which his fine. But I want you to try and answer the questions. This is a proper debate. OK? I'm not trying to trip you up.

JONES: No, it's not a debate. You're running the show.


JONES: You bring in your victims up front.

MORGAN: Actually, actually no.

JONES: Look. You've got your little note cards.


JONES: I just gave you FBI statistics that violent crime --

MORGAN: Fine. Alex, Alex.

JONES: -- and gun crime is down over 20 percent.

MORGAN: Alex, let me ask you this.

JONES: And you want to go to little factoids.

MORGAN: No. They're not little factoids.

JONES: Anybody can pull those up. Listen.

MORGAN: Do you know what --

JONES: Do you have a bodyguard?


JONES: Why do you have bodyguards?

MORGAN: I don't have a bodyguard.

JONES: Yes, I've seen you on the news with them.

MORGAN: I don't have a bodyguard.

JONES: Don't you want to protect your wife from hoodlums or you want to call the police?

MORGAN: Let me ask you this question.

JONES: Why does Dianne Feinstein --

MORGAN: Alex. Alex.

JONES: -- tell "60 Minutes" that she plans --


JONES: -- to try and take Mr. And Mrs. America's guns?

MORGAN: Don't be talking over me.

JONES: You guys want to disarm all of America.

MORGAN: No, I don't.

JONES: Dianne Feinstein's bill does.

MORGAN: No, I don't. I don't.

JONES: Gun confiscation.

MORGAN: No. Let me clarify for you. You don't seem to understand what --

JONES: First you register. Then you confiscate.

MORGAN: No. JONES: It's always done the same.

MORGAN: Here's what the campaign on --

JONES: Well, here, give me your little cue cards and I'll answer your questions for you.

MORGAN: What was the weapon used at Sandy Hook?

JONES: I have already gone over that and already answered it for you.

MORGAN: We haven't talked about Sandy Hook.

JONES: No. Again --

MORGAN: What was the weapon?

JONES: It's a 223 M-4.

MORGAN: Right.

JONES: Again. But statistically they're used in very low percentage of shootings period.

MORGAN: Right. But are you -- are you seeing --

JONES: But you guys --

MORGAN: Are you seeing a pattern?

JONES: People wouldn't go swimming because of the movie "Jaws" even though great white sharks kill five people a year.

MORGAN: Alex. Alex. Alex.

JONES: You're trying to scare people.

MORGAN: Let me say something.

JONES: There's no metal shark in the water.

MORGAN: The same type of weapon was used in the last three mass shootings.

JONES: Yes. And that's right. And Hitler used semiautos to kill people.

MORGAN: Why would you not --

JONES: And so did Mao.

MORGAN: Why would you --

JONES: Why is the government arguing [inaudible] against this?

MORGAN: Why -- Alex. I don't -- JONES: What about "Fast and Furious"?


JONES: Why did our government ship guns to Mexico?

MORGAN: Calm down, Alex.

JONES: To blame the Second Amendment?

MORGAN: Let's have a debate.

JONES: A false flag?

MORGAN: Alex, I get accused --

JONES: To blame the Second Amendment?

MORGAN: I get accused --

JONES: Why did they blow up buildings down the street here in New York?

MORGAN: Alex. Alex. I get accused when I get you guys on of talking over you, of being rude. I'm trying to be civil, all right?


MORGAN: You've got to try and answer some of the questions, right? Here is my issue for you. Why do people need, civilians need an AR- 15 type assault rifle? Why do --

JONES: And I've already said statistically they're used in a very low amount of the crimes.

MORGAN: But no, answer the question.

JONES: That's an FBI fact.

MORGAN: They've been used in the last three mass shootings.


MORGAN: Why --

JONES: I'll tell you why, because they advertise it in the media. Anybody knows that if somebody jumps off the Empire State Building they put cops up there the next day because copycats come to do it again. The media hypes, and hypes and hypes --

MORGAN: But that's not the question.

JONES: Don't just commit suicide --

MORGAN: Alex, why do people need them?

JONES: Go commit suicide by killing a bunch of kids and here's the gun to use --


JONES: -- because it's the one the U.S. Army uses.

MORGAN: Why do people need them?

JONES: They need them to protect us from the number one killer in history. Government of the 20th century university study out of Hawaii killed 292 million people. It's called democide. Google it, folks.

MORGAN: Do you believe everyone in America --

JONES: Democide.

MORGAN: Should everyone in America --


MORGAN: -- therefore have an AR-15 if they want one?

JONES: Statistically, where there's more guns there's lower crime. The highest crime is in Bloomberg, you know --

MORGAN: But you have the most guns --

JONES: Controlled areas.

MORGAN: -- than any of the 23 richest countries in the world. And you have --


JONES: Well, America was born on guns and whiskey.

MORGAN: Right. But --

JONES: It's true we're a violent society.

MORGAN: Right. Do you accept that America has the most guns --

JONES: But statistically knives kill three times more.

MORGAN: -- and the most gun murders?

JONES: Have you seen the FBI numbers? Knives, bats, rocks --

MORGAN: Let's talk guns --

JONES: -- kill many, many times more.

MORGAN: Let's talk -- Alex, let's talk about the guns.

JONES: It's not the -- it's not the rock. It's not the knife.

MORGAN: Right. JONES: When a mother chops her kids up with a cleaver --

MORGAN: Alex. Alex. Alex.

JONES: -- because she's on serotonin --

MORGAN: Tell me why I'm wrong about the AR-15.

JONES: Why don't you want to get rid of drugs, because they're half your sponsors?

MORGAN: Stick to the subject.

JONES: America's number one cause of unnatural deaths now is suicide.


JONES: Not automobile accident.

MORGAN: Let's try again.

JONES: Not cancer, not --

MORGAN: You accuse me of attacking the Second Amendment of the Constitution.

JONES: I want to get people off pills that the insert says will make you commit suicide --


JONES: -- and kill people.

MORGAN: Alex. Alex. Let's get above the Second Amendment.

JONES: I want to blame the real culprit.

MORGAN: Alex. Alex.

JONES: Suicide pills.


JONES: Mass murder pills.

MORGAN: OK. Let me ask you one question. Your belief, unless I'm wrong --

JONES: First time anybody has ever heard this, by the way.

MORGAN: Your belief, unless I'm wrong, is that under the Second Amendment your real concern is that you will be overrun by a tyrannical regime, either from somewhere else --



JONES: Look at Mexico, total gun ban for the citizens, highest crime rate in the world, 57,000 people dead in the last five years, total gun ban for the citizens.

MORGAN: But you -- your main --

JONES: Switzerland has the lowest crime rate in Europe.

MORGAN: Alex. Alex.

JONES: Your country has the highest.

MORGAN: Alex. Alex. We have 35 gun murders and you have 11,000.

JONES: You have -- you people have their brains. It's the higher crime rate.

MORGAN: Alex, let me ask you --

JONES: Violent crime is higher.

MORGAN: On this specific --

JONES: It's brains. It's people.

MORGAN: Alex, I'm trying to get inside your brain.

JONES: Piers, if you punched me right now it'd be not your fist, but your brain that did it.

MORGAN: Alex. Alex. Let me get inside your brain.


MORGAN: OK? I'm serious. You have a very, very big platform. You air I think on 63 networks.

JONES: No. No. That -- WikiPedia is like 10 years old. I'm on over 140 stations, XM.

MORGAN: Millions of Americans hear you every day.

JONES: Over a million half listeners,

MORGAN: And I --

JONES: We have the statistics posted right now.



MORGAN: Who do you believe was behind 9/11?

JONES: Oh I absolutely know. I have the police on CNN saying get back, they're going to blow up seven. I have BBC reporters as jet --

MORGAN: But who do you believe was behind it?

JONES: I have the proof. I heard them on CBS radio.

MORGAN: Who, who, Alex?

JONES: They announced they blew up the towers on CBS Radio.

MORGAN: Who do you believe --

JONES: New Yorkers all saw it and heard it. They blew up Building 7.

MORGAN: Alex, who do you believe -- Alex, who do you believe was behind it, the American government?

JONES: Criminal elements of the military industrial complex, the same ones that staged Gulf of Tonkin, the same ones that staged operation, the mass shootings, Operation Gladio.

MORGAN: Right. Right.

JONES: Ooh, the CIA don't like this right now.

MORGAN: Alex. Alex. Do you mean that President Bush and his administration were behind 9/11?

JONES: I mean that even mainstream news reported that the hijackers were ordered to be allowed into the United States. Michael Springman, the head of the visa department, blew the whistle on that.

MORGAN: Right. So the Bush administration was part of a conspiracy to murder --

JONES: Well, he said never let us tolerate --

MORGAN: -- to murder thousands of Americans --

JONES: To murder, to murder -- I can speak in this accent as well.

MORGAN: Yes. But is that what you believe?

JONES: The government -- Hitler fired bombs and turned rash tag, Piers, to bring in martial law in Germany, April 27th, 1933. Governments have staged terror attacks throughout history or allowed terrorists to attack as a pretext to invade and enslave a population.

MORGAN: How many guns do you own? How many guns do you own?

JONES: I probably own more than 50 firearms. Many of them have increased in value two, three or even four times. I sleep very comfortably outside Austin, Texas.

MORGAN: Alex --

JONES: -- knowing that I can defend my family. MORGAN: OK. Alex Jones is the man --


MORGAN: This is the man who wants to deport me from the country for wanting to get rid of assault rifles.

JONES: No. No. It's to point out you're a foreigner, a Redcoat, here telling us what to do.

MORGAN: Which to me that sounds outrageous, whatever.

JONES: Go back to where they took the guns if you don't like it. The communist --


MORGAN: Truly an interview you had to see to believe. And as for that petition to deport me, well the White House responded towards the end of this week saying in part, no one should be punished by the government simply because he or she expresses an opinion on the Second Amendment or any other matter of public concern. When we come back we have two members of America's top political family reacting to Alex Jones' rant, Patrick Kennedy and Christopher Kennedy Lawford, coming next.


MORGAN: Nobody knows the pain of gun violence quite like the Kennedy family. This is the former Congressman Patrick Kennedy and Christopher Kennedy Lawford, author of "Recover to Live," the conversation with 100 of the world's top treatment experts.


MORGAN: Welcome to you both. Two Kennedys, I mean I can't think of two better people to ask about this debate, and your reaction I guess initially to the interview I had with Alex Jones. What did you feel?

CHRISTOPHER KENNEDY LAWFORD, AUTHOR, ACTOR, ACTIVIST: It was disheartening, I think, you know I think just to see the anger there. And also, he kept talking about the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment -- Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Second Amendment, said that it should be revisited every 20 years to see if it's still appropriate.

This is something that was written a long time ago. And he probably doesn't even know what the real intent of the Second Amendment was. So for him to quote this and just the absolute vitriol that is there is really disheartening.

PATRICK KENNEDY, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: I was just disturbed, disturbed as a human being that this is what our civil discourse has come to. What makes our country so great is that we're about passing power peacefully, not violently. And in my last year as a member of Congress I would say perhaps half of the members of Congress had to live wearing bullet proof vests and had armed guards.

MORGAN: Really?

KENNEDY: When our during the aftermath of ObamaCare when there were -- the president was being held in effigy and these kinds of threatening comments of people like the man you just had on were blocking members of Congress from being able to go and vote, you may recall of that, --


KENNEDY: -- and people like John Lewis were being called epithets, racial epithets. And this wasn't just isolated.

This was happening both in our nation's capital and around the country. We've had a devolving of this civil discourse in our country, whether it's guns, or it's this issue of mental health or anything that's a hot button issue where we can't talk to one another. And that I think is the more disruptive, disturbing thing that I felt threatened when he was threatening you, and the fact that we're not thinking about one another in those ways. He was assaulting your human dignity as a human.

MORGAN: And personally I never felt threatened by him. What I felt was it was one of those things where you want to let him talk, because getting inside the mind of a man who has -- he has millions of people that listen to him every week and believe what he says. There is a sort of leading commentator in American society actually saying the American government under President Bush ordered 9/11. This is the stuff of madness.

LAWFORD: It's scary. And I think the underlying thing is when you are talking about guns with being able to be purchased by people who have underlying mental illness.


LAWFORD: And I have written this book that is about addiction. And 50 to 70 percent of the people that present with addictive disease or mental illness have the other. So we're talking about some really, some ill folks who are able to get weapons of mass destruction really.

MORGAN: And that's what these weapons are. This is what I find so disturbing about the debate. People like Alex Jones, the NRA and others, they shout so loudly and so regularly, they cloud the debate and frame it in the way they would like it to be. They are trying to grab our guns, Second Amendment, all of this kind of stuff.

I don't want to change the Second Amendment. I don't want to change an American's right to bear an arm in their home to defend people. I want to get rid of these killing machine assault weapons off the street, get rid of them.


KENNEDY: When you have Sheriff Arpaio say guns don't kill people, people kill people, yet try killing that many people in such a short amount of time with a hammer or a knife.

MORGAN: Well we know --

KENNEDY: That just shows how --

MORGAN: We know in the same week as Sandy Hook a mad man in China attacked a school. And he stabbed 22 of the children. They all lived. That's all you need to know. Had he had a gun they would all be dead. Of course guns kill. That is their only purpose.

LAWFORD: I also think Patrick and I are -- we come from a family where gun violence definitely affected us.

MORGAN: Of course.

LAWFORD: And it affected the people immediately, but it affects a family for generations. People that have been gunned down in these places like Aurora and Sandy Hook are those people will be affected for generations. And to see the lack of compassion for by folks who are demanding their right to be able to have these guns for those that are suffering is disconcerting.

MORGAN: Are you surprised that following the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, of Bobby Kennedy that we are in a position in America now where these kind of lawless mass shootings are happening with regularity and no one is doing much about it?

KENNEDY: Well, as I said, I think that the lack of discourse -- so that that is really what's offensive in our country where we should be able to debate our problems without impugning the integrity of the people who have positions. And I think we need to have a more fundamental discussion because our whole Democratic system is falling apart as a country.

We cannot understand and bridge the divide between us. And that leaves us to fight each other and look at it in an antagonizing way of each other as enemies. I think that's a fundamental problem. I think this gun issue is sparking this. But you can see all around our democracy is in peril right now. And it's that kind of fear, vitriol, --


KENNEDY: -- paranoia that's substituting for debate.

MORGAN: And it has very real consequences because what happens, as we saw in December, is that America then has a surge in sales of these assault weapons and ammunition. But I could talk to you guys all night about this. I've really got to unfortunately -- it's a terrific book, "Recover to Live, Kick Any Habit, Manage Any Addiction." Christopher Kennedy Lawford, great to see you.

LAWFORD: Thank you.

MORGAN: Best of luck --

(CROSS TALK) MORGAN: Great to see you again.

KENNEDY: God bless.


MORGAN: When we come back, a man who says he wants to have a meaningful discussion about guns in America, but does he? Gun advocate Larry Pratt is next.


MORGAN: Last time I talked to Larry Pratt, he pushed me to this.


MORGAN: You're an unbelievably stupid man, aren't you?


MORGAN: Here now, round two with Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America.


MORGAN: Mr. Pratt, welcome back to you.

PRATT: And thank you for having me.

MORGAN: Why did you agree to come back?

PRATT: Well, I thought maybe we could help you sell some more newspapers.

MORGAN: More newspapers?

PRATT: Increase your viewership.

MORGAN: Right. We're television channel. You're aware of that?

PRATT: I'm sorry, yes, of course.

MORGAN: If you were at the meeting with the Vice President Biden, with the NRA and Wal-Mart and others, what would you be saying?

PRATT: That the discussion has not been going anywhere that we can tell in a productive way. We are not talking about making it so people can defend themselves precisely in these gun-free zones that have been the scene of all of our mass murders for the last 20 years. Hopefully, at some point, we're going to come to the realization that repeating the same policy year after year, getting the same deadly results, is only going to get us the same deadly results the next time.

MORGAN: Right, so your solution if you were there in that meeting would be to arm every school, every church, every hospital, everywhere that members of the public can be? PRATT: You certainly would want to encourage people who are qualified to carry a concealed firearm to be able to do so in a school zone. Right now that is illegal in all but a couple of our states and some of our institutions of higher learning. But by and large it's prohibited. That needs to stop, because we have been using those as magnets where all of our mass murders have been occurring in these gun free zones.

It just seems that we have a fixation with the idea that no defense is a good defense, and that's not a good idea.

MORGAN: Here's my issue with this gun free zone claim that you keep making. You're not the only that makes it, is that, unless I'm wrong, these mass shooters pretty well know they're going to die. I mean, they go to kill a lot of people and then they know at some stage they're going to die because all mass shooters -- pretty much all of them -- get killed.


PRATT: And frequently they kill themselves.

MORGAN: Right. So why on earth would the fact that it's a gun free zone make any difference to them?

PRATT: They're looking for -- it would seem in their sick minds to see if they can out-do the Virginia Tech slaughter, or some other thing that might be in their perverted minds. So why should we give them a neon sign that says well, see if you can do better than the last guy over here?

MORGAN: But you know there were armed security people at Virginia Tech. You know there was an armed sheriff at Columbine.

PRATT: And he fled.


MORGAN: You know -- well, and you know that at Fort Hood, one of the most heavily guarded military bases in the world, 13 people were killed and 29 wounded.

PRATT: And it was a gun free zone. There were no guns on base unless you were an MP.

MORGAN: Right. But it remains one of the most heavily guarded military bases in the world. But my point --

PRATT: A lot of good that did.

MORGAN: Right. My point to you, Mr. Pratt, is that even where you have a mass of well trained people and a mass of firearms, you can still have massacres, you'd accept that?

PRATT: Especially if you're telling the potential victim you can't be armed. You have to wait for the Cavalry to get here five, 10 or in the case of Newtown 20 minutes later. I find that unconscionable.

MORGAN: General McChrystal, one of America's finest modern generals, was on "ANDERSON COOPER" earlier. He's been doing the rounds for a new project that he has, a book. And he said he doesn't want his family anywhere near the assault weapons that I am particularly exercised about.


GEN. STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL, U.S. ARMY (RET.): I spent a lifetime, a career carrying a weapon, an M-16 and then an M-4 carbine, and an M-4 carbine later. And they fire a 556 round at about 3,000 feet per second. And when it hits human flesh, it's devastating. It's designed to be that way. And that's what I want soldiers to carry. But I don't want those weapons around our schools. I don't want them on our streets. I think that if we can't -- it's not a complete fix to just address assault weapons, but I think if we don't get very serious now when we see children being buried, then I can't think of a time when we should.


MORGAN: Why do you know more about the impact and capability of the assault weapon than General McChrystal?

PRATT: While the general was busy defending the country much of the time outside of the country, understandably he may not have noticed the Korean merchants who used an -- not one, but many AR-15 rifles with large magazines to defend themselves --

MORGAN: When was that, Mr. Pratt?

PRATT: -- against the mobs -- during the Los Angeles riots.

MORGAN: When was that?

PRATT: That was some, what, 20 years ago. Those men --

MORGAN: Did you know how long ago that was, Mr. Pratt?

PRATT: We're able -- let me finish my point if you would.


MORGAN: You made this point last time. It was 1992.

PRATT: They were able to defend themselves.

MORGAN: It was 20 years ago. There has never been anything like it before or after. The argument you're trying propagate --


PRATT: Indeed, after Katrina -- these kinds of firearms --

MORGAN: The argument you're trying to propagate -- PRATT: -- they were being used by the people around New Orleans to be able to defend themselves. And after hurricanes in Florida, it was people using these kinds of firearms that were able to defend themselves.

When you have one woman in a closet who is only able to deter an assailant who's found her and her kids with five shots that hit the guy's head and he still walks out of the house, she was out of bullets in her six-shot revolver. If there had been two assailants I don't think she would have done so well.

MORGAN: The last four mass shootings in the last five months have all involved the AR-15 style, military style assault rifle. They're widely available, as you know. Even in Connecticut, which has supposedly quite tough gun control laws.

Why do you feel so strongly that civilians, despite what we just heard from a leading general, should still be able to have access to these killing machines?

PRATT: Well, because the general and his troops are not going to be there to protect the average American, the military nor the police after social order implodes, after a hurricane, after an earthquake, during riots. And his experience, and I very much appreciate his service to the country and the military. But he is not dealing with what civilians have to put up with in the vacuum of somebody being around to protect them.

We're on our own. And I don't want to do it with the two-shot Derringer or even that poor Georgia woman's six-shot revolver. I want a real gun to be able to protect myself and my family. Because it's not just likely to be one roving bad guy, it's likely to be a gang of people. And this is not Marquis de Queensbury. This is the real world, where we're going to need sufficient fire power to protect ourselves.

MORGAN: I think -- I think you have sufficient fire power, Mr. Pratt, because of course you have 300 million guns in circulation. That is why, and I want to read these statistics to you carefully, because I heard you this morning talking to Alex Jones, who I had on early in the week and we'll play some more from him a bit later.

And you were talking about these figures from Britain and how apparently the gun control in Britain has been a fiasco and crime has been through the roof, et cetera, et cetera. So I actually dug out the official figures. These are the homicide figures from guns in England and Wales by comparison to the United States of America going back to 2003.

I'm going to read these quickly to you because I think they make a point on their own. 2003, gun murders in England and Wales, 68. In America, 11,920. In 2004, 73 England and Wales. In America 11,624. In 2005, 50 in England and Wales. In America 12,352. And so it goes on about the same levels in both countries --

PRATT: Now let's -- MORGAN: Let me finish. Here's my point. Every time I hear you say that there is a safer country where you have more guns, my brain takes me back to these figures, because in Britain we brought in a -- as you know a handgun and assault weapon ban after what happened at Dunblane, where a very similar number of schoolchildren were murdered with guns.

This is the result of what happens when you take a responsible action to respond to a massacre beyond any kind of comprehension. Why do you still persist in trying to persuade Americans that the complete opposite is true?

PRATT: Well, first of all, according to your investigature (ph) of the constabulary, the data that you're using for the murder rate in England is a sham. There is a monumental misreporting of what constitutes murder. If three people are murdered, it's likely to be counted as one event.

MORGAN: What an absolute, absolute lie. That is --

PRATT: Well, that's what you say when you don't --

MORGAN: No, you see, Mr. Pratt.

PRATT: -- know what you're talking about.

MORGAN: No, Mr. Pratt. Let me tell you, it doesn't take very long.

PRATT: Then I was just looking at that 2000 report and these are your own government's data.

MORGAN: To count 50 gun murders.

PRATT: These are your own government's data.

MORGAN: How long do you think it takes the police or a pathologist to count 50 bodies a year?

PRATT: Go tell the Constabulary of Britain that they are lying. You asked them for an apology, why don't you.

MORGAN: So you are telling me that 50 murders a year, 50 -- these are simply invented statistics, and in fact the figures in Britain for gun murders are many more times that, yes? That's what you're saying?

PRATT: That's exactly what your own Constabulary is saying. Actually, I don't know that you included in your litany the Cumbria murders that occurred well after the gun ban in which 12 people were murdered.

MORGAN: Let's multiply this --

PRATT: I admit I have to look up where Cumbria is, but it happens to be on the west coast of England.

MORGAN: Yes. Don't be patronizing. Fifty murders in 2005, 41 2009, 39 in 2011. You --

PRATT: No, you had 970. I don't know what you're talking about.

MORGAN: This is complete nonsense, Mr. Pratt.

PRATT: You're from another planet, Mr. Morgan.

MORGAN: You are stating --

PRATT: And that's why you're having trouble living in America.

MORGAN: Mr. Pratt, you are stating -- you are telling me on CNN we had how many gun murders last year?

PRATT: Nine hundred seventy, and you have a violent crime rate that is the fourth highest in any country in the world.

MORGAN: Mr. Pratt, you have just propagated an absolute lie. That --

PRATT: Well, then go tell the editors --

MORGAN: 2011 there were 39 gun murders in England and Wales.

PRATT: Go tell -- go tell the editors of "The Telegraph" who published just that information two days after our last interview.

MORGAN: Mr. Pratt, there were 39 gun murders in England and Wales in 2011. It's a fact.

PRATT: You're whistling past the graveyard.

MORGAN: Mr. Pratt -- no, what you're doing is deliberately lying, deliberately twisting it so that Americans watching this who may be tempted to buy in to your ludicrous fear game rush out tomorrow and buy more weapons and more ammunition because you know what, more guns, less gun crime, less gun murders.

It is a fallacy. It is based on lies. You just propagated another lie. You just said that a figure of 39, the official figures from the British Home Office, 39 gun murders in 2011 in England and Wales, you have added a naught (ph) to (ph) that and then trebled it. It's outrageous.

PRATT: I'm sure you're going to feel so much better --

MORGAN: What you do is outrageous.

PRATT: You'll feel so much better being defenseless until you need a gun, and then it will be a little too late to buy your insurance policy.


MORGAN: When we come back, Larry Pratt on an interview heard around the world, my sitdown with Alex Jones.


MORGAN: Back now with Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America.

Let's play a clip from my interview with your friend, Alex Jones, from Monday night's show.


ALEX JONES: And I'm here to tell you, 1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms. It doesn't matter how many lemmings you get out there on the street begging for them to have their guns taken. We will not relinquish them. Do you understand? That's why you're going to fail and the establishment knows no matter how much propaganda, the Republic will rise again when you attempt to take our guns.


MORGAN: What did you make of Mr. Jones' performance on the interview?

PRATT: Well, it seemed that you had improved your demeanor quite a bit from my own experience with you, and I congratulate you for maintaining it during that whole interview.

MORGAN: He maintains that the main reason that Americans need to be heavily armed is because of a threat of a tyrannical regime coming from his own American government, your government, against the people. Do you believe that?

PRATT: That's what our founders believed. And that's what's important because that's why we have a Second Amendment. The Second Amendment, as all of our Bill of Rights, all of our 10 amendments, are designed to limit what the federal government can do. And that includes the Second Amendment, ensuring the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

MORGAN: Right. But as you know, the Second Amendment specifically applies to a well regulated militia.

PRATT: You're going to lose that argument increasingly. The courts are agreeing that individuals were to own their own military rifles so that if they were called to duty, they would have that to bring with them. That was the Militia Act of 1796, which required all abled body men to own a military rifle so that they would have it at the ready were they called up.

MORGAN: How many guns do you want in America, Mr. Pratt?

PRATT: That's not for me to decide. That's for individual Americans to decide.

MORGAN: Do you think every American should have an AR-15?

PRATT: Every American should be able to get an AR-15. I understand there are plenty of people that are not going to want that. There are probably people who would rather have a superior firearm. That's their choice.

MORGAN: What are you going to do if President Obama wins his battle and brings in new stricter gun control legislation?

PRATT: Well, he's not going to do it by legislative, in my opinion. What I'm concerned about and what I've been concerned about since even well before the elections is having seen the president rule by executive order where he has no authority in other areas, I can see that he would just go ahead and the vice president has even hinted at an executive order that would accomplish some or all of their gun control agenda.

That, I think, changes the game and throws into question the legitimacy of the federal government. And I would advise Mr. Obama to consider what happened to George III when he was doing similar things against the American colonists.

MORGAN: You're likening President Obama to George III?

PRATT: Well, he -- President Obama hasn't banned the importation of ball and powder yet, which George III did, but that was one of the major contributory elements to our war for independence. And George III, as you probably know, was so stressed by the loss of his famous favorite colony that he ended his days in a nuthouse, and I wouldn't wish that on anybody.

MORGAN: When I talk to you, Mr. Pratt, I always look for some sense of humanity from you in this debate. That you could react to something like the Sandy Hook massacre in the way that I did and many other people did. And I never see it from you. All I see is a very determined attempt to make sure the only outcome is that the gun manufacturers sell more guns and sell more ammunition as we saw in December, record gun sales, record ammunition sales.

PRATT: Sir, I would ask you, where is the humanity in telling people they must be disarmed, they must be victims, they must just sit there patiently and wait their turn for a bullet? Is that humanity?

MORGAN: Where's the humanity in doing nothing after these massacres?

PRATT: The humanity was being able to do nothing during the massacre. That was the lack of humanity. And that's what we're trying to rectify. And you know what, I know this will come as more lies from Larry Pratt. But it's entirely possible that the House of Representatives will approve a bill by Representative Steve Stockman to do away with the gun-free school zones.

MORGAN: And you'd be happy with that if every school suddenly had people running around with guns, right?

PRATT: You're a good guesser, yes, sir.

MORGAN: Where are they going to put them?

PRATT: Well, when people carry a concealed firearm, one doesn't exactly know for sure, and the element of surprise remains with the person carrying concealed, which means that somebody contemplating doing something horrible doesn't know which person or persons might be able to arrest him, to stop him, and that's why our jurisdictions that have easy access to concealed carry firearms enjoy lower murder rates than, say, the gun control Mecca of Chicago, which does better than one murder a day.

MORGAN: Well, let me end it and just ask you one more question because I think people watching will be curious, you know, you're a very experienced man in your field. You've run your operation for a long time, people take you seriously. You're a leading member of the gun rights lobby. And people believe what you say. So I'm going to give you one more chance before we finish to say again how many gun murders you believed were in England and Wales in 2011?

PRATT: More important than the number of murders and it doesn't matter how a murder is committed, so I'm not going to really care about --

MORGAN: Well, can you repeat the number --

PRATT: -- how many were guns --

MORGAN: Can you repeat the number of gun murders that you said earlier?

PRATT: The data we have seen was 970.

MORGAN: OK. Well --


PRATT: That pales in significance compared to your violent crime rate overall.

MORGAN: Mr. Pratt. Mr. Pratt.

PRATT: The rapes, the muggings.

MORGAN: Mr. Pratt.

PRATT: The beatings.

MORGAN: Mr. Pratt, stop being sensational. Everyone watching can now get on the Internet, they can go on to Google, they can go to the Home Office site in England and Wales and they can check that figure for themselves, and when they see the accurate figure of gun murders in my country was 39 in 2011, and they see that the figure in their country was over 11,000 --

PRATT: They'll remember that your own investigature of Constabulary said your data are sham.

MORGAN: OK. As I say, they can check it for themselves and they can make their own minds up about your credibility.

Mr. Pratt -

PRATT: Check out the sham data, my friend.

(CROSSTALK) PRATT: That's great.

MORGAN: OK. You're no friend of mine. Thanks for joining me.


MORGAN: There's nothing funny about this debate unless you're Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Hear their unique take on all this when we come back.


MORGAN: This week, America focused on guns like never before. I had some intense conversations with people on both sides of this issue, and frankly, there were times when I couldn't believe quite what I was hearing. I wasn't the only one. "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart and Colbert Report's Stephen Colbert are always watching. Listen to what they had to say about guns and about one very, very angry man, Alex Jones.


ALEX JONES, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I'm here to tell you, 1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms.

JON STEWART, "THE DAILY SHOW": Holy (EXPLETIVE DELETED). We can't even begin to address 30,000 gun deaths that are actually, in reality, happening in this country every year, because a few of us must remain vigilant against the rise of imaginary Hitler.

COLBERT: It's just a little too convenient to be blaming guns for gun violence. Especially when the NRA has already identified the real culprits.

LAPIERRE: Vicious, violent videogames. We have blood-soaked films. Our nation's refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill.

COLBERT: Clearly, the reason we have more gun deaths than anyone else in the industrialized world isn't the guns. It has to be that America is the only country in the world that has videogames.