Huffpost UK

Piers Morgan Tears Into Gun Advocates' Over Washington Navy Yard Shooting

Posted: Updated:
PIERS
Piers Morgan with commentator Ben Ferguson | CNN

Piers Morgan told guests on his CNN show he was "damn sick" of having the same "ridiculous debates" over gun control after yet another mass shooting, this time the killing of 12 people at a naval installation in Washington DC

He skewered CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson and gun rights activist John Lott during a heated argument over gun control on Monday night, on the failure to stop the killings by gunman Aaron Alexis, who also died in the shootout.

Ferguson told Morgan the Navy Yard was a gun-free zone, so gun control was the reason for the killing.

“One of the problems is that you guys cannot ever accept that the gun itself can never be part of the problem!" Morgan lamented.

"Your answers to all these shootings is to arm more people. The NRA has been curiously silent today. The NRA doesn't want to say anything about this, and here's why.

"Because the Washington Navy Yard is heavily secure. It is crawling with armed security and armed police, infiltrated by a man with a legally purchased AR 13, the same as what we saw in Aurora and Sandy Hook. Your answer is to arm more people.

"Since 1982, there have been 70 mass shootings in America, of those 30 have happened since 2006, of those 13 in the last 20 months, three of them the worst shootings in history."

Lott, the author of More Guns, Less Crime argued that gun-free zones are “magnets” for mass killings. "I have to say the numbers you are using are simply wrong, there is no increase in these attacks in recent years," he told Morgan.

He said that the statistics, which Morgan cited from Mother Jones, were not accurate. "But they have increased," Morgan said incredulously, "Are you suggesting Mother Jones invented these statistics? Or that these attacks didn't happen?

Ferguson said banning the AR 15 gun, which was also used by many other mass killers, was not the answer. "You think that if we ban this AR 15, federally ban it, then somehow that is going to fix the issue. I look at it differently.

"When you allow places where the only people there who have the gun are at the gate, same thing at Fort Hood. The guys there did not bring a gun in, they are not allowed to. An individual can roam free until those at the gate, with guns, can find him. You continue to look at this, based on 'the gun is evil'. I say, don't set up people at a movie theatre, a school or an army base, for failure, by having a gun-free zone."

"With respect, it was not a gun-free zone, it had the same security you guys called for after Sandy Hook, after Aurora, it had armed guards on the door," Morgan argued.

"The victims were all civilians killed, yet again, by a man with an AR 15 assault rifle. I want the day to come where we don't have to have this ridiculous debate again, in American. It's ridiculous. Do something about it!

"And to the gentlemen here, think about your position. Think about how it helps save American lives. Because it doesn't. More guns is not the answer."

Morgan's views on gun control are controversial in the US. The White House was forced to give an official response to the petition to deport Morgan over his support for gun control, after 100,000 people signed it, cautioning gun advocates to "Remember The First Amendment".