Piers Morgan sparred with Ann Coulter on his Wednesday CNN show over Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's vow to target the NRA in an upcoming movie and over the lack of new gun control regulations in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting in December 2012. Morgan did his best to defend Weinstein, after Coulter blasted him for his "utter hypocrisy" in only recently condemning the impact of violent movies after making a fortune from them.
The British TV host later bemoaned how "there have been 35 separate school shootings in America since Newtown. Not a single changed any federal gun law in that time. Nobody on the pro-gun side seems prepared to relent about anything...to try and reduce the level of gun violence." The conservative author retorted that new firearms regulations wouldn't have done anything to stop them: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
ANN COULTER: (laughs) ...[O]bviously, I think guns reduce gun crimes, but the idea that when one spree killing after another is committed by a crazy person, that you think taking the guns away is going to do something – it's like draining an ocean to find a ring you lost. That isn't going to help. The crazy people go out and kill people with swords – you know, the school – murder of school children during school time – that took more lives than any other in this country's history – was committed with a bomb by a crazy person.
Morgan raised Weinstein's anti-NRA remarks minutes after he tried to get Coulter to confess that she's a "female Glenn Beck" and "part of the problem." After playing two clips from the Pulp Fiction producer, the CNN anchor asked, "So, what do you make of Harvey Weinstein making a stand against the NRA?" The guest replied by likening him to a "somebody who..has been polluting for 30 years" and then calls for "stronger pollution laws." Morgan then rushed to the liberal multi-millionaire's defense:
MORGAN: What is wrong with a polluter finally realizing-
COULTER: Because it's utter hypocrisy. You've taken the money.
MORGAN: But he's accepting he been [a] hypocrite-
COULTER: Give the money back then. You go live in a trailer park, and I'll believe it....
MORGAN: Why would that – why would that make – why would that make anything better?
COULTER: Because it's utter hypocrisy otherwise.
MORGAN: It's not hypocritical and – to say I have realized some of the stuff I've done has been unhelpful.
COULTER: (laughs) Yeah, and weirdly, I've made a hundreds of millions of dollars. But now-
MORGAN: Do you – do you – at the start of this interview, you said, I've never made a mistake. I don't regret anything. There's Harvey Weinstein saying, I think some of these violent movies I've made and others made have been unhelpful to the culture of gun violence in America, and I'm going to stop making them. I think that's admirable isn't it? He reaches a sensible conclusion.
COULTER: First of all, I did not say I've never made a mistake – going to law school was a mistake. I said, in my public statements about political and public issues, there is nothing I regret or I think was divisive – again, I am a uniter. And I don't know how many different ways I can say, if you're going to go and do something – pollute water; be an insider trader; take the money – keep the money – and then, come out and you want it badge for saying now, I think I'll come out against insider trader....Screw you. You're a hypocrite.
MORGAN: Well – well, maybe. But what he said was-
COULTER: Okay – then give the money to victims of gun crimes.
MORGAN: He first said – maybe he will-
COULTER: No, he won't!...I'll bet you a thousand dollars he doesn't.
MORGAN: Okay, because I'll make sure he does-
COULTER: No – and I mean every last penny.
Moments later, the CNN host asked his "there have been 35 separate school shootings in America since Newtown" question. Coulter answered, in part, that "it was in the '70s – it was right during the de-institutionalization movement that suddenly you get these spree killings. And by the way, look at them – James Holmes in Aurora, Colorado; Jared Loughner in Arizona; Adam Lanza...they are all obviously paranoid schizophrenics, but we can't lock them up because of the ACLU."
Morgan followed up by asking, "How do you explain – how do you explain that you have similar percentages of a population – who are believed to have some form of mental illness – in the UK, in Australia, in Japan, in Germany – and yet, because there is no availability of guns, they do not have the gun violence?" When the conservative pundit underlined that "countries are different, demographics are different," the pro-gun control TV personality wondered, "Should the culture try and be changed away from a reliance and dependence on guns – and indeed, a glorifying of guns?" Coulter suggested that the solution to the violence was arming more people:
MORGAN: ...So your answer to what happened at Newtown would be – unless I'm misreading your logic-
COULTER: Lock up the nuts – yes!
MORGAN: But other than that, what about guns themselves? Nothing?
COULTER: Start issuing concealed carry permits to people who passed – or do not have mental health issues or a criminal record.
MORGAN: You would have more guns.
COULTER: Uh, yeah! Yeah.