CNN's Piers Morgan spent much of his show Friday advocating for stricter gun laws in the wake of the massacre in Aurora, Colorado.
Bucking this activism was Denver University law professor David Kopel who scolded his host, "I think this is the wrong night to be doing this. And I really wish you'd waited to have this segment until after the funerals" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: And David Koppel, who is a law professor at Denver University and associate policy analyst at the Cato Institute.
Let me start with you, David Kopel, you heard there from Professor Tribe it is time now for gun control to be strengthened. What is your reaction to that?
Actually, that wasn't a completely accurate assessment by Morgan.
His previous guest, Harvard's Lawrence Tribe, though for gun control also said, "I think we fool ourselves if we say better and stricter gun control would necessarily solve the problem. There are all kinds of things that we need to do."
I guess Morgan forgot that even though it occurred mere seconds before. But I digress:
DAVID KOPEL, PROFESSOR, DENVER UNIVERSITY: Honestly, Piers, I think this is the wrong night to be doing this. And I really wish you'd waited to have this segment until after the funerals. This is a time in Colorado and nationally when it would have been better to have more of the segments like you did before with the family, and when people could be unified in helping the victims.
MORGAN: Well, if I could jump in there --
MORGAN: Wait, let me just challenge you on that --
MORGAN: If I may, let me challenge you on what you just said. A lot of people have said that today, a lot people who don't want strengthening gun control have said this is not the day to debate it. I'll tell you the debate to debate it, would have been yesterday to prevent this happening. When you have a young man like this able to legally get 6,000 rounds of ammunition off the Internet, to buy four weapons including an assault rifle, and for all of this to be perfectly legal in modern America, allowing him to carry out the biggest shooting in the history of the United States, that, I'm afraid, means it's too late for this debate, for those people that lost their lives.
So don't patronize me about when we should be talking about the gun control debate. You tell me a good reason why we should not strengthen the law now to stop another young man like him going into a store tomorrow, buying four more weapons, 6,000 rounds of ammunition on the Internet, and killing and shooting another 70 people in America.
KOPEL: Because we don't even know the full facts of this situation yet. And that's another reason it would have been prudent for you to wait a few days where we know more about this. Nobody's been able to come up with any proposal specific about the facts of this case, partly because the facts are still being developed. And I know -- you've said many times on the air, America's got too many guns. You want to drastically reduce the number of guns.
If your whole point is there's too many gun, we've got to get rid of lots of them, drastically constrict things, and you think somehow that's going to make it better, well, there's no real evidence that it will. If you want to talk about specific reforms that might involve this specific guy, and prevent future people like him, that's fine. But let's wait till we find out the information, instead of rushing the country into this pro/con thing that I know sells a lot of commercials on TV, but it's inappropriately divisive now.
Nobody's stopping you from having the segment on Wednesday. Can you give people a little bit of breathing room...
Kopel raised an interesting point, especially given the pathetic rush to judgment that occurred after the Gabby Giffords shooting in 2011.
We really still know little about the assailant - most importantly, what his motive was - or his pathology.
As Kopel said, there's currently no way to conclude that stricter gun laws would have prevented James Holmes from doing what he did.
But that didn't slow down Morgan's advocacy:
MORGAN: OK, you've made your point. Let's move to Dan Gross from the Brady Campaign because I'm really not interested in having a debate about whether we can debate gun control. Given that we now know this young man legally purchased these weapons in the last two months, and purchased this staggering amount of ammunition -- he purchased a hundred-round drum magazine, allowing him to fire off 50 to 60 rounds in one minute in that movie theater, which is what has led to this mass slaughter and mass gun attack.
Given what has happened today, do you think there is now legitimate cause to press politicians for tougher gun control in America?
And so it went. Yet nowhere in this program did anyone bring up investigating the cause of the violence.
Every time an incident like this happens, the left and their media minions accuse the availability of the weaponry. But we never have an honest conversation about what is leading so many in our nation towards violent acts.
For instance, how is the violence in movies, television, music, and video games impacting the society, and is that actually a larger problem?
And what of other societal issues such as divorce, drugs, out of wedlock births, and single parent homes?
Rather than talking about such matters when these attacks happen, the media are quick to talk about the weapons used.
As Holmes could have just as easily vented whatever rage he had by setting fire to that theater or running his car into a crowd, aren't we better served as a nation to examine what sets him and others like him off to do such things?
That's certainly what would have happened if ABC News's Brian Ross was right about Holmes being a Tea Party member. Then every news organization in the country would have blamed the massacre on that right-wing group.
If Holmes had been a fan of conservative talk radio, this all would have been Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, and Michael Savage's fault.
But because the media have yet to find a connection to right-wing causes or personalities, it's all about gun control.
(HT Josh Feldman)