New Day Debate on 3D Guns Collapses: 'You're Gonna Have Blood On Your Hands'

On Wednesday’s edition of New Day, co-host Alisyn Camerota conducted a debate between Jan Morgan, a Second Amendment advocate and Brian Claypool, a survivor of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. The debate devolved over the course of the segment, culminating in Claypool telling Morgan “you’re gonna have blood on your hands” if another mass shooting occurs.

 

 

Camerota began the segment by asking how Claypool felt about the recent controversy surrounding the settlement allowing for the blueprints of 3D printable guns to be published online. Claypool responded:

Utter shock. I was in despair. I was grieving again. I was re-victimized and re- traumatized. I spoke to your colleague, Chris Cuomo, shortly after the shooting in Vegas and I told him, I said, during that shooting, the first round of shots, pop, pop, pop, I thought I was dead. The second round of shots, I said, if I survive, I'm going to fight and make sure this never happens again. Now, instead of just fighting to eliminate assault weapons, now I have to fight on behalf of people across the country, victims of gun violence, people who care about public safety. I now have to fight to stop a company from providing a blueprint to any lunatic on this planet to go out and kill people. It's a license to kill and it's a recipe for mass carnage.

Camerota then moved on to Morgan and asked her why she thinks this policy makes sense. Notice that in this “debate” Camerota asked one side to justify their position but only asked the other side how they feel. Morgan attempted to quell some of the hysteria around this settlement by laying out the facts behind the issue as well as noting the importance of removing feelings from a discussion on policy and rights.

Okay. Well, first of all, whether it makes sense or not and how we feel about it -- and, Brian, I'm sorry about what you had to go through, truly I am. But feelings and whether or not it's fair is not the same thing as a right. Rights are different from government-issued privileges. And this is more than just a Second Amendment -- this is a First Amendment right issue. This guy was going to publish the blueprints. And if we're going to start censoring any kind of information out there on the Internet that might do irreparable harm, then we're going to have to take off all the websites that are out there that teach you how to make explosive devices and bombs, websites that are doing irreparable harm such as pornography, websites that teach people how to poison other people. I mean there's a -- there's a wealth of information out there that is very dangerous on the Internet. So this is a First Amendment issue. On the issue of the firearms, we already -- Alisyn and Brian, it is already against federal law to manufacture a firearm that is undetectable.

That was the only bit of substance that came out of this segment. What followed was the classic cable news bickering between talking heads. As mentioned previously, the debate turned to personal attacks. This came to a climax at the end when Claypool said:

My last point is, you are bypassing background check. You are bypassing mental health background checks. You are bypassing serial numbers on the guns. And this is going to allow any lunatic on the planet to go in his or her own home and make a gun and carry out another mass shooting. And if that happens again, Jan, you know what, you're going to have blood on your hands and this government's going to have blood on its hands.

This segment was a mess for two reasons. The first was that Camerota clearly took a side in the debate and only asked tough questions to Morgan. This was most likely due to the bias of Camerota’s own opinions as well as the somewhat understandable instinct to not want to press a survivor of a mass shooting.

This leads into the second reason, which was the different type of guests. One was a policy expert while the other was a victim of a crime. In order to balance out the perspectives, the appropriate thing to do would be to have two policy experts or have two victims of shootings who have different perspectives. By having Morgan debate Claypool, CNN set up Morgan to look unfeeling and not on the side of the victim because she supports the Second Amendment, rather than allowing for a reasonable discussion between two experts.

A transcript of this segment is below:

New Day 

8/01/18

7:52:20 – 7:59:58

ALISYN CAMEROTA: It was an 11th hour decision, but a federal judge has blocked the online posting of blueprints that allow people to make these 3-D guns. But this legal fight is not over. And joining me now is Brian Claypool. He's a survivor of the Las Vegas massacre, and Jan Morgan, a Second Amendment advocate and a certified firearms instructor. Thanks to both of you for being here. Brian, look, the Las Vegas massacre was very recent, obviously. There are still so many physical and emotional wounds from that. What did you think when you heard that it was possible to use your 3-D printer and create an untraceable, unregistered gun?

BRIAN CLAYPOOL: Utter shock. I was in despair. I was grieving again. I was re-victimized and re- traumatized. I spoke to your colleague, Chris Cuomo, shortly after the shooting in Vegas and I told him, I said, during that shooting, the first round of shots, pop, pop, pop, I thought I was dead. The second round of shots, I said, if I survive, I'm going to fight and make sure this never happens again. Now, instead of just fighting to eliminate assault weapons, now I have to fight on behalf of people across the country, victims of gun violence, people who care about public safety. I now have to fight to stop a company from providing a blueprint to any lunatic on this planet to go out and kill people. It's a license to kill and it's a recipe for mass carnage.

CAMEROTA: Jan, explain, from your perspective, how this makes sense. How does it makes sense to allow people a homemade gun they can make in the privacy of their own home that is untraceable and that you can bring in -- that passes through a metal detector into stadiums, on to planes, et cetera?

JAN MORGAN: OK. Well, first of all, whether it makes sense or not and how we feel about it -- and, Brian, I'm sorry about what you had to go through, truly I am. But feelings and whether or not it's fair is not the same thing as a right. Rights are different from government-issued privileges. And this is more than just a Second Amendment -- this is a First Amendment right issue. This guy was going to publish the blueprints. And if we're going to start censoring any kind of information out there on the Internet that might do irreparable harm, then we're going to have to take off all the websites that are out there that teach you how to make explosive devices and bombs, websites that are doing irreparable harm such as pornography, websites that teach people how to poison other people. I mean there's a -- there's a wealth of information out there that is very dangerous on the Internet. So this is a First Amendment issue. On the issue of the firearms, we already -- Alisyn and Brian, it is already against federal law to manufacture a firearm that is undetectable.

CAMEROTA: Sure. But -- but --

MORGAN: But where the confusion lies is whether or not it's traceable.

CAMEROTA: Yes. But, listen -- but, here's --

MORGAN: There are -- but you can -- you can make them --

CAMEROTA: You can I just want to stop you because you made a lot of points, Jan, hold on one second. I mean the -- making it easier. OK, so making it easier to have one of these guns. You say it's illegal. But the blueprints were online. A thousand people downloaded them. So, there you go.

MORGAN: Actually, it's not easier, Alisyn. It's not easier.

CAMEROTA: A thousand more people -- making it easier to get access to the blueprints.

MORGAN: It's not easier. And the fact, making -- no.

CAMEROTA: A thousand people downloaded it. That's more than had it --

MORGAN: Look, no. I could go -- I could go to the hardware store and get the pieces, the parts that I need to make a shotgun. I could do that. You don't have to have -- in fact, the printable -- 3-D printable firearms are much more complicated to make than just building your own and it is not illegal in America to manufacture your own firearm out of metals in your home and not have it registered, OK.

CAMEROTA: OK. Let me get Brian in. So, Brian --

MORGAN: There's -- it's illegal to make one that's undetectable by metal detectors.

CAMEROTA: OK, so hold on, Jan. Made you point. Got it. Got it.Brian, when you hear her talk about that, that this is a right, that this is a First Amendment right, what's your response?

CLAYPOOL: That's the problem with our society. First of all, the First Amendment doesn't give you the right to break the law. The federal law currently says that you can't make plastic guns without serial numbers. So you're not protected by the First Amendment. That's the first thing.The second thing is, instead of President Trump calling the NRA, guess that, give me a call and give victims across this country a phone call who have dodged bullets from assault weapons and find out how they feel about it before you propagate this recipe for mass disaster. Do you know that on their website they have what's called a BZ-58, Alisyn. Do you know what that is? It's a 17-inch-long gun, seven pounds. It's going to carry out mass killings.

CAMEROTA: That's what they're giving the blueprint to?

CLAYPOOL: That's just one of the blueprints. And do you know, on top of that, that these bullets that are in these weapons are made to destroy your body. When they enter your body, they destroy you. So this is not acceptable in a civilized society. And it's not funny. It's not funny.

CAMEROTA: Jan.

CLAYPOOL: You go -- you go -- no, you go -- you go sit in a mass shooting. You go dodge bullets. You go dodge bullets --

MORGAN: No. No, what is -- what is funny -- what is funny, Brian -- no, let me -- can I answer you.

CLAYPOOL: No, no, what's funny is you sit behind your -- your cushy chair --

MORGAN: No, what is funny is your -- let me tell you who sits behind bullets, thousands and thousands of United States veterans have -- have gone into the line of fire to defend liberty, to defend the Bill of Rights. It is --

CLAYPOOL: It isn't about liberty. It's about public safety.

MORGAN: (INAUDIBLE) feelings. It is the Bill of Rights, Brian, and our feelings do not -- your feelings are not relevant when it comes to rights, OK?

CAMEROTA: But, Jan, listen, OK, so let's -- so I hear -- I hear what you're saying.

MORGAN: (INAUDIBLE) information --

CAMEROTA: You're saying that you don't want to deal with feelings for policy. OK. How about the fact that we do have a mass shooting problem in this country?

MORGAN: Not policy, rights.

CAMEROTA: How will this help mass shootings?

MORGAN: Here's -- here's the answer, Alisyn. If you really want -- and if Brian and the Democrats really want to address the issue of mass shootings --

CLAYPOOL: It's not a Democratic issue.

MORGAN: They need to talk about the one thing that no one -- that no one wants to talk about, which is the number of mass shootings that involve psychotropic drugs. Stephen Paddock, the very guy who's responsible for the shooting that you tried to say --

CAMEROTA: Yes, I know that that's where you guys always go. But I want to stay focused on the homemade guns.

MORGAN: Because it's the truth. Why -- it's not just us guys. It's not just the NRA. It's not just Republicans. It is -- it is the psychiatric --

CAMEROTA: I know that you want to talk about the drugs, but -- but let's -- OK, Jan, hold on. Let me pose my question to you because it is connected to mental health.

MORGAN: Big pharma does not want to discuss it. Big pharma doesn't want to discuss it (INAUDIBLE) --

CAMEROTA: Jan -- Jan, how does it help to have somebody mentally ill be able to print their own gun, make their own gun off a 3-D printer at home?

MORGAN: Stephen Paddock obtained his firearm legally. This wasn't a 3- D printing (INAUDIBLE) --

CAMEROTA: I'm just curious. This is my question. Just answer the question.

MORGAN: Criminals -- no, criminals --

CAMEROTA: How does it help to be able to have a mentally ill person create their own gun at home?

MORGAN: Mentally ill people can create their own guns regardless of the law. Criminals and thugs and terrorists don't abide by the law --

CAMEROTA: But how is it better to make it easier.

MORGAN: So no laws -- Alisyn, I'm sorry that you can't get this, but no law is going to stop a criminal or a terrorist or a crazy person from -- from killing mass numbers of people.

CAMEROTA: Yes, I guess that we just don't believe that laws are completely ineffective. I think that people just don't believe that laws never stop anything. I think that we do think that laws stop crime.

MORGAN: Laws have not been affected in (INAUDIBLE). Look at Chicago. Chicago has more gun control laws. And we already have over 20,000-gun control laws in America, Alisyn, and they don't address the problem.

CAMEROTA: And they --

MORGAN: But how about this? How about this?

CAMEROTA: OK, fair enough. So you think that laws don't matter. Gotcha.

MORGAN: Paris, France. Paris, France.

CAMEROTA: Fair enough.

MORGAN: Can I please speak? Paris, France, is a gun-free utopia. How many people died in that mass shooting because terrorists and bad guys and crazy people will always have access to guns.

CAMEROTA: And maybe they can print them now in their own den.

MORGAN: The best way to stop mass shootings is to -- the best way to stop --

CAMEROTA: Hold on, Jan.

MORGAN: The best way to stop mass shootings is to legally arm law abiding citizens.

CAMEROTA: Got it. Your point. Your last point, Brian.

CLAYPOOL: My last point is, you are bypassing background check. You are bypassing mental health background checks. You are bypassing serial numbers on the guns.

MORGAN: (INAUDIBLE).

CLAYPOOL: And this is going to allow any lunatic on the planet to go in his or her own home and make a gun and carry out another mass shooting. And if that happens again, Jan, you know what, you're going to have blood on your hands and this government's going to have blood on its hands.

CAMEROTA: All right, guys, on that note, I know it's very heated. I know that there's a lot of feelings understandably on both sides. Jan, Brian, thank you very much for the debate. We'll see where this goes.

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