CNN’s Piers Morgan confirmed Ben Shapiro’s skepticism about whether tonight’s “debate” on gun control would be “balanced.” The Breitbart Editor-at-Large accepted an invitation to appear on Morgan’s show for a rematch, then turned down the offer when it became clear Morgan planned to turn his “town hall” into a propaganda rally. Morgan then offered Shapiro two one-on-one segments, and the debate back on was on.
As fate would have it, Shapiro’s flight from Los Angeles to New York was grounded in Denver due to an unruly passenger (without a gun). Ben arrived at the CNN studio too late to participate in the debate–but all he missed was the spectacle of Piers Morgan browbeating a black conservative and a woman from the Tea Party in front of his anti-gun guests and to the enthusiastic cheers of the hopelessly stacked studio audience.
This is “debate” in the same way that communist dictatorships practice “democracy.” There’s an opposition present, of course, but the better they are–and the Tea Party’s Scottie N. Hughes was particularly good–the more it proves their guilt. At the end, Piers turned to family members of murder victims for their verdict. They choked back tears as they accosted the two Second Amendment defenders: how dare they fail to capitulate!
Every time he lost a point, Morgan would cut off his conservative guests or insist that he had to cut to a commercial. After returning from one break in particular, he turned abruptly to Hughes and “corrected” her on some minor points of fact–fed to him in the interim, no doubt, by a helpful producer. When she attempted to respond, he simply cut her off in mid-sentence and picked out a more sympathetic guest to vent more outrage.
At one rather humorous point, Morgan’s attempt to control the conversation nearly failed when an anti-gun professor, speaking via remote link, corrected him on the topic of whether, in fact, assault rifles were used most often in mass shootings (semiautomatic handguns are the weapon of choice). That nearly took the discussion back to where Shapiro had taken it last week–i.e. highlighting Morgan’s true desire to remove all guns.
The most telling moment of all came at the beginning of the program, when Morgan openly admitted that the Obama administration’s new proposals for gun regulations, which he supports and for which he proudly campaigned, are “not gonna stop mass shootings.” They are worth enacting anyway, Morgan explained, because they are an appropriate response to the Sandy Hook shootings, even if merely a symbolic one.
Morgan immediately proved the point that Second Amendment defenders have been making for weeks–that none of the gun control proposals of the left would have made any difference in preventing the Sandy Hook atrocity. But what is important is not, in fact, whether we save the life of even one child. Rather, the aim is to humble Americans, particularly conservative ones, into accepting limits on our constitutional rights.
When Hughes challenged Morgan to explain why the Second Amendment ought to be limited to the technologies of the eighteenth century, but the First Amendment should not, he failed to produce a coherent answer. Never mind–the debate is settled, and the verdict is that Morgan is a small, small man. Viewers looking forward to the Shapiro rematch tomorrow will be disappointed–Ben has a prior, and more useful, engagement.