“You come in here, brandish your little book as if I don’t know what’s in there–”
“My little book? That’s the Constitution of the United States. It’s our founding document, Piers.”
“I know what’s in your Constitution.”
“Do you really?”
That was the climax of a heated debate between Breitbart News Editor-at-Large Ben Shapiro and CNN’s Piers Morgan on live television this evening–one in which Morgan came off much the worse for wear.
Shapiro began by pointing out that for weeks, Morgan had bullied guests who defend the right to bear arms by “standing on the graves of the children of Sandy Hook.”
“How dare you,” said a rattled Morgan.
“I have seen you do it repeatedly,” Shapiro replied.
He challenged Morgan to explain whether he wanted to ban all guns, not just “assault rifles,” since the vast majority of gun deaths involve ordinary handguns. “Why don’t you care about banning the handguns in Chicago?” Shapiro asked him.
Morgan, who later stated that he supported Americans’ right “to defend themselves with a handgun or a pistol,” pointed out that the weapons used in recent sensational mass shootings had been “assault rifles,” and insisted that the debate was not one of “left and right,” because his position ought to be the consensus, as in Britain. Shapiro countered that the basis of the Second Amendment was not self-defense or hunting, but the ability to resist government tyranny–a point that Morgan attempted to mock, unsuccessfully.
Shapiro’s statement is worth quoting in full:
Shapiro: I think the reason that it’s about left and right here is because fundamentally, the right believes that the basis for the Second amendment–and they believe in the Second Amendment–the basis for the Second Amendment is not really about self defense, and it’s not about hunting. It’s about resistance to government tyranny. That’s what the Founders said, and that’s what the right believes in this country.
Morgan: Which tyranny are you fearing, yourself?
Shapiro: I fear the possibility of a tyranny rising in the country in the next fifty to a hundred years. Let me tell you something, Piers. The fact that my grandparents and great grandparents in Europe didn’t fear that is why they’re now ashes in Europe. So this kind of leftist revisionist history where there’s never any fear of democracy going usurpatious or tyrannical, is just that. It’s fictitious.
Subsequently, Morgan accused Shapiro of wanting to “do nothing” about mass shootings, to which Shapiro replied that his position was to improve background checks and screening for mental illness and criminal histories among potential gun owners and their households. Shapiro later pointed out the hypocrisy in attacking the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment without subjecting violent video games, the American Civil Liberties Union and the First Amendment to the same scrutiny.
Morgan then presented Shapiro with a letter co-signed by Ronald Reagan in 1994, urging support for the assault weapons ban (an ineffective policy, which lapsed after ten years). He challenged Shapiro to justify “why an American needs an assault weapon.”
Shapiro repeated his point on tyranny, to which Morgan said: “Do you know how absurd you sound?”
In so doing, he proved Shapiro’s point:
Here’s where you go into the bullying….For weeks now, you have been saying that anybody who disagrees with your position is absurd, idiotic, and doesn’t care about the dead kids in Sandy Hook. And then when I say that’s a bullying tactic, you turn around and say that I’m bullying you.
Later on the program, once Shapiro was safely off camera, Morgan admitted: “In an ideal world, I’d have all guns gone, as we have in Britain, but this is not my country and I respect the fact most Americans wouldn’t wear that kind of argument.”
An epic win for Shapiro, and for our “little book.”
You can read a full transcript of the 15 minute interview here…