On the heels of Friday's unthinkable tragedy in Newton, Conn., "Piers Morgan Tonight" aired a live edition of the program, dedicating the entire hour to providing perspective and adding context into a school shooting that resulted in 28 deaths.
With 20 children, ages 6 and 7, perishing inside Sandy Hook Elementary, Mark Boughton spoke about the brave principal who died trying to protect them:
"I had the honor of working in the same school system and very close proximity to Dawn [Hochsprung] who passed away today. She was a teacher in the Danbury public school system and then elevated up through the ranks and eventually ended up the principal here in Newtown," said the mayor of nearby Danbury, Conn. "A committed, hardworking, dedicated educator. Somebody who cared deeply about kids, and she put kids first in every facet and every way in which she executed her job and somebody who we just would all admire, and all while working with our children, as a professional."
Just a few months removed from other gun-related incidents – in Aurora, Colo. and at the Empire State Building in Manhattan – on Friday, Piers Morgan welcomed a pair of guests tasked with providing insight drawn from their own personal experiences:
"I think the president said we need a meaningful action now, and he said that in the past, and so I'll be waiting for that action," said Stephen Barton, who survived the July 20th movie theater shooting in Colorado. "It's a shame that 20 children have to be slain for us to even start talking about this, but I really think the American public is fed up with the lack of conversation on this issue."
Paul Ercolino, meanwhile, whose brother was killed in the August shooting at the Empire State Building, echoed Barton's stance, calling for stiffer firearm legislation:
"I think, in the wake of today, a referendum on guns is needed. I was talking the day my brother was murdered, as a father, as innocent children, I see the heartbreak. We have to go back to that. We have 20 families, 26 families that are devastated right now, while we're having this debate. That's something we have to focus on. But this debate is about gun control, it's about mental illness, it's a combination. It's got to be all groups that come together."
Watch the clips, and listen to the interviews, as Morgan and his guests used the "Piers Morgan Tonight" platform to address the devastating school shooting in Newtown, Conn., and the ways in which America can move forward.
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