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Need to Know News: School resumes for students haunted by Newtown tragedy, NBC crew freed from kidnappers in Syria
December 18th, 2012
10:26 AM ET

Need to Know News: School resumes for students haunted by Newtown tragedy, NBC crew freed from kidnappers in Syria

Each day, we here at "Piers Morgan Tonight" put together the news you need to know – from what happened last night to what will happen today.

For December 18, 2012 – School resumes for students haunted by Newtown tragedy, NBC crew freed from kidnappers in Syria and after Newtown, the NRA goes silent...

• School resumes for students haunted by Newtown tragedy: "Across this devastated town, students returned to schools Tuesday, marking the beginning of a new reality. With their sense of normalcy shattered following last week's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, students at other schools are seeing more police and counselors on hand. And teachers who face a new, tremendous burden."

• NBC crew freed from kidnappers in Syria: "An NBC reporter and his crew spoke Tuesday of their overwhelming relief after being freed from kidnappers in Syria who kept them bound, blindfolded and repeatedly threatened to kill them during a five-day ordeal."

• Obama, Boehner move closer on taxes, spending cuts: "President Barack Obama responded on Monday to House Speaker John Boehner's offer to compromise on tax rate increases with his own compromise on both tax increases and spending cuts, according to a source familiar with the discussions."

Cerberus to sell gunmaker after massacre: "Private equity firm Cerberus has put U.S. firearms maker Freedom Group up for sale following Friday's killing of 20 children and 6 adults at the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut."

• After Newtown, the NRA goes silent: "As of Monday evening the largest and most powerful gun-rights lobbying group in the U.S. had not posted anything to its website since Friday morning, when a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton and killed 26 people, 20 of them children."

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  1. Ivan Calhoun

    Have been very heartened by Pier's approach to understanding this tragedy and its roots. Please know that we have just started an online initiative to demonstrate to everyone that there are gun owners in support of controls and who will support change. You can find us on Facebook at GO4GC or at http://www.go4gc.org. Thanks, Ivan

    December 18, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Keith

    Piers is an ill prepared, obnoxious, pompous donkey...
    Last night’s interview was completely obnoxious as he tried to "dress down" the gentleman who was against gun control until of course the gentleman mentioned halfway through the very rude and in your face interview that he was previously deputy sheriff.
    His interview several months ago with Gregg Allman was absurd... instead of talking about his massive body of work, all of the crazy stuff he has gone through, the loss of his brother whom he was very close to, attending military school as a child, etc… Piers persisted in talking about his many wives... Who gives a flying crap…? A complete and utter waste of time...
    If you don’t like AMERICA, more specifically the rights our forefathers created for us in order to get away from Britain’s tyranny, then don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya…
    We are not Europe… nor do we choose to be like Europe…

    December 18, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hansen

      You are so wrong. Piers' approach is exactly what is needed here. That is why nothing changes here ever. This is exactly the right measure of passion and intensity that is needed. He obviously cares profoundly and is horrified by this, as we all should be. He simply has the guts to express himself the way we all should be doing. That is why things get done about these issues in other countries but not here. The gun nuts have controlled the tone and rules of the dialogue for so long it is about time others match their level of force. You are the one who needs to leave. We do have an epidemic here and it seems the only people capable from saving us from ourselves are people from other countries. I almost feel like the US is similar to one of those countries where the UN has to step in for humanitarian reasons and make decisions for the people and its government. That is how dysfunctional we have become, incapable of solving our own problems. Thanks to Piers for caring so much and being so passionate. It would be easy for him to just perform the standard interview and give lip service like everyone else does. Piers doesn't have to care, he could just take the money from CNN and go back to Britain some day as he watches the country further deteriorate. The sign of someone who cares is the amount of passion he displays. America needs a swift kick in pants to learn the right level and measure of outrage that it takes to move the masses and government and your kind of passion is desperately needed here.

      December 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. vivek

    Pears,

    I watched your show at 9 pm on 18 th of December.
    I liked your interview with first guest. It was completly Ace. I wish every channel question like you did.
    I don't understand why people can't change. Some third world countries are better than us in terms of gun laws.
    Why do we have police? How many instances did the armed civilian relly stopped the gunman? Is it worth to weigh the benefit of haning gun to not have it? As we evolve we have to rewrite our own laws. Our founding fathers who wrote 2nd amendment may have done in positive way, but time is up to change our laws. Like we adopt with new technologies in our daily life why can't we adopt for new laws. Why do politicians cut around the bush but not cut the bush? Its very simple
    1) Ban all the guns. No private ownership. Every one have to surrender either licensed or illegal.
    2) No sale of guns to public and close all the gun businesses.
    3) Any one who needs security has to hire private security.
    4) Bring back the manufacturing jobs to America.
    tighten our borders. and ban all forms of legal drugs.
    We don't have to spend more tax payers money hiring more security personnel than to ban completly.
    One thing is for sure Washinton has to be changed.

    December 18, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. mary

    Piers, I think the show on 12-17-12 was absolutely one sided, your side only. You did not give the guest a chance to talk at all. You interrupted him several times. When youfound out he was a former Sherriff you settled down a little. You wanted people to hear you not your guest. It was a terrible thing that happened to these children and teachers, but you need to think outside the box. The boy was probably on medication and metal, but you choose to blame in on the gun!
    I agree with Keith if you don't like the way USA is run go back to England where you belong you are the worst host on any talk show I have every heard!!

    December 18, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. P Marques, Southbury, CT

    The interview with gun advocate Philip Van Cleave stupidly compared owning a Ferrari with owning an assault weapon. Assault weapons are made to kill.....Ferrari's are not.
    There needs to be a ban on assault weapons (PERIOD)! Leave these weapons in the hands of law enforcement agencies and the military.
    Lastly, if Ferrari's caused as many deaths as assault weapons do, I would want them banned as well……

    December 18, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. C Bruno, Pittsburgh, PA

    Great show with Philip Van Cleave, Piers. It is too bad you had to endure his nonsense. Just a thought…I have not yet heard any logical commercial use for multiple magazine assault rifles. If the nation does not agree on a complete ban of this particular rifle, maybe they will consider a public posting of the buyers. Due to what we have suffered from the use of these rifles falling in the wrong hands and the difficulty of limiting and tracking the who and why of purchasing these rifles, then we the public have the right to know who in our neighborhood and in the surrounding area own one of these horrible weapons. .

    December 18, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Greg Woodford

    I am not commenting on other types of hand guns and rifles – just the assault weapons like the bushmaster. I do not understand why assault weapons have any appeal but apparently they do. Some people think they are fun. But they DO NOT belong in the home. They should be in an armoury or perhaps a lockup at the shooting range under the watchful eye of a professional and then they can be signed out for the day...people can shoot – AT TARGETS AT A RANGE to their hearts content and then they are safely locked back up. Psychopaths should not have easy access to these weapons. This will not solve everything but I feel is a step in the right direction.

    December 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Avry Wilson

      1. Immediate solution: enhance gun control laws, i.e. clarify/broaden the 2nd Amendment
      2. Long term: Re-envision media and cultural atmosphere of violence – should involve the MPAA and other such groups.
      3. NO person (not just 'mentally ill') should have access to AR (Semi or fully) weapons. The 2nd Amendment cannot be taken away, as people deserve the right to be able to defend themselves – it's just that self defense can be carried out with a small caliber handgun (gun advocates don't get this – they want full-on powerful weapons, which is ingrained in them by media 'heroes' like Dirty Harry.) Keep AR rifles at ranges, locked away, in use only for recreation within that complex. Home weapons should be regulated with fingerprint lockouts.
      4. Screenings for sales need to cover the family (or people who may have access to the weapon), not just the individual buying it. Mrs Lanza may have been found competant and sane enough, yet ...
      5. Don't label killers as 'mentally ill', 'ADD', 'Autistic', etc. Everyone human is capable of violence, and a normal person can be triggered by an event in their lives to turn extremely violent.
      6. The US has – very unfortunately – developed a culture of violence, where a problem is resolved by violent action rather than diplomacy or seeking help. A large, coordinated campaign should promote avenues of help if they are feel they are in a crisis (or may be headed for one).
      7. Recognize that arming individuals (like teachers) is not the solution. What (I feel) gun advocates don't get is that it is a whole different ball of wax between talking about having a gun and actually pulling one out and pointing it. Ask any military or public servant in a community protection role (police, FBI, etc, etc). It's not an easy as you think. And is very dangerous when not understood this way (kills innocent bystanders and/or simply misses their target – ever try to shoot someone when they are also pointing a gun at YOU?)

      Prayers for the children lost, and for our American cousins dealing with this tragedy.

      December 18, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Jack Flynn

    Their toys are more important to them than the precious, irreplaceable lives of those 1st grade martyrs, who with their heroic teachers, were sacrificed because of the unfathomable obsession of ignorant and selfish men and women who worship at the altar of the NRA and are addicted to those damned toys. They may lay all the blame on the mentally disturbed shooter, but they are the enablers—the ones who keep the gun shows open and the supply routes flowing.
    As the bullets rip through the flesh and bones of their victims, the Al Qaeda fanatics shout, "God is Great" and as the children die, we hear through their screams, the deadly credo of the gun addicts, “Guns are Great."

    December 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Roger

    Piers, the way you treat guest with a differing opinion from your own on your show is disgusting and barbaric. Even though I feel the same way about stricter gun control in America like you do, I cannot tolerate your unprofessional and undemocratic behavior of not letting your guests give their opinion on the subject. The way you conduct interviews reminds me of the way totalitarian regimes tell off their critics on state-controlled media. Why do you even invite people to your show if you don't want them to say anything you don't like to hear? This is not the American way of journalism. I am surprised your bosses haven't fired you yet, because you have been acting like this ever since you took over from Larry King.

    December 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hansen

      You are so wrong. Piers' approach is exactly what is needed here. That is why nothing changes here ever. This is exactly the right measure of passion and intensity that is needed. He obviosuly cares profoundly and is horrified by this, as we all should be. He simply has the guts to express himself the way we all should be doing. That is why things get done about these issues in other countries but not here. The gun nut have controlled the tone and rules of the dialogue for so long it is about time other match their level of force.

      December 18, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jack Flynn

      Acting like what?—a man who asks probing questions and when the moment arises, stands by his feelings and beliefs and digs for the truth of the matter. What in hell are you talking about?
      Carry on Piers.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lisa

      I completely agree with Roger. I am a mother of two teens and have two nieces, 6 and 9 whom I adore. They attend the same grade school , as their father (my brother) myself and my sons as well here in Tampa did. I was appalled watching the interviews last night and tonight with Piers. Is he trying to 'raise' Nancy Grace" with her passion and temperment in handling their 'guests'. He was beyond rude and beligerant, interrupted his guests, and called them (ie: stupid, dangerous, need I say more). Who does he think he is? He kept comparing his country from ours repeatedly and that angered me....then go back there you egomaniac, whether it's about guns or not. I will never watch him again.
      I want to gun laws to change dramatically, but I certainly do not want to hear about it from a biased reporter playing
      'the blame game' calling professionals names, and being down right rude. Enough is enough. Save our children, quit playing 'a fake passionate' man doing what he's doing for ratings and for his own paycheck.

      December 18, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Steve Adams

    As a gun owner and enthusiast I am concerned about the confrontation between Piers and the and the pro gun individual on last nights show. He was treated as if he were the shooter and damned for his views. Not a very balanced interview but more like a "Witch Hunt Myself as well as my entire family are in mourning with the rest of the country over the tragic loss of life in CT. We are especially sensative when most of the victims are under 7 years of age and cannot comprehend looking into the eyes of these children while pulling the trigger on any weapon. I am insulted that there is an unilateral indictment of innocent, law abiding gun owners for the commission of this awful crime. Whenever some deranged individual decides to carry out mass murder, with or without guns he/she will find a way to get the job done. Our thoughts and prayers are always with the families and the country at large when death comes to innocent victims.

    December 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shane

      I couldn't agree with you more. Last night was the first time I've watched that show...and probably the last. I was not impressed at all how Morgan practically attacked the pro gun individual because his views didn't match that of Morgans.

      December 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Jennifer

    Whenever you have an event like this concerned people rightly take to social media to voice their opinions, but the outrage gun control advocates feel is always outpaced by the automatic defensiveness of gun owners. They're always the first to voice their opinions, finding statistics that are skewed to their opinions and dominating the airwaves. This is their bullying and threatening way of saying back off before the voices of dissent can even get a word out. Bullies need guns for protection because bullies need to feel powerful in a world that can be both beautiful and horrifying at the same time. We're all afraid. It's what we do in our fear that defines our character individually and as a nation. It takes courage to look someone with a gun in the eye, crazy or not, and say, "You are better than this." And that is my message to the gun owners I know and to those here on this forum. Intimidation and scare tactics, apathy and violence..... is this who you really are? Is it what your church or moral authority really preaches? I challenge you to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And if you honestly think you need weapons that get deadlier all the time ( as transportation gets safer all the time) because 12 of your worst enemies are going to attack your home all at once, then I suggest you either get out of organized crime or see a therapist. For those who insist on collecting and essentially playing with these things simply because they feel they have a "right" to do so, I say to you that abstinence is the only policy here. Your hobby that involves weapons that could easily kill so many at one time in one place is a dangerous one. Whether you lock it up or not, being a buyer contributes to the proliferation of guns just as coke addicts are the cause of the demand that is killing so many on our borders. Don't bury your head in the sand. Follow your head and heart and leave greed and paranoia by the way side. I think everyone who believes in change should picket outside of gun shows and shops with pictures of those precious babies and heroes. We should bring counselors to help those who feel the need to collect these things for bragging rights. But honestly, the best thing is to hit them in the pocketbook. Higher taxes and liability insurance will significantly slow down the sales as it did with cigarettes. If people insist on taking personal responsibility then let's allow them to take plenty of the blame and then some when an accident or crime occurs with their firearm. But assault weapons are just what they say in the name. They've got to go. Keep speaking up and speaking out my nonviolent friends. We shall overcome.

    December 18, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Margaret Lee

    Even though I was born and raised in Britain, I have not always agreed with Piers Morgan. However, I have nothing but praise and respect for his public stand for gun control in this country. Now as a naturalized citizen of over 40 years, I still cannot understand this nation's pre-occupation with guns and the need for anyone to be allowed to buy and sell assault weapons to the general public with little or no regulation. A young person recently told me that every civilian should be armed! How bizarre and misguided a judgement is that? And, please, do not placate me with the statement, "Guns don't kill people, people do." Those poor, innocent children had their little bodies SPRAYED with numerous bullets in a very short time. Yes, sadly we are not Europe and other countries where there are stricter gun control laws and as a result, far less people proportionally killed by a gun. If we as a nation cannot change things for the better, then we are all responsible for these deaths.

    December 18, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Shane

    Like I mentioned in my post last night, whether it was with an assault rifle, a handgun...or a knife or a bat...this deranged man wanted to kill those kids and he would have found a means to do it. Friday, when all those children's lives were taken in CT...a man in China stabbed 22 kids. So...should we ban knives too?...should we ban bats?...how about fishing string because you could technically strangle someone with that?...or maybe..............I could go on and on. Just like the Mathew 2:16 that was mentioned earlier...slayings have happened for years...even before there were guns. The problem isn't Assault Rifles...it's not hand guns...it's not hunting rifles or shotguns...It's people and the total lack of basic human respect and compassion that this country has lost for each other. Until we put God back in this country like when it was founded...and we, as a people..."a nation under God!"...start to refocus on the basic foundations of human decency...taking care of one another (including Mental Health!)...we will unfortunately probably see more slayings. I personally agree 100% with the saying "guns don't kill people...people kill people!" I own several guns...my guns stay locked up and they have never killed anyone. I'm glad I have never left them unlocked, they might jump out and kill someone! Aside from the RARE, ACTUAL ACCIDENTAL DISCHARGE that might injure or kill someone....Guns require a PERSON to load, aim and shoot them to kill someone! We need to fix people...not guns.

    December 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Joe

    Shane, I have read your posts quite a bit, and I must say, you take a level headed, calm approach on the issues, but when uneducated people tell me my beliefs are misguided and bizarre, I, like you, become defensive, I believe in a dialogue , a compassionate discussion with respect for everyone's opinions, and I think people who know nothing about gun ownership should limit their condemning comments. I enjoy reading your comments, stay safe!!

    December 18, 2012 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. J. Bringer

    OBAMA, RECIPIENT OF 2009 NOBEL PEACE PRIZE! PATHETHIC! HERE HE IS, SPREADING PEACE GUNS!

    December 19, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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