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June 18th, 2013
02:45 PM ET

"Piers Morgan Live, Rewind": Lammers claim the background check system is 'totally broken,' Jeff Corwin warns not to vilify sharks

Whether you fell asleep early, stayed out too late, or simply want to watch it again, we realize it's not always possible to get your entire "Piers Morgan Live" fix from television. As an answer to this, we offer the below labor of love – "Piers Morgan Live, Rewind" – dedicated and designed to getting you caught up and connected to the conversation.

  • Bill Lammers on gun policy: “The system is totally broken”

Last year, Bill and Tricia Lammers turned in their own son [Blaec] for fear that he could become the next face of a deadly mass shooting. On Monday, the Lammer’s joined “Piers Morgan Live” to discuss their role in preventing gun violence within a broken system.

Like so many other mass killings that have taken place over the past few months and years, Tricia points to inefficiencies in the mental health system as a potential source:

“Blaec has been hospitalized seven times. It started in 2008 when he was diagnosed with depression. At each hospital visit they diagnosed him with something different. They would change his medicine, they would keep him on the same medicine. We never really had a correct and steady diagnosis. It was something different each and every time. And sometimes the medicine would affect him in different ways, make him manic, make him more depressed, make him suicidal, make him homicidal.”

Though their son had been committed to mental health facilities on multiple occasions - including one instance following a 2009 attempted assault on a Walmart employee - none of the stays were court ordered. This loophole helps explain why Blaec was able to legally buy an assault rifle.

In 2012, Tricia found a receipt for the weapon in Blaec’s pocket while doing laundry. In a heroic act of bravery, she and Bill turned to the police in hopes of preventing a pending tragedy. Bill explains that it was his only option:

“There's no way that I think America should allow this to continue to happen. Seven times in a hospital, going to the same Walmart that he ... was carried out in handcuffs earlier with a butcher knife, and he can legally go in there, put the money on the counter, pass a background test, buy a weapon and ammunition. And be handed that rifle ... Something is wrong with that system. As a matter of fact I would say the system is totally broken.”

  • Corwin: Don't vilify sharks

Shark week seems to have come early at "Piers Morgan Live." On Monday, the host asked Jeff Corwin to offer his analysis on the heels of two legendary shark encounters, both of which Piers Morgan featured recently on his show.

Corwin, as a nature and animal conservationist, understands the importance of maintaining boundaries between humans and these majestic creatures. While he can appreciate Chris Kreis’s enthusiasm at seeing a whale shark, his decision to jump in the water, and onto the whale shark, may have put the animal in danger:

“They have a very thin, almost like slimy layer, a mucus layer on their skin. When that rubs off, it actually can expose them to bacteria,” he explained. “And we also need to remember what this animal is doing. These animals move to the surface for one specific reason. And that is to filter feed. And they're burning energy to get energy. And when we interfere with their feeding activities, it could be detrimental.”

In response to the three men who hooking the biggest shark ever, and the praise they received after – including from the "Piers Morgan Live" host himself – Corwin noted that “when we vilify [sharks], it makes it a lot easier to unsustainably exploit them.”

For the next edition of "Piers Morgan Live," watch CNN every night at 9.
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soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Ron

    Hi,
    I just wanted to correct an error that you made on air about the "ILLEGAL" purchase of the SIG M400 rifle that this young man made. I cannot quote verbatim the question(s) on the Federal Firearms App, but it asks if you are using prescribed drugs for mental health issues and I think that there is another question about being diagnosed with a mental health problem or hospitalized for mental illness. They maybe combined into one question. The fact is that he "DID NOT HAVE A LEGAL RIGHT TO BUY THIS FIREARM" and he broke at least one Federal law and its a felony.It is bad enough with all the wack jobs spewing misinformation about what (is or isn't) the government and families for stricter gun laws are trying to do, so please don't add to the confusion. Please be informed about the federal firearms apps13 questions for gun buyers, so not to inflame the issue any more because of bad info. I an a gun owner and I have "ZERO PROBLEMS" with a stricter background checks. I have a background check done by the FBI for the license that I have. I would like to see all gun sales ( used guns, gun shows and private sales) have background checks. Thanks you,
    Ron
    Ps. As I stated before, Please be informed before you poke a stick in the hornets nest and get stung! This is a very very important issue that heeds to be addressed, but with knowledge and honesty and without the spin thats adding fuel to the fire. You WILL BE OVER WHELMED WITH E-MAILS, LETTERS AND PHONE CALLS FROM VERY PASSIONATE AND ANGERY PERSON AND WORST OF ALL BY SOME VERY HATEFUL AND MEAN SPIRITED EXTREMISTS TYPES.

    June 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mister Peebles

      Ron you raise a good point: he didn't answer his form questions truthfully.

      That said, there is a distinction between a "legal commitment", meaning determined mentally ill by a court of law, and an "emergency commitment", meaning he was sent for treatment per order of a doctor or family as a minor.

      Emergency commitments are like going to the ER for an appendix operation: you needed immediate care but your condition is not permanent. Legal commitments are like pre-existing conditions: you are unable to function in society and a court makes you a ward of the state or grants a guardian to monitor psychological care.

      The form needs to be clarified. A good lawyer could argue the guy wasn't lying because no court of law determined him insane. Distinctions between legally mentally ill and temporarily mentally ill are imperative.

      June 19, 2013 at 10:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. cr

    I totally agree the system is broke, but the parents said their son was diagnosed with different conditions and prescribed different drugs each time he went into hospital all of which had adverse affects on his mental state. Surely what needs to be asked is what are these drugs and how many mentally ill patients are currently out there using them. It sounds as though in addition to tightening up the existing gun control laws we have on the books we need to have a serious review of some of the drugs being prescribed to people suffering these conditions. We talk of gun bans, but what about controls, or even a ban on the drugs that turn the mentally depressed into homicidal maniacs. Surely a sensible starting point would be to have a registry of those people who are on these drugs that is linked into to the background check system.

    June 18, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. brasstacs

    Lammer went through the federal FBI NICS background check,and his mental illness had slipped through the cracks...However one of the 2 amendments to pass in congress in April deals with the mental illness problem and to upgrade the mental health records in the national data base...and this amendment was fully supported by the NRA.

    June 18, 2013 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • cr

      How on earth have we ever allowed medically prescribed drugs that have dangerous mood altering effects on to the market in the first place?

      June 18, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Mister Peebles

        Anti-depressants and SSRIs have demonstrated to be efficacious in relieving symptoms in most patients.

        Like any other form of medicine, psychiatry is not precise and it is constantly evolving. Many lives have been saved by prescription drugs and psychotherapy. The NIH has done studies that conclude this much.

        Also, realize that most patients can't afford top-notch psychological healthcare. Best practices might be expensive, cutting edge drugs they can't afford. Therefore, the doctor prescribes more affordable medication that will keep them functional and discourage suicide.

        In years past, people with severe mental health problems were either permanently committed, or killed themselves. With medication and therapy, many can return to mainstream society again.

        June 19, 2013 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
      • cr

        Maybe a useful exercise would be to chart the introduction of these drugs against mass shootings to establish if there is any correlation.

        June 19, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ron

    Very good point CF. I got so caught up on trying to correct an on air error that I forgot the other just as important issue of mental health. We have a very dangerous problem in this country due in part from the hazardous medication side effects that can occur and mental health misdiagnosis of patients or not recognizing the need for help. The mental health problem as grown exponenitally in this country since we started to look the other way starting in the late 70's and we haven't looked back since. If your add the funding cuts that started in the 80's you will have an idea of just how bad it is. Do you remember the increase in the homeless that exploded in the 90's from all the mental hospitals closing? This has turned into "The Perfect Storm" because of the groups that are involved. 1) Gun Lobby and its supporters. 2) Pharmaceutical companies and its Lobby. 3) American Medical Assn. and its Lobby. 4) Federal Gov. 5) We The People This will be one of the tuffest battles this country will face to try and find a solution for this ever growing and dangerous problem.

    June 18, 2013 at 9:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Ron

    Thats part of the problem with the current background checks. Its a fact that people lie and with the mental health system not being fully integrated from all 50 states in the background check system database we have the deadly and disastrous results that have touched so many lives for far to long.
    As far as a persons right to (medical) confidentiality when filling the app. the gun shop would not be given the reason for the rejection of the app. from the gov. The individual would be sent via the mail or e-mail the reason for the rejection of the app. with a lets say 90 appeal process to correct any errors.

    June 18, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • cr

      A person with mental health issues looking to buy a gun isn't going to tell the truth on a background check form. A prescribed drugs database linked to NICS would catch these people at the check stage. Sounds like common sense to me, but probably not to many of our liberal lawmakers.

      June 18, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Ron

    cr
    Not a bad idea except that some of the meds on that list are used for other medical reasons like pain management and nerve pain and I'm sure there are other indications for their use too.

    June 18, 2013 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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    June 24, 2013 at 6:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. jamesbrown4701

    There are Two type of Commitments. Legal Commitments and Emergency commitments. Legal commitments are like pre-existing conditions: you are not able fit in society. A grants a guardian to monitor psychological care. In emergency commitments,you needed immediate care but your condition is not permanent. For more information about David Ala Chalfin click:http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?gl=ROOT_CATEGORY&rank=1&new=1&so=3&MSAV=1&msT=1&gss=ms_r_f-2_s&gsfn=Lois&gsln=Chalfin&msbdy=1938&msbpn__ftp=Brooklyn%2C+Kings%2C+New+York%2C+USA&msddy=1994&msdpn__ftp=Silver+Spring%2C+Montgomery%2C+Maryland%2C+USA&cpxt=0&catBucket=p&uidh=000&cp=0

    July 26, 2013 at 3:09 am | Report abuse | Reply

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