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In an interview that proved entirely contentious, on Monday evening Piers Morgan invited Second Amendment Foundation Founder and Vice President Alan Gottlieb to explain the "Guns Save Lives Day" event he has helped schedule for the day after December's Sandy Hook school shooting anniversary.
Citing reaction from the daughter of the principal murdered last winter, a woman who called “December 14th the sacred day for Newton families” and noted that such a pro-gun event would essentially represent a “trampling on the graves of the innocent children and educators who were murdered,” Morgan stopped to chastise the guest:
“Why are you laughing?” he demanded of Gottlieb.
Attempting to defend his reaction, the guest answered:
“Because that’s totally over the top. That’s not what our intent was, that not’s what we were going to do."
The intensity of the interview only grew, as both men began to passionately engage and refute the other.
“Wait a minute. You plan a campaign to promote the good side of guns on the first anniversary of the worst mass shooting at a school in American history and you had a goal to laugh when I read out a quote, from one of the victim's families. How dare you!,” yelled Morgan.
Gottlieb offered an alternate perspective to the incident:
“Hey, my heart goes after them. My heart goes after them and I have children, grandchildren myself, but that doesn't allow them to use that day either to attack my rights ... We're backing off to go to the December 15th, Bill of Rights Day the next day," he claimed. "Now, will they back off? Will you back off? How many times this year have you attacked gun rights in your show? 60? 70?”
“I won't back off ... people like you,” admitted the "Piers Morgan Live" host.
As the exchange continued, each man became increasingly more entrenched in his own argument, while discounting the other’s data on gun deaths and safety.
“Piers all your emotional rhetoric doesn't solve any problems. All it does is polarize the right situation and make talking to check good answers to solve the problems," claimed Gottlieb. "It’s people like you that politicize it not me. You've done it 40, 50, 60, times in your show this year.”
“Yeah. I just want less Americans to die from guns. What about you?” said the host.
And with that, Piers Morgan ended the interview, dismissing Gottlieb from the program.
With the debt ceiling deadline rapidly approaching, and with the gun debate as intensified as ever within America, on Monday night "Piers Morgan Live" welcomed the return of retired NASA shuttle commander, and husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, Mark Kelly.
The government shutdown has hit close to home for Kelly, with NASA bearing a significant brunt of government defunding, and his identical twin brother Scott Kelly amongst those having been furloughed.
“You know, he is not only been furloughed. He actually applied for unemployment the other day, and my brother is going to be the Commander of the Space Station in 2015 for a year. He's flown three space missions," explained Kelly. "NASA put out some information on how NASA employees, like my brother, like astronauts could file for unemployment. Not a good day in earth.”
As the live interview continued, Morgan asked Kelly about the underlying causes for the paralysis in Washington, given that this Congress seems radically different from the one in which is wife, Rep. Giffords, served.
“Well, we've done this to ourselves, Piers. You know, we've gerrymandered these Congressional Districts into a point where you have folks on either side of the aisle that need to be just incredibly conservative or incredibly liberal to avoid losing their job in a primary and that's not the way the system was supposed to be," noted the astronaut. "When Gabby was in Congress, she was a person in the middle. She could reach a card across the aisle to work with her Republicans to solve these problems, but gerrymandering has made that very difficult to do.”