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July 24th, 2012
05:40 PM ET

Lawyer Alan Dershowitz on the research of author John Lott Jr.: "Junk science…paid for by the National Rifle Association"

On Monday, Piers Morgan welcomed attorney Alan Dershowitz and author John Lott Jr. for a lively and emotional gun control debate that came in the aftermath of Friday's deadly shooting in Aurora, CO.

As the nation mourns the loss of 12 lives, the famed Harvard law professor pressed for stricter firearm legislation, dismissing claims that guns can have a positive impact on society:

“There’s no evidence that I’m aware of that guns protect liberty. There’s no evidence that I’m aware of that guns reduce crime,” bellowed Dershowitz, who openly supports repealing the Second Amendment. “The likelihood that somebody in the family will be killed if there’s a gun in the house is much higher than that the person will use the gun to protect his family.”

Lott, who has held research positions at some of the country’s greatest institutions, fired back: “You’re not a statistician.”

He was interrupted, however, as Dershowitz called his research “junk science…paid for by the National Rifle Association."

Enraged by this accusation, the author of the controversial book “More Guns, Less Violence” implored Dershowitz to revoke his statement:

“The NRA hasn’t paid for my research,” said Lott, whose work was published by the University of Chicago Press. “That’s simply ridiculous.”

The contentious altercation came to a halt only when Piers Morgan interjected, asking Lott to explain the premise of his case to the victims in Colorado:

“The police can’t be there all the time to protect you,” Lott said.

At this point Morgan jumped in, classifying the authors entire visit as a case of his guest “talking absolute nonsense.”

Watch the clip, and listen to the discussion, as two men on the opposite side of the gun control debate emotionally attempt to make their case.
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soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. rukidding

    I felt that Piers was absolutely more rude than Nancy Grace to Mr. Lott. He would ask a question and then not let him answer any of it.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Natasha

      It doesn't make any sense. Why did Piers even invite Mr Lott onto the stage. Instead of a talk show we got a Piers ranting and raving red faced like a high school kid. Please send him back to Britain.

      July 24, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • jlvbimages

        I couldn't get on last night to post this, but this was the firkin worst d___ interview Piers has done yet. I bet if you add up the amount of time the guy had talk it would not even total up a minute. Piers, don't ask a question if you are not going to shut your rude mouth. You just lost me as a viewer. Go your rude a__ back across the pond.

        July 24, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ryjamieson

        I would have to agree with what Natasha and others are saying. I have rarely felt more angry at watching an interview than this one. I have always felt CNN prided themselves on professional staff and impartial reporting. However, this was a clear case of a very immature person talking to get his personal opinion across. Piers wasn't a reporter, wasn't an impartial interviewer, he was a rude, disrepectful person trying to belitte his guest to make himself look good. Well Piers, you failed. You owe that individual as well as all of the CNN viewers an apology.

        July 25, 2012 at 6:15 am | Report abuse |
      • Sanbro

        Americans don't like to hear it when they are wrong....their pride is distorted....Piers Morgan is spelling it out to you all......TAKE AWAY YOUR GUNS OR YOU WILL DESTROY YOUR COUNTRY BY YOUR OWN IGNORANCE.

        July 25, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert Duncan

      Really like the show but Mr Morgan does need to allow his guests to answers the questions. Whether you agree or not, you have to let people speak. He has done this before.

      July 24, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • James

      This was a horrible interview. I am not interested in Piers Morgans Opinion. He is a "journalist" and that means asking questions and hearing the responses. He did no such thing. I want to be able to make an informed decison and I cannot make one if a two year old keeps looking for attention. If he thought that Lott's research was uncredible then why invite him to the show? Piers needs to stop adding his opinion and CNN needs to stop pushing their agenda. This is becoming more and more apparent and this interview reiterates CNN is not trying to "Keep them honest" they are just trying to put on a show. Poor form Piers..... poor form.

      July 25, 2012 at 3:15 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • GF

      I will never watch another interview by Pierce Morgan due to his emotional rants that you have to endure. To call this interview a discussion is a joke. I actually believe in gun control and would have liked to have heard some intelligent arguments from Mr. Lott but I feel he was not given an opportunity to express himself without Pierce rudely interrupting him. This is not professional journalism but rather Jerry Springer sensationalism. CNN needs to consider if this is the type of reporting they want to endorse.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • Sanbro and mr. Lott belong in jail with Holmes. The topic of gun possession is exactly as serious as Piers Morgan and Michael Moores explained it.....America is in trouble if they don't turn around their way of thinking to a 360 degree shift. And it's not a joke either.

        July 25, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Robt.

        @sanbro. Delusional is the word that comes to mind when reading your posts. There are many Countries in this world. Move to one that suits your beliefs.

        July 26, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Lee Ann

      Simply put... I agree totally. I may not agree with John Lott but this was an insult to the show. Piers needs to step back with some of his guests or not invite them on as his ego takes over....I switch stations many times out of frustration and rudness toward his guest Mr. Lott. I felt bad for him. He wasn't given the chance to answer 1 question properly. Piers... this show of yours is a two sided seating... you ask the questions, let the others answer... And your big shot lawyer guests are also blow hearts... they love their TV time.

      July 25, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sanbro

      Piers Morgan was the intelligent one trying to make that pathetic host see how serious a problem America has....Piers Morgan is not American he's a Brit and at the end of the day if America wants to continue to live dangerously and lose their citizens which is obviously going to continue to happen all he needs to do is get out of America...America is losing the battle though because they are not understanding the game of life is to live by the rules and be safe. Guns are not safe, they are very very dangerous. And they kill.

      July 25, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • John Halbrook


        July 25, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Catherine Leslie

      I could not believe how Mr, Lott would not answer the actual question, instead he wanted to just use air time to promote his book. You could see it on his face and his eyes that he did not want to hear or understand the upset that most of the country feels right now: Assault weapons are for military. We do not need to have access to guns and ammo via the internet. We do not need to have 100 bullet clip. I agree, 10 bullet clip is all that is needed.

      Also, I want to add that Mr. Holmes obviously wanted to live out what the Joker does in the Batman comics/shows/movies This is pleasure oriented for him. He wants to be the Joker: so why in the world should our society not care for its people. It is common sense that we are all pleasure seekers in life. I love reading. Mr. Holmes loved the idea to be the joker. It is evident since his video presentation was about Superheroes. His dream was to be the Joker, he dyed his hair red, he acts goofy like the joker as he is playing the part of the Joker (spitting at jail guards, etc...), and he sent a note to the University of Colorado. The Joker in the Batman shows sent letters. This guy is not crazy–this has been his fantasy since this villan gives him pleasure. Since our society has become so "Me" oriented, we need a fast solution first (Mayor Bloomberg said it best), and we should not waste time listening to people like Mr. Lotts as he does not want to see the other side at all. Either extreme would not make most Americans happy, but the normal American would agree with no assault weapons, no internet purchases, background checks, background checks at gun shows, common database to do the checks, and 10 bullet clip. We don't have time for any arguments. I left teaching inner city since I had fear of a gun shooting. Yes, kids make death threats, and they bring guns to school–but if it is found out early enough and the police come and arrest the kid–it is never reported to the media since a shooting did not happen. We have too much murder, too many victims of shootings, but have been lucky enough to survive. Some horrific disfigurements: For example: the lady who was shot in the face by her husband. Her face is pushed in and she lost one of her eyes and her nose. WAKE UP AMERICA! THIS NEEDS TO STOP! STOP COMPLAINING AND GIVE IT A CHANCE1

      July 26, 2012 at 2:41 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pro2nd

      I wonder if Alan would feel the same way about firearms if he had been born in Poland instead of Brooklyn? In my opinion, nothing is more ironic than a Jew against guns.

      July 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • davidwlee

      Regardless of your viewpoint on gun control and legislation – this marks the new low point in "journalism". How about a fair discussion of the opposing views, CNN???

      August 1, 2012 at 1:16 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alex

      Piers sounds a lot like a guy from Fox news...

      August 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Charles

        This is the crux of it. We got all these people yelling over each other while the public just gets a bunch of emotional nonsense that does nothing to solve any problems. I was taken back by both of Morgan's "interviews" with Lott. Thought I was watching Fox News for a second too.

        January 2, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • brokenbarriers2259

      Gun ownership vs. Gun related deaths – a state by state comparison. As you will see, there is no correlation between gun related homicides and gun ownership. States fall all over the board and the data does not favor either side of the debate.

      Ownership = percentage of gun owners in the state
      Mortality = gun related deaths in the state

      extremely high ownership, extremely high mortality: Mississippi
      extremely high ownership, high mortality: Alabama, Arkansas
      extremely high ownership, median mortality: Alaska, Montana
      extremely high ownership, low mortality: West Virgina
      extremely high ownership, extremely low mortality: Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming
      high ownership, extremely high mortality: Louisiana, South Carolina
      high ownership, median mortality: Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Wisconsin
      high ownership, extremely low mortality: Iowa, Utah, Vermont
      median ownership, extremely high morality: Michigan, New Mexico
      median ownership, high mortality: Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas
      median ownership, median mortality: Indiana
      median ownership, low morality: Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon
      median ownership, extremely low mortality: Maine
      low ownership, extremely high mortality: Arizona, Nevada
      low ownership, high mortality: Virginia
      low ownership, median mortality: Colorado, Ohio
      low ownership, low mortality: Delaware, Tennessee, Washington
      low ownership, extremely low mortality: New Hampshire
      extremely low ownership, extremely high mortality: California, Illinois, Maryland
      extremely low ownership, median mortality: Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York
      extremely low ownership, low mortality: Connecticut, Rhode Island
      extremely low ownership, extremely low mortality: Hawaii

      December 16, 2012 at 4:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Penelope Norton

    Recently, there was a guest psychologist who was an expert on schizophrenia talking about the Aurora massacre. The guest spoke about the degradation of mental health care in the US as a contributing factor in the Aurora incident. While I believe that gun control is an important topic in the wake of this event, I believe that this guest pointed to the very significant contribution made by the degradation of US mental health care (beginning with the Reagan era in US politics) to the Aurora deaths by a mentally ill man. We jail the mentally ill, they live on our streets as homeless, and their unrecognized needs are worsening, endangering the public. I would like to see more on this aspect of Aurora.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply


    July 24, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Patrick

      Your overzealous use of capslock will surely convince me you are not full of crap and pulling facts out of your behind. Lott has 12 years of US data. International comparisons are only supplementary and are even somewhat tenuous due to the diversity of culture in other nations.

      At the end of the day, this debate is about America. Lott was actually dismissive of foreign examples in the interview, countering Dershowitz by bringing up Switzerland. American statistics show a benefit for increased responsible gun ownership. That's all that should matter for American law.

      July 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. elbow macaroni

    John Lott sounds like Kermit the Frog

    July 24, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rae

      And you probably look like Kermit the Frog, with a brain pan about the same size!

      July 25, 2012 at 1:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Mike T

    Piers was a terrible host, he interrupted Mr. Lott throughout the interview and never let him answer a single one of the 15 questions he was asked. I don’t know who Piers thinks he is but his lack of class was very evident. As for Alan Dershowitz, he sounded even worse and embarrassed himself as well as CNN. I am all for an open discussion about gun-control, however the unfortunate behavior displayed by Piers Morgan and Alan Dershowitz did more to harm the gun-control effort than anything else. Mr. Lott was the only true gentleman on the program and I was surprised at how calm and collective he was during the interview. However, I would be even more surprised if CNN would allows Piers and Dershowitz on the air again without a public apology to Mr. Lott.

    July 24, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Naomi Nye

    Thanks for your frank, strong, true talk, Piers!

    People talk about the right to bear arms. Let's all talk more about the Right Not to be Shot.

    July 24, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • JuanCudz

      How about the right to defend myself from attack? 2A let's you use the most efficient response to violence. A thing to remmember when cowering under a desk, hoping not to feel the muzzle of a pistol against the back of you head.

      August 3, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Scott Graves

    I usually enjoy Piers Morgan’s program but not this one. Piers was an extremely disrespectful in this program discussion, if one can call it that. Piers asked Mr. Lott several questions, then kept talking telling Mr. Lott what he should think. I am not a gun proponent, but a guest should be given equal time to give his opinion (no matter how wrong Piers may feel it is). If Piers reviews his diatribe, he should be ashamed and apologize to Mr. Lott. I fail to understand why a foreigner would care what social laws we have (or don’t have); a discussion without bias is far more interesting and informative than essentially gagging one side of an issue.

    July 24, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Pat Quinn

    There are about 60 million people in GB and 300 million in the US. So there are over 8,000 killing by guns in the US and the equivalent number in GB is about 200. So who cares if the number went up after gun control?

    July 24, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Isaac Mutemi

    I felt offended by Piers Morgans' regulation of the debate. My friends and I ,mere University students, can hold much fairer debates about issues as heated as this. At some point, when the guest supporting gun deregulation asked Piers whether he normally talks more than his guest, Piers had the chutzpah to tell him "Yeah, if they are talking absolute nonsense." Piers, you'd do well to remember that yours isn't a street discussion where the loudest guy (or the one with most supporters) wins. The guy supporting gun ownership impressed me with his restraint, I would have walked out on you.

    July 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rae

      As I watched that team-tagging episode, I instinctively screamed at my television, "get up and walk out on them!"

      July 25, 2012 at 1:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Michael

    It is highly misconceived that assault weapons are trully the problem in both this case and in all violence cases. Most people chimming in both for gun control and against gun control know absolutely nothing about guns. The AR-15 (semi-auto) or M16 (full auto variant) is a military application rifle yes that is true. But more precisely the caliber of the weapon 5.56 Nato or .223 is not intended to kill. The sole purpose of this round was developed to wound not to kill which is precisely why there was such a high wounded to killed ratio. 58 wounded to only 12 killed. Most people do not realize that perhaps the best thing that could have happened in this scenario is for Mr. Holmes to have used the assault rifle. The 5.56 Nato round is intended to pass right through a victim injuring him so that it takes two soldiers to care for him. In warfare one shot rendering three soldiers useless is the intent of this round. You have a very small in diameter full metal jacket bullet going at a hyper rate of speed meant solely to pass through the victim as fast as possible with minimal expansion and internal trauma. Had Mr. Holmes used his shotgun more or .40 cal glocks there would have been far more deaths as the .40 cal round is intended to mushroom and expand at a high rate causing massive internal damage and death. In fact the vast majority of the time it is not assault rifles used in gun violence related crimes it is the handguns. Banning assault rifles while sounds good will actually do nothing to crime rates. If anything the handguns are at higher risk of being used in a crime. What most people also ignore is that you dont need to compare the US to other countries as far as gun related viloence goes but rather inside our own united states. For instance two of the largest states in the US Texas and California. One has very strict gun laws and the assault weapons ban as well as the limitation on magazines to only allow 10 rounds and the other has minimal gun control laws. Which do you think has the higher gun violence rate? That is right the one who bans assault rifles and limits the magazines to 10 rounds. California has significantly in fact almost double the gun related crimes as does Texas. You can use these two examples to see that gun control laws will no increase gun related crimes nor will they decrease them. The true problem is in fact the people. We are very lucky that Mr. Holmes obviously knew very little about guns as he made a very poor choice in his assault rifle weapon choice and the use of the 100 round drum mag instead of lets say four 30 round magazines. The 100 round drum mag almost always inevitably jams as any avid gun user would know. Why the news media lets completely uninformed and ill educated people like mayor bloomberg talk about gun control and the specifics about weapons is beyond me. Why not have people like the ATF and FBI who knows the most about the technical issues. Lastly Virginia Tech and Ft. Hood and almost all other mass killing did not use assault rifles but rather HANDGUNS!

    July 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michael Miller

      Many anti-gun advocates don't know anything about firearms. If they did they would realize they were only banning rifles with pistol grips like the AR-15 and there are plenty of more powerful semi-auto rifles out there that don't come with a pistol grip so they are not considered assault weapon under their own law. An M14 or M1 Garand fires rounds far more powerful than what the AR-15 fires.

      July 24, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. P Reid

    I am not a supporter of the NRA but if you invite someone on your show to discuss this subject I would expect that they be given time to speak and respond. I have always defended Piers Morgan even when everyone I know could not stand his tactics. As of last night I officially stopped watching this arrogant idiot do what he did - how utterly disrespectful and classless. Nobody gains from handling things that way. I wanted to hear what this man had to say - even if I wholeheartedly disagreed with him.

    July 24, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michael

      @P Reid. I was curious how you felt about the points brought up in my post above? In a respectful way. I am in no way attempting to start an argument. It just upsets me that the news circuits throw so much untrue and unfounded "facts" at the american public that can potentially shape uninformed peoples minds about an issue when in fact almost all of what they are spewing is nonsense. Instead of Mayor Bloomberg and Michael Moores Opinion on technical gun and violence issues why not bring informed people such as ATF, FBI, and Military personel on to discuss the true intricasies of the issues at hand and how this whole thing could have been much worse had Holmes actually had a working knowledge of guns. We are actually very lucky that he made some of the choices he did. I would love to hear your comments.

      July 24, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Markus

    What an incredibly poor interview. What is the point of inviting a guest with an opinion different then yours when you won't let him answer one single question? That is exactly what a "debate" is for, hearing different views and then making up someone's mind. Shouting someone down like Piers did is embarrassing to the news world and a complete waste of viewers time. If you don't want to hear what they have to say, then don't put them on your show. Poor skills Piers.

    July 24, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Steve

    It is a tragedy what happened in Aurora and words can not express or comfort the families who were effected by this horrific event. This event unfortunately will be used by the likes of Bloomburg and Morgan and the whole anti gun world to exploit their belief that guns are evil and should be removed from the world’s societies and especially America.
    It is appalling to me that CNN would tolerate such a display of bios on Morgan’s part and condones his behavior toward and invited guest speaker. Is this the media example CNN wants to portray?
    Only one thing needs to be understood about the Second Amendment, and that is it was put in place so that the people auto be able to protect themselves from the very representatives they elect to represent them.
    Approximately 39,000 people die in automobile accidents a year, but no one is trying to remove the automobile from the roads, people who are convicted of DWI are constantly given new licenses to drive a 6000 pound projectile again that’s ok, but you want to take my rights away own firearms because someone who is sick used them in a crime? That just doesn’t make any sense at all.
    In response to Alan Dershowitz, I will simply say do you remember what happened in 1937 when Hitler passed the first gun control act that he said this is a historical event? That’s right over 6 million people were exterminated. So I ask do you want the same thing to happen again.

    July 24, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Rhonda Cooper

    Dr. Mr. Morgan,
    Before I say what I want to say, (which, I understand you will probably never see, anyway- but I'll feel better after having said it), I want to tell you I have thoroughly enjoyed all of your interviews, your empathy, your manners, your journalistic ethics... until last night. Regarding gun control- I understand it is a very explosive topic. However, after your show last night, I wasn't sure if the point of the interview was to scold Mr. Lott, release your own stress... perhaps just hear your own voice; but, I really was interested in what he had to say to justify more guns, and unfortunately, I never got to hear a complete sentence. My husband is a retired police officer, and we have differing views on guns, but both of us were very disappointed in your approach to" illuminate" America. One point you might adjust: use percentages of crimes vs. populations... "39" deaths meant nothing to me because I feel the Britain population is vastly smaller than America's... but I may be showing my ignorance, here... At any rate, please don't let your ego replace your common sense and your great ability to connect with your guests and your audiences. After that emotional beating you directed toward Mr. Lott, I hope people don't start declining to be on your show... Until last night, I felt as though we finally had a TV host or newsman that delivered information and facts; and didn't try to make up my mind for me by putting his own spin on things. Now, I'm not so sure. I wish you continued success and hope that last night was just an emotionally "off" night for you.

    July 24, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Michael Miller

    Now I know why CNN has such terrible ratings.

    July 24, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  16. darinstreaks

    Wow, PM is tool. No facts, just emotional hyperbole. Typical lib.

    July 24, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Jay Kelly

    Piers show last night was nothing more than a lot of soap box preaching by Piers amd Alan Dershowitz. They were both extremly rude and ill informed about many facts. Everyone thinks that this horrible tradgedy is senseless, you cant make any sort of sense of something a incredibily sick person would do. The fact that Piers made about what our founding fathers intented when writing the consitution, that they would not include assault rifles is ludicris, we could say that they didnt mean we should have free speeech over the internet or twitter or any new invention that has come along to the new world. It was meant to be a deterent from the goverment over running the people of the country. As in any country that has tried to revolt against goverment terrieny,ie egypt, llybia, and Piers should now this piece of history the American revolution. Its a very slippery slope to start excluding parts of any of our freedoms, thats what freedom is all about. What we need to do is to identify and help the mentally ill without the stigmatism that is assocated with it. To fund mental heath hospitals. You could take all the guns in the world away from people but you will never stop people from killing people it has been done since the begining of time with all sorts of different weapons for all different reasons. Would it make anyone feel better if this sick person walked into the theatre and blew the whole place up with a home made bomb, I would say more would have died. And Dershowitz and Bloomberg should remember history of when the German's first took all the guns from the Jews. Luckily their are more sane compasionate people in the world than insane and tyrants.

    July 24, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Whyareyouontv

    That was the most idiot interview I have ever seen. Piers Morgan is the kind of guy that makes your side weaker if hes on it. Completely ruined the credibility of anyone arguing for better gun laws.

    July 24, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  19. mark

    Mr. Pierce tactics against Mr. Lott were similar to the Colorado gunmen, blasting away at a confined victim like a vindictive crazy man. Absolutely appalling.

    July 24, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Adam

    Piers, I tuned in because I was looking forward to hearing an intelligent discussion on gun control and the tragedy in Colorado. I got none of that. If I didn't know who you were I might have thought Fox News had a new host. How about raising the bar a bit and allowing your viewers to form their own opinions instead of you forcing yours down our throats. Disappointed!

    July 24, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  21. BoDon

    "Assault Weapon" is not a technical firearms term. It just describes a weapons use. The Brady Bill which supposedly banned assault weapons was a joke. All it really banned was high capacity magazines and scary looking parts on guns. Civilian AK47's and AR15's are technically SEMI-AUTOMATIC rifles, as are numerous hunting rifles, shotguns, pistols, and revolvers. The ammunition most "assault weapons" use it LESS powerful than most hunting rifles. Gun control advocates need to understand what they are trying to ban, or stop lying about banning a certain "type" of weapon and admit their real intention of banning all weapons (remove the 2nd amendment).

    July 24, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Helen McFarland

    Piers Morgan, you were so aggressively rude and hyped up, I literally had to turn the t.v. off. I am completely surprised that the guest you had under attack did not walk off. He should have. Other than that, your inability to see that any lunatic inclined to committ mass murder will get one of the millions of guns in circulation regardless of the laws, shows very much how completely naive you are, and how disconnected you really are to the American mindset. The shame is that a good person in the audience did not have a gun to take this man down before he took more innocent lives. Your complete disregard for journalistic principles did not reflect well on you at all.

    July 24, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Mike

    If Mr. Morgan doesn't like our right to bear arms, I suggest he go home and stick his nose in the queen's business for a change. I mean the way I see it, he's not even an American, so where does he get off trying to tell us how to run our country? If it was up to me we would run him out just like we did his fellow countrymen years ago when they tried to suppress us with their way of life.

    July 24, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  24. J

    Seems to me that I'm not the only one who has lost tons of respect of Mr. Morgan. I do ponder if I had much to begin with anyway. He knows nothing about weapons, guns, arms. Alan Dershowitz said the right to bear arms means you can own nuclear weapons. ARE you kidding me@ what a moron! this is absolutely the reason why nothing will change because of horrible reporting of the news. When they made the 2nd Amendment the 'the right to bear arms' at that time meant a gun because NUCLEAR WEAPONS DIDN'T EXIST! I liked what on gentlemen said on here about the population difference between these countries they compare homicidal crime to... Canada and Great Britian are not even close to the population of The United States Of America 300,000,000 million people compared to G.B. 63 mil or Canada 35mil more people more crime that ends that debate. I WILL NEVER WATCH YOU SHOW AGAIN! PLEASE DON'T COMMENT ABOUT THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, IT MIGHT BE EASY TO KICK THIS COUNTRY WHILE IT IS DOWN BUT WE WERE ONCE CONTROLLED BY Kingdom of Great Britain AND WE RAISED UP AND DECIDED TO BE BETTER THAN YOUR BULLCHIT.

    July 24, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  25. scott

    Here we go again-- just because someone lost there head for a brief moment lets blame it on guns.
    Just like when the senator got shot that time.lets reduce the ammo they can hold in there guns.lets change laws.
    That’s all the news is talking about how James holmes got his guns. Why? What for? He did it the LEGAL way.
    And was NOT a criminal at all till he carried out this crime at the Movie Theater.
    Remember guns don’t kill! It’s the people behind the gun that do.
    I’m a gun owner and I should have the right to protect my precious life from thugs and criminals.
    But the law only allows me to keep my gun in the house for protection
    Think about it! If we were allowed to carry guns maybe it would have been only one dead and one injured
    Because some one caring there gun would have blown his head off before another innocent sole could have been harmed. Alan Dershowitz, bloomberg, and piers– all ediots if you think will give up our rights.
    Lets talk about the lives lost, who they were , what they lived for, ect ( NOT GUNS )

    July 24, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  26. bill

    typical from a fluff degreed talking head trying to have a battle of the wits with an trained economist that has a science background. i have read Lott's books, as well as KLeck the criminologist from FSU. Piers, Mike Moore, Alan D. have the 5th grade mentality that permeates society. these three talk about how they feel about a topic they know nothing about, yet won't let Dr. Lott discuss his books based on fbi county crime stats. Mike Moore is on now, sad, and I never got to hear the authority on the issue. B.S. It's a health care issue as much as a gun issue. dvr delete series !!

    July 24, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Jason

    Setting aside the issue at hand that was to be debated, I saw nothing more than Piers look like an egotistical bully, with his sidekick Dershowitz. I understand that he has a strong opinion on the topic, but there was ZERO debate, not even a well thought out question! I used to tune in to Piers on a fairly regular basis but last night was the last and am signing off here. He himself had no great arguments and seemed to intentionally speak over Lott after every question (redundant questions on top of that) to prevent the chance of anything resembling a conversation or debate. On top of that, throw in the interrupting Dershowitz and what an embarrassing mess it became very quickly. I applaud Mr. Lott for having the temperament to stay on set and not match the foolishness.

    July 24, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  28. You Suck!

    why dont you go back to your own country. Leave gun control to the big boys that understand it. Your a idiot!! You were like some dick in school with this not letting him talk... wa!wa! Go to Hell!! Your way over your head. Put your hands over your ears and cry you side!!

    July 24, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve

      Your just in educated so your opinion doesn't count

      July 24, 2012 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Rae

        Looks like you're "in educated" too, duh?

        July 25, 2012 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Sanbro

      Piers Morgan has more class than you will ever in an entire lifetime. You are pathetic, a fool, and you and your guns can go to h£ suck is perfectly the right name for you.

      July 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Steve

    In this day and age I can not believe that civilized people still think guns are ok. 200 years ago maybe but not today, this is not Syria. Besides who on their right mind would think that people with guns could beat the US military if it came down to it, are u kidding me. Get guns off the street they were created to KILL people.

    July 24, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      Steve – civilized people think guns are OK because there are uncivilized people who will use anything available to do evil. Guns are the great equalizer.

      July 25, 2012 at 12:58 am | Report abuse | Reply
  30. ken000

    Man you guys are too much......Morgan and Dickowitz what a b team. Hopefully as ratings continue to drop CNN will reformat again. You guys are truly propagandists and are dangerous......this aint the U.K. this be da U.S.A. At least apologize for your behaviors publicly and save some of your integrity.......

    July 25, 2012 at 12:47 am | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Thomas Paine

    Was Morgan drunk? He came out as a very unsympathetic bully – so much that the whole thing seemed like a premeditated set-up to kill whatever Lott had to say.
    Dershowitz came out as highly manipulative and aggressive. Incredibly skewed "debate"....not journalism at all, more like Jerry Springer....

    July 25, 2012 at 1:20 am | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Facce

    What a complete joke of an interview. Morgans inability to conduct questions AND answers is absolutely appalling. With that said, guns do not kill... People do!

    There are said to be four times as many guns than cars in the U.S. Over 40,000 people die in car crashes, in America, per year. Just over 30,000 deaths are gun-related per year in America. Should we ban cars? Everyone has got to remember someone has to pull the trigger!

    July 25, 2012 at 1:29 am | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Sanbro

    Thank goodness for the brits – america finally gets someone like Piers Morgan who is intelligent and knows what he's talking about....America has a one-track mind and are brainwashed and his guest and his ridiculous argument as to why more guns are needed deserves him being called "Pinocchio" what a liar and a dumb a&@....

    July 25, 2012 at 1:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • bill

      if u read Lott's book " more guns, less crime ", u wouldn't say such foolish things. get it from the library, it won't cost u a dime..

      July 26, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Jeff

    You Sir, Piers, Owe the law abiding gun owners in the United States a sincere dare you comment on the Constiutional Rights, based upon our forefathers who shed blood to rid the colonies of a tyranical British the time of course. We were given the right to bear arms as a "forever protection" against future foreign rule. You performance on your gun control show succeeded in doing nothing more than proving to the American TV audience what a dolt and complete Moron you really are and made all wonder how someone who utters such idiotic coments can be gainfully employed by a world class "fair and balanced" news broadcaster. By the way..when guns were outlawed in Jamaica, they started using machetes...a bullet wound you might live past...chop off the don't have a chance...

    July 25, 2012 at 1:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sanbro

      Tonights show made many living outside of America realize just how brainwashed Americans gets when they decide to protect something even at the cost of losing lives of their own citizens.....that nutcase and his book called "more guns are needed" should be thrown in a jail cell with's people like him in power who are brainwashing their citizens to believe that they must live holding a gun in their possession just in case they need to use it. America you are distorted, brainwashed and thank goodness that every now and then you have the intelligent outsiders like Piers Morgan who know how to live teach you something right about life. Horay for Dershowitz who called that ridiculous book "junk science"....all we can say is America you are not the best nation in the world and continuing to think the way the majoritynofnyou do, you are in a lot of trouble.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
      • bill

        again, ur commenting about an author's book that u haven't read. read the book (based on fbi county crime data) then reread ur post. B.S. it doesn't take a long paragraph to make a point, if u had a point...

        July 26, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  35. Steven

    My heart goes out to the families.

    Morgan and Dershowitz made fools of themselves. They certainly did not make CNN look like anything but tabloid, using this tragedy.

    America is awash in guns. They are not going away. All the left and right blah blah blah will not change that. Given this fact, what are you prepared to do? I pray there is a sane man with a gun and the skill and will to use it to stop such a shooter the next time. There will be many next times. That is the reality of this twisted little planet, and reality seems to be the last item on the agenda of the likes of Morgan and CNN.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:13 am | Report abuse | Reply
  36. David M. Jiles Sr.

    I came here to comment on my frustration and disappointment with the manner in which Piers handled the interview interplay between himself and Alan Dershowitz. I am pleased to see so many folks equally unhappy about the same issue. Obviously Piers is not open to any debate on the matter. A big portion of the gun control issue Piers advocates is opening up the debate about it. It is my understanding that a debate or open discussion is a multi person communication where one speaks an opinion and in turn listens to like opinions and opposing opinions. That is ALL opinions on the matter being discussed. I don't expect Piers to follow the traditional role of a journalist as the format of the show ( his show – not the news ) allows for his opinion to be voiced. I would expect, however; for an reasonable person to be considerate and intelligent enough to remain as calm as possible and allow other opinions to be heard and considered. If one expects respect for what he or she has to say then that same respect should be given to the person on the other side of the table. In the manner that Piers carried out the interview ( using that word loosely ) he should have not invited Mr. Dershowitz and just had people that agreed with him. Piers – You were rude and arrogant to your guest. If I wanted to see a trailer park rant I could just rent a Jerry Springer Show dvd.

    July 25, 2012 at 3:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
  37. JD

    Interview was a joke and you're a joke, Morgan!!

    July 25, 2012 at 7:57 am | Report abuse | Reply
  38. DB

    No one should be shocked at Piers' behavior. He makes up his mind and the opposing guest is window dressing. We have a lot of violence at these occupy protests, Piers , you ready to ban them? What purpose do they serve? If first amendment needs protecting why not second? Alan like most on the left want to pick and choose which rights are important based on their views. Some of us have a different view. Concealed carry , less protesting, and regulate the producers of these violent movies and video games. Piers, what purpose do they serve?

    July 25, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse | Reply
  39. DB

    I don't know where Sanbro is from but I hope he stays there. Let me guess though. He is on a government giveaway program in a European country living in a 800 ft.sq apartment with little or no understanding of where Americans came from or what was sacrificed to get here. The world takes note that we have this right as well as the government. We will never be occupied like the French were nor we will be treated like the Iranian citizenry.

    July 25, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Tor from Denmark

    I don't like guns, I don't like the gun laws of the USA. But you need to listen to the other side and let them talk and not just hammer a point. Worst "interview" I have heard in a long time Piers, sorry

    July 25, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Sandra Viggiani

    This was one of the worst interviews I have ever seen! I am pro gun control, but inviting someone on the show and not letting him give his side was disrespectful and so UNPROFESSIONAL! Let's hope that the next time Morgan can't control his emotions and his biases CNN has the good sense to bring in someone else to do the hour.

    July 25, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse | Reply
  42. SJE NY

    Your one sided "interview" with Mr. Lott and your other "guest" Mr. Dershowitz was insulting to John Lott and people like myself. John Lott should have walked off your show because of your disrespect toward him. I believe your facts, concepts and ignorance by you and Mr. Dershowits is just another example of your extreme pathetic anti-gun agenda.
    Not to allow your guest to react to you and Dershowits was rude and exemplified ignorance regarding firearms and ownership.
    John Lott is a respected author who has researched this topic for many years with real facts and evidence. I would bet you didn't read his books or biography before publicly attacking him.
    As far and the National Rifle Association financially supporting him is simply baloney. If you did any research on the NRA you would see that many of our past Presidents were members of the NRA and have supported our Second Amendment. You really do not know much about the NRA.
    This was one of the saddest one sided disgusting interviews I have ever witnessed on national TV. You should be ashamed of you blatant attack on Mr. Lott, and law abiding firearm owners.

    July 25, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Time to Speak Up

    I have to be honest and say since Piers has taken over for Larry I don't watch as often as I use to. I can't understand how he became Larry King's replacement in the first place. He is the worst interviewer I have probably ever seen. Last night was the last draw. I became so frustrated I had to turn the channel! I was hoping for an honest, intelligent, and informative discussion, and instead, I was given an example of how to bully an adult on live TV. So sad since we are already experiencing an epidemic in bullying in our public schools. I thought Piers' role was to invite people on his show to let them talk/discuss an issue they know something about. On the contrary, Piers seemed to be the one who was invited on his own show to share what he thought he knew something about. Piers himself said he was not an expert on guns, and yet, he spoke as if he was. Shame on him and CNN. It is time to wake up CNN and make some changes!

    July 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  44. kotchernthey

    Piers never gave John Lott a chance to answer his questions or explain his research. Alan Dershowitz dismissed Lott's research as "junk science" (which the wise counselor should know is a non-sequitor – it cannot be both, it has to be one or the other), but he presented no "scientific" research to support his claims that whatever Lott said was "simply not true". Piers missed that opportunity to ask Alan to back up his claims because of the supposed interviewer was non-stop ranting about why would any one need automatic assault weapons. Piers wonders why Congress cannot get anything done. Where do we go, Piers, to hear legitimate debate?

    July 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  45. deleted? this is so one sided

    somebody deleted what i said....

    Don't come here and want to change our laws

    Go back to crime ridden England where you came from

    July 25, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  46. big bill

    Piers Morgan trying to tell us how to run our country!!!!! Piers Morgan doesn't like our right to bear arms!!! Piers Morgan not even from U.S. Go back to the U.K. Mr Morgan acts like a old lady lol..

    July 25, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Carl

    The rudeness displayed by Mogan was overwhelming! Why invite a guest, regardless of the topic, if he won't extend the courtesy of allowing the guest to respond? All Morgan, an obvious left-wing ideologue, did was hog the camera, pontificate and chastise him, and allowed Dershowitz, another progressive, to do the same! No wonder his program isn't well received! Amazing!

    July 25, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Thomas

    July 26, 2012 at 2:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Amy

    I'm a liberal but I agree with you about piers Morgan. His remarks are inappropriate . He's not an American!!! He needs to shut the hell up and go back to his own damn country

    July 26, 2012 at 4:40 am | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Facts

    Nothing to see here, moon bats.. Gun control INCREASES crime.. Facts outweigh feeeeeeeeelings... Libtards

    July 26, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse | Reply
  51. Stonedome

    this program is a perfect example of why CNN has become irrelevant...note to Dershowitz, who has defended Zimmerman's position in his case:no indication gun ownership reduces crime? Martin is dead and he was a budding young more crime from him. How many other cases?

    July 26, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse | Reply
  52. Bob in Alabama

    That was the most one sided interview I have ever seen. It was even worse than a Nancy Grace interview! I got so angry I actually had to turn it off before I threw something through my 60 inch flat screen. I was a CNN junky, as my wife says, however FOX is looking better. I am even taking CNN out my phone and home page on my pc. If you are going to have interviews, they must not have a host who is obviously pro gun controll conducting the interview.
    Good bye CNN hello FOX and MSN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 26, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  53. Irene

    Piers Morgan's show last night was the poorest interview I have ever seen. I was genuinely interested in learning about the perspectives of both pro-gun and anti-gun arguments. But sadly, the host (of all people!) prevented me from learning anything. I really wanted to hear about Mr. Lott's point of view… Mr. Morgan, if you can't be a dispassionate moderator, you shouldn't host interviews.
    Coming from a country where guns are banned, my natural inclination goes toward gun-control. However, I realize I cannot simply impose the logic of my home country to all other countries. I admit I'm ignorant about guns and I'm willing to be corrected. I also recognize that I have to respect America's history and its unique cultural background. One-size-fits-all doesn't work in law. That is why we need intelligent, unemotional and civil discussions with facts and data where all sides are displayed proportionally. Disappointingly, Mr. Morgan's show last night was just the opposite, an example of what we don't need.

    July 26, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  54. John Halbrook

    This was a lynching, not an interview. Piers is a disgrace to American Democracy. He lied numerous times. He does not even know enough about semiautomatic weapons to know that the AR15 cannot get off 100 rounds in a minute. He cut Mr. Lott off without letting him say anything. Mr. Dershowitz was even ruder and is totally ignorant about the 2nd amendment. What are you people at CNN doing. This was not an interview. It was a rabid diatribe against the 2nd amendment. Get Stephen Halbrook on to debate Mr. Morgan. He will turn this Brit inside out. Better yet FIRE HIM! He is not an American and certainly not a patriot. Neither is Mr. Dershowitz. It was people like him who almost got the Jewish population of Europe exterminated.

    July 26, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  55. Republicangrandma

    I thought Mitt Romney is the only "Pinocchio" here! LOL

    What a joke! Ladies & Gentleman: let me introduce you to another Pinocchio"!!

    July 29, 2012 at 2:52 am | Report abuse | Reply
  56. unclejumbo

    Piers, let me explain why guns are such an important part of American culture. Because that is what we used to remove prissy, little, English gentlemen such as yourself from our country. You know, our country that used to be your country, until we used guns to kill so many of your ancestors that they turned tail and ran away.

    Alan, what I'm talking about is the Revolutionary War. Apparently you've never heard of it since, “There’s no evidence that I’m aware of that guns protect liberty." I wonder if you would be so quick to disarm Israel. I think not.

    July 29, 2012 at 3:12 am | Report abuse | Reply
  57. WASP

    How can this be called an interview in any way. Piers Morgan would ask Lott a question and then go off on a rant and not even let the dude talk. Then when he asked Dershowitz a question that dude got all the time to say what he wanted to say. Why is Piers Morgan even giving his opinion on the matter anyway his job is to ask questions. Oh and Piers I wouldn't expect a man from the UK to understand why Americans would need or want to own a gun. Your British opinions on American gun issues are irrelevant. Is Piers Morgan CNN's answer to Fox's Bill O'Reilly? Piers and Dershowitz looked like a pair of rambling idiots. If you are going to conduct an interview let the person answer the damn questions you idiot.

    July 31, 2012 at 3:12 am | Report abuse | Reply
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  60. Chris Hopson

    Mr. Morgan, it was absolutely shameful the way you wouldn't let Mr. Lott respond to any questions you asked. It amounted to bashing someone with far more knowledge of the firearms issue in the US than you had. You bullied him with your questions but would not allow him to respond, yet you let Mr. Dershowitz make his points. It was unfair and bullish of you. You are one of the finest examples of why CNN's ratings are so low. Since you wouldn't permit Mr. Lott to answer the question of why a law abiding American citizen should be allowed to purchase a weapon such as the AR-15, I will answer it for him with questions to you: Why shouldn't a law abiding citizen be allowed to purchase such a weapon? Are all of us, by default, murderous? If you owned such a firearm, would you go out and randomly kill? Why should my rights be taken away because of the actions of others? I would love to have your answers.

    August 7, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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  62. Steve in Iowa

    You're a liberal Englishman (no matter how long you reside in this country as our guest) who will never understand that most Americans are willing to assume the risks of something like firearms ownership in order the have the freedom to bear those arms. We are willing to assume the risks that accompany those freedoms. Your show is dishonest because it does not give guests with whom you disagree a chance to give their views and ends up being not about your guest, but all about you. It's because of men like you, who desire more government control over the citizens, that we had a revolution in the first place (possible because of the freedom to own guns, by the way). Why do you want to to live in such a dangerous country, anyway? Consider this – I would rather live in a country where I can own firearms and risk dying as a result of that freedom than have that freedom taken away from me. Many of use prefer freedom and risk to less freedom and security.

    December 10, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  63. madone78

    I'm glad Piers did this. This BS needs to be destroyed. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that."–MLK Lott's facts were wrong. The Australians don't even agree with him. Someone said that guns were the 'last bastion against tyrrany'? Really? Against the modern, national American military? I don't think so. Unless you think the 'arms' individuals should be allowed to bear should also include tanks, aircraft carriers, fighter jets, missiles and nuclear weapons. Besides, no one is saying take ALL the guns away! We want better laws and regulations! Why can't we talk about that??

    December 15, 2012 at 4:23 am | Report abuse | Reply
  64. lary9

    John Lott is a predictable apologist for the NRA, armed with 'cooked' statistics. It's time. The 'vox populi' is strong...very, very strong this time. The people are outraged at our national disgrace...e.g; our pathetically weak gun laws. The NRA would be smart to take the "3" points for a field goal and give us the ball back. Let's see if our way (i.e; 'less guns; less gun violence') works or not.
    BTW. I thought Piers Morgan was like a British junkyard dog tonite in going after John Lott's standard "argumentum ad absurdum" ...magnificent! And, of course, he's right...especially about the 'vox populi". I share his POV 100%. Thank you, Piers.
    New Fan For Life

    December 15, 2012 at 6:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nick

      Larry, its easy to be a junkyard dog when you hardly let your guest get a word in. The point of these interviews is to get both sides of the story, which clearly was not Piers intent. This interview was nothing close to an interview, rather a one way effort for Piers to voice his opinion. Liberals accuse conservatives of being closed minded, but how close minded of Piers by not even letting John answer the questions he was askin him.

      February 28, 2013 at 10:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  65. Nick

    Piers, this so called interview was a joke. Way to ask a person on your show that you disagree with to simply bully. You barely let him speak and you you also accused him of answering according to his bias, but you are guilty of the same thing. You are probably the same person who wants everyone to be tolerant of different lifesyles, but you made it clear how intolerant you are of those who oppose your views. This is the worst reporting and journalism I have seen. You are a bully and should be ashamed of yourself. At least let people who you have on your show that you disagree with, get a word in before you lay into them with terrible arguments and also take a breath, your face was turning purple.

    February 28, 2013 at 10:13 am | Report abuse | Reply
  66. Nick

    BTW, Chicago has some the most rigid gun restrictions and also one of the highest homicide by gun rates in the Country. I am sick of the media reporting on these shootings, but they never report on incidents where responsible people with guns actually saved lives. Where are these stories? The media is clearly here to push the Washington Agenda.

    February 28, 2013 at 10:21 am | Report abuse | Reply
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