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In the sequel to an energized and combative conversation from three weeks prior, on Wednesday evening "Piers Morgan Tonight" welcomed Larry Pratt back to the program, for a second interview that was nearly as contentious as the first.
The Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, Pratt once again joined host Piers Morgan to share his opinions and insight on the ongoing issue of firearms, and gun control, in the United States.
Standing firm with his consistent view that the American public needs less weapons in general – and should be banned from owning assault weapons in particular – Morgan aired a video clip of Stanley McChrystal, a retired Army General, echoing such a perspective.
Questioning how Pratt could disagree with the experience of someone like McChrystal, Morgan provided some additional background, and posed his question:
"The last four mass shootings in the last five months have all involved the AR-15 style - military style - assault rifle. Widely available as you know. Even in Connecticut which has supposedly quite tough gun control laws," stated the host. "Why do you feel so strongly that civilians, despite what we just heard from a leading general, should still be able to have access to these killing machines?"
Once having referred to Morgan as "morally obtuse," Pratt answered:
"Well, because the general and his troops are not going to be there to protect the average American, the military nor the police after social order implodes, after a hurricane, after an earthquake, during riots. And his experience, and I very much appreciate his service to the country and the military. But he is not dealing with what civilians have to put up with in the vacuum of somebody being around to protect them. We're on our own."
Continuing with the "Guns in America" subject matter, Morgan used his platform to later welcome Jessica Watts and Tom Teves, each a relative of someone killed during the mass-shooting in an Aurora, Colo. movie theater last July.
"I definitely think, Piers, that more guns are not the answer," said Watts, who lost her cousin Jonathan Blunk on July 20, 2012. "That puts that many more guns in the hands of people who've got mental illness and it becomes very much a fear factor for people nationwide."
Teves, meanwhile, lost his son Alex in the movie theater massacre, and on a day which marked the end of the preliminary hearing of shooting suspect James Holmes, Morgan asked him to respond to Pratt's earlier argument for lesser gun control, and more access to weapons:
"I struggle with it," he admitted. "A., I wonder what he'd think if he was in my shoes. Two, think about the scene – and we got a pretty good understanding of what the scene was like today – that night, and only the people that were in there can really know. And I think that we need to recognize that. But, there was smoke, people couldn't see, he had an automatic weapon, he had an automatic shotgun, he had two revolvers that didn't need to be reloaded so if somebody - they are not going to walk in with an assault weapon – so what are they going to do? They're going to stand up in the fog and shoot at him. He had ballistic equipment. Everybody including him around that person who shot at him would be dead. If there were ten people in there and people started running around you might have had 15 or 20 more people shot from friendly fire. I don't know that's the answer."
Watch the clips and listen to the interviews, as Morgan and his guests continue their discussion on guns in America.
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