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January 24th, 2013
02:33 PM ET

Clips from Last Night: The climate change debate and Dwight Yoakam on guns in America

As an extreme cold snap continued to traverse the Midwest and Eastern United States, "Piers Morgan Tonight," welcomed guests Michael Brune and Marc Morano on Wednesday evening to discuss one of the priority topics for the Obama administration, climate change.

"The reality is that extreme weather is here," said Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club. "The science is settled."

"We noticed that last year we had record numbers of wildfires throughout the Mountain West," explained Brune. "Sixty-one percent of the country suffered a crippling drought. We had Superstorm Sandy with a 1,000-mile diameter storm hitting the east coast."

Meanwhile Morano, the editor-in-chief of was of a different opinion and noted, "Evidence is everywhere when you look for extremes. But the bottom line is we have always had extreme weather."

And in response to Morano's perspective, Brune replied, "I haven't met Marc. I'm sure he's a nice guy. He's not a climate scientist. He runs a website that's financed by Chevron and Exxon."

Later in the program, country music singer, songwriter and actor, Dwight Yoakam sat down with Piers Morgan in studio where the two discussed another hot-button issue, guns in America.

"Guns are very serious instruments of survival and defense. But they are weapons," acknowledged Yoakam, a gun owner. "They are dangerous weapons. And you got to be very cautious with them, around them, about them."

"The Newtown tragedy was an anomalous horror," continued Yoakam. "I know how Newtown happened. I'm still really, really wrecked over why."

Watch the clips and listen to the interview as Yoakam tries to explain the fear of "tyranny" among some Americans.
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soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Barry Bampton

    Hi Piers,

    If you can't stop the gun nuts then tax the daylights out of them just like cigarettes and alcohol. Slap a big tax on all ammo first, which will cut back on the amount of ammo people will stockpile. Second since supposedly all these automatic rifles are "registered", if you are naive enough to believe that, then create an annual registration fee or tax and make them pay a high fee to retain their essential assault weapons for protection – why you need an assault weapon in North America with such ferocity is beyond reason or common sense.

    Finally why not create a special tax for all gun manufacturers for gun sales of all types destined for non military or enforcement applications. This in effect would create a double tax, one on the manufacturer and one on the consumer. Since every gun has to be registered, then each change of ownership could also be taxed for the new registration. Since the US is so desperate for funds this could be another source of collecting new revenues. Just an idea to throw out there.

    Keep up the verbal assault aginst these morons.

    Barry B

    January 24, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scott Shaw - Clackamas, OR

      Guns and ammo are already taxed quite heavily on sales of firearms and ammo cover nearly all the cost of convservation in this country. Ammo and firearms manufacturers pay these fees MONTHLY, whereas most people/companies pay quarterly.

      The ignorance you are exhibiting shows how we got are breeding fear and contempt due to your lack of knowledge. Would you be saying the same thing if I made the argument, that your inflamatory actions spread mass misinformation and was just as dangerous as a firearm, therefore we needed to register and tax your computer, pens, pencils, and the words you speak?

      Ridiculous........and you probably vote too......crap!

      January 25, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Larry

    Please someone tell Piers that in Sandy Hook...That only handguns were used in the shooting. They recovered the AR15 from the trunk of a car. This information was just released by NBC so lets make sure to report the correct information.

    January 24, 2013 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Debra

      Larry, that NBC report is from December 15. According to the CT State Police the AR15 was the primary weapon used at Sandy Hook. Your source is over a month old.

      January 24, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. peter rose /vancouver canada

    GUNS!......A major solution in keeping gun death down surely is enforcing gun owners’ requirement to securely store their weapons?

    Consider charging gun owners with “aiding and abetting” should their weapons be used without their permission to commit any crime
    existing laws may already cover this?

    January 24, 2013 at 7:42 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Griff.

    "I don't see any photo of Buck Owens, and Dwight always knew how to pull the trigger, with the best??"

    January 24, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Mike M.

    You keep asking a valid question, with no satisfactory answer from your guests: "Why does anyone need an AR 15?"

    There are 99 perfectly valid arguments against private ownership of high capacity semi-automatic rifles,...and really only one valid reason in favor. Such a weapon is only rightfully used in a worse-case scenario, such as protection of one's family from a rampaging mob, or against tyranny of a government out of control. In fact, it was just such tyranny that gave rise to independence and the 2nd amendmendment, among others. All thinking citizens know that the government is pretty slow in responding to life threatening emergencies, and should be able to act in thier own defense, effectively.

    If guns were confiscated from ex-cons and gang bangers, and effective mental health screening were a pre-requisite to gun ownership, a lot of lives would be saved. But let left wingers trash the second amendmendment and the rest of the Bill of Rights is next.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Magewaver

    Why do we need semi automatic weapons? I applaud Piers for brining it in the spotlight! The general public does not need this type of gun in their hands – why do we need it? Do you expect that 50 people will come into your home and you need to defend yourself with that much ammo? I agree we need to defend ourselves – but NOT with semi automatic guns! And parents need to take responsibility to get involved with kids life. And the one item that is falling on the side is help for those with mental issues which is a huge problem.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. john graves

    Piers, You are so mis -informed about everything you try to argue with others about. You need to learn the difference between automatic weapons and semi-automatic. I dare to say tha it would be hard to pull the trigger a hundred times a minute, unless it was automatic!!!!!

    January 24, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Griff.

    "Pierse has just become a Muslim Democrate,"Last time I fired a weapon, it was an LMG in the RAF, fifty three years ago. Difference is, in those days I believed in what I was told, since then – (you really don't want to know) – I don't trust anyone, until the talk to me!" as they allow hin to broadcast in the USA...

    January 24, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Matt Z.

    Piers you continuely ask why does anyone need an AR-15. There is nothing functionally different between an AR-15 and a semi-automatic .223 caliber hunting rifle. The AR-15 might look scary or militaristic, but I assure you that it isn't any more powerful then a .223 caliber hunting rifle. You repeatedly mention firing 100 rounds in a minutes. This can also be done using a semi-automatic .223 caliber hunting rifle. I can comprehend that the U.S. should ban 100 round magazines. Piers, your guest laugh at you because you have your head up your but and do not know what you are talking about. You ask people questions but do not let peopel answer. You invite people on your show and if they don't agree with your position, you interrupt them.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Brian

    Piers, I hear you continue to ask your guest why does any civilian have a need for an assault weapon – and keep that up because I haven't heard a single person answer with a justifiable answer – not one...what I keep hearing people say is that banning assault weapons won't solve the problem – I don't agree with that, but....perhaps you could ask one of these guests this question the next time that response comes up....What does it hurt if we do ban assault weapons? In other words, why not? Why not ban them – what is the down side? If there is even a slight possibility that by banning high capacity magazines, or assault rifles saves just a few more lives the next time one of these crazy people get their hands on a gun that was owned by a 'responsible' gun owner, if there's even a slight possibility that a few more lives is saved – why not? I'd love to hear one of these NRA drivel spouting gun enthusiasts try and offer up a legitimate reason for NOT banning them – how is that going to hurt anyone?

    January 24, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matt Z.

      Assault weapons are banned. An asault rifle has the capability in which a person can switch from semi-automatic, fully-automatic, and select fire. The AR-15 is no different than a semi-automatic .223 caliber hunting rifle. If you are going to ask, what does it hurt to ban the AR-15, you are pretty much asking the same for banning semi-automatic .223 hunting rifles.

      January 24, 2013 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Griff.

    "You think I don't know pierse, and Yet I gave you the benefit of the doubt, Now I'm beginning to wonder why! Britain doesn't want you?? The USA is still undecided?? I honesty knew none of this till just five weeks ago, when I listened to FOX ?? You're an Englishman so I will try?? But you're going to have to prove yourself!"

    January 24, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Griff.

    "You got it Pierse! Be more indiferent and don't let them play you! Stand the middle ground, yet be prepared for what comes. You're not going to change the world, and the best you can do is try and be a mediator!"

    January 24, 2013 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Patti M.

    If Piers hates what the 2nd ammendment is all about, maybe he should head back home to Socialist England! Our ancestors left crappy Europe to get away from the tyranny. Wake up America before we become Europe. All these left loons are trying to take our freedom away little by little. Americans need to wake up and quit following Obama's scary path of destruction.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Peter D.

    I have been a fan of your for years but your continued persistence of taking away or banning my semi-automatic AR-15 is very disappointing. I have been a AR-15 for 25 years. I sleep well at night with it under my bed. If a intruder comes into my house, make no mistake I would use everyone of my 30 rounds in my magazine to stop them. I know a number of policeman and they are good hard working people, but the bottom line is due to all the frivolous law suits, they can not protect me or do their job. The legal community has tied their hands to the point they can no longer do their job. I have voted democrat the last two elections, but if President Obama gets his way, I want ever vote again for another democrat. You we have mass shootings because of irresponsible parents and violent video games that act as simulators do desensitize killing human beings. Lets go after irresponsible parents and ban violent video games. So please stop trying to take away my semi-automatic weapons.

    January 24, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Robert Anderson

    Why don't you stop stacking the deck in bringing on individuals whom are easy for your to bully with your left wing, bleeding heart, democratic agenda. Let me answer your question in telling you that I don't agree that the government should have the ability to ban any firearm including assult rifles. Let me correct you in your attack on my rights as an American to own a weapon of my choice and add that no incident involving recent or previous tragedies involved the use of an assult weapon!

    The degenerates who committed these horrible acts of violence used handguns.

    Let me school you on a couple of things by first telling you why it is good that law abiding citizens own assult weapons. First and foremost the criminals in America already out gun the law abiding citizen. By giving a citizen the ability to own such weapons allows for them to have superior fire power giving them an edge over the criminals whereby not every citizen is an expert shot who can execute deadly force meaning to stop the aggressor or criminal in the commission of a crime.

    The other reasons are that our founding fathers believed in the fact that we our a country of the people, by the people and for the people. The second amendment was also put in place to ensure that socialist such as yourself and elitest with big money you falling into such a category as well do not forget that our politicians work for we the people. If you had your way no one would own guns which would open all Americans up to the vulnerabilities of the criminals or those who intend to do us harm making us more reliable on government to have a reason to be if up police departments and grow America into a Socialist State.

    This said our founding fathers wanted to ensure if our government got out of control that th people would be able to rise up and put it back in place. My government works for me and I love being an American!

    I would politely like to ask that you take you communist opinionated non-American self back to Great Brittian post haste! Also, please stop putting air headed ding dongs such as the two young ladies from Virginia who had no idea of what they were speaking of whereby you bullied one of their nervous reactions. I think I can safely say as a retired career military man that based on what I have read on the Internet, seen on media spin machine shows such as yours and have had conversation with other military retiree's, veterans and citizens your view points on gun control along with senator Fienstien remains a minute fraction of those who share your communist viewpoints.

    Put my brothers and me on your program and I will leave you speechless in your debate to enlist support for your communist opposed agenda.

    You Sir, are an idiot!

    January 24, 2013 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  16. barry

    I am a registered Republican in New York State and support President Obama, Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg's proposals
    for gun control. After Newtown, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Arizona
    + almost daily episodes of other shootings we have to take steps to
    reduce gun violence. These measures will not eliminate gun violence but
    without any progress the social problem will gradually increase.
    We eliminated social hazards like public smoking and reduced DUI driving
    by taking multiple measures over time and gun violence will be accomplished in the same way
    Paronoia of 2nd amendment rights erosion are simply jingoistic partisan
    efforts fostered by gun manufactures and the NRA for the masses.

    January 24, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Irish Hunter

    I believe in your cause but turn your show off now every night because I'm sick of hearing the same old debate every night. Time to change it up before you lose viewers .

    January 25, 2013 at 12:14 am | Report abuse | Reply
  18. LOU

    something to consider why people are in favor of assault weapons....there are people or various groups who intend in the future to use assault weapons overtake the US liberal government

    January 25, 2013 at 12:35 am | Report abuse | Reply
  19. cukidoh

    Piers must read this Truthout article!!!!
    Danny Glover made the statement that the Second Amendment was ratified to control slavery revolt. My first thought was: I wonder what Thom Hartmann says about that.....he's an intelligent progressive, prolific author and a respected historian. So I googled it, and apparently Hartmann wrote an article on January 15th! Most likely the source for Glover.

    Take a look, it is very compelling and helps explain the confusing language of the 2nd Amendment. I think this is going to become part of the dialog about gun law reform.

    January 25, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Danny Hunt

    Climate Change

    Piers, if you read the bible Noah built an ark, which means this has happened before.

    January 26, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • barry

      What has not happened before in biblical or any other times and is completely man made is 120 years of spewing industrial waste into the air sea and land. Billions of cars trucks trains and planes adding CO2 selenium lead + methane etc. exponentially increased with population growth especially
      in the last 60 years is what causing climate change quickly. That is the difference of climactic change compared to natural causes. I understand
      that while some weather change are natural, the acceleration that we're
      witnessing in real time is what we have to develop the technology to reverse or at least slow the relentless change. In china this week a large
      fire went undected because of smog.

      January 27, 2013 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  21. frank

    1) To reduce assault style rifle violence mandate that owners must keep their weapons away from minors and disturbed individuals in the home or face severe civil and criminal consequences with mandatory prison time. Let your son go to school with your AR-10, AR-15, high capacity assault styled weapon because you didn't lock it away from him then lose your savings, your home and your freedom. If you locked it up and he stole it, then you are not culpable. But you run the risk to trust him or not. This would not include handguns.

    2) To reduce handgun related violence declare the Bloods, Crips, MS13, Hells Angels, mafia, .... demonstrably violent gangs.... as TERRORISTS. Treat them like enemy combatants. Use the NDAA 2012 and extended Patriot Act against them. Sure we have too many people in prison and yet our crime rates are down – go figure. Just being in a demonstrably violent gang should make it illegal to own a gun. When you are a member of a gang you are forswearing your primary secular allegiance to the U.S.

    February 2, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Paul Walraven

    How about. ACCOUNTABILITY!! All gun owners should be held accountable, when their guns end up in a crime scene.
    Gun owners should be held responsible and punished bt law. think of it, if one serves a minor at his home alcoholic beverages and the minor ends up in an accident we are held accountable.
    If accountability comes into place, gun owners will make SURE, no one else is going to,use their gun.
    It is just another little way to help keep guns out of the hands of irresponsible people

    February 4, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  23. J D M

    Well, I'm so glad you were here in Texas tonight, Piers, to speak fact-to-face and issue by issue with the unreasonable people who support guns in this state. That's not to say it's all of the people who support gun ownership, but unfortunately the lousdest are also the most unreasonable and irrational. It's really hard to be someone who sees these issues on a "big picture" basis and not just the "I wanna do what I wanna do, and nobody's going to stop me" selfish idiots. Also, unfortunately, a majority of the voters don't use their own logic, or just don't listen to or read anything other than the right-wing jabbermouths like the talk show host who was on your show tonight...the ones who have no compunctions about telling complete lies about events and issues. Sometimes I wonder why I returned to my home town after years of living in Houston and Los Angeles, but in spite of thinking they have to vote Republican, the people are primarily highly educated, with 3 universities, 1 college, and what will be 3 schools of nursing, as well as a varied and lively cultural arts scene and a very good city and county government. And some of the nicest and most caring people...over 400 non-profits to help others, in a town of 120K. But try to talk to most of them about events and issues, and they will deny that what you are telling them is the truth about them, even though you speak truth that has been proven...but facing the "leadership" of yokels as you did tonight is the very best way, first, wo see what they are really like, and, second, to give the rest of the country a look at how irrational their arguments are. Thanks...I really love what you do, and how you do it...dialogue without fist fights, and continued insistence on rational and realistic aspects of issues, and always on the truth...

    February 5, 2013 at 12:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
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