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February 13th, 2014
10:29 PM ET

Sandy and Lonnie Phillips react to state senator saying it was "a good thing" James Holmes had 100-round magazine

On Thursday evening, Piers Morgan welcomed Sandy Phillips, the mother of Aurora shooting victim Jessica Ghawi, asking her and her husband Lonnie to share their reactions in the aftermath of recent remarks made by Sen. Bernie Herpin.

During a hearing on Wednesday, the Republican from Colorado offered the following comments in speaking of the Aurora shooting that cost Ghawi her life:

"As it turns out, that was maybe a good thing that he had a 100-round magazine because it jammed. If he had four, five, six 15-round magazines, there’s no telling how much damage he could have done until a good guy with a gun showed up."

Initially, Phillips simply couldn't believe Herpin's statement:

"When he said it I was like - I must have heard that wrong and realized I hadn't heard it wrong," she explained. "And this is the stance that this particular senator takes over and over and over again. It was not - he did not misspeak. It was deliberate."

The Phillips' are gun owners but they strongly support greater restrictions on gun sales. Lonnie told Morgan that while he understood what Herpin was trying to say, the message did not quite come out right:

"It makes my heart pound to hear that," Lonnie began on Thursday. "I know what he was talking about. And he was referring to the 100-round magazine is notoriously a weapon attachment that jams ... It's a good thing he had that 100-round magazine because it jammed. If he'd have had five or six 15-clip - round clips he could have switched out and kept killing people. But that is really stupid logic."

Earlier on Thursday, Herpin released a statement apologizing for the way he phrased his remarks:

“Yesterday, I inartfully made the point that this gun law does nothing to prevent gun violence and actually makes us less safe. I'm sorry that I phrased my remarks in such a way that offended anyone.”

Watch the clip, and listen to the interview, as Piers Morgan and his guests continue their discussion and evaluation of the Senator's comments.
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soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Tam Dl

    All you have to do is look on the web for a few minutes, and you will find ample evidence of the fact that the 100 round mags are a joke. 20 round mags are the most reliable, and some 30s are good. The weak point of the AR-15/M16/M4 has always been the mags, and you can find interesting discussions online about how the procurement of those mags for the various wars went wrong and put lives at risk. To paraphrase, "it's the mags stupid". So tactically the Senetor could be right. The high percentage play would be to go with multiple mags of the best kind. Maybe there is something about the tight environment of a school where a single unreliable mag is a better bet than multiple mags. Particularly considering that he was alone, But multiples would be my choice for that scenario.

    Speaking of scenarios, one does wonder whether people who really aren't on the first rung of firearm expertise should be brainstorming this kind of stuff in public. If the show gets it wrong, as it mostly does, it lowers it's IQ in public. But worse still, if the show gets it right, they will only contribute knowledge on how best to shoot up a school to a wider audience.

    February 14, 2014 at 12:22 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Tam Dl

    By the way, when he speaks of 15 round mags he is talking about the mags that were legislated in Colorado, and basically didn't exist thought I guess they are now available for sale. The typical mags are 20 rounds and 30 rounds. Which ought to do it in most situations. The whole point of mags is that they can be switched. If you do tactical reloads the gun is never empty. people should not assume that because the guy is switching a mag, that his AR is empty.

    February 14, 2014 at 12:30 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. William J Urmson

    The NRA is the biggest domestic terrorist group in the United States, maybe the world. They love their guns more than people. With politicians in their pockets all we can do is brace ourselves for the next NRA sponsored slaughter.
    The policies and laws created by The NRA killed the kids in Newtown and allowed the vigilante George Zimmerman to murder Trayvon Martin. Back ground checks, that the NRA strongly oppose, would help keep guns out of the hands of unstable people preventing many deaths.
    STAND YOUR GROUND is nothing more than a license to legally hunt and kill innocent people PERIOD~
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    February 14, 2014 at 9:17 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • brasstacs

      Urmson....Your comments are not only untrue but are completely and totally mindless...But typical how the brainwashed and uninformed sometimes think...and why does CNN keep airing the buffoon Piers Morgan ??

      February 14, 2014 at 9:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Unimpressed

    Holmes shot and killed 12 people – he shot and injured another 70 – thats 82 people whose lives were either lost or irrevocably changed – If Holmes had had 30 rounds instead less lives lost, less lives traumatically altered. The Tucson shooter was stopped when he tried to change out his clip, children escaped the classroom in Sandyhook when Lanza paused to reload. Herpin is wrong and his statement beyond offensive.

    February 14, 2014 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • brasstacs

      unimpressed............Holmes AR..jammed from the start and magazine size wasn't even a factor ...the carnage was mostly done with a shotgun and 2 hand guns.

      February 14, 2014 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • lagergeld

        Most of the shots fired were from the rifle. However, he fired most of the shots from the front of the theater by the emergency exit where the large majority of people were not sitting. Most were in stadium seating which is about 25 feet from that door entryway where he was. The idea that someone was going to run down the wheelchair ramp out in the open and try to jump him is hilarious. Conceal carry would have been the only possible countermeasure.

        February 15, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • lagergeld

      Unimpressed, no, he shot 70 in total, including the 12 dead, with 58 injured.

      February 15, 2014 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Something

      Unimpressed – Holmes only fired 22 rounds from his 100 round magazine; the gun jammed and at that point he was forced to switch to hand guns. Keep in mind that when he started shooting he was using the shotgun first, once that gun was empty he just switched to the rifle and once the rifle jammed he switched to the hand guns.

      The Tucson shooter was stopped by people who were already moving on him when he was firing the gun, the fact that they caught up to him the moment he was reloading is pure coincidence. The people who tackled him didn't wait till he was reloading before moving on him; the woman that "helped" during this incident would have helped even if the gun was was loaded at the time as long as he was tackled and being restrained.

      For Sandyhook those children escaped because Lanza allowed them to escape, you are forgetting that Lanza had two loaded handguns on him, all he had to do was just switch to hand guns and fire on them as they ran. The other thing to keep in mind is that Lanza could have followed them while he was reloading his rifle, the idea that these children could have outran a fully grown adult male is unrealistic. Another thing to point out is that those children also escaped because of a second exit in that room, if there was only one entrance/exit in that room those children would have had to force themselves by Adam Lanza.

      Herpin is not wrong and his statement is only offensive to those that are uniformed or those that think private firearm ownership is wrong.

      February 16, 2014 at 10:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. lagergeld

    How is it stupid logic? The VA tech killer had a bag of 10 round magazines and killed over 30 people. If you're going to call it stupid logic, then explain how it is stupid logic. Further, you can explain how more gun restrictions is going to stop a legal gun owner like Holmes from killing people. Answer: It doesn't. At best it makes those who push for the restrictions feel better, giving them a completely imaginary sense of security.

    Kindly do not take your upset out on people who did nothing wrong. Thanks.

    February 15, 2014 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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