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February 28th, 2013
03:53 PM ET

John Lott Jr. calls Piers Morgan a "cherry picker," asks him "Why am I on?"

On Wednesday evening, economist and pro-gun advocate John Lott Jr. returned to the program for another round of contentious debate with Piers Morgan.

Continuing their on-going difference of opinion regarding firearm crime and death statistics, the author of "At the Brink: Will Obama Push Us Over the Edge" and the "Piers Morgan Tonight" host seemingly picked right up where they left off during December's town hall-style "Guns in America" special.

In discussing the effectiveness of gun legislation, Morgan referenced a 1996 Australian firearm ban that came in response to to a string of double-digit killings over a ten-year period: FULL POST

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Filed under: Clips From Last Night • Guns in America
February 28th, 2013
01:42 PM ET

Clips From Last Night: More details and analysis on the Cannibal Cop trial; Sandy Hook emergency room doctor demos gun injuries

On Wednesday evening, "Piers Morgan Tonight" welcomed attorneys Alan Dershowitz and Marcia Clark to the program to discuss new details revealed during the trial of New York City police officer, Gilberto Valle, who is accused of plotting to kidnap, kill and eat dozens of women, including his wife. The defense claims that Valle's graphic emails that described in gruesome detail his plans are only fantasies and that the emails were private conversations with co-fetishists.

"My prediction is the jury is going to convict him and it's going to be reversed on appeal," said Dershowitz. "It is not a crime to intend. It is not a crime to plan. It is only a crime to agree with another person. That's what he's charged with, conspiracy."

"The only two possible ways they could get him for anything relating to murder is conspiracy to murder or attempted murder."

Clark agreed with Dershowitz adding, "they need someone to agree with. If they have that person, he will go down for conspiracy."

"When you look at it from a legal principle, and purely that, you look and say, look, we don't have thought police, and you don't punish people for having bizarre thoughts and fetishes."

Dr. William Begg, a physician who was in the emergency room on the day of the Sandy Hook massacre also joined the program Wednesday evening and spoke about his testimony on Capitol Hill earlier in the day regarding gun injuries. FULL POST

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Filed under: Clips From Last Night • Guns in America
February 27th, 2013
05:08 PM ET

Clips From Last Night: Pizzeria owner's discount for gun owners and a Sandy Hook victim's father addresses Congress

As the gun debate continues as an important hot-button issue on Capitol Hill and among the American public, "Piers Morgan Tonight" spoke to Jay Laze, a pizzeria owner in Virginia Beach who gives customers a 15 percent discount if they bring their firearms into his restaurant.

The owner of All Around Pizzas and Deli told Piers Morgan that having gun owners in his store "actually makes me feel more safe."

"It makes me feel more safe because these are responsible people," said Laze. "And if a criminal decides to do anything funny, I have these people to back me up."

Neil Heslin and Stephen Grich also joined Tuesday evening's program to discuss their meeting with members of Congress regarding the assault weapons ban. Heslin's 6-year-old son was killed at Sandy Hook and Grich's son was also a tragic victim of gun violence, killed just days before Sandy Hook, during a home invasion near Clemson University. FULL POST

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Filed under: Clips From Last Night • Guns in America
February 27th, 2013
02:23 PM ET

Clips From Last Night: The disturbing case of the cannibal cop; Mark O'Mara on George Zimmerman's upcoming trial

On Tuesday evening, "Piers Morgan Tonight" welcomed CNN national correspondent Deborah Feyerick, best-selling crime novelist, Linda Fairstein and attorney Alan Dershowitz to discuss the disturbing case of the cannibal cop, a NYPD police officer who is on trial for plotting to kidnap, kill and eat dozens of women. The defense claims that the police officer had no intention of executing his plans and that he was simply engaging in fantasies.

"People don't like to hear this, but cannibalism exists," responded Fairstein. "There have been other cases of it."

"So it's very repellent to a jury and they may want to think it's a fantasy and I think the prosecution has a difficult job. But I think this is as good a case short of a murder that you are going to find with this fact." FULL POST

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February 26th, 2013
03:02 PM ET

Clips From Last Night: Travyon Martin's parents mark one year since their son's death; Catholic priests respond to new reports of church scandal

As Tuesday marks one year since the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old killed by neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman in Sanford, Fla., "Piers Morgan Tonight" welcomed Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, his father, Tracy Martin, and family attorney Benjamin Crump.

Sybrina Fulton shared with host Piers Morgan how she planned to commemorate her son's life and death on Tuesday with "a candlelight ceremony here in New York."

"We also did a benefit dinner to help our foundation, so that we can try to do some of the things that we need to do so that we can make sure that no other parents have to go through what we have gone through in the last year," said Sybrina Fulton.

During the interview, Tracy Martin expressed his anger over "the senseless gun violence that's been happening since our son's tragic loss."

It's time for America to take a look at our gun laws," said Tracy Martin. "Take a look at the people that are purchasing guns, people that they are giving gun licenses to, because it's just too much senseless violence, just overwhelming the homes right now."

"We as parents certainly feel the pain for the children and the parents from Sandy Hook, the parents of the children that are being killed in Chicago, and parents that are dealing with loss all over this country. We certainly empathize with them."

Also on the program, Episcopal priest Fr. Albert Cutié and Jesuit priest Fr. Thomas Reese joined Morgan to discuss the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI amid scandal including the resignation of Britain's top Catholic archbishop and reports in the Italian press about the alleged blackmail of gay priests by male prostitutes in Rome. FULL POST

February 25th, 2013
04:52 PM ET

Clips From Last Night: Jennifer Lawrence and Anne Hathaway on the red carpet prior to winning Oscars®

"Suited and Booted" in a Dolce&Gabbana tuxedo with Prada shoes, on Sunday evening Piers Morgan looked entirely comfortable patrolling the red carpet, as the British television presenter hosted CNN's live coverage of the 85th Academy Awards.

Bouncing from superstar to celebrity and back again, the man known most-recently for his powerful position on gun control proved effortlessly versatile, bringing viewers behind the scenes of Hollywood's signature evening.

Chatting live with eventual winner Jennifer Lawrence, Morgan paid the young starlet a lovely compliment:

"Now, look, this, Jennifer, is a big night for you. You're being described as the great movie star of our times," he noted.

Displaying the modesty that has quickly become her trademark, the evening's top female winner used her humor and humility:

"Are you sure that's not just my mom? That's very wonderful," she admitted.

Hours before being crowned Best Actress in a Leading Role for her work in "Silver Linings Playbook," Lawrence found herself flanked by co-stars Chris Tucker, and Jacki Weaver, each of whom raved about the rising talent:

"She's so good. She's natural. She's natural. I've seen it in action. This is great. She's a great actress and a great person, too," insisted Tucker.

"I adore her. And she - she's fabulous," concurred Weaver.

Later in the evening, the prophetic Morgan found himself interviewing another would-be winner, in the form of eventual Best Actress in a Supporting Role victor Anne Hathaway. FULL POST

February 22nd, 2013
04:45 PM ET

More than 150 items up for auction as part of the Carter Center's annual Winter Weekend event

As part of an effort that will help "support the worldwide peace and health work of the not-for-profit" organization that is the famed Carter Center, the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, Calif. is hosting the group's annual "Winter Weekend."

On Thursday, the man who lent his name to the center joined "Piers Morgan Tonight," sharing with the host some of the items he's donating to an auction which will serve as one of the gathering's signature events.

Known to use his own grapes to make his own wine through "traditional family methods," the 39th President of the United States is donating one bottle.

Displaying it for Piers Morgan, Jimmy Carter explained:

February 22nd, 2013
02:05 PM ET

Clips From Last Night: Jimmy Carter on firearm legislation, the NRA, and the conflict in the Middle East

On Thursday evening, "Piers Morgan Tonight" welcomed Jimmy Carter for a face to face interview that ranged from film to firearm, Israel to Iran, and "Argo" to Obama.

Joining Piers Morgan in San Diego, the former President of the United States shared his stance on the ongoing gun debate, and the monopoly and power owned by the gun lobby:

"The main reason why the assault-weapons ban may not pass is the power of the NRA," stated the host. "In going after American politicians who then get cowed into silence. And I think it's just morally cowardly."

Agreeing with Morgan, Carter elaborated:

"And it happens not only at the federal level, but it also happens at every - at every state level and every municipal level. The NRA is there pressuring weak-needed - weak-kneed public officials to yield to their pressures, when they know what they're doing is wrong."

Himself a gun owner, and hunter, Carter owns rifles and shotguns. However, the nation's 39th commander in chief sees no need for assault weapons, and is discouraged by some of the fatal statistics plaguing the U.S.:

"I think it's ridiculous for our country to be in the forefront of killing people with guns. And when you see that there are maybe 20 or 30 people in Canada killed in a year and several thousand people killed here in the United States from guns, that shows that the NRA is wrong and that we should have some restraints."

As the fascinating sit-down conversation continued, Morgan moved the subject matter to the Middle East, asking the man credited for bringing peace to Israel and Egypt about the role of the U.S. today:

"Should America be a little bit more insular, be more selfish?" he wondered.

February 21st, 2013
01:32 PM ET

Clips From Last Night: Cousin found out about Reeva Steenkamp's death over the radio; Gun advocate talks about the feminine appeal of firearms; Remembering Larry Hagman

With the South African police's dismissal of the lead investigator presenting a new twist in the case of Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, on Wednesday evening Piers Morgan invited Kim Martin to offer personal perspective and unique insight on a story that has captivated people across the globe.

A cousin of Reeva Steenkamp, the model girlfriend shot dead by Pistorius on Valentine's Day, Martin spoke of the "surreal" moment of learning the news while stuck in traffic and listening to the radio:

"I just remember thinking the whole time that there's no way," said Martin. "This is not - somebody is playing a joke, and they're going to - the radio guy is going to come on and say that this is a big joke."

Continuing to express disbelief, the guest simply could not accept the passing of her cousin:

"Reeva is not supposed to be dead. Reeva had her whole life ahead of her. She was going to be doing great things."

Also as part of last night's "Piers Morgan Tonight" program, the host continued the gun conversation, welcoming Paxton Quigley who spoke specifically about firearms being used by women.

The author of "Armed and Female, Taking Control," Quigley addressed gun manufacturer marketing campaigns that are geared to a female audience, and the ways in which such advertising impact sales:

"I think they're [gun manufacturers] marketing that way, but I don't think women are following in that way," she told the host. FULL POST

February 15th, 2013
03:45 PM ET

Clips From Last Night: Erin Burnett interviews docked passengers; Donny Deutsch and panel on long-term impact

As the epic adventure that was the Carnival Triumph finally came to a conclusion late last night, early this morning Erin Burnett guest hosted a special live midnight edition of "Piers Morgan Tonight," fielding phone calls and greeting relieved passengers while on the ground in Mobile, Ala.

Joined by colleague Martin Savidge, the regular host of "Erin Burnett OutFront" welcomed friends Brett Klausman and Joe Perkin, pals from Kansas and Missouri who had ventured on a voyage without their wives, a fourth such excursion in as many years:

"There will be a fifth, though. We will go back." said Klausman.

"As long as our wives allow us," chimed in Perkin.

Sporting a newly acquired, all-terrycloth ensemble, admitted he'd picked up a certain souvenir for his troubles.

"Sorry, Carnival – for taking your bathrobe," laughed Klausman. "I did not pay for this, but I figured they owed me a bathrobe."

Someone inside the cruise line's public relations or social media department was apparently watching the live CNN broadcast, and used Twitter to run some damage control:

Ripping off good-natured one-liners while sharing stories of inter-cabin camaraderie, the men from the Midwest exited their interview, with Klausman still wearing his robe:

"I'm definitely keeping it as a souvenir," he said, smiling.

"Don't worry, we won't tell," promised Savidge, while reporting for a network that is watched worldwide.

Hours earlier, as the dramatic arrival of the Carnival Triumph cruise ship unfolded live during the 9 p.m. hour, guest host Donny Deutsch hunkered down from home base, anchoring "Piers Morgan Tonight" from New York.

Tasked with keeping the viewers informed of the latest, while also placing the entire ordeal into perspective, Deutsch welcomed his "All-Star panel" of experts and analysts, who all provided their unique insight into the hellacious voyage.

Noting how tales like these do tend to become inflated over time, the television personality painted a picture of what's to come over the next half-decade:

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