Sandy Hook must be a tipping point for change
December 20, 2012 -- Updated 1627 GMT (0027 HKT)
- Piers Morgan: Past gun-related tragedies haven't led to any action
- He says that must change, and he hosted a debate on the issue
- Morgan: Laws must be changed to limit weapons, ammunition and enforce background checks
- Rights of Americans who use guns for hunting and sport must be respected, he says
(CNN) -- On Wednesday night, I hosted a town hall-style debate on guns in America, talking to lawmakers, mass shooting survivors, lawyers, gun lobbyists -- anyone, basically, who has a strong opinion about what I consider to be the single biggest issue facing America today.
Since I joined CNN two years ago, there have been a series of gun-related tragedies, including the attack on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater massacre.
Each sparked a short-term debate about guns. Yet each debate fizzled out with zero action being taken to try and curb the use of deadly weapons on the streets of America.
Now, following the grotesque slaughter of 20 innocent young children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, I sense that the mood has changed.
We have reached a crucial moment in this debate, and I intend to use my platform to continue this conversation on Wednesday night and going forward. The media have previously been quick to move on to other stories after these tragic acts of gun violence. That must change.
Opinion: Don't let this moment pass without acting on gun control
Mass shooting survivors talk gun control
Morgan, guest spar over gun control
I've made my own views clear on my show -- the senseless killing has to stop. High-powered assault rifles of the type used at Aurora and Newtown belong in the military and police, not in civilian hands. High-capacity magazines, too, should be banned. And background checks on anyone buying guns in America should be comprehensive and stringently enforced.
As President Barack Obama said, doing nothing is no longer an option.
But, at the same time, law-abiding Americans who want to protect themselves under the Second Amendment right to bear arms must be respected. As should the rights of Americans to use guns for hunting and sport.
This is a vital debate for the country. Some 12,000 people are murdered in the United States with guns every year, compared with just 35 in Britain, where there are strong gun laws.
Analysis: Guns and the law
Sandy Hook should, and must, be a tipping point for real action to bring this number down.
Follow @CNNOpinion on Twitter.
Join us at Facebook/CNNOpinion.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Piers Morgan.
Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.
Part of complete coverage on
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1315 GMT (2115 HKT)
Michael Werz says in light of the spying cases, U.S. is seen as a paranoid society that can't tell friends from foes.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1317 GMT (2117 HKT)
Eric Liu explains why in his new book, he calls himself "Chinese American" -- without a hyphen.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1512 GMT (2312 HKT)
John Bare says hands-on learning can make a difference in motivating students to acquire STEM skills.
July 11, 2014 -- Updated 1320 GMT (2120 HKT)
Karl Alexander and Linda Olson find blacks and whites live in urban poverty with similar backgrounds, but white privilege wins out as they grow older.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 1620 GMT (0020 HKT)
Frida Ghitis says a poll of 14 Muslim-majority nations show people are increasingly opposed to extremism.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 1828 GMT (0228 HKT)
Ruben Navarrette says spending more on immigation enforcement isn't going to stop the flow of people seeking refuge in the U.S.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 2048 GMT (0448 HKT)
Faisal Gill had top security clearance and worked for the Department of Homeland Security. That's why it was a complete shock to learn the NSA had him under surveillance.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 1841 GMT (0241 HKT)
Kevin Sabet says the scientific verdict is that marijuana can be dangerous, and Colorado should be a warning to states contemplating legalizing pot.
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 2047 GMT (0447 HKT)
World War I ushered in an era of chemical weapons use that inflicted agonizing injury and death. Its lethal legacy lingers into conflicts today, Paul Schulte says
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 1137 GMT (1937 HKT)
Tom Foley and Ben Zimmer say Detroit's recent bankruptcy draws attention to a festering problem in America -- cities big and small are failing to keep up with change.
July 10, 2014 -- Updated 1201 GMT (2001 HKT)
Mel Robbins says many people think there's "something suspicious" about Leanna Harris. But there are other interpretations of her behavior
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 1753 GMT (0153 HKT)
Amy Bass says Germany's rout of Brazil on its home turf was brutal, but in defeat the Brazilian fans' respect for the victors showed why soccer is called 'the beautiful game'
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 2107 GMT (0507 HKT)
Aaron Carroll explains how vaccines can prevent illnesses like measles, which are on the rise
July 9, 2014 -- Updated 0008 GMT (0808 HKT)
Aaron Miller says if you think the ongoing escalation between Israel and Hamas over Gaza will force a moment of truth, better think again
July 8, 2014 -- Updated 1903 GMT (0303 HKT)
Norman Matloff says a secret wage theft pact between Google, Apple and others highlights ethics problems in Silicon Valley.
July 8, 2014 -- Updated 2237 GMT (0637 HKT)
Naseem Tuffaha says the killing of Israeli teenagers has rightly brought the world's condemnation, but Palestinian victims like his cousin's slain son have been largely reduced to faceless, nameless statistics.
Today's five most popular stories