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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
The Big Story: Trayvon Martin; Ted Nugent Defends Florida's Stand Your Ground Law in Trayvon Martin Case
Aired April 4, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, lawyers for the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin tell me what they think happened.
Then the other side, the Martin's family attorney on why they think justice has not been served.
And line of fire --Ted Nugent defends the right of every American to pack and use guns. Here's what happened the last night we went one on one
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED NUGENT, MUSICIAN: Anybody that wants to disarm me can drop dead. We're going to vote you out of office or suck on my machine gun.
MORGAN: Much I'd love to suck on your machine gun, the whole point -- the whole point of your defense is that a lot of people do drop dead precisely because you are armed to the teeth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Round two, coming up.
And "Keeping America Great", the success coach who's also the man in Oprah's life, Stedman Graham.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: He's somebody who is willing to stand in and stand up for you. And that's what love is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Plus, "Only in America," why women's place is taking the tee, not that tea. The Augusta National.
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
MORGAN: Good evening.
Our big story tonight: the battle over Trayvon Martin. Was his death a crime or self-defense? Attorneys for both sides will try to make their case tonight.
Plus, the man who's never afraid of an argument, Motor City madman, Ted Nugent, with a feeling it might get well as heated as it did the last time he was here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NUGENT: Whenever I've done interviews with guys that are inclined to be anti-gun, they always go, well, Nugent wants everybody to have a machine gun. Nugent wants all the deer dead!
MORGAN: What does Nugent want?
NUGENT: Not even close.
MORGAN: What do you want?
NUGENT: What I want is the Second Amendment. We, the people, free individuals, to have the right to keep and bear arms for self- defense. Find fault with that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Ted Nugent coming up later. But, first, the big story, the Trayvon Martin case.
Joining me now is George Zimmerman's attorneys, lead counsel Craig Sonner, and co-counsel, Hal Uhrig.
Gentlemen, thank you for joining me.
Let me start with you, Craig Sonner. You've been leading this defense of George Zimmerman for a while. Let me ask you a difficult question.
Your client's been subjected now to national attention, the likes of which very few people ever have to face. The vast majority of Americans believe that it would be in the interest of American justice if he was at least to be arrested and to be properly investigated, given that on the night itself, of this incident, neither of those things appear to have happened.
Do you believe that it might be in your client's best interest now if he was to turn himself in?
CRAIG SONNER, ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: Well, first of all, there's no warrant for him to be arrested. So he can't -- there's nobody to turn himself into.
If and when there is a warrant, he will turn himself in. We're keeping track of him. Law enforcement is keeping track of him.
He's not hiding out. He's hiding out -- from law enforcement -- he's hiding out from the people who are trying to kill him, actually.
And at this point, there's an ongoing investigation. They're doing a thorough investigation. And in cases like this, they don't always make an arrest right away, to keep speedy trial from running, so that gives law enforcement more time to investigate the case.
So justice is being done, and the investigation is being done. So, there's not an issue there.
I forget what the other part of your question was.
MORGAN: Well, I think you've pretty well answered it. I mean, in the case of just being done, isn't the problem is that justice has not been seen to be done properly? In the sense that George Zimmerman was simply allowed to go home, having used a firearm to kill an unarmed teenager.
I mean, that's what happened. And most Americans believe that that was fundamentally not justice being served.
SONNER: Well, justice is not being served because all the facts of that night have not been brought out. Not a single thing has been brought into the media that would be admissible in court. All those facts need to be brought out.
And justice being done, there's been no justice for George Zimmerman. He's been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion based on facts that are not even true, pretend as facts -- things that don't add up, that don't make sense.
And when all the facts come out, when the police finish their investigation, you will see that George Zimmerman was acting in self- defense that night.
MORGAN: Let me put to you some facts which I believe are facts, but you can certainly query that if you want to. One, George Zimmerman was not supposed to be carrying a gun while operating as a neighborhood watch official. Would you accept that as a fact?
SONNER: George Zimmerman was on his way to the store, and he was allowed to legally carry a gun with him because he had a concealed weapons permit when he went to the store that night.
MORGAN: But if he was acting as a neighborhood watch official, then you would accept as a fact that he should not have been carrying a weapon, or, indeed, using it?
SONNER: The one thing we know as a fact is that George Zimmerman was attacked by Trayvon Martin. He was punched in the nose. He was taken to the ground. His head was beaten on the ground. And he acted in self-defense when Trayvon Martin was shot. That's the facts that we know.
MORGAN: Well, then, no facts. They are supposition. In a moment, Hal.
That's not your fact, though, is it? That is a supposition based on what George Zimmerman has told you and told police. But in terms of factual evidence for that, that's still not clear, is it? It's not factual evidence yet.
SONNER: That's right. That's why I'm telling everyone to wait before you rush to judgment. Wait until the facts come in. Wait until this case goes to court.
Wait until the facts come in -- admissible evidence in court, not what's admissible evidence in public opinion because what's admissible in public opinion are doctored 911 tapes and whatever anyone else wanted to say about George Zimmerman.
It's been open season on just destroying this man's credibility, destroying who he was. And destroying -- he can no longer go back to the person he was, being involved in his community, mentoring children.
You've destroyed him -- the public -- the media has just destroyed him unfairly. And the conclusions you're drawing in your questions to me show that you've already reached that same conclusion, too.
And what I want you to do and America to do, is to step back, use your cool head and listen to the facts. Listen to what comes out. Listen to what the police investigation shows.
And I think when you do that, you will see that George Zimmerman acted in self-defense.
MORGAN: Right. The 911 operator that he spoke to, told him not to follow Trayvon Martin. Yet he did.
Do you accept that as a fact?
HAL UHRIG, ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: No, they did not. Absolutely not. That's not a fact. If you listen to the tape --
MORGAN: OK. Hal Uhrig --
UHRIG: And that's the way it's been spun. OK, that's the way it's been spun, but that's not what the operator said. They asked, "Are you following him?" He said, "Yes." The operator said, "We don't need you to do that."
Now, the way that's been repeated is, he was ordered not to do that. Words mean things.
MORGAN: It means the same thing.
UHRIG: Mean very specific things. No, it's not the same thing. For you to suggest that he's not entitled to have a fire arm with him that he's licensed to carry because while he was on the way to the store, he happened to notice someone and undertake the responsibility of watch captain, to call the police and report it is absolutely ludicrous.
He's got a license to carry. He's allowed to carry.
MORGAN: Well, let me -- let me stop you there, Mr. Uhrig.
MORGAN: Let me stop you right there. That's very interesting.
MORGAN: So what you're saying to me is that he was acting, once he made that call to the police, to the 911, he was then acting as a neighborhood watch official? Do you accept that? Is that what you're saying?
UHRIG: I'll accept that he was acting as a responsible citizen who happened to be the one that the newsletter for that community says, if you see something suspicious, called George Zimmerman.
But the fact that he notices something while he's armed doesn't require him to get out of his car and go lock his gun in the trunk and play by a different set of rules. He's license to carry that gun. And by the way, he's legally entitled to defend himself.
MORGAN: But he's not allowed to carry a gun as a neighborhood watch official. That's why you're saying --
UHRIG: You're wrong. You're wrong.
MORGAN: -- when he made the call to 911 -- well, I'm not wrong. That is the law, isn't it?
UHRIG: You are wrong. You are wrong. I don't know who's talking to you about the law, but you're wrong.
UHRIG: There's nothing in the law that says if you act as a neighborhood watch captain --
MORGAN: Right. They can all go up with firearms, can they?
UHRIG: Absolutely. You may have a hand book that suggests that you don't, but to say it's illegal to do so is a misstatement of the law.
Let me suggest something to you. It is a terrible tragedy that Trayvon Martin is dead. His parents are suffering unimaginable grief. The grief is not being helped by people coming to town, telling falsehoods in order to raise racial strife.
The morning of February 26th, we had a peaceful community where blacks and whites went to church together, stood in line at the grocery together, and didn't think that we had a problem. After some folks came to down and had their little rallies and made irresponsible speeches about murder and racial profiling -- he's not a racist, it wasn't profiling.
The reason that Trayvon Martin is dead is not because he was black or because he wore a hoodie or because he was walking in the rain. It's because that 6'3" young man made a terrible decision and a bad judgment, when he decided to smack somebody in the face and break their nose, jump on them and smack their head into the ground. And in doing that, put him in reasonable fear for his safety.
You're going to find that there was a dispute as to what happened with the gun. He was entitled to defend himself. And that's why Trayvon Martin is dead, not because of racial profiling.
MORGAN: Well, I've not suggesting racial profiling or that your client was a racist. Nor indeed am I trying to convict him or taking a side.
My view from the start has been, it seems incomprehensible to me under any form of "Stand Your Ground" law or any absurd law as I view it, that somebody could shoot somebody who turned out to be unarmed and not even being arrested on the night. In Britain where I come from, that would cause a sensation the likes of which our justice system has never seen before.
Florida clearly believes this is the right way forward. I don't think it is.
However, understand one thing clearly -- I'm not trying to convict your client. I want justice to see its course. The argument against what's happened here with your client is that on the night, the investigation was basically concluded and he was sent home because there was no evidence to disprove George Zimmerman's story, that he had been acting in self-defense.
The reason I wanted you guys on tonight was precisely to try to talk through some of the developments in factual information or otherwise, to try to get a clearer picture of exactly what we're dealing with here.
I would argue back to both of you, you've both been just as emotive in stating what you believe to be facts as other people have been on Trayvon Martin's side.
UHRIG: As have you.
MORGAN: I'm not sure that does the attorneys a lot of credit, frankly.
UHRIG: Let me suggest a difference, all right? People who have been emotive at these rallies, A, were not there, and, B, have not spoken to anybody who was there. The sole eyewitness to this, the only eyewitness who talked to the police that night, gave them his statement, said that he saw George Martin on the ground, crying for help, being beaten by Trayvon Martin.
That's not a supposition. That's a fact. You can choose your opinion, but you can't choose your facts.
We're going to find the facts when the investigation is entirely completed. Neither the Sanford Police Department or the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, nor the Department of Justice, nor the special prosecutor owe you or me or the public the luxury of giving us every little fact as they do their investigation. When they're done, if we're a little patient and not convict him ahead of time, we'll find out how those facts apply to the law.
And they apply to the Florida law, not the law in the United Kingdom or Ireland or with one of the other 23 states that don't -- or 28 states that don't have that law. The legislatures have decided it is not ludicrous. The people elected to pass these laws have decided that it makes sense.
It doesn't have to make sense to you. It makes sense to them, and it's the law.
MORGAN: I mean, let's try to get to the factual detail of the injuries. When I interviewed Robert Zimmerman, George's brother, he told me he had sustained a broken nose, and it was still broken today. Is that true? And if so, why don't you simply release an x-ray of the broken nose to corroborate that? Because part of the problem you've been facing in perception is that there doesn't appear to have been much sign of serious injury.
If you released a picture, an x-ray of George Zimmerman's nose broken, that would be helpful to your case, I would argue.
SONNER: First of all, he's already been tried and convicted in the media. We're going to try this case in court. All that evidence will be presented at that time -- but not here and not tonight and not on this program.
MORGAN: Right. But you can state as a fact that his nose is broken?
SONNER: I can state as a fact that his nose is broken. But for the rest -- but for me to establish it, and to have it admitted in court, that is not going to happen tonight because this is not a courtroom. You're not a judge. We're not operating under the rules of evidence under the state of Florida.
You're trying to get me to litigate this case right now. And as I've said many times, I'm sure you've watched my other interviews, we're not going to litigate this case in the public media. This is going to be litigated if at all in the courts of the state of Florida.
MORGAN: Actually -- yes, actually, Mr. Sonner, you've been litigating the case, too.
MORGAN: That's the point. I mean, you have been litigating a set of what you believe to be facts. You believe that George Zimmerman didn't defy instructions from the 911 operator not to follow Trayvon Martin. You believe that he was set upon by Trayvon Martin, beaten so badly that he feared for his life, even though Trayvon Martin and the people acting for him say that actually what happened is that your client followed him against instructions from the 911 operator and that maybe some altercation took place.
But Trayvon Martin was unarmed and had been to a store to buy Skittles and take them back to his father's house. He had every right and every expectation to get back to his father's house in one place. Instead he was shot dead.
And you, in your way, I would argue are litigating the defense for your client without the facts. These aren't facts you're giving me about the fight and what happened. They are your supposition.
SONNER: Let me stop you there.
MORGAN: They're not facts, are they? They are what you believe to have happened.
SONNER: Those are -- that's the evidence that's been released from the police department. That's as close to fact as we have right now.
But I'm confident when the rest of the facts and I'm more able to show it in a court of law, through admissible evidence, that it will show that George Zimmerman was acting in self-defense and all the things that you were just stating, well, he went to the -- he went to the 7-Eleven was only going to get Skittles, that's not -- that wasn't released in the police report. I'm just going by what's there and I'm giving you --
MORGAN: Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. Sorry, I have to jump --
SONNER: -- or you're going to keep interrupting me?
MORGAN: Mr. Sonner, let me just jump in there? Of course, it's not in the police report. Trayvon Martin was dead. How could it be in the police report that he'd gone to buy Skittles?
SONNER: That's right. It's not in the police report. That's not been released as a fact.
The only things I've stated are things that have been released as facts from the authorities. And when this case goes to trial, and the rest of the facts are released from the authorities, you will see George Zimmerman acted in self-defense that night.
And the rest of what you're telling me, you're trying to litigate this case here. Do you have some other questions for us so we can move on? If there are some questions about American jurisprudence or something like that?
MORGAN: I do, do. Let me ask you, let me ask you -- why don't you acquaint me with the American legal process then? Is it a fact that your client has told his version of events to the police, and that actually that is what you're basing factual evidence on, the word of George Zimmerman to the police on the night?
You have no other factual evidence to support the fact that he had been set upon by Trayvon Martin, do you? It is the word of your client to the police -- unless I'm wrong.
UHRIG: You are wrong. And, you know, let me try to put this in a little bit of context. First of all, his statement shouldn't be discounted immediately just because he's the one that you'd like to have convicted.
Second of all, we have an eyewitness. If he wasn't set upon, we got an eyewitness that says that Trayvon Martin was on top of him, beating him in the face, that he was on the ground crying for help.
It's a fact that that statement was made. Whether it's a fact or not if he's telling the truth, it's a fact. If he's telling a lie, it's not.
But one thing is absolutely certain, no one came out that night and no one has come out since to indicate that they saw this physical altercation started by George Zimmerman. That's the supposition you'd like to go with. You don't like the Second Amendment --
MORGAN: You keep putting words into my mouth. I'm not saying that.
UHRIG: You started it.
MORGAN: As far as I'm aware, there is no eyewitness that has seen Trayvon Martin, an eyewitness that saw Trayvon Martin land the first blow, is there?
SONNER: Sir, I will tell you there is evidence that will come out in a court of law, that will be admissible that will show this. Let's stop litigating it.
Do you have another question for us?
He wasn't arrested that night because based on the police investigation they didn't find probable cause to arrest him. That's what happened.
Is there another question that you have? Because we're going around and around in circle.
MORGAN: One final question.
UHRIG: Piers, let me --
MORGAN: Very important circles actually. And I think they're important circles and I think the pair of you telling me that I'm trying to convict your client is a massive misreading of what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to get to the truth.
MORGAN: And my final question, can be both of you, do you expect George Zimmerman to be arrested imminently?
UHRIG: No. What is imminently? How soon is that?
MORGAN: In the next few days, next couple of weeks?
UHRIG: I would say certainly not in the next few days.
MORGAN: Right. But is there anyone expectation that at some stage George Zimmerman will be arrested on your side?
UHRIG: If the grand jury hears all the evidence that we know to exist and they apply the law as it exists in Florida, not Great Britain, then he will not be arrested in the next few days or the next few weeks or ever. They'll come down with what's called a no true bill. They'll make the determination that all of the evidence, forensic and otherwise, is consistent with his explanation of self- defense.
That's what Florida law calls for. It doesn't call for arrest them and make them prove their innocence in court.
MORGAN: No, I understand that. But as far as British law is concerned, if this had happened in Britain, there would be no stand your ground defense and he would have been arrested. I'm more comfortable with the way we do things in this particular matter. But gentlemen, thank you very much for your time.
MORGAN: When we get back, I'll get to Trayvon Martin's family attorney Ben Crump and get his reaction to that extraordinary encounter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON'S MOM: I believe that George Zimmerman hunted my son like an animal, tried to detain my son. My son tried to get away, and because he could not detain my son, an altercation ensued and my son was shot and killed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Trayvon Martin's mother told me last week about what she thinks happened the night her son was killed.
And back with more in tonight's big story -- Ben Crump, attorney for the Martin family.
Mr. Crump, I'm sure you were listening there to my interview with the two attorneys for George Zimmerman. It got pretty heated. I think some strange supposition on their side that I was trying to convict George Zimmerman. That certainly isn't my intention. I'm just trying to get to the truth here.
When you listened to what they said, what was your reaction?
BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATORNEY FOR TRAYVON MARTIN'S FAMILY: Well, obviously, they did not want to look at the facts that have been released by the police department, the fact that it is highly unusual that someone can kill someone in cold blood and that person not be armed and George Zimmerman has a .9 millimeter gun.
Even the 911 call, there are several facts that are going to come into this trial. If George Zimmerman, this armed vigilante, is arrested for killing Trayvon Martin. The problem is, he has not been arrested. They talk about trying it in the media and have him cry on some rallies -- I submit to you, Piers, had it not been for the nationwide outrage, his death would have been swept under the rug.
When Tracy Martin called me, I believe in my heart of hearts -- I told them, you don't need me. He's going to be arrested. A neighborhood watch volunteer with a .9 millimeter gun, kills your unarmed teenager, and you don't think he's going to be arrested? I said, it has to be --
MORGAN: Tell me this, Mr. Crump, because one of my points of contention with the attorneys for George Zimmerman was that they clearly believe that from the moment he made the call to the 911, he was then acting as a neighborhood watch. He had moved into that capacity.
My understanding was that neighborhood that watch people are not supposed to be armed. That is against the code of being a neighborhood watch official. They clearly think it's perfectly OK, that he could become a neighborhood watch official in that time frame, in that moment, and still have this weapon on him that he can use to kill somebody.
Now, clear that up for me legally.
CRUMP: Absolutely, Piers. There is no neighborhood watch organization, auxiliary or anything that will tell you that a neighborhood watch volunteer should carry a .9 millimeter gun, or carry any kind of armed weapon. In fact, it's the direct opposite, to say that you are not to carry a gun or any other kind of weapon.
You're simply supposed to do what the words say, neighborhood watch. You see something, you call the police. You let the authorities handle it.
Had George Zimmerman simply done this, this would have never happened. He would be going about his life. And more importantly, Trayvon Martin would be living to pursue his dreams and his life goals. And his mother and father wouldn't be grieving and really not even have the time to grief --
MORGAN: Mr. Crump, let me -- Mr. Crump, let me be fair --
CRUMP: -- because they have to push for him to be arrested. Yes, sir.
MORGAN: Let me jump in. Let me be fair and balanced about this, because let's assume for argument's sake here, that George Zimmerman in defiance of the instructions he was given by the 911 operator, begins to follow Trayvon Martin. He then says that he lost track of him and began to walk back to his vehicle.
And at that point, out of nowhere, Trayvon Martin attacked him, wrestled him to the ground, was punching him repeatedly and he feared for his life.
Could that constructive event, could that actually be what happened? Could Trayvon Martin have been so unnerved and scared by what was going on that he did defend himself, exercising, many would argue, his own right to stand his own ground, his own right to self- defense, and got in first against somebody who was following him, who he may have believed was armed, had no identification as any kind of neighborhood watch official or anything else? Could it be that he did attack and jump on George Zimmerman?
CRUMP: Well, I don't think we can say attacked. We could say he defended himself because Trayvon Martin had every right to defend himself against George Zimmerman who approached him.
And think about it, George Zimmerman didn't have a badge or anything official. He had on a sweatshirt and some jeans. We've all seen the video now.
So, we believe Trayvon Martin went to his death not knowing who this strange man was that was approaching him. And I just want to clear one thing up, Piers. You have to really, really just use your common sense.
He says, going back to his vehicle and that's why he's attacked. Well, the problem with that is, where Trayvon Martin's dead body is found is many, many yards away from his vehicle. It supports the contention that he had pursued Trayvon Martin.
Trayvon Martin was about 70 yards from the back door of his father's girlfriend's house. He was almost home. What do they find?
The lawyers made a big point of saying we don't know what he went to the store for. They found a bag of Skittles and a can of Arizona iced tea. That is in the report. That's what he had in his possession. So --
MORGAN: Let me jump in again. Let me jump again.
MORGAN: On this particular point, though, on the Florida "Stand Your Ground" law, if we assume that George Zimmerman is telling the truth and that he was heading back to his vehicle and Trayvon -- perhaps freaked by what was happening -- attacked him, and a fight ensued, and he got on top of him and was beating him repeatedly, is it possible under the law that is particular to Florida, under the "Stand Your Ground" law, that that created a set of circumstances where George Zimmerman, fearing that he maybe under threat to his life, was able under the law to pull his gun out and use it? Can you accept that that could be a possibility?
MORGAN: -- fearing that he may be under threat to his life, was able, under the law, to pull his gun out and use it? Can you accept that that could be a possibility?
CRUMP: Certainly that's what he wants to assert. But we have George Zimmerman's version. And factually it just doesn't work for George Zimmerman. When you look at the facts, the objective facts, not what he's saying, but the objective facts, facts -- like the fact, if he's at his car, how does Trayvon Martin get those hundred yards away or so to be in the backyard of Mary Kuchins' (ph) house dead?
What, did, Trayvon Martin attacked him at his car and then George Zimmerman carried his body behind Mary Kuchins' house? That's not logical. We hear the 911 tapes. It connects the dots.
And the other thing is, he's on the phone with a young lady talking. And it is clear that if he's on the phone at 7:12, that call lasts for four minutes. George Zimmerman calls 911 at 7:11. We're trying to find out, where is it where all those things that Trayvon has supposedly said to him, why isn't that recorded anywhere? That's just George Zimmerman's word and nobody else.
And one more important fact; you know, when you think about this self-defense claim -- we've heard his father say his head was beat into the concrete repeatedly or the pavement repeatedly, over a minute, and then his nose was broke. That videotape, I submit to you, Piers, and to America, was taken about 35 minutes later.
And you know, they tried to enhance it, and they try to find -- they're trying to find a cut on his head, but how bad is it if they didn't even put a Band-Aid on it, Piers? How much force was asserted? Why didn't he go to the hospital if he was beat up that bad?
You know, it's one of those things, Trayvon Martin is dead. He is dead. And you are saying to everybody in the world, I had to kill him because he had busted my head and broke my nose. So we're trying to look at that. And it doesn't appear to be there.
And we are not asking that he is convicted. We only want to have him arrested, so we will have the day in court, and this won't be swept under the rug. That's just simple justice. That is all his mother and father have asked for from the very beginning.
You beg the question that -- why is it this double standard? Would Trayvon Martin be given all this consideration had he been the trigger man? MORGAN: Mr. Crump, I'm going to have to leave it there. But there are lots of unanswered questions still. And in the end, as you rightly said, Trayvon Martin is the one who lost his life that night. And that should never be forgotten. Thank you for joining me.
CRUMP: Thank you.
MORGAN: Coming up, somebody who has strong views about gun laws in America and about the Trayvon Martin case, Ted Nugent.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trayvon Martin!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trayvon Martin! Tell me --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: The rally to bring justice to Trayvon Martin. The tragedy brings out a lot of emotions and everyone has an opinion on the shooting, including my next guest, Ted Nugent. Everyone knows he never holds back. And I thank him for joining me tonight.
Ted, welcome back. Last time, we were having a fairly jocular debate about all this. But this is a bit too serious for that. You've heard the attorneys on both sides there. What do you make of this case in its entirety?
TED NUGENT, SINGER: Well, first of all, thanks for going after this very tragic situation, Piers. And thank you for having me on. But let me clarify one thing, very, very important, that you alluded to earlier in your program, that you believe that the vast majority of Americans want Zimmerman arrested.
Let me tell you what the vast majority of Americans want. We're saying prayers for the Martin family and all those other black youths that are slaughtered every week. Those are the people that we constantly cry out for.
So be very careful what you assume. Those of us that love life and respect life, we don't see any color. But we wonder where the outcry is when every week these youths are slaughtered across the streets of America. So that's the most important statement I want to make right here.
MORGAN: But, I mean, look, there are always, with all these cases, innumerable other cases that can be thrown in as why don't you care as much about that? The reality of this case is that, I believe, it's popped in America as a big cause because of the precise nature of what happened after Trayvon Martin was killed.
That is this particularly extreme version of Stand Your Ground. You have to use that phrase, because it is in Florida. It's particularly wide-ranging. And it has allowed a situation where somebody can shoot an unarmed teenager and actually be allowed to go home that night without even being arrested.
That's why I understand people feeling exercised about why he wasn't arrested on the night. Shouldn't he have been? Even for someone like you, that believes in right to bear arms and guns and everything else, shouldn't he have been arrested?
NUGENT: You saw the tape. I saw the tape where he was handcuffed, Piers. That's arrested. He was arrested. He was questioned. The Stand Your Ground Law does have specific ramifications. But I also want to clarify something else, that really you should be ashamed of, that you said earlier. You don't believe that a person should be able to Stand Your Ground. And you referenced your homelands of England, where if someone invades your home, an English homeowner, by law, has to retreat.
Piers, I offer to you that that's anti-human, that that disrespects the gift of life, and it actually encourages recidivistic criminal behavior by sending out a message that we're not going to stand our ground; we're going to retreat.
Piers, you're in America now. And in America, we have a Second Amendment right. And we value life more than sheep do. And we don't back down. So the stand your law is common sense. It's logical. And it's the right thing to do.
MORGAN: Right. I mean, American has 270 million guns, by common estimation. Britain, I think, has about two million.
NUGENT: I think more than that.
MORGAN: Well, maybe more than that. OK. The last record said 9,484 homicides involving guns in the last year that was recorded. Britain had 68. I suppose my point is this, is that I don't defend all the laws in Britain. Many of them are ridiculous. I don't defend all the laws in America or attack all the laws. Some, to me, seem ridiculous. Others seem perfectly fair and balanced.
It's a great country with a great legal system in many ways. I don't denigrate America with this. But on the Stand Your Ground law, in particular, it seems to me unbelievable that a young, unarmed teenager in America today can actually be shot dead for possession of a bag of Skittles, on his way home to his father's girlfriend's house.
My point was, when they were mocking British law, by the way -- they started this. I said back in Britain, that wouldn't have happened. You couldn't do that without being arrested and almost certainly charged. Now I think many Americans -- let's not say the majority. I don't know the statistics. But many Americans feel uncomfortable that this could happen in modern America and that George Zimmerman would simply be allowed to go home that night when Trayvon Martin goes to a coffin.
NUGENT: Piers, you have expressed that you don't want to try this on television. I also do not want to try this on television. I think we both agree that there's a tragedy that it is being tried and that Zimmerman has been convicted across the media in many instances.
So let's not do that here. So let me propose to you a scenario that I think you can grasp and support. You must be aware, and if not I'll inform you now, how many professional law enforcement heroes are killed every year with their own weapon. I'm not juxtaposing this with the Trayvon and the Zimmerman situation.
But it does happen, where an assaultant will start beating a person so badly that those of us that are armed, we have a responsibility to keep that new assault from taking our weapon, because if the assault escalates to that degree -- certainly the fist can go into a deadly situation if they get a hold of the gun bearer's gun.
So we have to be cognizant of that. If it wasn't for backup guns in law enforcement and in civilians hands, oftentimes, that the perpetrator and the person getting beat up is killed with his own gun. So let's not dismiss that reality that is documented over and over again across this country.
MORGAN: But do you believe that a neighborhood watch official acting in that capacity should be armed and using that firearm?
MORGAN: OK. Well, Ted, we'll agree to disagree over that. I hope we can do that again in an extended way soon, because your opinions are always very interesting to hear. Thank you for joining me.
NUGENT: Thank you, Piers. My family sends their best and our prayers are with the Martin family.
MORGAN: We appreciate that very much. Thanks, Ted.
Next, Oprah steady stops by, Stedman Graham, to talk about his famous lady friend and keeping America great.
MORGAN: Tonight, Keeping America Great with Oprah Winfrey's long-time beau, Stedman Graham. The best selling author and businessman also has a new book out called "Identity, Your Passport to Success." Stedman joins me now. Stedman, I have to start by asking what you thought of the debate to know over this Trayvon Martin case. I know Oprah's been very vocal about this. What is your view of it?
STEDMAN GRAHAM, AUTHOR, "IDENTITY, YOUR PASSPORT TO SUCCESS": Well, I think it comes down to one word, which is race. And I know in my life, I've been defined by the color of my skin. And so I teach identity because I discovered it's not about the color of your skin. It's about who you are.
And it's about being able to develop yourself, take information, education, make it relevant to your life, to your talents, to your skills, and then be able to navigate the system of socially constructed messages and the socially constructed boxes that sometimes keep you sometimes from having the opportunity because -- because of the color of your skin.
So the message here tonight is not -- it's not how other people define you. It's really how you define yourself. The question is, do you have the tools, and can you navigate the sometimes systemic process put in place to keep certain people down? Can you navigate that system to be able to self-actualize your potential as a human being?
That not only applies to race. It applies to gender. It applies to relationships, as people try to put me in a box. It applies to your parents if they gave you a message and put you in a box because of that. It -- you know, you're defined by the -- your house, your car, your job, your title, all of those things.
So again, the question is, it's not how other people define you, it's do you have the tools to define yourself and to benefit from the American free enterprise system and what this world has to offer.
MORGAN: What do you believe has gone fundamentally wrong with the American business model?
GRAHAM: Well, I think we're stuck in a box doing the same thing over and over every single day. So if you did the same thing you did yesterday, as I say, as you will do tomorrow, as you will do the next day, what have you done? Nothing.
The system is set up where it teaches you how to memorize, take tests, repeat the information back. The educational system, you get labeled with a grade. And if I ask a student what they learned, two weeks later, they probably say I forgot.
So if you're doing the same thing over and over every single day, which is not much -- everything you learn, you forget, which is not much -- you actually lose control of your ability to self-actualize your talents, your skills. And you end up just not being able to transform from a follower to a leader, from a slave mentality to an owner, from a consumer to a producer.
So what happens when we have this new world order, we have this new normal. And the world is getting larger and we're getting smaller. We lose control of our lives, because we can't innovate. We can't create. And people are becoming slaves to the lack of ownership in their own development, because they're not actually thinking.
And our school system doesn't teach us how to think. We're stuck in the robotic way of living, doing the same thing over and over. And we're stuck in these boxes. Then we're socially -- in these socially constructed boxes that teach us that we have to be programmed based on the box we're in.
MORGAN: The premise of your book, "The Passport to Success," do you believe that enough Americans take personal responsibility these days for their lives, for their careers, for their economic stability and so on?
GRAHAM: Well, we don't really know how to do that. That's why I wrote this book called "Identity," because I've been searching for this -- how to fill my hole up in my heart all my life, how to become equal. You're not going to become equal asking for equality. You're not going to become equal asking for freedom.
Freedom is a process of working on the inside and developing yourself and educating yourself and taking charge of your development, so that you are able to take information, education, make it relevant to your purpose in life -- what are you meant to do -- transfer it back to your mind, so you're able to think, and then transfer it to the American free enterprise system to create your own.
We are in the 21st century today. This is a period of ownership. It's a period of self-development. It's a period of self-leadership. It's a period of entrepreneurship and creating small businesses and taking charge of your own development. So again, the basis of that is being able to have an identity which allows you to again work on your talents, work on your skills, work on your passions, focus on what you love. And there's no better time than the time we live in today to be able to do that.
MORGAN: Well, Stedman Graham, it's a fascinating book. I shall be pouring over the details, trying to work out my identity, which has taking a bit of a whacking tonight, but for all the right reasons. Debate is healthy in the modern world. Thank you very much for joining me, Stedman. I appreciate it.
GRAHAM: Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.
MORGAN: Coming up, Only in America, the Masters and Augusta's outrageous refusal to let women in the club.
MORGAN: For tonight's Only in America a black eye and a green jacket. Round one of the Masters begins tomorrow, but the headline is about gender, not golf. The famed tournament is, of course, hosted by the Augusta National, a notoriously private club that incredibly only began allowing black members in 1990.
well, that was bad enough, but still light years ahead when it comes to the club's attitude to woman's rights, because it still, incredibly, refuses to let women become members, an archaic act of preposterous misogyny that now faces its first serious challenge.
Here's the problem for those sexist Augusta Nationals male pigs: traditionally, the club has made the CEO of its long-time sponsor IBM an automatic member. The last four CEOs all got handed that famed emerald blazer. But they were all men.
This year's IBM chief executive officer is woman, Virginia Rometty, a disastrous fact that is causing, as you can hear now, all sorts of psychological hell for the Augusta National's chairman, Billy Payne.
He just can't bring himself to say if he's ready to let Ms. Rometty in or not.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILLY PAYNE, AUGUSTA NATIONAL GOLF CLUB CHAIRMAN: Well, as has been the case, Mike, whenever that question is asked, all issues of membership are now and have been historically subject to the private deliberations of the members. And that statement remains accurate and remains my statement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Not a hard question, really, was it, not unless you're a decaying old dinosaur with prehistoric views about women. Shame on you, President Billy Payne, and shame on a lot of other people too in this ridiculous fuss, the male players who still turn up for the event, but make no complaint about the no women ban, the male fans who hoot and holler about a two-foot putt, but not about an issue that should offend their very senses.
And most of all, shame on all those male executives at IBM who continue to endorse sponsoring the Masters despite this disgusting snub to their boss. As a keen golfer, I love the Masters. But the Augusta National's blatant racism that continued for decades after the Civil Rights movement took off rendered it a disgrace.
And its pathetic sexism today disgraces it even further.
That's all for us tonight. "AC 360" starts now.