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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Interviews with Gun Advocates
Aired February 4, 2013 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: Tonight, gun advocates say that I just don't get it when it comes to guns and one of the main reasons is I've never fired before, hardly at all. So I've come to gun country, to Houston and Texas to one of the most successful and popular gun stores in the state. And I'm going to find out why so many Americans demand the right to be able to use one of these. By far, one of the most powerful weapons in America's arsenal and they're all legal.
I'll talk to the Texas attorney general and the owner of this store which has become a Mecca to many Texans with guns and ammunition.
And my one-on-one with the Motor City madman himself, Ted Nugent. It got pretty lively last time and I'm sure it will again tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED NUGENT: Piers, you're an American now. And in America we have a Second Amendment right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: From Texas, this is a special edition of PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
I'm here at Tactical Firearms in Houston, Texas. I'm with the owner, Jeremy Alcede.
Jeremy, how has business been in this gun store since the Sandy Hook massacre?
JEREMY ALCEDE, OWNER, TACTICAL FIREARMS: We've increased our sales four to five times. We were doing about $1 million a month and we started doing $1 million a week until we sold out. Right now it's impossible to get guns in, and ammunition.
MORGAN: This pattern has been seen all across America. Why? Why are people reacting to such an appalling massacre are raising out to buy more guns and ammunition?
ALCEDE: So I can't speak for any other state but Texas. I know that my customers feel that they're going to be banned and so they feel that they need to go get it now while they still can.
MORGAN: One of the most popular selling of the guns. ALCEDE: Anything right now with over a 10-round capacity semiautomatic. Because that's what the rumor is that they're going to try to ban.
MORGAN: Do you think those are the kind of things you should use in self-defense?
ALCEDE: For self-defense for your home or self-defense of your property?
MORGAN: Your home.
ALCEDE: For your home, I like shotguns just because you don't have to worry about missing. And the pistol or rifle going through sheet rock and killing an innocent loved one in your own hour or even a neighbor outside. Here in Texas, you know, sometimes you live on 10, 20 acres. You've got coyotes, pigs, and so a shotgun would be very effective.
MORGAN: Do you believe any guns should be banned?
ALCEDE: I do not.
ALCEDE: It's not guns that kill people. If this is the case we need to ban alcohol because alcohol kills more people than guns 20 times over, 50 -- I don't know the statistics.
MORGAN: But do you believe that the more guns there are in America the safer the country is?
ALCEDE: In the hands of the right people, yes, yes. You know, if you're going to do anything, I agree that, you know, people that have mental retardation or violent, you know, felons, those people should not have guns. They shouldn't have the right to vote. They should not have any rights, in my opinion. But law-abiding citizens, you should be able to do whatever you want as far as gun purchasing.
MORGAN: OK. Well, look, let's fire some of these weapons. And what are we going to start with?
ALCEDE: Let's start with the JP Enterprises, semiautomatic, AR- 15. Every time you pull the trigger, one bullet comes out.
MORGAN: And this is the pure unmodified semiautomatic?
ALCEDE: It is.
MORGAN: So no one has done anything to this. I have to try to flip it into an automatic?
MORGAN: It's a bog standard, if you like, AR-15?
MORGAN: Which is to remind the viewers, this is the weapon that's been used in the last five mass shootings in America, including Aurora and Sandy Hook.
OK. What is -- the magazine is how big? How many --
ALCEDE: This is a 30-round capacity. Pretty standard.
MORGAN: And that's perfectly legal?
ALCEDE: Yes, it is.
MORGAN: OK. So all of this is perfectly legal to any American who is not a felon or has a history of mental illness?
ALCEDE: So weapon is ready to be charged. Weapon is on safe.
ALCEDE: Go ahead and shoulder the weapon. Keep your finger out of the trigger until you're ready to shoot. Finger out of the trigger. OK. When you get your sights lined up, take it off the safety. And go ahead and shoot.
MORGAN: Wow. That's (INAUDIBLE). Jeremy, come --
MORGAN: So -
ALCEDE: Three hundred rounds a minute.
MORGAN: Once I got the hang of it and began pressing the trigger faster and faster, it was just firing very, very fast.
ALCEDE: This has a muzzle break, which stops the rise of the gun, makes it a little bit easier to shoot. Makes it a lot louder.
MORGAN: Somebody who knows really what they're doing, how many rounds could they fire in, say, a minute with one of these?
ALCEDE: Well, you know, with reload, maybe 60 rounds or so.
MORGAN: Sixty rounds a minute?
ALCEDE: The cyclical rate is 330 or so rounds a minute, 400 rounds a minute.
MORGAN: Sorry? ALCEDE: The -- the true cyclical rate if you had unlimited magazine, then it could shoot about 400 rounds a minute.
MORGAN: So somebody like you, if you had --
ALCEDE: Multiple magazines.
MORGAN: Yes. How many do you think --
ALCEDE: In one minute? Two hundred or so?
MORGAN: Two hundred?
ALCEDE: If I had to guess.
MORGAN: You could buy these at Wal-Mart. Do you think that's a good idea?
ALCEDE: For law-abiding citizens, I think it's an excellent idea. If you live here in Texas, like I said, we shoot pigs out of helicopters. We do things that nobody else does. If you start banning one particular anything -- I don't care if it's a particular type of ammunition, firearm, magazine, where is it going to stop? You give anybody an inch, they're going to take a mile. And so if you're a law-abiding citizen, there should be no more bans on anything.
MORGAN: You have a modified version of the AR-15. So I wouldn't mind seeing next if I could.
ALCEDE: OK. So we're actually at firearms manufacture. These two weapons --
MORGAN: I mean they look identical to me.
ALCEDE: Right. The difference is the selector switch, instead of just going from safe to full -- or safe to semiautomatic, we have autos here that allows it to go full automatic.
MORGAN: And that's the only difference?
ALCEDE: That's the only difference.
MORGAN: How sophisticated is it -- I mean, how difficult is it for somebody who knows what they're doing to take an AR-15 and make it like an automatic?
ALCEDE: Well, you have to have drill well the inside of a receiver, of course you have to have the right receive. You've got to have a full auto bolt so there's parts and components. You can't just go to Wal-Mart, you can't just go in your backyard and just make it that way. You have to order parts.
MORGAN: But the parts can be bought legally?
ALCEDE: Yes, they can.
MORGAN: So you could buy the legal parts and you could convert it yourself? If you know what you're doing.
ALCEDE: When you say legally, technically, you're not supposed to have the parts and the gun together.
MORGAN: You could buy them separately?
ALCEDE: You can.
MORGAN: So if you're a criminal --
ALCEDE: Of course with a criminal you can do whatever you want.
MORGAN: OK. Let me fire this one.
MORGAN: Let's put it onto automatic mode.
MORGAN: Again, a 30-bullet magazine.
ALCEDE: Thirty-round magazine. Safety is on. You need to flip this twice. Make sure that you lean forward into it because it does rise. There you go. Just make sure you lean into it.
MORGAN: I mean, to me, they just feel unbelievably powerful.
ALCEDE: Right. You can see that you were nowhere near as accurate. You missed the target so many times.
MORGAN: No, but it was -- I could feel it just rising all the time so my accuracy was far less than with the previous weapon but the speed of the bullets, the power --
ALCEDE: About twice as fast. And that's why they called this, when you shoot one of these it's called spray and pray. You spray bullets and we pray that it hits the target. Because they're not very accurate at all.
MORGAN: But if you're in a confined area like a movie theater, you don't really care, right?
ALCEDE: Well, no. You saw the rise. I mean, you shot it right by its head.
MORGAN: If that room was just full of people, it doesn't matter if you miss the target. You're going to hit somebody, right? And the guy -- the guy at Aurora used an AR-15 and I think he had what's called a slider device? ALCEDE: Slide Fire Stock.
MORGAN: What does that do to an AR-15?
ALCEDE: It allows the weapon -- it's even less accurate than this and it's really hard to actually shoot. I would love to put one in your hands and try -- for you to try it.
MORGAN: How many bullets does it allow you to fire?
ALCEDE: Well, technically it shoots about 650 rounds a minute. Same thing as a full auto.
MORGAN: And that -- and you can buy the Slide legally? And you sell them here?
MORGAN: Of all the arguments to have one of these, home defense is probably the least plausible from your point of view?
ALCEDE: For me in the home, what people are talking about is, you know, the way this world is going that the military and United Nations are going to come in and try to take our guns.
MORGAN: Do you really believe that?
ALCEDE: I don't know. Anything is possible. There's a lot of things in my life --
MORGAN: Can you imagine U.S. Marines charging on to your property and try to steal your guns?
ALCEDE: I would hope not, but if it's an executive order --
MORGAN: Jeremy, you're a sensible guy. I spent some time with you. I hear this all the time in Texas. I mean I gave an interview to a friend of yours earlier, 40, 50 Texans and that was the one thing they all seemed to agree on, that tyranny was about to come their way.
MORGAN: But I don't see how that's going to happen.
ALCEDE: You look at all the other countries and it started where we are right now. And it's ended up with no guns.
MORGAN: But do you think the American military would attack its own people?
ALCEDE: If they're forced to. I don't know. I hope not. I hope that that would not happen. But I would think at least 40 or 50 percent would.
MORGAN: And do you think that's what many Texans feel about why they would need a weapon like this?
ALCEDE: They want it because they are law-abiding citizens and they know it's legal to purchase it now and it won't be legal later. So they'd rather buy it now and be legal than do something illegal because these are law-abiding citizens we're talking about.
MORGAN: Show me quickly the kind of weapon that you think would be effective for home defense?
ALCEDE: Inside your home? This is a typical shotgun. The reason I like about this is because it does have a strap here.
ALCEDE: So if someone tries to take it from you, you have two points for struggle. It's a pump action so it's not going to jam. That's a universal sound for get the heck out of my house. So this is a really good -- it's a 12 gauge. It's a really good weapons for home defense.
MORGAN: Easy to use?
ALCEDE: It is. You have to hold it down at the waist when you fire it because if you do this, you'll bust your teeth out.
MORGAN: Finally, this machine down here, which is -- it looks to me like it kind of -- you know, a military machine gun that you see in all the movies. But that I understand because it was made before 1986 and the last assault weapon ban. That is a legal weapon in this country.
ALCEDE: Perfectly legal purchase.
MORGAN: I could buy that and need six months of background checks and --
ALCEDE: It's ATF paperwork that you have to fill out. You have to pay $200 to the ATF to actually fire this or to actually purchase it. To fire it --
MORGAN: What will it cost me?
ALCEDE: These run anywhere from $25,000 to $45,000, depends on the make and model.
MORGAN: What is the rate of fire of one of these?
ALCEDE: It's about 900 rounds a minute.
Chris, if I could have you over on this side to sit on this one. You sit on that one.
MORGAN: You sit like this.
ALCEDE: Back up just a little bit. Wrap -- put your knees over this. Right.
ALCEDE: OK. Hold on. Keep your fingers off the trigger. Go ahead and take it off the safe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take it off safe.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You push this down, you push it down hard.
MORGAN: OK. Is it one bullet a fire or --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, it's going to keep doing this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want you to keep it down.
MORGAN: Why would any civilian want -- need one of these?
ALCEDE: This is an investment. I purchased one of these a while back for about 1200 bucks and sold it -- $12,000 and sold it for $45,000.
MORGAN: Incredible. Incredible.
ALCEDE: This is obviously too expensive to shoot. It's just the investment point.
ALCEDE: There's not many of them out there.
MORGAN: I could buy that from you?
ALCEDE: You could.
MORGAN: Jeremy, thank you very much.
ALCEDE: Thank you.
MORGAN: Still ahead, I talk to a close friend of America's top sniper who was shot dead on a Texas gun range very similar to this over the weekend. And after the break I talk to the attorney general of Texas about his views on gun control.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MORGAN: Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has a lot to say about guns in America and he joins me now.
Welcome to you, sir.
GREG ABBOTT, TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL: Thank you.
MORGAN: The president today was in Minnesota, he came out strongly again for a variety of different measures he wants to bring in through the Senate, through the House, to try, and as he put it, curb gun violence in America.
What was your reaction to what he said?
ABBOTT: Well, it seems to be more show than reality because it seems like on the very same day the majority leader came out and said that they're not going to pass any assault weapons ban. And so it seems like he's working --
MORGAN: He didn't say he wouldn't pass. He said he'd take a look at it.
ABBOTT: Well, I thought he made an announcement later today that he didn't think that the United States Senate on the Democrat side would pass an assault weapon ban. So it seems like the president is swimming against the tide of even his own party.
MORGAN: Let's go through some of these measures because I want to see where there's common ground. And then we can argue about where there isn't. Do you support 100 percent background checks -- universal background checks?
ABBOTT: No, the problem that we have with regard to the background checks is that current background checks are not working. We're seeing so many violations of it that the federal officials are not enforcing.
MORGAN: But --
In principle -- in principle of universal background checks, do you support that?
ABBOTT: Well, the principle of ensuring that criminals and those who have mental issues do not get their hands on guns are very important. The problem with --
MORGAN: What about the principle of knowing --
MORGAN: -- who is buying guns in America? Because a lot of these people don't show the obvious mental dangers, if you like, until it's too late. What about just the principle of if you buy a gun, even at a gun show, there's a record of it and you have to have a background check.
ABBOTT: And what I'm trying to tell you is that right now if you go to a gun show, you will have a background check run. The important thing, though, Piers --
MORGAN: That's not true, though.
ABBOTT: Here's the important --
MORGAN: You will in some cases. But the private trades that go on at these gun shows, there is no record.
ABBOTT: Which is a good point. I was hunting last month with a good friend in south Texas. I used a rifle that I would have liked to have purchase from him. He had to go through a background check on me, it would have slowed down the purchase and would have hindered people like myself who may want to buy a gun from a friend.
I wanted to sell one of my pistols to a friend of mine. Should I have to it run a background check on my friend that I've known more than a decade just because I want to sell him a pistol?
MORGAN: You can guarantee that every single person at a gun show in Texas is going to be, in the future, of sound mental health and isn't going to suddenly develop either criminal tendencies, suicidal tendencies or murderous tendencies? Can you guarantee that?
ABBOTT: What we need to do is enforce the laws and take measures to crack down on violence, to help those with mental challenges, to put the criminals behind bars and prevent criminals from getting a hold of guns in the first place.
MORGAN: Would you support a ban on magazines that have more than 10 rounds?
ABBOTT: Absolutely not.
ABBOTT: Because look at the Texas border itself. We have more than 1,000 miles of border. We have thousands of ranchers who live up and down that border. And frequently have drug cartels coming across the border. Also --
MORGAN: How many drug cartel barons and their operatives have attacked people in Texas?
ABBOTT: We have drug cartel members who have shot at law enforcement, who have hit law enforcement with bullets.
MORGAN: No, but -- Texan civilians.
ABBOTT: My point is if they are so brazen that they are going to shoot law enforcement officers, that the innocent ranchers have to be fearful and these ranchers may be hundreds of miles away from any law enforcement.
MORGAN: But has any Texas rancher, to your knowledge, ever been confronted with a Mexican drug cartel?
ABBOTT: Absolutely. There are plenty --
ABBOTT: Every month you'll have --
MORGAN: There are shootouts all over Texas involving --
ABBOTT: I can't tell you --
MORGAN: With Mexican drug cartels and Texan farmers?
ABBOTT: Yes. You said confronted. The cartels and the drug dealers are crossing the border, confronting ranchers on an ongoing basis in the state of Texas. They deserve, under the Second Amendment, to have the ability to meet force with force, which is what the Second Amendment guarantees. And so these ranchers need to be able to protect themselves.
Let me add one more thing. You're in Houston right now. There are members of the vicious gang MS-13 right here in Houston as well as other deadly gangs. People here in Houston have a right to defend themselves from the deadly MS-13 gang.
MORGAN: Do you agree with the fact that you can't legally buy, in most places in America, machine guns, you know, warfare style machine guns?
ABBOTT: Sure. That's been banned.
MORGAN: Do you support that?
ABBOTT: Well, that's a ban that's in place. And --
MORGAN: Do you support it?
ABBOTT: We have been fined with that ban.
ABBOTT: However --
MORGAN: Why do you -- why doesn't that breach your constitutional rights?
ABBOTT: Well -- MORGAN: Because the military can have them. And I thought that your interpretation, unless I'm wrong, is that you should have whatever everybody else has.
ABBOTT: Well, the interpretation of the Second Amendment, the reason why it was passed in the first place, is to allow Americans to defend themselves from either government forces or other forces that endanger their lives.
MORGAN: But if the government attacked you, it would be with the United States military. They would all be armed with machine guns. They are banned from civilian use, yet you support that ban but you're not prepared to think about a ban on military-style rifles still in circulation, still legal.
ABBOTT: Well, it depends on what you mean by military style. A lot of people use this phrase military style when, in reality, it's nothing more than a semiautomatic weapon that is used even for deer hunting. Some people categorize that as military style.
MORGAN: In this very gun store, I can buy an AR-15, I can buy a slide device over there, which would allow me in semiautomatic mode to fire up to 300 rounds a minute. What is your definition of an assault rifle, given I can legally buy that here and kill 300 people in one minute?
ABBOTT: Well, first, I think that any Texan has a right to be able to purchase one of those weapons. When it comes to talking about limiting our rights, we need to have the right to defend ourselves whenever anyone tries to attack us.
MORGAN: Attorney General, thank you very much.
ABBOTT: Thank you, Piers.
MORGAN: Coming next, I'll talk to two people who believe that concealed weapons and the NRA save lives. Plus the Motor City madman himself, Ted Nugent.
MORGAN: Back to our live special here in Texas. Want to turn briefly to the shocking story of the Navy SEAL sniper, who had 160 combat kills in Iraq but was shot dead this weekend by a former Marine on a gun range right here in Texas very similar to the one that I'm sitting in now.
When Chris Kyle left the military he began working to support fellow vets suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome. He told the story in the book "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. History." And joining me now is one of his co- authors, a man who knew him well, Jim DeFelice.
Mr. DeFelice, thank you for joining me. Allow me to say appalling tragedy, this. Not least because your friend was basically trying to help another armed servicemen who had come out, who is suffering from this very frequent problem now that so many ex-soldiers have, post traumatic stress disorder, and it ended tragically. What did you feel when you heard about this in terms of what Chris was trying to achieve?
JIM DEFELICE, CO-AUTHOR, "AMERICAN SNIPER": I didn't -- I still -- I guess I'm still in total disbelief that Chris is gone. And I think that everyone that knew him feels the same way. Chris -- we -- I personally don't know the exact details of what happened. And I'm sure that more information will come out, but Chris, even before the book, even before he was famous, devoted a considerable amount of time to helping veterans, whether they were disabled, whether they were -- had -- were suffering from traumatic stress or just regular guys. And he would take people out for -- go hunting, go fishing.
And he would also just -- you know, just talk with people who had been back from the war. Really, he devoted -- that was really what his life -- a big part of what his life was about.
MORGAN: And certainly awful in the sense that I'm at a big Texas gun range now. It feels very safe here. Safety is clearly paramount and everyone around here knows how to use weapons and takes the safety very seriously. So even in a place like this, Chris, who was one of the great snipers in military history, lost his life in such awful circumstances.
DEFELICE: Well, we don't know the exact details of how he died. I had been at the ranch where he died and I would say that, first of all, it's a little different than where you are. It's a very large place. And, quite honestly, they could have been doing any number of things. But Chris Kyle would not have subjected another person to a dangerous situation. So I'm sure that he considered, you know, where he was to be relatively safe.
MORGAN: Well, it's an appalling tragedy. The alleged killer is a former Marine called Eddie Ray Routh, he's now in custody. And I guess we'll find out more when he comes to trial.
Jim DeFelice, my great sympathies to you on losing your friend and America lost a true hero.
DEFELICE: Absolutely. Thank you.
MORGAN: And now back to our big gun debate here. Joining me now is Texas State Senator Dan Patrick, who's introduced a bill to allow concealed firearms in university campuses, and Ben Ferguson, a conservative radio host who is a victim of a gun crime himself and says he's glad the NRA is looking out for him.
Welcome to you both gentlemen.
DAN PATRICK, TEXAS STATE SENATOR: Good to be here.
MORGAN: I wanted to start off by giving you my reaction, I guess, to the guns that I fired earlier. Because I've had a lot of people say to me you don't know what you're talking about. You don't know what these guns do. Actually the AR-15 is just another form of gun. I was pretty shocked, I'll be honest with you, when I got into this range and began to fire the AR-15. And then it began -- you can see the pictures here again.
I started off quite slowly, then began to really rapid fire. And to hear, you know, someone who knows what they're doing could fire between 60, 70, 80 bullets a minute, how anyone could not classify this as an assault weapon is completely beyond me. Explain to me.
PATRICK: It's a personal defense weapon, Piers. And the reason people love that --
MORGAN: But against what?
PATRICK: Against a lot of things. We live in an area, for example, and we've seen the thin veil of civility torn back in a hurricane, the aftermath. We've seen looters go into a neighborhood in the aftermath, whether it was New Orleans or it was long island. We know that in our country we don't think terrible things like a bomb, dirty bomb would be set off in a major city, but it could happen. No one thought 9/11 would happened.
So people have this weapon not only to defend themselves against an individual intruder --
MORGAN: Here is the thing. If you strip out the AR-15 from the equation and you take all the guns out that Senator Feinstein, for example, wants to take out -- wait a minute. You're still left with 2,200 guns you can legally buy.
FERGUSON: The problem is you're obsessing over one gun that a bad human being has used a couple of times.
MORGAN: No, no, wait.
FERGUSON: No, no, hold up. Let me finish. Hold on a second.
MORGAN: The past five mass shootings in America --
FERGUSON: Guess what, the last shooting that I could have been a victim of, it wasn't an AR-15. You're obsessed with an AR-15. The guy who put a gun to my head -- have you ever had a gun to your head?
FERGUSON: Have you ever had a man look you in the eyes and say I'm going to blow your head off?
MORGAN: No. MORGAN: -- with expletives while grinning? I had a gun to defend myself. I did not have an AR-15. He didn't have an AR-15.
MORGAN: Why would you have needed an AR-15 in that situation?
FERGUSON: You're missing the point of what I'm saying.
MORGAN: I'm not missing the point.
FERGUSON: -- anything is an assault weapon when it's in the bad hands of a bad person. The gun used that night was not on the special list that the senator wants to have out there, the list of guns. You know what? That gun that night was just as dangerous to my life.
FERGUSON: When he pulled the trigger not once, not twice, not two, not three times. This is my point.
MORGAN: Make your point.
FERGUSON: The 10 bullets that you say -- why not have a clip of 10? I had a clip that had 13. When the police showed up, do you know how many bullets were left in my gun? One. I would have been two negative that. I would have run out of bullets before I was able to save my life and save my best friend's life. It's a big deal, though.
MORGAN: Listen. I understand the need to defend yourself.
FERGUSON: I don't think so.
MORGAN: In a country -- wait. Let me clarify.
PATRICK: You don't know how many bullets you're going to need to defend yourself or your family.
FERGUSON: I needed more than 10, Piers.
MORGAN: I understand. Please let me speak. I understand in a country that has over 300 million firearms in circulation, people feel the need to have a firearm to defend themselves.
FERGUSON: That's not why I need it, though.
MORGAN: Of course they do. I want you to explain to me -- I may be stupid.
PATRICK: No, you're not stupid. You just don't understand the American culture.
MORGAN: I'm trying to understand it.
PATRICK: You don't understand.
MORGAN: I'm trying to understand the American culture.
PATRICK: That liberty and freedom does not guarantee our safety. Our founding father --
MORGAN: Do you fear tyranny, genuinely?
PATRICK: No, I don't fear tyranny. But I do believe that again --
MORGAN: Do you believe your government is going to overrun Texas, using the U.S. military? Because that's what tyranny would mean.
PATRICK: What I said earlier, Piers, was that the reason people like the AR-15 -- I have an AR-15. My wife shoots the AR-15. It is a weapon that you can fire multiple times to defend yourself. What I meant about the Long Island looters aftermath or New Orleans, we see how quickly people can turn against each other.
Heaven forbid, again, we have a dirty bomb in the city and the food supply disappears and the water supply disappears and you have to defend -- you have four children and want to defend your family. I want as much -- I want to be able to defend my family. And I have a right --
MORGAN: -- In new York -- I was there when Hurricane Sandy happened. Nobody felt the need to take an AR-15 to blow away looters. It wasn't like that.
PATRICK: Were they looting?
MORGAN: It was limited looting.
FERGUSON: Don't act as if New Orleans looting was the same thing as was happening on a beautiful place in New Jersey, with totally different clientele of people. You had social economic conditions that are totally different.
MORGAN: He cited Sandy, not me. Let me put this to you. What is your answer to the parents of Sandy Hook who had their children blown to pieces about how you are personally, through the instrument of your radio show, going to try and make America a safer place than it was?
FERGUSON: Simple. First of all, we've got to be realistic that there always, whether it be in America or in the U.K. or anywhere in the world, crazy people. I want to make sure that there's somebody at every school to be able to protect and defend children, because we know now --
MORGAN: Armed teachers or armed guards?
FERGUSON: Either one.
FERGUSON: Let me say this, it depends on what the people of that place want, in that city.
MORGAN: Do you believe the NRA agrees with this?
FERGUSON: Do I believe that the NRA agrees with -- I don't know what the NRA agrees with me or not. I just want them to be safe.
MORGAN: Here is what the NRA is saying now. They agree with you now. Here is what Wayne LaPierre said in 19 -- just after Columbine. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP0
WAYNE LAPIERRE, NRA EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT: First, we believe in absolutely gun-free, zero tolerance, totally safe schools.
LAPIERRE: That means no guns in America's schools, period. With a rare exception of law enforcement officers or trained security personnel.
(END VIDEO CLIP0
MORGAN: I mean --
MORGAN: Wait a minute. Wayne LaPierre has done a 360 on that. He's done a 360 on background checks. The man is being rapidly exposed as a shameless hypocrite.
FERGUSON: He is not a hypocrite.
MORGAN: -- to help stop guns in places like this.
FERGUSON: He is not a hypocrite if he's learning and changing and adapting the same way you would in a situation like -- that's called using the brain that God gave you. Heck, look at the U.K. You guys figured out that having a government with a king was probably a bad idea to rule everything. Am I wrong?
MORGAN: It worked out.
FERGUSON: Did you change it? Did you change it? Yes. We change things often in America.
MORGAN: What did we change?
FERGUSON: You have actually people in your country that decided long ago that they didn't want to have one man over an entire nation. And that's part of the reason why America is here. Am I wrong?
PATRICK: Let's get back to this issue.
PATRICK: Let's get back to the issue of schools.
FERGUSON: It makes sense.
PATRICK: We just had a hearing in our education committee on this issue. And we made the decision. It's a local decision, Piers. We have over 1,000 school district districts in Texas. Many of the large districts have armed guards already. But the rural districts that won't have police response for five, 10, 15 minutes, they want to arm their teachers.
MORGAN: I met two young female elementary school teachers in their early 20s in a bar in Houston on Friday night. We talked to them with our producers. They were very interesting. Both believed they wanted to have a concealed carry permit because they felt for their own safety. Neither of them wanted to have any assault weapons, a complete ban of assault weapons. And they were absolutely aghast at the prospect of having any guns in their schools.
PATRICK: There's always going to be someone --
MORGAN: That's in Texas.
FERGUSON: Here is what I said. You asked me earlier, what would I say to the parents at this school whose kids died. I would say to you, why are you obsessing over a gun when there's a much bigger issue? There's mental health issues here.
MORGAN: I've got to leave it there. But look, I'm obsessing over the very gun that killed their children. That's why.
FERGUSON: What happens when they change the gun? What happens when they change the gun? Are you going to obsess over every gun? I don't think you're going to. Then you would be a hypocrite.
MORGAN: In the end, it is the gun. Because without the gun --
MORGAN: I've heard this argument. I think it's a facile one. But I've heard it.
PATRICK: If that gun sits there and no one touches it for the next decade, the gun won't do anything.
MORGAN: Let me ask you, do you know why there are no shootings on planes in America?
PATRICK: Because we have armed guards.
MORGAN: They're gun-free zones. They are the ultimate example. (CROSS TALK)
FERGUSON: They are not gun-free zones. They have security to stop guns.
MORGAN: We'll take a break. We have Ted Nugent waiting. I can't imagine things will get any calmer. Anyway, a fierce supporter of gun rights, a man I've butted heads with before. He is ready to come at me again. This should be quite lively, after this.
MORGAN: Back to our live special here in Texas. I'll be with Ted Nugent in just a moment.
I want to turn now briefly to tonight's breaking news, the rescue of a five-year-old Alabama boy by the FBI being held hostage in a backyard bunker since last Tuesday. He was taken to the hospital tonight to be checked out, but otherwise seems to be absolutely fine. The 65-year-old man who snatched him from the school bus after killing the driver is dead.
Joining me now is Ronda Wilbur, a neighbor of Jimmy Lee Dykes, who kidnapped the boy. Welcome to you, Ronda. What a wonderful end to a really appalling story. You must be absolutely delighted. I should think everyone in the community is.
RONDA WILBUR, NEIGHBOR OF JIMMY LEE DYKES, KIDNAPPER: Oh, absolutely delighted. It is a total miracle. And the best way that things could have ended, because Ethan will be just fine.
MORGAN: There's going to be an update on exactly what the FBI operation entailed I think coming at about 10:00 PM. Stay with CNN.
Ronda, from what we can tell, there was a sense apparently with the FBI that this kidnapper was going to take action to harm the boy. And at that point, they moved in. Is that your understanding?
WILBUR: That is my understanding. My -- I figure that it probably -- it will all come out, you know, very soon as far as the exact details. The most important thing is that God rescued Ethan. And you know, as far as who we call the mean man, he -- we will never have to be afraid of him again. My granddaughter can come over and play in my front yard and, you know, go on the swing set I bought for her and stuff, and we'll never will have to worry whether he's sitting there with a rifle watching us.
MORGAN: It's ended miraculously well for that poor little boy. He has been through a nightmare. And I hope he can get all the help he needs now to get back to normality.
Ronda Wilbur, thank you very much for joining me. I appreciate it.
WILBUR: OK. MORGAN: Coming now, a man who has very strong opinions about guns, in fact about everything. He's not afraid to say exactly what he thinks. He is a rock legend, an avid hunter, an NRA board member. He's Ted Nugent.
TED NUGENT, NRA BOARD MEMBER: Welcome to Texas. And I'd like to start off, Piers, by letting everybody know that everybody I know sends prayers to the Chris Kyle and Littlefield families for that tragic loss. And what a celebration, the heroes of the FBI and law enforcement down in Alabama did the right thing. So that's a great relief.
MORGAN: Yes. I totally endorse both those sentiments.
Let's turn, Ted, because you're a great figure in this area. You know this area better than anybody. I've really enjoyed coming to Texas. They're lovely people.
NUGENT: Let me see that machine gun smile.
MORGAN: Here is the truth about it. It was an exciting experience. No question.
NUGENT: Give me a smile? Wasn't that fun?
MORGAN: Firing weapons like that that are incredibly powerful, I've never really done it before. It is an exciting experience. I can't deny that. My issue -- I want to play again, this is the AR-15, not the automatic version, just the regular semiautomatic, once I got the hang of it. Watch this clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN See, here is the thing, this is the weapon that was used in Aurora in the movie theater. And it was used at Sandy Hook in the elementary school and has been used in the last five mass shootings. I can see why. It was very light. It was easy to use. I had very little training before, maybe a minute's worth of training.
And I found it very accurate. Even I was getting an accuracy rate which apparently is the same as the trained police officers with real fire in New York, of about 20 percent, which is obviously different circumstances, I'm sure on a range they'd be near at 90 --
NUGENT: Who were shot, by the way.
MORGAN: Right. Here's the thing, I don't understand -- and I want you to tell me, in the least inflammatory way possible, why outside of hog hunting, which I get is a problem in Texas, anybody needs one of those? If the answer isn't very convincing, why the least we couldn't do to those poor families who lost people to that weapon is not just remove those from the equation?
NUGENT: Well, a number of things. First of all, I've been monitoring your gun debates. Go ahead and take it to the bank. You will never understand. I really don't believe you'll ever grasp --
MORGAN: What don't I understand?
NUGENT: You don't understand that it's a simple inanimate tool that tens of millions of American families own, that have never caused a problem, never had an accident and will never commit a crime. You have these aberrations that are such a minute percentage. My prayers are as strong as any --
MORGAN: Thousands of Americans get hit by gunfire. It's not a minor aberration?
NUGENT: You are so full of crap. Listen to me, that statistic includes bad guys shot by cops and intruders shot by homeowners. So that figure is bogus. You have to have your --
MORGAN: It's an accurate figure, 100,000 --
NUGENT: It's not an accurate figure.
MORGAN: -- 100,000 Americans get hit by gunfire a year.
NUGENT: Those include bad guys getting shot by cops, Piers.
MORGAN: Eighteen thousand of those kill themselves with guns.
NUGENT: Japan has a higher suicide rate and they're not allowed to get down wind of a gun. Your turn.
MORGAN: How many people get murdered by guns in Japan in the last two or three years each year?
NUGENT: Do you care about murders or do you only care about murders with guns?
MORGAN: I care about all death.
NUGENT: I don't think you do. I think you care about guns. I think you're obsessed with guns. Ninety nine point nine percent of the gun owners of America are wonderful people that you are hanging around with here today, perfectly safe, perfectly harmless, wonderful, loving, giving, generous, caring people.
Would you leave us the hell alone? Go after the nut jobs. Go after the murderers. Because I don't know any. We need to lock up the bad guys. And when people show dangerous, murderous intent, which everyone one of these mass murderers showed -- all their neighbors, their family, their teachers, their fellow students, they all knew they were crazy.
But, Piers, we didn't stop them because we're worried about hurting their feelings. We have a mad man problem in America, where they're running around. We have a felony recidivism problem in America. Let's focus on that together and leave the rest of us alone.
MORGAN: Ted, A, I won't leave you alone because there's a debate that has to be had in America.
NUGENT: We appreciate that. Because you're the perfect poster boy to needs to stand up for things that make no sense at all to common sense people.
MORGAN: Well, this poster boy will take a break. And when we come back after the break, I want to know from you which of President Obama's 35 ideas for curbing gun violence in America you would support.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Tell them there's no legislation to eliminate all guns. There's no legislation being proposed to subvert the Second Amendment. Tell them specifically what we're talking about, things that the majority of Americans, when they're asked, support. And tell them, now is the time for action, that we're not going to wait until the next Newtown or the next Aurora.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: President Obama earlier today reinforcing his plans for new gun legislation said -- Ted, a recent CNN/"Time"/ORC poll, January 14th and 15th, gun registration now, 69 percent of Americans supported that. Ban on extended ammo clips, 58 percent. Ban on semiautomatic guns, 56 percent. So a clear majority in every case of Americans that you say I don't understand actually agree with me, not you.
What is your response to what the president is trying to do? Which of his proposals do you agree with?
NUGENT: Well, I think I can frame it best by identifying the scammer in chief who claims that just to save one life would be worth this.
MORGAN: Isn't it worth it?
NUGENT: He had a chance to save four American lives in Benghazi and refused to do so. Now he's sending F-16s to Egypt. So how can you believe this guy. This guy is on record -- this president of our has been voted in by that clueless majority who is so out of touch, they still call magazine clips. They still call personal defense weapons assault weapons, which is a nomenclature created by the anti- gun agenda.
I don't agree with President Obama on any of that stuff. MORGAN: Do you agree with universal background checks?
NUGENT: Absolutely not.
NUGENT: Because the government doesn't need to know who has what.
MORGAN: Of course they do.
NUGENT: Ted Kennedy was on the no fly list five times, which I happen to support. But that's a bureaucracy gone mad. You can't trust these guys. I was turned down purchasing firearms a number of times. And I own class three weapons and I own hundreds and hundreds of guns. I've had a concealed weapons permit for 48 years.
I have got sheriff credentials. The instant check turned me down a number of times. It showed some felony --
MORGAN: Here's what's happened. You heard the owner of this store earlier in the show say he's selling four times as many guns and four times as much ammo --
NUGENT: To me.
MORGAN: -- since Sandy Hook. Maybe to you, maybe to Alex Jones, who was here earlier. Which is fine. I find it an incredibly disturbing reaction to the massacre of 20 young children.
NUGENT: That's not a reaction to Sandy Hook.
MORGAN: Here's my question. Do you think America is going to be safer because gun stores like this are selling so furiously and so much faster weapons and ammunition, increasing both in America?
NUGENT: Absolutely. An armed society is a polite society. Again, I told you these statistics before. They're not mine, they're actually Scotland Yard supported. They're U.N. supported. They're FBI uniform crime statistics reported, that where there are more citizens with more firepower, particular on their person loaded, concealed weapons --
NUGENT: -- there is a dramatic reduction in violent crime.
MORGAN: I thought you'd say this. Here's the question for you. Do you know the two countries which have the highest per capita rate of firearms per civilian?
NUGENT: America and Switzerland, I believe.
MORGAN: No, do you know what the second one is after America?
NUGENT: No. MORGAN: Yemen. Are you seriously telling me Yemen is one of the safest places on Earth.
NUGENT: Are you seriously telling me --
MORGAN: When you say this kind of bull, and that's what it is, people believe it. And Yemen is not the safest country in the world.
NUGENT: Are you prepared to admit that your dream of a gun free zone in Mexico is working? A gun free zone in Chicago is working? A gun free zone in all these cities where the slaughter rate is the highest of anywhere, including Yemen?
MORGAN: Let me give you some countries, Australia, Britain, Japan, Canada.
NUGENT: They don't have a Second Amendment, Piers.
MORGAN: Your Second Amendment, Ted, doesn't entitle you to have an armored tank outside or an RPG on your should. You accept gun control already.
NUGENT: Are you sure of that?
MORGAN: I wouldn't want you in a tank. But there are already over 50 gun controlled measures in this country. We're not talking about bringing in gun control. We're talking about extending it to cover the --
NUGENT: -- measures are violated by all these perpetrators every time. What makes you think that the 51st law is going to stop this kind of slaughter? I'm here to tell you it will not. I believe an armed society is a polite society.
MORGAN: The mood is changing, Ted. And something has to change. I respect your opinion. I respect you coming down to talk to me.
NUGENT: Back at you.
MORGAN: Ted Nugent. And we'll be back.