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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Battling Gun Rights Advocates; Jodi Arias and "Cannibal Cop" Court Cases Riveting Nation
Aired February 27, 2013 - 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, I promised you I'd stay on this and I meant it. Guns in America.
NEIL HESLIN, SON, JESSE LEWIS, DIED IN SANDY HOOK: He said everything will be OK, dad. It's all going to be OK. And it wasn't OK.
MORGAN (voice-over): High emotions as the Senate takes on the assault weapons ban.
CHIEF EDWARD FLYNN, MILWAUKEE POLICE: If you think we're going to do paperwork prosecutions you are wrong.
MORGAN: I'll talk to just about the one person between you and an AR- 15. Senator Diane Feinstein.
Plus graphic new testimony in the two trials that's seemed ripped from "Law & Order."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was a consensual mutual relationship sexually speaking, wasn't it?
JODI ARIAS, ACCUSED OF MURDERING TRAVIS ALEXANDER: Yes, always.
MORGAN: Alan Dershowitz, Marcia Clark and Gloria Allred, with the latest on Jodi Arias and the case of the alleged Cannibal Clark.
Also a woman's place on the job. Yahoo's chief bans work from home but builds a nursery in her office for her own baby. Is this any way to break the glass ceiling?
This is PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT.
MORGAN: Good evening. The Senate is locked and loaded tonight, taking aim at the most explosive, divisive, and controversial issue facing America right now. Guns.
You know where I stand. I don't want to outlaw all guns, just the ones that are more at home in the army.
The testimony at the hearings over banning assault weapons is tearful and heated. Here's one blistering exchange over background checks between Senator Lindsey Graham and Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: If it's such an important issue why aren't we prosecuting people who failed a background check and there are 15 questions there, they're not hard to understand if you're filling out the form. So I'm a bit frustrated that we'd say one thing, how important it is, but in the real world we absolutely do nothing to enforce the laws on the books.
Now let's talk --
CHIEF EDWARD FLYNN, MILWAUKEE POLICE: You know, just for the record, from my point of view, Senator. The purpose of background check --
GRAHAM: How many cases have you made -- how many cases --
FLYNN: You know what, it doesn't matter. It's a paper thing.
GRAHAM: Well --
FLYNN: I want to stop 76 --
GRAHAM: Can I ask the question first --
FLYNN: I want to finish the answer.
GRAHAM: Well, no. I'm asking --
FLYNN: I want to stop 76,000 people from buying guns illegally. That's what a background check does.
GRAHAM: How many AR-15s you legally own --
FLYNN: If you think we're going to do paperwork prosecutions, you're wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Joining me now is Senator Dianne Feinstein. She's chairing today's Judiciary Committee hearing on the assault weapons ban introducing.
SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you.
MORGAN: Tell me about what happened today. It seemed very emotional.
FEINSTEIN: It was very emotional. It began with the testimony of Neil Heslin. A father of a youngster who was the light of his life who was killed. And it was very emotion. And then Dr. Begg who was a trauma doctor who took care of some of the young people who talked with us about what these weapons do, how they tear apart small bodies, and some interesting confrontations between senator and a great and awesome chief of police of Milwaukee, I thought. Really a cop's cop. Who really knew what it's like on the streets.
And I think this is one of the issues, Piers, that people say, you know, I have an AR-15 and I take good care of it. And I say to them, no problem. But when you have the grievance killer, when you have the mental case, when they are attracted to these weapons to carry our of grievance crime, and when these weapons can carry clips so big up to 100 rounds that no one can disarm them, they can go out and just slaughter people.
And when it happens to 6-year-olds, it's time for this country to take action. And it's a matter of public policy. It's right to say weapons of war. Weapons that are designed to kill large numbers of people in close combat. Don't be long on the streets of our cities.
MORGAN: I mean, I couldn't agree with you more, as you know.
FEINSTEIN: I know.
MORGAN: But there are critics out there who say you haven't got a cat in hell's chance of getting this through. That no way is there going to be a new assault weapons ban, which I find extremely dispiriting. But are you just going to take that or do you believe there is a genuine prospect of achieving this?
FEINSTEIN: Look, I've been on a mission. I've been a mayor. I've walked into crime scenes. I've seen police outgunned. A crime scene with these weapons isn't like it's on TV. There is blood and matter just spread all over the place. It's terrible. And people, just the bodies get hacked apart.
I think the time has come to say enough is enough. And if I can win this, I don't know. But if the people of America stand up, every single poll taken has shown that move than a majority of people want this assault weapons legislation passed.
The NRA is very heavy. They lobby heavy. Members may be frightened. But I say it's time to stand up and do what's right for this country.
MORGAN: I want to play just a clip from Neil Heslin you mentioned about. I interviewed him last night. He's an incredibly inspiring man. He's so moving and so eloquent and yet so simple in the way he says what he says.
FEINSTEIN: That's right.
MORGAN: Listen to what he said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HESLIN: It was 9:04 when I dropped Jesse off in the school clock. Jesse gave me a hug and a kiss at that time and said good-bye and I love you. He stopped and he said, I love mom, too. That was the last I saw of Jesse as he ducked around the corner. Prior to that when he was getting out of the truck he hugged me and held me, and I can still feel that hug and the pat on the back. He said, everything will be OK, dad. It will all be OK. And it wasn't OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: I mean, Senator, it's heartbreaking listening to him but it makes me so angry to this. Somebody liked Neil Heslin who, as he said to me last night, he believes in the Second Amendment. He believes in an American's right to own a gun to defend themselves. But he cannot understand why in the aftermath to a mass shooting where his son was blown to pieces by a military-style assault rifle, America is not racing to bring in a control that stops further children facing that kind of slaughter.
FEINSTEIN: Well, that's right. Every one of those children had between three and 11 bullets in them. And the time has come. And America and the mothers and the fathers have to stand up and they have to say enough is enough.
Neil Heslin breaks your heart. I mean, this youngster was the light of his life. Every promise, every dream, lay ahead of him. And all these children were to their parents. And they're all gone. And you have these brave young women who went in there, who put their arms out, who protected them, who got riddled with bullets.
Is this the America we want to live in? It isn't the America I want to live in.
MORGAN: Senator, just want to read you what Wayne LaPierre from the NRA said about you personally on Saturday night.
"Dianne Feinstein herself commented that she has had a gun ban legislation in her desk for over a year. Waiting for the right time. Really? Waiting for an unspeakable act to occur so the American people can be persuaded into her political agenda." And so on and son on.
A very patronizing, pretty insulting, and coming from a man who seems to me his sole modus operandi at the moment is to try and guarantee that no controls are brought in which will prohibit the sale of more guns.
FEINSTEIN: Well, that's right. They oppose everything. They've made it difficult for the BATF, the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms industry to do their job. They have made it difficult to keep data. They have made the law difficult to do proper research. All -- also that manufactures of weapons can produce more. And then they press all of this.
So it's a gun culture. That gun culture is letting bad things happen.
MORGAN: Well, you are doing a fantastic job on this, Senator, tonight. I absolutely applaud you and urge you to continue. FEINSTEIN: Piers, thank you. You've been wonderful. Thank you so much for your help. It is uphill all the way.
MORGAN: Senator Feinstein, as always, thank you very much indeed.
FEINSTEIN: You're very welcome. Thank you.
MORGAN: Joining me now is Dr. William Begg. He's the co-founder of United Physicians of Newtown. Dr. Begg was in the emergency room on the day of the Sandy Hook massacre and he testified on Capitol Hill today.
Dr. Begg, thanks for coming back on the show. You gave some extraordinary testimony today. You showed everybody basically how guns really work in the real world. I want to show a little part of what you did today right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. WILLIAM BEGG, CO-FOUNDER, UNITED PHYSICIANS OF NEWTOWN: Looks like we have a well-placed hit. Get that out of the way. You can barely see it. There is the point of entry and it did not exit the block. This is the right side of the block and it's turned upside down. We just have a very narrow channel where this came in about four inches. Three and a half to four inches. I did notice it was approximately half inch deep and about a quarter inch wide.
Here's the point of impact. Didn't even knock it off the table. Not even close. See how that opened up? And that's the real story, is look at this massive cavity in this area.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Extremely vivid imagery there of the difference really between handguns and these assault rifles.
Do you think people were surprised by what you were telling them?
BEGG: I think many people don't really realize the difference between handgun injury and assault weapons injury. And quite honestly, I wish I could have given more vivid -- more vivid testimony. And when somebody shoots a handgun, the bullet goes straight in along a path. Whereas when it's assault weapons injury the bullet explodes inside the person's body. You know, while it'd be in appropriate to discuss the specific injuries related to Newtown children, you know, when I go to child symposiums every year and I'm -- I'm able to see all of the injuries from our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan from assault rifles, those injuries are horrific. And so yes, there is a huge difference between a regular handgun injury and an assault weapons injury.
MORGAN: Yes, I mean, I heard today Vice President Biden saying that he had seen material related to Sandy Hook, which was simply too strong for the American public to be able to tolerate if he told them about it. And, you know, from what I've been told by other surgeons who do these kind of thing, you know, when these kids were hit by three and 11 bullets they were creating holes the size of baseballs. I mean, let's just spell this out. This is what this person did with an AR-15 assault rifle.
BEGG: People have regular handgun injuries, many of them -- most make it to the emergency room we have a chance. When people have assault weapons injuries most of them don't even make it to the emergency room because the injuries are so horrific.
And again, referencing the military experience over the last 10 years, even one or two of these assault weapons injuries are horrific to the body. They go inside the body and they basically explode the tissue. So I can't -- to put out in society what happened at the Sandy Hook with the three to 11 bullets per body would just beyond decorum. But it would -- it would certainly paint the picture per Vice President Biden's comments.
MORGAN: Yes. And I just -- I don't personally think we should sugarcoat it. I think the appalling nature of the injuries to those poor little kids.
MORGAN: Has got to be spoken loud and clear, particularly in Washington where these cowardly politicians are all worrying about their positions, and worrying about upsetting the NRA and so on. They need to be told right into their faces exactly what happened to those children with this AR-15 rifle.
BEGG: And, Piers, you know, some of the senators were saying there's no real data would suggest that banning assault rifles makes any difference. But there is data, there's crystal clear data in the United Kingdom and in Australia. I mean, in 1996 they had real legislation in Australia and in Great Britain. And after that, Australia has had no mass murders and Great Britain only one. Before Australia had 12 mass murders over an 18-year period.
So gun legislation absolutely does work where you ban assault rifles. It takes a few years to work but it absolutely works and that was the point that I was trying to get across tonight.
MORGAN: Well, you got it over incredibly powerful. And I was so glad you did what you did because it is the reality check that people need. You know, this is not a a game. These are killing machines that belong in a military scenario, nothing to do with civilian life.
Dr. Begg, thank you for joining me. I really appreciate it.
BEGG: I appreciate the time.
MORGAN: There's many millions demanding stricter gun control laws, there are millions screaming absolutely not, believing it would actually make crime worse and make America less safe.
Joining me now is John Lott, Jr., economist, pro-gun advocate and author of "At the Brink: Will Obama Push Us Over the Edge." Welcome back, Mr. Lott. You heard there some very compelling testimony from not least Neil Heslin, who lost his son at Sandy Hook. And also from Dr. Begg, that revealing in many graphic detail up on the hill today exactly what these weapons can do.
Is your belief still that the only answer to America's gun violence is more guns?
JOHN LOTT JR., AUTHOR, "AT THE BRINK": Well, I think we all want to try to keep criminals from going and getting guns. The question is what is going to work and what is going to actually make the situation worse off. I -- the doctor's discussion right now was very unfortunately. I think it was a little bit misleading.
Rather than going and classifying things as handguns versus assault weapons. It would have been nice if he had just talked about rifles because that's what these assault weapons are. If he wants to go and talk about any hunting rifle that could go undo the same type of damage, that's fine. But to use terms like assault weapons didn't add anything to the discussion.
And besides, I don't know if you know this, but true military weapons are actually designed not to kill people. They are designed to wound. They're designed to have the bullet go straight through the body and the reason for that is we've learned over time, our militaries learned, that if you go and wound enemy soldiers you pin down many more of their troops to take care of their wounded comrades.
MORGAN: How many -- how many, Mr. Lott? Sorry to interrupt you. But how many of the children at Sandy Hook that were shot were wounded and not killed? Do you know?
LOTT: Well, obviously they were all killed. And -- but I'm not sure what the point is going to be there. It took 20 minutes between the first phone call --
MORGAN: Well, the specific point, the specific point I'm making to you is that AR-15 that was used against them killed those children as you know. And it caused absolutely damage to those poor little bodies.
MORGAN: Three to 11 bullets each. And I'm told by experts who have seen the damage that it caused that it created holes the size of baseball bats. That is why people want those weapons banned. And the rights of those children - the rights of those children to me supersede any other right in America. Do they to you?
LOTT: Look, Piers, let me just ask you a question. Would the wounds have been any different if they had used a hunting rifle that fired the same size bullets? The same 223 caliber bullets. Would it have been any different if it was a hunting - semi-automatic -- ?
MORGAN: How many bullets can the average hunting rifle fire in a minute? Do you know?
LOTT: The semiautomatic hunting rifles can fire exactly the same number of bullets per minute as your AR-15. Because the AR-15 functionally is the same as the semiautomatic hunting rifle.
MORGAN: But this is the whole point - but Mr. Lott, this is the whole point. We've discussed this before. This is the whole reason why you have to also ban the high-capacity magazines. Because the point of doing this is not just to annoy people like you who believe it's an infringement on your rights --
LOTT: I have never argued that.
MORGAN: -- trying to protect -- it's actually trying to protect -- no, your argument has always been more guns, less crime. But I have always argued with you passionately based on the evidence from Australia, from Britain, from Japan, from other countries who have brought in tough gun control, that's simply not true, is it? It is just not true.
LOTT: Well, you made multiple points there. Let's just try to go through them in order. The first one that you were saying is again pointing to magazines is somehow differring assault weapons versus hunting rifles. And the point is is once a gun --
MORGAN: Nobody needs a high-capacity magazine to hunt. Nobody needs that. No huntsman, no hunter has told me -
LOTT: I can give you -
MORGAN - since we last spoke. Many, many people go hunting; none of them have said to me they need a high-capacity magazine or an AR-15 military-style rifle. That's not hunting. That's not sport. You don't just spray gun at deer -
LOTT: OK, would you mind -
MORGAN: In a minute. So if you remove hunting from the equation, what are you left with as a purpose for these weapons?
LOTT: No, no. There are two points here. One is these guns may look a certain way on the outside, but they are exactly the same as a hunting rifle. People use AR-15s to go and hunt for the same reason they go and use relatively small caliber hunting rifles to go and hunt. It is exactly the same gun; it just looks the same on the outside.
If you want to ban all semiautomatic rifles, then let's talk about banning all - But the point I - as I said, you brought up many points. I just want to mention to you, I can find ten cases without trying too hard, I found them in December where people used -- fired more than ten shots to defend themselves against people who had broken into their homes. You had cases where three or four burglars had broken in at one time, and to be able to fire multiple shots is beneficial.
MORGAN: I'm aware there are some cases like that. Moreso where there have been numerous more mass shootings. And you're aware of that, too.
Let's come back and continue this debate. I want to ask you when we come back how many dead bodies you've seen that have been shot by these AR-15s in your life because you are a guns expert.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL HESLIN, SON WAS KILLED IN NEWTOWN: His fatal shot was in his forehead. It went in right at his hairline and exited directly behind that. Jesse looked that coward Adam Lanza in the eyes, saw his face, and he looked at the end of that barrel. Jesse didn't run; Jesse didn't turn his back. That was the fatal shot that killed Jesse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Neil Heslin, father of Sandy Hook victim, Jesse Heslin. Talking (INAUDIBLE) on Capitol Hill. I'm back now with John Lott, Jr.
Mr. Lott do you know how many mass shootings there have been in the last 30 years in America?
LOTT: I mean, I have written papers on it. I couldn't tell you exactly over 30 years.
MORGAN: OK. It is about 63.
LOTT: Well, I think there are more than that.
MORGAN: It may be as many as 65, including this year. This is up to the end of 2012. Mass shooting being defined by the FBI as more than four people being shot dead. So, if we agree on that as the - as the terminology --
LOTT: I think you are using the Mother Jones article, but look --
MORGAN: Let me ask you a question. Do you know what weapons were used in those mass shootings?
LOTT: Yes. I mean, there's been a range of weapons that have been used. Everything from handguns to hunting rifles to things you would call assault rifles. But the point is, these assault weapons --
MORGAN: The point is this - OK, there have been 71 semiautomatic handguns. Twenty-eight rifles, 23 revolvers, 21 shot guns. But here's the point. Of the 143 weapons used in those mass shootings, 62 would be outlawed by the assault weapons ban of 2013. So, this would be a very specific campaign to try and remove from public civilian usage and availability the type of weapon being used to slaughter Americans.
What I don't understand from all the expertise you bring to this, is - and I don't want to put words in your mouth -- but of all the 35 proposals President Obama has put forward, which ones would you actually agree with in terms of introducing more gun safety in America?
LOTT: OK, Before I will get to that question, which I will get to, I want to go and deal with the points you were just raising. And that was -- that is not me. You look at the National Academy of Sciences in 2004. They looked at all of the academic studies that had been done. And they could not find any evidence that the types of bans that you're talking about have reduced any type of violent crime. You look at the studies funded by the Clinton administration. They could not find any evidence that those types of bans have --
MORGAN: Let me give you some. Let me give you some. Let me give you some.
LOTT: Academic -
MORGAN: Let me give you some, Mr. Lott. You've just said what you said. Let me answer you. In 1996, as you know, there was a horrendous mass shooting in us Australia. Thirty-five people killed. They brought in extensive gun control and gun bans in Australia. In the period leading up to that, in the 10-year period, there were 18 mass shootings in Australia? Do you know how many there have been since the gun ban was brought in?
LOTT: It depends on how you define them. I know you're the way you're going to define them -
MORGAN: Actually, it's very easy. It's very easy to define. More than four people killed in a shooting. Do you know how many there have been in Australia since they brought in the gun ban?
LOTT: Okay. Do you now how many there have been in New Zealand?
MORGAN: Can you answer my question first? Then we'll move on to -
LOTT: The way you define it, you are going to say it is zero.
MORGAN: How many mass shootings have there been in a country --
LOTT: I just said.
MORGAN: -- before they had a massacre and changed their laws? There was 18. Now, how many have there been since 1996?
LOTT: OK. No, no. You are going to let me talk for a second. The point is --
MORGAN: Answer the question.
LOTT: I just did. If you look at New Zealand --
MORGAN: How many since '96?
LOTT: I already said it a couple of times. I said the way you define it, it is zero. But the point is -- MORGAN: Zero. So, just to clarify - just to clarify --
LOTT: No, sir --
MORGAN: You agree with me. You agree with me in a country that brought in extensive gun control and gun bans following 18 mass shootings culminating in 35 people being slaughtered, there have been zero - zero -- mass shootings since. Here's my second question.
LOTT: No, no, no, no! You can't go and ask three or four questions -
MORGAN: Mr. Lott -
LOTT: You have made many factual statements. Let me respond.
MORGAN: I'm asking you my questions! You are going to answer my questions -
LOTT: Let me respond!
MORGAN: -- and not the ones that suit you and your agenda.
LOTT: No, no - wait a second, sir -
MORGAN: Let me ask you a second question. You don't have to answer it, Mr. Lott, but I will ask you this question because it is very important for the premise of your argument. Let me ask you this question --
LOTT: You have spoken about 80 percent of the time since the break.
MORGAN: I'm going to keep talking, so I suggest that you keep quiet. In 1996, in the same year as the (INAUDIBLE) massacre in Australia, in Donblaine (ph), Scotland, as you know, 16 children of a similar age to Sandy Hook were slaughtered by a mass shooter. As a result, Britain brought in handgun bans, semiautomatic bans, and other bans.
I want to ask you one question again. How many shootings - not mass shootings, individual shootings -- have there been at Britain schools since Donblaine (ph) and since the gun bans were brought in following Donblaine (ph) since 1996? Do you know?
LOTT: There was one before, and there haven't been any after.
MORGAN: No, I asked you one question.
LOTT: And I answered the question.
LOTT: Sir, I answered --
MORGAN: Are you agreeing with me that there have been zero? Zero, zero, zero. Not five, not ten. Zero shootings -- LOTT: Listen. Look, I don't see what the point of having anybody on if you are going to talk for 90 percent of the time.
MORGAN: Because you're trying to change the question to one that suits you. And I'm trying to tell you as the man that tells America --
LOTT: You are such a cherry picker! Look -
MORGAN: -- that in countries where they have brought in gun control -
LOTT: Why am I on?
MORGAN: -- following massacres like Sandy Hook -
LOTT: Why am I on?
MORGAN: They have seen zero mass shootings in one country.
LOTT: Look. If you look --
MORGAN: That is my point to you, Mr. Lott.
LOTT: OK, how about Germany? Germany has even stricter laws than Australia has, and up until Newtown, they had two of the three worst public school shootings in the world. They had occurred --
MORGAN: What's the average gun murder rate in Germany for the last 10 years? Do you know?
LOTT: Pardon? In the last ten years, they had two -
LOTT: -- in the last 10 years.
MORGAN: How many in the last ten years have been killed by guns in Germany?
LOTT: Germany had both of their shootings in the last 10 years.
MORGAN: No, no. I asked you how many people have been murdered with guns in Germany in the last ten years? Do you know?
LOTT: Again, what you have --
MORGAN: You cited Germany! Do you know the answer to the country that you raised as an example of proof of your argument?
LOTT: No, no! Don't change the question. You bring up the thing about school shootings --
MORGAN: Germany averages 50 - (CROSSTALK)
LOTT: What is the point of having anybody on? Here is the deal. You bring up school shootings, I respond to school shootings, and then you go on to something else without letting me finish.
MORGAN: I finally get the answers to the questions I ask you. The deal is, it's my show -
LOTT: But you won't even let me finish the other answer!
MORGAN: I ask you the questions. You are the man that wants to tell people like Neil --
LOTT: You want to talk 90 percent of the time.
LOTT: Sir, you haven't even let me make a sentence.
I have let you make many sentences here. You have talked most of the time, both before and after the break.
So, let me just try to deal with a couple of things. One of the things you have a hard time understanding is the difference between levels and changes, okay? Countries differ in terms of murder rates for many reasons.
So, if we just take your German question about how many murders there are in Germany, Germany has relatively few murders. Switzerland has even fewer murders than Germany has.
But the point is is that Germany also had fewer murders, had even lower murders before they had the gun control rules that they had. The murders in UK, the murders in Germany, the murders in other countries have gone up after you have had bans put in place. And that --
MORGAN: See, again, Mr. Lott, you are quoting statistics that suit your agenda. But the reality in Britain is --
LOTT: You just asked me about Germany having a lower murder rate.
MORGAN: In the five-year period in Britain after Donblaine (ph), there was a spike. And then as you know, when the full impact of the gun ban came in, in the last eight consecutive years in Britain, it has fallen. As you well know. You know that's a fact!
LOTT: Look, look, sir, first of all, it soared for the next seven years. Britain had an 18 percent increase in the number of police in the country at that point. And that helped drive it down. But despite having 18 percent more police, the murder rate in Britain is still higher now than it was before you had the handgun ban. Why is it so high?
MORGAN: How many people were murdered in Britain last year with guns? LOTT: The point is it was even lower before --
MORGAN: You are citing the murder rate in Britain.
LOTT: It is about a third. The murder rate in Britain is about a third what it is in the United States.
MORGAN: Don't be so utterly ridiculous.
LOTT: The murder rate --
MORGAN: How many people were murdered in Britain last year with guns? How many?
LOTT: It makes more sense to talk about murder rates, to deal with differences in populations --
MORGAN: We are talking about guns.
LOTT: I don't memorize the number of murders.
MORGAN: -- introduce you to a hard fact.
LOTT: So you don't care about the total number of people who died.
MORGAN: In 2011, in England and Wales --
MORGAN: In the same year, in America, 11,000 were murdered with guns, 18,000 killed themselves with guns.
LOTT: Do you know that 78 percent in the counties in the United States have zero murders in any given year, and that three percent of the counties account for over 70 percent of the murders? Where do you think the gun ownership is heaviest? The gun ownership is heaviest in those 78 percent of the counties that have zero murders?
MORGAN: Do you believe in universal background checks for all guns in America?
LOTT: In theory, if you could fix the problems with the current background system, that would be great. Unfortunately, about 95 percent of those people who are denied as a result of background checks are false positives. It is people who -- mistakes being made in the system because someone who has a similar name. It is like Ted Kennedy getting on the no fly list five times because there's somebody else that they want to deny who has the same name. But, you know, for many people that may simply be an inconvenience. But when you are talking about 1.7 million initials denials there, you are talking about a significant if small number of people who are being threatened who need to get a gun for self defense in order to save their lives. And that delay makes the difference between whether not they're going to be safe or not and defend themselves.
MORGAN: OK. The final question before we go -- you didn't answer earlier. But of the 35 proposals for gun safety that the president is trying to bring in, how many of the 35 do you support?
LOTT: I don't think I supported any of the ones that he had. A lot of them weren't real proposals.
MORGAN: You don't support any of them?
LOTT: Sure, I think there should be a head of the BATF. He has let a nomination lag for a couple years without appointing somebody. Sure, he should appoint somebody. That is one thing that I think would be useful to do. There are a couple other things like that. Having people go and study certain issues are fine. But most of those things weren't really serious things that were going to go and solve anything. Were they?
MORGAN: Well, they are pretty serious if you're the father of a boy who has been blown to pieces.
LOTT: I have five kids. I can't imagine losing any of them for any reason. What you need to do sometimes is have shows about people who save their lives like these 10 cases in just this last month of December, where people had to fire multiple shots in order to save lives.
MORGAN: Mr. Lott, thank you for joining me again. I look forward to talking to you again about this. As you know, I disagree with you passionately. But I respect your right to have your opinion.
When we come back, more disturbing testimony from two stunning trials. And again, I'll warn you, the details of both are very graphic. I'll talk with two of America's top attorneys.
MORGAN: Two shocking trials making headlines and more disturbing testimony today. I will again warn you, the details of both cases are extremely graphic. In New York, the jury is waiting to see if the so- called cannibal cop will take the stand. In Arizona, Jodi Arias finished her twelfth day of testimony, answering questions about the gruesome death of her boyfriend.
Let's begin with the host of HLN's "JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL." Jane, another extraordinary day of testimony. It seems to be going on and on and on. Did we learn anything new today, do you think? JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN ANCHOR: Oh yes. This was another, Piers -- another triple X-rated day in court. And of course, Jodi Arias says she killed her lover, Travis Alexander, in self defense. She's accused him of being a pervert, a pedophile, obsessed with kids, who sexually degraded her with S&M games.
But today, the prosecutor turned the table and made a very strong case that she is the one who sexually corrupted him. He produced text messages that she sent to him where she said, I want to bleep you like a dirty horny little school girl. Pardon the language, but that is a direct quote. She also expresses a tremendous interest in wanting a spanking and jokes about wanting anal sex, the very activity that she had previously described as so terribly degrading.
MORGAN: I mean, Gloria Allred, it is an extraordinary case, but mostly because of her -- her kind of appearance in court and on these TV cameras, her demeanor and the kind of bare faced way that she just repeatedly lies and doesn't even seem to be phased when she is found out and contradicts herself.
GLORIA ALLRED, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Exactly, Piers. In fact, today she testified that -- she admitted she has even been inconsistent about her own lies, inconsistent to what she said to "48 Hours," inconsistent to what she said to "Inside Edition," inconsistent about what she said to the detective and so on.
So I'm not sure that she really recognizes what the truth is. And the jury is going to have to figure out what the truth is based on someone who is an admitted liar, who is an admitted killer, yet who claims self defense.
MORGAN: Have you ever heard a case quite like this?
ALLRED: Never. In 30 years, eight years of practicing law --
MORGAN: That is quite saying something.
ALLRED: I have never heard a case like this. And I'm asking myself -- and I'm sure many people are asking themselves, what is the point of the defense? Having all of the sex and lies and texts and emails and so forth, what is the point?
The only point that I can think of is that maybe they are trying to have her up there for so many days that somehow jury will feel, well, they know her, they like her, they wouldn't want to put her to death because it's someone now they know. Whether they like her is another issue. But at least they know her.
MORGAN: Jane, she has very cleverly been playing the jury apparently today, looking over at them, trying to exude a different kind of demeanor. In previous days, she has been weepy and all rest. She is really playing at what many people see as a Casey Anthony kind of attitude in this courtroom, using it to her advantage, playing to her odd personality.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: A different Jodi shows up every day. Sometimes she is coquettish. Sometimes she is weepy. She is wearing these glasses to read. She actually takes them off. So they are totally just for show. I can tell you that I spoke with somebody who says he is a good friend of Jodi Arias, is seen regularly in court and visits her in jail. And she, according to him, flat out predicts she will not get the death penalty. She predicts it will be a mistrial. And the second time around, she is going to get manslaughter and basically skate on this.
So she is extremely confident.
MORGAN: Extraordinary. Well, I was at a dinner party last night when it was the only subject of conversation, was this bizarre woman, and the other case we had, which is the cannibal cop.
ALLRED: Yes, and this bizarre woman, of course, sitting there on the witness stand, doesn't look like the bizarre women in the photos. She is no longer the bleached blond. She is no longer the heavily made up woman. She is no longer the person who says she is the dirty little school girl. She is the meek person. She is the woman whose hair is closed in on her face. She is very quiet. She is very withdrawn.
And yet she's answering and she's not getting rattled by the prosecutor.
ALLRED: So which Jodi Arias are they to believe.
MORGAN: I doubt she even knows. It is a fascinating and compelling trial. It will continue. And I'm sure we'll talk again. Gloria and Jane, thank you both very much.
When we come back, more on the Arias trial with Alan Dershowitz and Marcia Clark, and, of course, the cannibal cop, perhaps the only trial out there that is even more unsavory.
MORGAN: It is the murder trial that everyone is talking about. Jodi Arias is accused of killing her boyfriend. Today more extremely graphic testimony. Let's bring in attorney Alan Dershowitz and Marcia Clark, former prosecutor and author of "Guilt By Degrees," who were on opposite sides, of course, of the OJ Simpson trial. But they come together now through the magic of television.
Alan, we spoke yesterday about this case. It is an extraordinarily sinister in parts, very lurid in others. You are left really with this odd, coquettish woman who appears to be a very, very large chameleon? Or am I misreading this?
ALAN DERSHOWITZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I think the prosecution is mishandling this case completely. By focusing on whether or not she welcomed the kinky sex, she initiated the kinky sex, it makes it sound to the jury like she was entitled to kill him if she was pressured into having sex. I think they're diverting the jury's attention away from the fact that the evidence is overwhelming that she premeditated his death.
She put gas in the car. She went and prevented the authorities from finding out that she used her credit car. She obviously stole a gun, planning to kill him. Why don't they focus on the facts of the case rather than the lurid sex, which bears no relation to a defense of self defense, nor does it really bear on whether or not she deserves the death penalty?
MORGAN: Marcia Clark, do you see a point to what is going on in this courtroom?
MARCIA CLARK, FORMER PROSECUTOR: I do, actually. And I kind of disagree with Alan. I think that actually what they're trying to do is show that she is a liar. She has made herself out to be a victim, a victim of him. He's abusive. One of the ways that she says he was abusive is sexually. He did this to me, he did that to me, he made me do this and that.
To the extent that the prosecution can show he didn't make you, you wanted to -- you were sending him nasty texts. And they have been very graphic about the texts they've been showing. To the extent they can show that, they show not only to have been a liar on the witness stand, but a liar -- as to the sexual part, but a liar in general in terms of being the victim.
DERSHOWITZ: But it's overkill. Why do you have to do that? She is already a liar based on her -- the information she gave three different times about how the killing occurred. Why introduce sex into this? What it does is it diverts the jury's attention away from the actual facts of the case and the claims of self defense.
Less is more when it comes to trying to prove somebody is a liar. You know, when it comes to sex, people don't necessarily lie. They misremember. A jury may say, you know, I remember my boyfriend, yeah, I wanted to do it, but there was a lot of pressure.
Why allow the jury to speculate about the sex part of it? Why not make them focus on the deliberate lies that are central to the facts in this case?
MORGAN: OK. Let's take a break. Let's come back on a similar kind of thing. You have another grizzly court case, the cannibal cop in New York. And the bi question with him is was he intending to do what he said he was intending to do? And if he was wasn't, does he walk, which would be extraordinary? But there we are.
MORGAN: Now to the case of the cannibal cop. I again want to warn you about graphic details we're about to discuss. A New York City police officer accused of plotting to kidnap, kill and eat dozens of women, including his wife. And if you want veterans of high profile trials, it doesn't get better than this.
I'm back with attorneys Alan Dershowitz and Marcia Clark.
Alan, let me just read you a couple of the excerpts of e-mails today from Gilberto Valle. "I would like feet soup as an appetizer, hunk of thigh meat as entree. I actually want to cook a girl alive over an open fire. I would cook her at 160 degrees. She will absolutely suffer."
Now all of this is utterly horrific to any normal individual. But then you read some of the other extracts from emails. In one conversation to one of his co-fetishers, he says, no, I'm just talking fantasy. No matter what I say, it's make believe. I just like to get a little dirty with the ideas.
If you take him at face value in those private conversations he was having with fetishists, however ghastly the earlier material I read, is he a criminal?
DERSHOWITZ: Absolutely not. He is not a conspirator. It is not a crime to intend. It is not a crime to plan. It is only a crime to agree with another person. That's what he's charged with, conspiracy. Now, he's a criminal because he broke into computers. But the only two possible ways they could get him for anything relating to murder is conspiracy to murder or attempted murder.
This is not an attempted murder. He didn't come close. He didn't have the victim. He didn't take the final step. So it requires for conspiracy to be in agreement. They have to find another person, not only who he spoke to and fantasized with, but who agreed with him to a specific criminal act. They haven't shown that so far.
So my prediction is the jury is going to convict him and it's going to be reversed on appeal.
MORGAN: It's quite interesting, Marcia, because in other e-mails, he referred to having a van, a house in the mountains, an oven large enough to cook a woman. But the FBI never found the house, nor the van, which would lend succor to the argument that he's making most of this stuff up for some weird kinky fetishist reason.
Here's my question for you, though, you guys are lawyers. You can rise above the fray here and make an honest legal assessment of this, as Alan just did very very cleverly. But real people in a jury listening to this, if they're like me, will be so repulsed, so revolted by this guy, they may just convict him on that alone.
CLARK: Correct. And that's the point I think Alan was making as well, and correct. You know, when you look at it from a legal principle, and purely that, you look and say, look, we don't have thought police, and you don't punish people for having bizarre thoughts and fetishes. There's clearly something wrong with boyfriend. He's not OK in the head.
But it's not a criminal act until you get to a conspiracy and there's an agreement, as Alan said. And yet a jury does react emotionally. This is where you want a trial, actually -- would be a perfect trial to waive a jury and have a court trial, because you want a judge to look at it dispassionately and say, the elements are not fulfilled.
A jury is less likely to do that. And just to hear the horrificness of it, that's why Alan is right. You know, it will be reversed on appeal for insufficiency of evidence. That is a double jeopardy claim. It will be dismissed forever.
So it's possible, unless they pull it together. If Alan's prediction is they need someone, he's right about that. They need someone to agree with. If they have that person, he will go down for conspiracy.
MORGAN: Marcia, Alan, it's a riveting case, as is the other one.
DERSHOWITZ: Marcia Clark and I agree.
MORGAN: One thing is for sure, Alan, you will be back to discuss this again. We will be talking about this, I think, for some considerable time. So please come back soon, both of you. Thanks you very much.
That's all for us. Coming up next, the "AC 360" special report, Killer Testimony, the Jodi Arias trial, with Anderson Cooper and co- host Nancy Grace. That's coming up next.