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PIERS MORGAN LIVE
Deadly Secrets of Adam Lanza; Guns in America
Aired March 28, 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: Secrets of Sandy Hook killer Adam Lanza. Chilling new revelations from inside his home and new details from the day of the massacre.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Caller is indicating she thinks there's someone shooting in the building.
MORGAN: Plus a land to discovery that's got the NRA fighting back. I'll talk to Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe. What will it take to stop the bloodshed?
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is our best chance in more than a decade to take commonsense steps that will save lives.
MORGAN: I'll ask my all-star panel.
Plus, first the Pope. Now another unthinkable retirement. Is Barbara Walters stepping down? And father, son and the Holy Ghost. Billy Graham's son Franklin on faith in America and the plot to kill Jesus.
This is PIERS MORGAN LIVE.
Less than five minutes, that's how little time it took for Adam Lanza to slaughter 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary. Five minutes. That's 300 seconds. Imagine that.
We're learning that and more tonight. We're learning much, much more, in fact, about the killer and his arsenal. Newly released search warrants gave us a chilling look at his life at home and his collection of weapons.
Adam's house was filled with instruments of death. Samurai swords, a bayonet, rifles, pistols, there are also 1600 rounds of ammunition, photographs of a dead body, gun manuals, a certificate from the NRA, self-help book from the NRA, another on living with Asperger's.
Joining me now is Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe and Redding Police Chief Douglas Fuchs.
Welcome back to you, Chiefs. I read the full list of things that the police found in Adam Lanza's lair. No other way of describing it. And it was terrifying. I couldn't understand how somebody like him who has already been treated for Asperger's, perhaps autism as well, who is a loner, who we have now learned was an obsessive about violent video games, somebody who clearly should be ringing alarm bells to a large number of people, how he could have so much fire power in his lair? What do you make of it?
CHIEF MICHAEL KEHOE, NEWTOWN POLICE CHIEF: Well, we certainly wouldn't want somebody like that shooter to have that much arsenal at his disposal, and we must make changes so that we do find out these people in advance and stop that before massacres occur.
MORGAN: Here's the problem --
CHIEF DOUGLAS FUCHS, REDDING POLICE CHIEF: You know when we talk last --
MORGAN: Yes, Chief, let me just put to you this point. Here's the problem, it seems to me, with shooters like Adam Lanza. How do you know they're going to be shooters? I can raise alarm bells with hindsight and maybe they should have been spotted, like I said, but there must be many disturbed people out there who don't really cry out, I'm going to shoot loads of people.
What can America do to try and identify them?
FUCHS: And that's a great point. And that's why we have to be cautious and we have to be very cognizant about what weapons and what type of magazines we have out there and what backgrounds we do. As police chiefs, we do a lot of background checks to make sure that those who we give pistol permits to or registrations for for weapons that we make sure we know who they are.
And I think that when we also talk about the capacity of the magazines, just having those types of magazines, having those types of weapons out there which are available to the average civilian, not law enforcement, not the military, is a problem we don't know in whose hands they're going to be.
And in this case if you read the documents, it showed clearly that the safe was not secured. Well, that's an issue as well. And when we were on this show last time I suggested that when we talk about gun locks, we need to make sure that those weapons, all weapons are secured so nobody has the opportunity to get their hands on it who does not rightfully -- should.
MORGAN: Right. Let's play a clip from President Obama today. He was pretty direct. Listen to what he had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Less than 100 days ago that happened. And the entire country was shocked. The entire country pledged we would do something about it and this time would be different. Shame on us if we forgot. I haven't forgotten those kids. Shame on us if we forgot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Here's the problem. These are powerful words from the president, but as he's saying them, Washington, having already backed off trying to force through an assault weapons ban, is now apparently also backing off bringing in a ban on high magazines, and so what are you left with? You're left with background checks which to me is just a bleeding obviously thing that should be done anyway, shouldn't have any loopholes.
You want to buy a gun, of course there should be a background check. None of this to me, none of this to me is any concrete attempt to reduce the amount of guns in America. In fact, quite the opposite.
KEHOE: Well, I think we ought to keep the conversation going and I -- I applaud the president for, again, making a call for action. We need to make decisions that are going to be tough for society and we need to do them sooner than later, because we know these things are going to repeat themselves.
MORGAN: Right. But Chief --
FUCHS: And our governor quite honestly said it right --
MORGAN: But Chief -- let me put this to you. This is all fine, but you are on the sharp end of this and since Sandy Hook, there has been a massive escalation in the sale of the weapons like the one that Adam Lanza used to kill those children. Not a deceleration. An acceleration.
What is going to happen about that? At what point do the lawmakers of America say we're going to try and stop the increase in the sale of assault weapons?
FUCHS: Our governor put it very well when he said what more do we need to know. We know we had -- we had an individual who had severe mental illness. We know we had an individual who had access to weapons that he should not have had and we know we had an individual who had high capacity magazines, who knew how to use them, who it's very evident now by the paperwork that was released today, he knew how to tactically reload which we talked about last week.
And these individuals should not have access to weapons. But by having these types of weapons out there, we offer everybody the opportunity to get their hands on them. So we're certainly not looking to take weapons out of the hands of law-abiding citizens but we have to remember that every illegal gun at some point started out being a legal gun and those who get their hands on these types of weapons are doing so because we're allowing these types of weapons into our society, which as Chief Kehoe has said time and time again, this society that we live in now has become significantly more violent than it was when we were growing up.
MORGAN: Final question for you, Chief Kehoe. I mean, if the only thing that comes out of all this, out of the senseless massacre of 20 young children at Sandy Hook, is background checks, doesn't that qualify for a shameful response, the type that President Obama is talking about?
KEHOE: I would be very, very disappointed and I think many of the -- many of the families would be disappointed if that was the only thing that came out of all -- all of this tragedy, the background checks. I can't imagine that our legislatures would leave it just at that because we have so much to do and there is so much we can do. And we should do it.
MORGAN: Chief, it's good to talk to you again. I wish it was under better circumstances. It's always grim when I talk to you about this but it's a grim matter. Thank you very much.
KEHOE: Thank you, Piers.
FUCHS: Thank you.
MORGAN: The search warrants reveal that Adam Lanza and his mother had NRA certificates. The NRA issued a strong statement saying, "The Newtown killer and his mother were not members of the gun lobby group."
I want to bring in former NRA operative, Richard Feldman, he's the president of the Independent Firearm Owners Association.
Welcome back to you, Mr. Feldman. The NRA were very quick today to say if anyone says that these two were members of the NRA, we will sue you for defamation. Clearly pretty defensive about it all. Having said that, the police have revealed they found certificates, NRA certificates for both Adam Lanza and his mother, and they found a pistol shooting training manual produced by the NRA in Adam Lanza's bedroom.
What can we read into that? What are these likely to be?
RICHARD FELDMAN, PRESIDENT, INDEPENDENT FIREARM OWNERS ASSOCIATION: Well, an NRA certificate just means, I'll assume, that they either attended a class or obtained the material that's available in libraries all across the country. It means nothing that they had a certificate. Even if they were members, it means nothing.
MORGAN: Well, except of course that the NRA persists in saying that their members are law-abiding citizens. Now by that criteria, Adam Lanza right up to the moment that he set off for Sandy Hook was, by all accounts, a law-abiding citizen.
FELDMAN: I think it's actually the problem when you deal with this, the most difficult of all the firearm misusage issues, the negligent misuse, the intentional criminal misuse, and this, the deranged shooter misuse. Now just because you have a mental problem doesn't mean you're violent. If anything, probably people with mental issues are less violent than the average citizen.
So let's not go on a witch hunt against people with mental illness. This is a very difficult and sensitive issue because it butts up against so many of the values in a free society between the rights of individuals and the rights merely of somebody who dresses differently, speaks funny.
At what point do we get society involved? These are very difficult and complicated questions and they don't lend themselves to simple solutions.
MORGAN: Well, I totally agree with that. What I would say to you, though, is in Adam Lanza's case, he wasn't classified as mentally ill. He may have been suffering from Asperger's or autism but they're not mental illnesses by the raw definition of that phrase, and it probably wouldn't prohibited him from perfectly, lawfully buying firearms.
So you're left with somebody who is able to readily and legally go and purchase whatever he likes in America, and this comes back to my biggest concern about this.
What is the problem, really, ideologically even for the NRA, which had a lot of members obviously who like guns, what is the problem in just reducing the freedom of people like Adam Lanza to buy assault rifles like an AR-15?
FELDMAN: Well, the problem is that we're using terminology very loosely and we have to be very careful when we use terminology that we're even talking about the same thing at the same time. These guns are not assault weapons.
But let me share with you something, Piers. My definition of an assault weapon that doesn't parse the English language and works every time. Any loaded firearm pointed at me is an assault weapon. And it's really of little value to go what caliber it is, how many rounds. If I'm being shot, this isn't good. Nobody wants to be shot.
And if we focus our attention in this country clearly and carefully on the problems, then we can actually discuss them like intelligent adults and we need to have the intelligent adult discussion on these many problems in America.
What do we do? The standard for incarcerating people and putting them in a mental institution is you must be able to prove that they are a danger to themselves or others. Well, we know Adam Lanza certainly was but we didn't know it in advance. And we -- even if people suspected it, how do we deal with that? We really need to have the mental health community, the psychiatric associations, help us better define those causes and those moments when we can as a society act before a tragedy occurs and not wring our hands afterwards saying gee, I knew something was wrong but no one did anything.
MORGAN: Right. But here's the problem again that I have, which is that since Sandy Hook, there has been a massive escalation in the sale of -- I call them assault rifles because Adam Lanza in 300 seconds killed 26 people with an AR-15. And they've been used in the last five mass shootings in America, including the one at Aurora.
But here's the thing. There have been so many more weapons sold since Sandy Hook. You talk about an intelligent adult debate about this. I ask you, as a clearly intelligent man, how can it be rational that to make America safer, to try and prevent more gun violence, you would encourage, as the NRA does repeatedly after these things, more guns to be in circulation? How can that be logical to an intelligent adult mind?
FELDMAN: You know, if you double the number of guns owned by people who aren't misusing them, it's going to have no impact. And if you just add a few hundred guns in a community where the people are going to misuse them, you have terrible tragedies in ones and twos. If we focus clearly on the problem which is never the gun per se, but is always in whose hands are the guns.
Clearly Adam Lanza's mother did not do a good job of securing those guns and preventing her son who she knew better than anyone else had some issues, from having access to those firearms. Even if she had done that, we can't sit here and say a tragedy wouldn't have occurred. All we can be clearer on is that the tragedy wouldn't have occurred with those particular firearms.
That we can probably say. But you don't need a firearm to cause horrible tragedies. A gallon of gasoline can cost the lives of 100 people or more. We have seen it in Brazil. We saw it in the Bronx in the 1980s. The Happy Land fire, one gallon of gasoline, 87 people were killed. You don't need a gun if your intent is to cause mayhem.
MORGAN: But you do, you think, need a situation in America where you have more gun murders a year than the next 22 of the richest countries in the world combined.
FELDMAN: Well, we have some serious problems in this country but our politicians really don't want to address the problems and have that intelligent adult discussion. For example, the relationship in this country between our war on drugs and the criminal misuse of guns. Most police that I've talked to in narcotics say half of all violent gun-related misuse is directly related to control over the illegal market in drugs, including marijuana.
Why can't we have a discussion about these issues? They're related, they're interconnected, and it's time we act like the adults we want to be and talk about these issues.
MORGAN: OK. Mr. Feldman, I think we've just proved that you can do that. I'm grateful to you for joining me.
FELDMAN: Thank you for having me.
MORGAN: Next, my all-star panel and the gun control battle turns personal between the NRA's Wayne LaPierre and New York's Mayor Bloomberg.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEIL HESLIN, FATHER OF SANDY HOOK VICTIM JESSE LEWIS: We got a 911 call that there was a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we need to remember the 26 victims who lost their lives.
GILLS ROUSSEAU, FATHER OF SANDY HOOK VICTIM LAUREN ROUSSEAU: She just wanted to teach little kids. And that was her goal. And she died doing it. Wonderful.
HESLIN: That was the last I ever saw Jesse alive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: A new ad calling for gun control featuring families who lost their children at Newtown. We did something special the last few days. We conducted an informal count of U.S. senators asking them whether or not they were supportive Dianne Feinstein's proposed ban on assault weapons which was never allowed to get to the Senate floor. The number is not official. And in some cases the answer wasn't quite as simple as yes or no. The current total, 30 senators said they would support the ban, 44 said they'd oppose it, 16 had no response and 10 took no position.
The 16 that haven't responded I think we should name them so that you know who they are. Senator Bennett from Colorado, Senator Cantwell from Washington, Senator Chambliss from Georgia, Senator Corker from Tennessee, Senator McCaskill from Missouri, Senator Fisher from Nebraska, Senator Heinrich from New Mexico, Senator Heller from Nevada, Senator Johnson from South Dakota, Senator Merkley from Oregon, Senator Paul from Kentucky, Senator Scott from South Carolina, Senator Shaheen from New Hampshire, and Senator Udall from Colorado , another Senator Udall from New Mexico and Senator Vitter from Louisiana.
And my message to you, Senators, is shame on you. Your salaries are paid by the American people. They're entitled to know whether you would or would not have voted for or against Senator Feinstein's ban on assault weapons. The type of weapon that killed those poor children at Sandy Hook.
I suggest you find it in yourselves to come back with a response, yes or no. So that your constituents, the people in your states, know where you stand.
Let's now bring in my all-star panel. Van Jones, CNN contributor and president of Rebuild the Dream, conservative radio talk show host Dana Loesch and Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform and an NRA board member.
Welcome to you all.
Van Jones, I just spoke again to Richard Feldman who is pretty close to the NRA leadership for quite awhile and the message is loud and clear from the NRA, as it always is. More guns and you'll deal with gun violence. What do you say to that?
VAN JONES, PRESIDENT AND CO-FOUNDER OF REBUILD THE DREAM: Well, I just think people are just flabbergasted to hear this. I mean, the idea that the kind of gun, the size of gun, the kind of magazine, none of these matters. Well, then, fine, just pass out bazookas. Start selling neutron bombs on the open market and then when people start using the bazookas and doing -- say well, it's not the bazooka or owner, you see, it's just -- I mean, it's not the bazooka, it's just the bazooka's owner.
Obviously the size of the cartridge matters. Obviously the kind of weapon matters. That's why you can't buy bazookas, you can't buy neutron bombs, you can't buy weaponized drones because these things matter.
It's very, very frustrating -- the shame that I see right now is that on the one hand we're not doing enough about mental health, but then we have people who are hiding behind the fact that we're not doing one thing to stop us from doing anything else. And that's wrong, too.
MORGAN: I mean, Marco Rubio said today, he's warned that he will filibuster any new gun legislation.
Dana Loesch, how can that be an appropriate response to what happened at Sandy Hook?
DANA LOESCH, CONSERVATIVE RADIO TALK SHOW HOST, "THE DANA SHOW": Well, simply, Piers, because we have gun laws already on the books. Most of the proposals are simply redundancy. That's why, why are we paying individuals to go and essentially waste taxpayer dollars to argue laws that we already have on the books?
Laws which either aren't enforced or criminals don't obey them simply because that's what criminals don't do. Criminals are called criminals because they don't follow law.
MORGAN: Right. So Adam Lanza had two rifles, a BB gun, a starter pistol, four more weapons he took to school including the AR- 15, 1600 rounds of ammunition in his house, 12 knives, three Samurai swords, a bayonet, eye protection, ear mufflers at gun range, (INAUDIBLE) binoculars, paper targets, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And he went and did what he did.
At what point, Dana, do you say, you know what, we're just going to make it tougher for people to be able to have this kind of arsenal?
LOESCH: Well, Piers, you realize that Adam Lanza, according to the "L.A. Times," the "Portland Observer," numerous local media report in Connecticut, he did try to purchase a firearm. And Connecticut's gun laws prohibited him from doing that. Those gun laws worked in the sense that they prohibited him from purchasing a firearm.
Now as to whether or not his mother should have had her firearms perhaps stored a little bit better and kept away from her son, that's another topic of discussion. But, you know, again, he stole firearms, he committed a crime to obtain a firearm which he then used illegally.
MORGAN: Grover Norquist, you're on the board of the NRA. And the NRA it seems to me has a lot of very reasonable members, many of whom tweet me. And if you're watching now, you want to tweet me, @Piersmorgan, and let me know if you're an NRA member. And they can be quite rational and they say look, you know, we have no real problem with background checks. We don't have any problem with more investment in mental health and so on. Not even much of a problem with the high capacity magazines.
They're not too sure about assault weapons. But they're quite rational in what they say but the leadership always seem to me to be -- particularly Wayne LaPierre, completely outrageous. Utterly insensitive, totally uncompromising. Why is that?
GROVER NORQUIST, BOARD MEMBER, NRA: Well, I think if you look at the history of gun laws, make a list of which cities and states have the most oppressive gun laws. You'll find they also have more crime and more shootings. There's actually, if you look at the science, you know, liberals are always saying, we should look at the science, and yet they don't want to look at the existing science on whether gun laws make us safer or less safe.
John Locke did the first study of all the counties in United States and where you had concealed carry permits, more gun ownership by citizens, you actually had significantly less crime, hundreds and thousands of fewer murders, fewer rapes.
MORGAN: OK, Grover, Grover --
NORQUIST: What you don't have reported in the news is the fact that those states that put in concealed carry laws decades ago and have more people carrying guns are safer to live in than ones that ban it. So when you ask why don't we do something stupid, the answer is because we have looked at the statistics, because we have looked at the science, and flat earthers should not be passing new laws.
MORGAN: Well, let me -- let me throw some science at you. How do you explain that, as I said to Mr. Feldman earlier, America has between 11,000 and 12,000 gun murders a year, 18,000 gun suicides a year, 100,000 Americans are hit by gunfire a year. And you look at somewhere like Britain or you look at somewhere like Australia or Japan or I could name dozens of other countries that have pretty strict gun control laws, and just have negligible gun deaths.
I mean, literally, like 40 or 50 people a year get killed. How do you explain that, Grover, in any rational way that convinces me that countries that don't have guns in mass circulation have almost no gun crime?
NORQUIST: Well, if you compare apples and apples and look at the United States, and obviously Brazil and South Africa and other countries have a great number of gun crimes and they have very serious gun laws, so gun laws haven't solved the problem in other countries, and where you put in more gun laws in Australia and Britain you've had more crime in general. More robberies, more crime. That they become less safe.
Now in the United States, compare the states, 50 or 57, however you want to count them, they've all got different gun laws and different --
MORGAN: OK, Van.
NORQUIST: -- rules and --
MORGAN: Let me get Van in here. Let me get Van in here because he's shaking his head vigorously.
JONES: Well, first of all, that's just actually not true but I want to say a couple of things. This is not about concealed --
NORQUIST: No, wait a minute. It is true.
LOESCH: It is true. It is true.
JONES: Hold on a second. It's not true.
NORQUIST: You can't deny the science.
JONES: First of all this is not about --
NORQUIST: You're a science denier, Van.
JONES: Are you going to let me talk? You guys are wonderful --
LOESCH: About gun laws, guys and statistics.
JONES: Hey, listen, I'm with you. I'm for statistics. Here's what's actually true. This is not a debate about concealed carry. You want to move the argument over to something that nobody's arguing about. Nobody's arguing about concealed carry. People are arguing about military-style weapons on the streets of America and whether or not that is a good thing or a bad thing.
LOESCH: That's a false premise.
JONES: The --
LOESCH: That's a false premise.
JONES: No. That's not -- it's a false premise?
LOESCH: No. Van, do you actually know what the difference --
JONES: That's the entire debate in Washington, D.C. right now.
LOESCH: I'm going to correct you because I'm tired of this talking point being put out there. First and foremost, let's get something straight. Military-style assault weapons are not out on the street. We are talking about semiautomatic weapons, weapons that are capable of select fire or weapons that are fully automatic.
MORGAN: OK. But Dana, Dana, Dana.
LOESCH: Then you can -- no, I'm not going to let this go anymore, Piers.
JONES: You guys say the same thing every time.
MORGAN: No, Dana, you said this repeatedly on my show.
LOESCH: Then you can use the military term. Let's stop conflating.
JONES: You do the same thing every time.
LOESCH: Let's stop playing ignorance and --
MORGAN: General Stanley McChrystal --
LOESCH: Now you can go ahead and continue.
MORGAN: General Stanley McChrystal used the phrase -- so forget us, forget Van, forget me. One of the great military commanders of the last 20 years in America --
LOESCH: The man who bans conservatives (INAUDIBLE) -- yes.
MORGAN: -- said these were military-style weapons. So is he wrong? Do you know more about these weapons than General McChrystal does?
NORQUIST: Evidently because --
LOESCH: General McChrystal is also of your same ideology so I want to put that out there first and foremost. There is a deliberate effort to conflate the types of firearms. I do not own a military- style assault weapon just because of what -- a firearm looks scary? Then you call it military assault? Do you realize that one of my children has a BB gun that looks like an AR-15? Is that going to be considered a military style assault weapon? It sounds silly and uneducated.
MORGAN: Adam Lanza killed -- Adam Lanza killed -- wait a minute. Wait a minute. Adam Lanza killed --
LOESCH: And it's dangerous.
MORGAN: Adam Lanza, as we now know, in the space of 300 seconds, using an AR-15, killed 26 people, Dana.
JONES: Thank you.
LOESCH: And he reloaded four times.
MORGAN: He had magazine -- he had a magazine for 30 bullets.
LOESCH: So, Piers, I want to ask you a question. Yes.
MORGAN: Are you telling me -- are you telling me that doesn't --
LOESCH: And he reloaded four times. Anyone can reload.
MORGAN: Are you tell me that doesn't --
LOESCH: Anyone can reload.
MORGAN: Dana, let me finish. Are you telling me that doesn't qualify as an assault weapon?
LOESCH: By the technical definition, no, Piers. Anything can be qualified as an assault weapon. If you stab someone with a spoon, it can be qualified as an assault weapon.
MORGAN: So you're equating stabbing somebody with a spoon --
LOESCH: Let me ask you a question, Piers.
JONES: Oh my god.
MORGAN: -- to the shooting dead 26 people in five minutes?
JONES: Hold on, hold on.
LOESCH: If this is conversation about a ban on magazine capacity --
MORGAN: Really, Dana? Really? Talk about stabbing somebody with a spoon?
LOESCH: Do you realize how easy it is to reload? Piers, you can take a speed loader and reload a revolver, 150 rounds. That means he had to reload four times.
JONES: This is the strategy -- it's the conscious strategy.
LOESCH: And the only reason that he stopped was because he heard authorities.
JONES: What you're seeing right now, Piers --
LOESCH: No, Van, this is the strategy of the people who actually deliberately want to disarm individuals.
JONES: Piers, what you're seeing is the conscious strategy to distract and --
LOESCH: You guys talk about magazine --
JONES: Hold on a second. Hold on a second.
LOESCH: You talk about magazine restriction --
MORGAN: OK. Let Van -- let Van have his say.
JONES: See, this is the conscious strategy on the part of the pro-gun folks to constantly bring things back around to things that don't make any sense. You're talking about people stabbing people with spoons. If that was a problem we had in America, people stabbing people with spoons, we wouldn't be talking about this right now.
What we're talking about is funeral after funeral after funeral. What we're talking about is -- are our children being gunned down and what we're talking about is common sense measures. Not confiscating guns. We're not talking about that. We're talking about commonsense measures that 90 percent of Americans agree with and the majority of gun owners agree with.
JONES: But when you guys get on television, you don't talk like the people who actually are the gun owners in America. What you talk like are people who want to take the conversation in a direction --
LOESCH: I'm a gun owner in America, Van Jones.
JONES: -- that has nothing to do -- I'm sorry, you said?
LOESCH: By the way, the latest CBS poll shows that support for these gun control measures is tanking. This is --
LOESCH: let me finish my thought.
LOESCH: Then I am going to let you answer. I'm tired of this conflation and this uneducation when it comes to using terms about firearms. Let's use --
JONES: You want to make it about terms and words. Fine. Hey, listen, what we're talking about is funeral after funeral after funeral.
MORGAN: one at a time.
LOESCH: What's the difference between 30 rounds and what's the difference between seven rounds? Piers Morgan, let me ask you a question. (CROSS TALK)
MORGAN: Let me explain to you the difference. Let me explain the difference.
MORGAN: Let me ask you a question. The difference between 30 and seven is 23. So it could save 23 lives if there was a federal ban on these magazines.
LOESCH: Seven lives lost are OK with you, then? Seven lives lost are OK?
MORGAN: You know what, Dana, seven is better than 30, yes.
MORGAN: Better than losing 30, yes, it is.
LOESCH: I'm just trying to establish where you draw the line. Where do you draw the line at preventing the deaths of children, Piers?
MORGAN: I would love to draw the line -- I would love to draw the line -- I would love to draw the line, Dana, at zero gun deaths in America.
LOESCH: So you do believe in disarmament, then.
MORGAN: I said zero gun deaths.
LOESCH: That's the answer that I wanted.
MORGAN: When did I say disarmament? Wait a minute. You talk about conflating the argument. Dana, when did I say disarmament?
LOESCH: I'm taking it down -- I'm using your logic and going down that road. If you're talking about limiting magazines -- first and foremost, magazines are universal. I can make one in my garage.
MORGAN: I said I wanted zero gun deaths.
MORGAN: Let me finish. We have to go to break. But you said -- I said I wanted zero gun deaths. You announce that meant I wanted disarmament. That's the problem with the pro-gun debate.
MORGAN: Let's take a break. Let's all calm down, come back and talk about gay marriage. That will be even more lively, probably. Let's try that. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
MORGAN: Back now with Van Jones and Dana Loesch and Grover Norquist. Before we move on from guns, I just want to read a quick Tweet. This is from Steven Smith, who says to me "where can you buy these deadly assault spoons?" Maybe Dana can help him with that later. Let's move on.
LOESCH: Really, it goes over people's heads. Anything, Piers. Stabbing deaths every day.
MORGAN: Let's move on. It was just a little joke, Dana. Let's turn to gay marriage. Grover, I want to play you an astonishing piece of tape, really. Yesterday we had Bill O'Reilly almost converting to gay marriage. Today, Rush Limbaugh joined in. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This issue is lost. I don't care what the Supreme Court does, this is now inevitable. And it's inevitable because we lost the language on this. We lost the issue when we started allowing the word marriage to be bastardized and redefined by simply adding words to it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Grover, is he right? Is the gay marriage debate lost to those that oppose it?
NORQUIST: Well, it's an interesting question. Obviously, once you get the government into defining something, they're going to mess it up. Marriage for a lot of people is a religious sacrament in any of the Abrahamic faiths. Yet the government should be enforcing contracts, if people want a contract with who they live with and how they want to pass on their estates. For years we worked with gay groups trying to get rid of the death tax, because that was one of the discriminatory factors there.
So I think there are a number of laws that the government's got itself into that we need to extricate it. If the government was less involved in marriage and defining it and regulating it, we might be better off, everybody.
MORGAN: Dana Loesch, what do you think?
LOESCH: I'm not quite sure whether or not it's lost. I do agree that the language has been muddled. And just the two cases that are before the Supreme Court right now, I don't think that both of them will be tossed down. But the Defense of Marriage Act, especially where it concerns insurance benefits and engaging in contracts, I think people should be able to enter into contractual agreements with each other. There shouldn't be any sort of stipulation on that.
That's where, at the same time, while I've told individuals who have been out there advocating for same sex marriage and wanting to bring the government in, as someone who is a Christian conservative, I don't want to bring the government in to defend my faith or to defend or define marriage. I think that's something that should be left to the people. We don't have the government involved in baptisms or taking of the sacrament.
So I don't think that government should be involved in marriage, either. I think bringing the government in period is a bad idea.
MORGAN: OK. Van Jones, this sort of reminds me of conversations in America in the '50s and '60s, which would go along the lines of, I don't mind, having thought about this quite carefully, black people using the same bus as me. But I'm not really ready for them to come to the same school. Is it that kind of repositioning?
JONES: It's sad. First of all, we are on the verge of one of the great breakthroughs and achievements in human freedom, human equality. I can't tell you how proud I am to be in a country where people -- where the freedom to marry is going to be available to everybody very soon. Rush Limbaugh is right.
But the idea that suddenly now government is getting involved in marriage, government has been involved in marriage from the very beginning and nobody complained about it as long as it was for heterosexuals. Now -- and I'll say something else as well. You know, my marriage would have been illegal in a lot of parts of this country very recently, because I'm in a mixed race marriage.
So what I know is that -- and the government was involved in regulating that. So what I think we've got to recognize now is that there's -- no matter what happens -- this is a great thing about America -- there is an expiration date on some of this bigotry that is in our laws, because the next generation doesn't want to hear any of this stuff; 70, 80 percent of young people in America think that if you love somebody, marry them.
And the people who are messing up marriage in America are the heterosexuals. Heterosexuals are the ones being divorced. Heterosexuals are the -- the people who are bringing marriage back and making marriage mean something is the gay community that's fighting for that right. Now marriage means something. The Kardashians are doing more to destroy traditional marriage than gay people ever did.
LOESCH: A couple points, Piers, really quick. I can't compare gay marriage to what black Americans have gone through, because in the Bible -- and I want to point this out because this is how Christians look at this. Nowhere in the Bible --
JONES: I'm a Christian.
LOESCH: It's not mentioned in the Bible.
JONES: That's not true. That's not true. I'm a Christian. I'm a Christian. I'm a Christian. I'm going to tell you right now --
JONES: The Curse of Hamm was used to say we were the victims -- LOESCH: If you are trying to get Old Testament, remember, Van, the New Covenant with Christ, the New Covenant with God, that's why we have the New Testament.
MORGAN: Dana, Dana, Dana, Dana --
LOESCH: -- between a man, a woman and God, before God, on God's terms. That's how Christians define it.
MORGAN: Dana, Dana, Dana, what do you say to Van's point that it wasn't so long ago he wouldn't have been able to get married without the help of the government interfering? Isn't that an incredibly salient point?
LOESCH: You know what, Republicans all throughout, Piers -- I agree with that because Republicans -- that's why you have the Republican party because they split from Democrats and they split from -- you know, the KKK was the militant faction of that. They didn't believe. They were the original abolitionists, the Frederick Douglass Republicans.
Yes, absolutely, they thought that was horrible. That's why you had individuals fight for the Civil Rights Act.
JONES: Can I respond to that?
MORGAN: Unfortunately, Van, we've got to move on. I think you made some very good points, actually, which I think are pretty inarguable. The fact you couldn't have got married 50 years ago pretty well says it all.
Let's talk very quickly about a sad day, I think. Barbara Walters is going to retire apparently in May of next year, 80 odd years old, incredible energy, one of the most remarkable television journalists really ever. What do you make of that, Grover Norquist?
NORQUIST: Well, she's had a tremendous career. She's been great fun to watch and listen to and learn from. And I'm sure this is the sequester's fault.
MORGAN: Dana Loesch, can we reach any point of agreement on Barbara Walters?
LOESCH: I grew up watching Barbara Walters. And it's nice to see a strong woman with such a great -- such an accomplished career in the industry and it's sort of sad to see her go because of that.
JONES: I have had the honor to be on "The View" with her, watching her. She's one of the best ever. She's able to keep the empathy high, but she asks the tough questions. And I just think it's a moment in history.
MORGAN: Yeah. Very sad day. It will be a great valedictory fly-by tour, though, lasting a year, which I'm looking forward to. So Barbara, if you're watching, we wish you all the very best. You have been one of the truly great interviewers in television history. I for one will be glad you're gone because you get so many great bookings which I may now have a sniff at. But that's just a personal .
Thank you to my all-star panel, Dana, Van and Grover. I really enjoyed this. Let's get you back soon.
Coming next, Franklin Graham joins me to talk same sex marriage, politics and faith in America as we head to Easter weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANKLIN GRAHAM, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, BILLY GRAHAM EVANGELISTIC ASSOCIATION: We need to come together to pray, to pray for these families that have lost their children, their loved ones, and we need to pray that god will just put his arms around these families and comfort them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Reverend Franklin Graham, shortly after the shootings in Newtown. He's of course one of the most influential spiritual leaders in America. He's also president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Welcome back to you, sir.
I was just noting that on the "USA Today"/Gallup top ten list of the most admired men in the world, for 56 consecutive years, since 1955, your father has been on that list. Isn't that quite extraordinary?
GRAHAM: It is, but you know my father is a very humble man, and if you were to ask him about that, you know, he would just kind of say, aw, shucks and want to talk about something else.
MORGAN: He's 95 now.
GRAHAM: He will be 95 this year, next.
MORGAN: I think Nelson Mandela is around the same age. Nelson Mandela's pretty sick at the moment. But do they know each other?
GRAHAM: I don't think they ever met. No. But my father did a -- one of his crusades, one of his meetings, in South Africa when it was under Apartheid. And he refused to go unless he could have an integrated meeting. And the South African government at that time changed its law for that meeting to allow my father to have an integrated meeting, which was the first of its kind in that country at that time.
MORGAN: How amazing. Let's turn to the big issue I think for a lot of Christians in this country in particular, gay rights and gay marriage. I want to play a clip of what you said about this recently.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAHAM: There's no way you can have a family with two females or two males. If you just think biologically how God made us, our plumbing is completely different. He made us male and he made us female. There's no room for us to consider gay marriage or same sex marriage, because that is redefining what God gave us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Now here's my theory about all this. I think it's a generational thing. The reason I say that, there's a recent poll CNN/ORC conducted very recently: "federal government should recognize same sex marriages conducted in states that allow them." Over 65 years old, only 39 percent agree with that premise. Even in states that allow them, they didn't want it to happen. But in 18 to 34 year olds, 77 percent, more than double.
I don't really meet anybody under the age of 30 that really gives a damn about the gay marriage debate. They don't get it, because to them, it's not this big taboo subject. Do you think there's some merit to that argument?
GRAHAM: I'm sure there's some merit to the argument. But you have to go back to what does God say. It's not what I say at all. It's what God says, Piers. God is the one who defined marriage, not government, but it's God. It's between one man and one woman.
And so to come and try to redefine what God has ordained, what God has blessed and what God has given would be a great mistake for our government and a great mistake for this nation.
MORGAN: But as Van Jones was saying to me earlier there were times in earlier part of last century when he, as a black man in America, would not have had the same marital rights as you or I. And the government had to step in and change that. Change all sorts of race laws in America, and quite rightly. Aren't we in the same position here?
GRAHAM: I don't think so, no, not at all. Our countries has -- no question, has had many problems in its past, and we have many problems today. But marriage is defined between a man and a woman. And of course, during the race issues, it was could a black man and a white woman or vice versa -- could they get married? And that was the debate that we had and they decided, yes.
But, still, that is a marriage between a man and a woman. And we're not two men and not two women. Again, I don't make God's laws. God is the one who makes the laws. These are his standards. I believe there's, what, 190 stations and I think there is 11 that have improved in just the last -- what is it, 10, 12 years, gay marriage. This would be a great mistake if our nation went down this road.
MORGAN: Let's take a short break. Let's come back about this pretty explosive new book coming out, "Killing Jesus." I want to talk to you about that, especially as we head towards Eastern weekend.
MORGAN: Back now with my special guest, Franklin Graham. The book "Killing Jesus" hasn't come out yet. But I've interviewed the author for a pretty interesting interview that airs tomorrow, on Good Friday. And really I suppose the main point that it makes is that the murder of Jesus Christ wasn't so much a religious thing as a corrupt political assassination, really, of somebody who was threatening the political powers that be.
GRAHAM: You know, this is good. I'm glad you asked, because I know a little bit about this subject. God -- the Bible tells us that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that who so ever believed in him shouldn't perish but have ever lasting life.
The problem that we have -- and you've been talking about the gun issue tonight. You can stack all the gun laws on this table and not one gun can change the human heart. Not one gun law can change the human heart. Only God can change that heart. The Bible says that we have sinned. And our sins separate us from God. But God sent his son, Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ willingly gave his life and he went to the cross.
And tomorrow, we remember Good Friday, where he took our sins to the cross. He was nailed to the cross. He died and shed his blood on the cross. But Easter is coming. And on the third day, God raised his son to life. Jesus Christ is not dead. He's not still in the tomb. He's not still hanging on the cross. He's alive. And he can come into every person's heart that is willing to accept him by faith and he can change that heart.
And America has a heart problem. And we have turned our hearts against God and against his laws and against his statutes. We need to come back to God and we need to come back to him through faith in his son Jesus Christ, so our hearts can heal. The killing of Jesus, he gave his life freely, willingly. Yes, it was corruption. Yes, there were politicians behind it. Yes, there were religious leaders behind it, all of the above.
But it was all part of God's plan to save you and to save me. I'm a sinner.
MORGAN: I suspect we're all on different levels of sinning.
GRAHAM: Oh, no, no. We're all sinners. And Jesus Christ died for you and me. Isn't that great? And that's worth a high five.
MORGAN: Talking of high fives, you spent Easter Weekend with your father, I believe.
GRAHAM: I'm going to try to be with him on Sunday, yes.
MORGAN: What message would he have to people on Easter, do you think?
GRAHAM: That Jesus Christ has risen. And he's alive and he can come into your heart and he can forgive your sins. But you've got to be willing to invite him. There's no other way. You have to come to him by faith. The Bible says by grace are you saved through faith -- it's not a work -- you can't work for your salvation. But it's through faith, simply believing God and accepting by faith that Jesus Christ is God's son who died through your sins, who was buried, who God raised to life.
And if you're willing to believe that and accept it, God will forgive our sins. But he'll heal our hearts and that's what America needs today. We need to have our hearts healed.
MORGAN: Franklin Graham, got to leave it there, but Happy Easter to you. Good to see you.
GRAHAM: Good to see you, too.
MORGAN: Come back soon. And we'll be right back.
MORGAN: You just heard me talk to Franklin Graham about the book. Tomorrow night, the author of "Killing Jesus," what he says and why it's causing so much controversy. That's tomorrow.
And that's all for us tonight. Anderson Cooper starts right now.