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tv   Piers Morgan Tonight  CNN  July 24, 2012 3:00am-4:00am EDT

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have obligations to take a stand on gun control. new york mayor bloomberg. thank you for joining me. you've been very vocal since this appalling incident happened last friday. why is it that both the president and the man who wants to be president are sayingguns? >> well, the first thing is, do they have an obligation to say something about guns. and since 48,000 people will be murdered with guns in the four years, the next four-year presidential term, i would argue it's a substantial problem and that they have an obligation to tell the public before the public goes to the voting booth what they will do. specifically, not generally, but specifically. this is a problem we've had for many years. and so they must have thought about it. they have staffs that have thought about it. and they should be answering the question. then the question is, why do they not answer the question? and i think there is a perception in the political
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world that the nra has more power than the american people. i do not happen to believe that. >> every time one of these things happens, gabrielle gifford s last year. this shooting here. there's an outrage. and then very quickly it dissipates. the american people go back to their normal lives. and they don't demand action in a way i would expect them to. why do so many americans not feel angry enough to demand further gun control? >> well, i would take it one step further. i don't understand why the police officers across this country don't stand up collectively and say, we're going to go on strike. we're not going to protect you. unless you, the public, through your legislature, do what's required to keep us safe. after all, police officers want to go home to their families. and we're doing everything we can to make their job more difficult but, more importantly,
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more dangerous, by leaving guns in the hands of people who shouldn't have them, and letting people who have those guns buy things like armor-piercing bullets. the only reason to have an armor-piercing bullet is to go through a bullet-resistant vest. that's true across this whole country. so we should -- at some point we have to understand this as our children or our grandchildren or us. but for the police officers, it's much more immediate. when you or i hear shots, we run away. they run towards it. >> this shoomt ershooter was able to buy four weapons. including an assault weapon. he then on the internet got 6,000 rounds of ammunition. including a magazine drum which has the ability to fire 100 bullets in one minute. and he used that on these innocent people in this movie theater. that gun, that weapon, would
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have been outlawed under the federal law as it stood till that was allow to elapse. is your target right now that these politicians to try to get them to specifically outlaw that kind of weapon first? is that a natural place to start with this debate? >> well, it's been a tradition of and it's enshrined in our constitution, the second amendment, the right to bear arms. the supreme court has held that that right, while it's a constitutional right that you and i have, the government also has the right to have reasonable restrictions. an assault weapon ban would be considered i think by the supreme court a reasonable restriction. not selling guns to minors or to people with criminal records or psychiatric problems or drug addiction problems would be reasonable restrictions. so you start out with that. that we can have guns but not every kind of gun.
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i think the first question you might want to ask, if you could get the two presidential candidates sitting here across from you, why governor romney, did you sign a bill outlawing the sale of assault weapons when you were governor of massachusetts, but today don't believe it's the right thing? what changed your mind? why, president obama, when you campaigned three years ago, you campaigned on a promise to try to enact legislation that would ban assault rifles, assault weapons. again, what changed your mind? why did you not, during the last three years, do anything? i think it's incumbent on them to explain what changed their mind. >> it is baffling. we've got a clip of mitt romney talking about this very issue. let's watch this. >> we do have tough gun laws in massachusetts. i support them. i won't chip away at them. i believe they help protect us and provide for our safety. >> we need a president who will enforce current laws, not create
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new ones that only serve current owners. we need a president who stand up for the rights of hunters and sportsmen. president obama has not. >> real sea change in his attitude there. not the first time. >> the second thing he said. i think everybody wants to preserve the right of people that want to use guns for sport. hunting or target practice. to have the right to do so. but that doesn't mean you have an assault weapon. that doesn't mean you have a rifle that's advertised as able to bring down a commercial airliner at a mile and a half. or bullets that are designed to go through bullet-resistant vests. those are very different things. i cannot explain why the governor's changed his mind. or, in all fairness, why the president has not, during his term in office, his first term in office, done what he -- >> when you went down to colorado, thought you made a very evocative speech. i thought he did all the right things.
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what he didn't do was say anything about how he would personally try and ensure this couldn't be rerepeted. because the reality -- there could be another guy like this shooter right now legally buying exactly the same assault rifle, exactly the same magazine drum -- >> absolutely. >> that's to me the incomprehensible thing. >> okay. there are ways to get guns legally and then use them to murder people. most murders, however, are committed with people who don't have a right to have a gun. they obtain them without a background check. they would never have passed a packground check. and so i can't give you a solution to all the problems, every bad person. whether they're bad people, have psychiatric problems. whether they get their guns legally or illegally. what i can tell you is how we can go and keep most of those guns out of the hands of most of the people that commit most of the murders. >> the argument i find really unsustainable is, look, this guy
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would have done it anyway. he'd have found a way to do this. you know what, terrorists will always try to find a way to do terror. >> what are we going to do, stop try to fight terrorists? >> you don't tackle them? of course you do. the interesting thing about america and guns -- i'm not american. i'm a resident here -- >> can you imagine if there was a disease that we caught all of a sudden, some epidemiologist found a plague that was going to kill 48,000 people in this country in the next four years. i suspect that would be number one story. i suspect that would be a lot of yelling and screaming and demanding and everybody would want to vote moneys and personnel to try to stop it. this is exactly the same thing. except we're not doing it. >> it is believed on both sides, the nra and the anti-gun lobby, there are nearly as many guns in america now as there are people. >> that's correct. and it's the only developed country in the world with remotely those kinds of numbers. guns just aren't a factor most
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place elses, most other places. i think it comes from the history of the country. of the citizen farmer who took up a rifle against the british. >> hold that thought, mr. mayor, because i want to get right into that when we come back after the break. exactly whether you agree with the interpretation of the constitution and the second amendment. whether it's being applied properly today. male spirit present.trong it's the priceline negotiator. >>what? >>sorry. he wants you to know about priceline's new express deals. it's a faster way to get a great hotel deal without bidding. pick one with a pool, a gym, a great guest rating. >>and save big. >>thanks negotiator. wherever you are. ya, no. he's over here.
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>>in the refrigerator?
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back now. more on our big story. new york city mayor michael bloomberg. the constitution is what everybody turns to on this
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issue. right to bear arms. it seems to me it's the most significant and expensive and potentially dangerous comma in the history of literature. does the right to bear arms allude to a militia or does it allude to an individual? what is your personal interpretation? what do you think the founding fathers intended? >> i wasn't there but we have a mechanism under our constitution that the founding fathers put in to answer exactly that question. it's called the supreme court. the judicial system up to the supreme court. and the supreme court has ruled that you have a right to bear arms but reasonable restrictions can be applied in term also of the kind of arms, the number of arm, who can buy them. and that sort of thing. and that's what really matters. it doesn't matter what you think or i think. it matters what the supreme court thinks and what the legislature does. and you come back to the history of the country. we started out with our muskets.
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and today here we are where some people think everybody should be armed. there was a congressman that i heard quoted. i didn't hear him directly. but he was quoted as saying, if we had armed everybody in that theater, then somebody would have pulled a gun and shot the young kid who killed 12 people and injured 50-odd. i don't know that you would want to or have your kids in that theater when everybody starts shoot. who know also who is the one that's going to get shot? pretty soon -- it's a circular firing squad. >> also, people who say that need to understand is how this shooter had protected himself. he had bought -- i think mostly on the internet -- a whole load of body armor gear. even if somebody had shot him, he wouldn't have been killed. he would have carried on. probably even more frenzied than they had been before. there's a basic misunderstanding i think of exactly what he had
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been able to purchase. for example, if i wanted to buy an assault weapon and a load of ammunition on the internet for example and lived in new york, even with the laws you have, and they're more stringent than many places in america, if you got anywhere stopping me? >> you can't stop everything but you can stop most of it. the federal government passed laws restricting the ability to buy certain kinds of weapons, assault weapons. expired, wasn't renewed. that you can't sell -- that people with minors can't buy. and drug addicts and psychiatric problems and criminals can't buy it. the trouble is is then the federal in the usual wink-wink of passing a law to satisfy one group but telling the other group don't worry about it, we'll make sure it doesn't get enforced, they didn't fund any of the enforcement and there's no database that you have to check against. or at least not a complete database. what we've got to do is say, look, we just cannot continue
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this kind of carnage. now, some day, there will be a shooting, which you would think would trigger in the american psyche this "i'm not going to take it anymore" attitude. >> i thought it would be this. >> wait a second. maybe if you shot a president. but ronald reagan when he shot of got shot didn't trigger it. maybe if you shot a congresswoman. no. maybe if you shot a bunch of students on campus. no. maybe a bunch of people in a movie theater. i don't know what it is. we obviously haven't gotten there yet. this cannot continue. these people who want to have more guns really are not just -- they don't understand what they're asking about. you are 22 times as likely to shoot a family member then somebody trying to break into your house if you have a gun. >> statistic. i read a piece in "the wall street journal" over the weekend. he said it's done in many cities. where you have effective
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enforcement against people carrying illegal weapons on the streets, guns particular, you will see gun crime come down. an undundeniable, inarguable fact. >> get guns out of of there and they can't use the guns. >> if political leaders in this country continue to say nothing about this, gun sales continue at the rate they've been increasing. we see more of these incidents. people will say, mayor bloomberg, it's time you ran for the highest office. it's time you took charge of this. >> i've got a job, thank you. i've got another 528 days i think it is left in my job. i enjoy it every day. >> so you'll have a vacancy. >> i'm not going to be president of the united states. i'm not going to run for the presidency. but i am an american. and i care very much about our country. i have children. and i care about them. presumably they will some day have -- give me grandchildren. and i care about them. i have a responsibility just like you do.
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just like everybody does in this country. to try to address the key issues. you and i can't solve the problem. but we can demand that those elected officials who are -- who want to be in charge have a solution to the problem. it's not always going to work. but i think -- the thing i find most reprehensible is they're not even willing to say "we have a problem and i have a solution." >> also, i just think the framing of the debate has to be we fully respect the right to bear arms. we respect the constitution. we respect the right of every american, as i do, to defend themselves in their homes. that's not what this is about. this is about stopping what happeneded in that movie theater happening again. >> you see across this country mayors in every city have to address the guns on the street issue. some more effectively than others. but mayors are about solutions. they aren't about talking. the public holds mayors accountable. if the trash isn't picked up. if the kids don't get an
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education. if streets are dangerous. you hold the mayor accountable. and so they've come up with a variety of solutions. and it would be laughable to say to a mayor, well what are you going to do, and him saying, well, i really feel your pain. that's not what they would say. they'd never get away with that. unfortunately, we don't hold other levels of government to that standard. this is not a there theoretical thing. these are human lives. we have children sitting on the steps of their house and a bullet whizzes by -- >> there was a 4-year-old in th bronx killed -- >> people say the time is not now to address this, we have to grieve. well, it's been 18 months since gabby giffords. it's been five years since virginia tech. it's been dozen years since columbine. what's the right time frame? now's maybe exactly the time to do it. and i think the president very eloquently expressed the
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country's grief and that is his job. and he did it very well. and people appreciated him. i'm sure, him coming and trying to offer comfort. but that's only half the job. the president, no matter who the next president is, also has to have a solution to this problem. it is prevention of the next disaster that we have to focus on. there's nothing we can do about what happened in the past. >> mayor bloomberg, thank you very much. >> you're welcome. >> coming up, the right to bear arms. a great debate on what it means in america today. i'll ask experts on both sides of the question. what's with you? trouble with a car insurance claim. [ voice of dennis ] switch to allstate. their claim service is so good, now it's guaranteed. [ normal voice ] so i can trust 'em. unlike randy. are you in good hands? to your kids' wet skin.
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how should america respond to this tragedy? and how should the country deal with gun violence and the right to bear arms? joining me now noted defense attorney alan dershowitz. and the author of "more guns, less crime." john aught, let me start with you. you heard what mayor bloomberg had to say. very strong about this issue. you clearly don't agree with him. why? >> well, my own thing is if you look at where these attacks have
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occurred, there's one common factor. that is, they keep on occurring time after time where guns were banned. people weren't allowed to go and take their permit concealed handguns into the movie theater. criminal penalties if you were to go and do that. i understand the desire to try to create these type of gun-free zones. the problem you face is who obeys these laws? colorado about 4% of the adult population has concealed handgun permits. none of those law abiding citizens broke the law and took their guns into the theater. the person who broke the law and took his guns into the theater was the one who wanted to go and commit this carnage. >> right, but let me stop you. what do you say to the families of those who lost people in this terrible atrocity? that a 24-year-old young man clearly very disturbed, no history of mental illness, no history of any criminality, is able to buy four weapons, magazine drum that could fire
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100 bullets a minute. he also dresses himself in tactical vest, ballistic leggings, metal shin guards, armored boots. who's to stop this happening again tomorrow? if it's not going to be you or the politicians, how do you make these families feel any better about other families not having to go through this? that's what i don't get. who stops this happeninging? >> well, that's the reason i brought up the point. let's say you had a violent criminal, god forbid, stalking you and threatening you. you know, and threatening others that you love. would you put a sign in front of your home that said this home is a gun free zone? would that make you feel safer? >> your answer, your book is called "more guns, less crime." >> right. >> presumably you would accept if there were no guns at all in america there would be no gun crime, right? the. >> there would be no gun crime but there would be other types of crime. >> right, there would be no gun crime. >> by definition, if there are no guns. >> do you accept that america
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has the worst incidents of gun murders of what they call the civilized world? >> no, i don't think that's true. >> not true? >> no, factually, it's not true. >> but it is, isn't it? >> no, it's not. >> in england in 2011 -- well, let me just tell you. in england, for example, 39 resulted in fatal injury from the firearm offenses. in america, 8,775. how do you say you don't have a particular problem here? >> no, look, the murder rate right now -- or in the uk is low compared to the united states. it was even lower relative to the united states before we had any gun control laws. you go back to 1900 in england. look at london. >> i don't want to go back to 1900. >> no, i'm giving you an example. >> it's a ridiculous example. >> it's not. >> it is. it's the most ridiculous example. >> look, let me just finish. >> how many murders in 1900? >> two murders in london --
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>> right, so in the last 112 years we've moved from 2 to 39. >> it was incredibly low before you had any gun control. >> america has 8,775 on average murders a year from guns. >> right, okay -- >> at what point does your premise, more guns, less crime, look ridiculous? >> look. guns make it easier for bad things to happen. but they also make it easier for people to project themselves to prevent bad things from happening. you look across the country. there are lots of things that affect crime rates. you probably don't know the distribution of murders in the united states. >> alan dershowitz -- >> i thought you asked me a question. >> alan dershowitz, am i going crackers here? there are nearly 300 million guns in circulation in america. nearly 9,000 murders from those guns a year. mayor bloomberg, mayor of one of the great cities of america, says it's completely out of control. and that we've got to do something. no politician wants to have the
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debate. mr. lott insists we need more gun, they'll be less crime. you having been a great criminal attorney for a long period of time what is your view? >> well, we just heard the worst kind of junk science that's being pushed by the most extreme lobby group in the united states. the national rifle association. which if it had its way, there would be no restrictions at all. people could literally own nuclear weapons if they had their way. and this is the worst kind of junk science. it just makes no sense at all. use just a little bit of common sense. obviously, if you look at countries all over the world, from japan to great britain to india you see a direct correlation between the ease of obtaining guns and the ease of using the guns to criminal other people. it doesn't take a lot of intelligence or social science to understand this. this is the worst junk science. if he ever tried to introduce this in a court of law, he would not only be laughed out of court, he'd be held in contempt and probably citeded for
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obstruction of justice. there is no truth to anything he's saying, zero. >> i have to directly respond, please. >> wait a minute. let me ask you this question. why would a member of the american public, a nonmilitary regular civilian, need to have a smith & wesson mmp-15? a civilian version of the u.s. military's m-16? strapped to the shooter's back. it could hold 100 rounds. he just bought it from a store. why would anyone need to have an assault rifle that could shoot 100 in one minute? why should that be legal? why did that federal law -- again, why should we allow that? >> are you going to filibuster? i'm happy to answer your question. >> just answer that one point first. then turn to alan dershowitz. why does any civilian in america need to buy that weapon with a drum which contains 100 bullets? >> okay, you want me to answer?
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>> yes. >> okay. do you understand what the difference between a semiautomatic and automatic weapon is? >> answer my question. >> this is key. >> why does anybody need to have a gun that can fire that number of bullets? >> sir, please, let me finish. >> tell me. >> okay. you said a civilian version of the gun. okay. basically what that means is it's the same as any other hunting rifle or any other rifle in terms of inside guts. one trigger. one bullet goes out. it's not the same weapon that militaries would go and use. >> how did he fire off so many rounds then? >> because he pulled the trigger many times. now, here's the deal. any semi -- >> you're quite happy -- >> can i say something? >> you're quite -- >> you just ask me to say one thing and you won't let me finish. >> you are quite happy for other people to go into stores and buy the same weapon with the same magazine drum that can fire off up to 100 rounds a minute? >> can i -- >> are you happy that you could just let that continued an infinitum in america?
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most decent americans say to me, i want the right to have a gun. i want the right to bear arms to defend myself. but i don't want anybody to have the right to have these high velocity weapons that can fire 100 bullets a minute. why would anybody need that? >> are you done? >> i'm done. >> okay. look, you have to understand, semiautomatic guns are what the vast majority of guns are in the united states. once you can put a clip in, you can put a clip in of any length. clips are very easy to make. one thing you should do, since we're talking about science earlier, look at the academic research on this. you cannot find one criminologist who's published in an academic journal -- >> you cannot -- >> let me finish. >> apparently again i am laboring under a misapprehension. >> i still haven't been able to respond. >> you're not giving me a sensible answer. >> what i'm saying is you cannot
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find one criminalologist -- either one who was put in place or removed -- >> i'm not an expert but a 24-year-old kid has gone in, bought four weapons, including an assault rifle, he's bought a magazine drum which has the capacity for 100 bullets a minute. he's armed himself to the teeth with defensive gear. which will stop anybody who has got a gun in there trying to kill him anyway. he's then slaughtered a load of americans. he slaughtered them. in a movie theater. and your answer is, it doesn't matter, that's what these weapons do, we should carry on, allowing people to do this, to buy this stuff -- >> no, what i was trying to say was that you have to understand. this is the same as any other semiautomatic weapon. if you want to ban this, you want to ban all -- >> i want to ban all assault rifles. >> we should, in fact -- we should, in fact, ban all semiautomatic weapons.
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we should ban virtually every weapon except those that are absolutely essential for home self-defense and for hunting. and even that's questionable under the constitution. remember the constitution talks about the right to bear arms. >> you're talking about 86% of arm also in the u.s. >> that's right. i would like to get it a little higher, maybe about 90% or 95% of guns in the united states. if i could ban 100% of bans without violating the constitution, i would do that as well. remember, too the other myth of the nra is guns have something to do with protecting liberty. every other liberty loving nation in the world has a prohibition on gun ownership. not a single other country in the world has a constitutional right to bear arms. switzerland. >> israel's not a liberty loving country? >> no, israel has very strict arms control -- >> israel has 15% of its adult population that can carry handguns in public. >> 15% is much lower than the united statesed. >> no, it's not.
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>> remember what the constitution says. the constitution says the well-regulated militia -- >> israel -- >> no, it's much lower than the united states. israel, in fact, there's been an increasing problem of some of the guns getting out of control and causing problems. >> israel has one of the lowest murder rates in the world. >> -- countries that are much more comparable to the united states. highly industrialized larger countries. which have much lower crime rates. has nothing to do with liberty. my understanding of liberty is people taking arms and shooting civilians. that's a stalinist approach to liberty. there's no evidence that i'm aware of guns protect liberty. there's no evidence that i'm aware of that guns reduce crime. has a direct correlation, and i believe, causation with high murder rates in the united states. suicide rates. high rates of accident. the likelihood that somebody in the family will be killed if there's a gun in the house is
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much higher than the likelihood that that person will use the gun to protect his family. >> that is simply false. you're not a statistician, you don't know what you're talking. >> psychological reasons, americans like to hold guns in their hands -- you haven't given me a chance to finish my point. you've had all the time to respond. this is just junk science at its worst. paid for and financed by the national rifle association -- >> take that back, the nra hasn't paid for my research -- >> i'm not talking about your, i'm talking about the research that is done -- >> you said my research. >> i said the research. your conclusions are paid for and financed -- >> that's my conclusions aren't paid for by anybody. look, you -- >> the national rifle association -- >> alan, let me -- let me give -- >> -- only funds research that will lead to these conclusions. that's a fact. >> alan, let me give john lott the last word here. >> sure. >> because you have a book in front of you. >> right, from the university of chicago press which he --
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>> -- headlined more guns, less crime. explain to the victims of what happened in aurora, colorado, why that premise is true. >> because police can't be there be all the time to protect you. it would be great if they were. my research finds police are the single most important factor for protecting people. the problem is, even the police understand themselves, they virtually always, as in this case, arrive at the crime committed. same in europe. a lot of shootings. look at the norway case from last year. germany. other countries. the uk -- >> germany has an average 180, 190 -- >> multiple victim public shootings. >> the multiple occasions we're talking about are the rarity -- >> that's the reason we're here right now. >> rarity in any country. my point is this -- >> will you -- >> my point is this, what lessons do you learn from these multiple tragedies? i started the show when gabby
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giffords was shot. >> right. >> and i assumed that a congresswoman being blasted in the head would lead to some sort of new gun laws. i was wrong. i'm assuming now in america there is a wake-up call. when a young man is able to arm himself to the teeth, perfectly legally, and walk into a movie theater and start slaughtering fellow americans, something is fundamentally wrong with gun laws -- >> -- show where you talk most of the time? >> only when a guest is talking complete nonsense. >> i see. just respond to the junk science point. not only is my work published by academic presses and peer review journalings. if you look through the research, you'll find about 70% of the articles that deal with what i deal with have found similar effects to what i have. about 30% claim there's no net effect. there's only one journal that finds for one type of crime a temporary slight increase in assaults and that disappears
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after a few years. >> that says more about the inadequacy of academic research. you need to use a little common sense. >> a lot of very liberal guys in academia who has been doing research. >> i don't want to treat you unfairly, mr. lott. there are lots of americans that i'm sure agree with you. don't agree with you. >> you make very few points. >> the point i'm making really is this has to stop. you can't just let kids of 24 go and buy all this gear, in stores -- >> you're going to kill more people with your policies. don't you -- >> really? really? >> we've tried your way for too long it's about -- >> 6,000 rounds on the internet, what kind of policy is that? >> when you ban guns from areas, the only people that are going to have them to shoot are the bad guys. allowing people to defend themselves when the police can't be there, you're going to stop these crimes to begin with.
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>> your approach has been tried. it's time to find a new approach. >> we have very strong gun laws. we had 39 people killed by guns in a year that america -- >> -- but you had fewer before the gun control laws were passed. >> mr. lott, alan dershowitz, thank you. when we come back, how one hero put himself in harm's way to protect his son there were [ annie ] this is the story of a girl named annie who dreamed she could fly. like others who braved the sky before her, it took a mighty machine, and plain old ingenuity to go where no fifth grader had gone before. ♪ and she flew and she flew, into the sky and beyond. my name is annie and i'm the girl who dreamed she could fly. powered by intel core processors. ♪
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heroes in that darkened movie theater. their stories are extraordinary. his daughter survived because his daughter's boyfriend put himself between her anded killer. welcome. i've been hearing lots of stories this week of extraordinary heroism. heidi, let me start with you. how is farrah, your daughter? >> she's doing okay. the doctors are very pleased with her progress so far. she's still in very serious condition. but everything looks like it's
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going the right direction. >> mike, you were in the movie theater watching a film when all hell broke loose. you had your son, mike jr., with you, who was also hit but has come out of hospital. just briefly tell me what the experience was like for you when this killer started? >> well, first, it was amazement that -- i thought it was just part of the movie. and then i guess the -- knowing all of a sudden there was real bullets and that they could be hit and hurt and killed, had just -- had made it where i guess he just went into automatic mode to help try to save people. >> and you did an extraordinary thing. you put yourself in front of farrah, trying to protect her from the killer.
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heidi, how did you feel when you heard what had happened in there, about this extraordinary act of heroism, both by mike sr. and by his son? >> do you know, there are -- i don't know the words to articulate how thankful i am for that bravery. there's just -- there are no words. i am so thankful and so appreciative. and this man is so humble. he doesn't want to take the credit that he deserves. but he most certainly is a hero. >> heidi, how did you feel seeing the scenes from court today? i don't know if you saw them or not. >> i didn't. >> the scenes of the alleged killer, james holmes, with his bright orange-red hair, looking very sort of spaced out. people are of two minds. whether you need to discuss him at all. or whether you need to discuss him. to work out what has driven him to do this.
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>> you know, at this point, i haven't seen anything of the court hearing. i haven't watched any of it. i saw the picture of him with the red hair just within the last 30 minutes was the first time i saw that. i just think he looks like a psycho. and i don't care to think about him. >> mike, i mean, you were there, obviously, in the movie theater, when he was carrying out this monstrous assault. what were your feelings about the court appearance today? >> well, my feelings were -- i was all for hearing the charges that was going to go against him. but when it was delayed for another week, i turned the television off. because i didn't want to go through what i thought that was just going to be nothing but just formal things they was going through, and the part that
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i wanted to see what was they was going to do to this gentleman who walked -- i'm not even going to call him a gentleman. who walked into a theater and decided to take lives of people he didn't even know. he didn't even have a grudge against. so i actually turned off the television when they decided they were going to postpone it for a week, the charges against him. >> perfectly understandable reaction. mike, i want to congratulate you on your heroism for that night. >> thank you. >> almost certainly saved farrah's life. i wish her the very best with her recovery. send her our very best wishes. also to mike jr. who clearly was a little hero as well. thank you all for coming on the show. >> thank you. coming up, inside the mind of holmes. what one expert thinks of his a peerance in court this morning. ♪ i want to go ♪ i want to win [ breathes deeply ] ♪ this is where the dream begins ♪
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i'm james, i've been working on temporal illusion. >> his goals are to become a researcher and make scientific discoveries. >> gamers like to have a superpower. and it might let them have more
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fun. >> a video obtained by nbc news of james holmes. i have joining me an expert on schizophrenia. talk me through the psychology of -- or what you think the psychology is of this killer. that clip we just saw, perfectly normal clip of a young student. in court today he showed signs of being pretty disturbed. he could be putting this on, trying to avoid a potential death penalty sentence. what was your expert view watching him today. >> if he was trying to put us on, that he's mentally ill, there's a lot of things he could have done. a lot of notes he could have written, things he could have shouted when he was firing. here's a guy who was functioning well, going to college, to a ph.d. program, common onset age for people with schizophrenia and illnesses like that, 24. when i first heard about the
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shooting, i thought, i bet he's between the age of 18 and 25. >> would they be in control of what they're doing? >> sometimes yes, sometimes not. from this distance i can't diagnose him. he does not have a history of violence, he doesn't have a history of criminal behavior. he has a history of excelling and then suddenly withdrawing from life. then sudden he has bright orange hair, looking like the joker. it's actually an incredibly common story. i've worked on about 50 death penalty cases. >> you also have been to see loughner, gabby giffords shooter. is there anything similar in the way they go about -- >> the similarity in those cases and all the others i've worked on, including the capitol shooter.
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most people don't remember russell westin who charged the capitol. it's untreated mental illness. people with schizophrenia are not more violent at that point general population. we're talking about gun control, i think it's an incredibly important debate as a u.s. citizen. i'm an immigrant but i'm a u.s. citizen. what we're not talking about is the closing of mental health hospitals. we see a rise in homicides committed with people with mental illness, and people with untreated mental illness. i don't want to add to the stigma of schizophrenia. i would like to add to the stig mav our underfunding of mental health care in america. >> turn to this security aspect of this. is there anything more that can be done to prevent this kind of incident happening again? >> if you want to look at -- we make movie theaters safer. can you always harden the security around these places.
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every time you do that you change the fabric of american life. this is a tradeoff, a horrible massacre. this was terrible what happened. you have to ask yourselves, how common is this, is this going to happen again. is it something we need to secure theaters or public faces. we're going to do it in the movie neaters, why not shopping malls. >> do you feel comfortable this guy could go and buy all this ammunition, all these weapons, all this protective gear, and do so perfectly legally without anyone picking him up? >> he didn't do anything to trigger anything. he had to have a back round check. >> the reason i ask, each point which makes me more exercise not less, he's perfectly apparently normal, and he's perfectly. >> paranormal. we don't know if he's normal or -- >> he can't be normal, whatever he is, there guy is not normal, but it's the fact that he could do this legally, and someone else could be out there tomorrow, that's even more
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unstable. doing exactly the same thing. >> it's a horrible, horrible occurrence. but this guy did not buy a gun off the internet. he may have purchased a gun, but had it had to go to a gun store where he had to go pass a background check. have you to be free in this country up to the point where you cross that line or else we have the police coming into everyone's homes 24/7 looking for signs that you may commit a crime. now it's between liberty and security. and it is a difficult balance. >> we have to leave it there, chuck. thank you very much. we'll be right back. meineke's personal pricing on brakes.
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good evening, everyone. it's been another wrenching day here in aurora. people are being confronted by the grotesque image. we will update you on the gunman's day in court and the many days ahead for him. tonight, though, the main story will not be about that man. we're giving the suspect as little air time as we can, giving him as little publicity as possible, trying not even to say his name. instead, we're trying to focus on the victims, focus on the survivors and the heroes. and many heroes have emerged from this horror. in this, we're taking a lesson
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from the people of aurora themselves, from the mayor of aurora, the governor of colorado, and the president of the united states. >> i had a chance to visit with each family. >> most of the conversation was filled with memory. it was an opportunity for them to describe how wonderful their brother or son or daughter was. and the lives they had touched and the dreams they held for the future. i confessed to them that words are always inadequate in these kinds of situations. i also tried to assure them that although the perpetrator of this evil act has received a lot of attention, that attention will fade away.