Skip to main content

Sandy Hook must be a tipping point for change

By Piers Morgan, CNN
updated 11:27 AM EST, Thu December 20, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Piers Morgan: Past gun-related tragedies haven't led to any action
  • He says that must change, and he hosted a debate on the issue
  • Morgan: Laws must be changed to limit weapons, ammunition and enforce background checks
  • Rights of Americans who use guns for hunting and sport must be respected, he says

(CNN) -- On Wednesday night, I hosted a town hall-style debate on guns in America, talking to lawmakers, mass shooting survivors, lawyers, gun lobbyists -- anyone, basically, who has a strong opinion about what I consider to be the single biggest issue facing America today.

Since I joined CNN two years ago, there have been a series of gun-related tragedies, including the attack on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater massacre.

Each sparked a short-term debate about guns. Yet each debate fizzled out with zero action being taken to try and curb the use of deadly weapons on the streets of America.

Piers Morgan
Piers Morgan

Now, following the grotesque slaughter of 20 innocent young children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, I sense that the mood has changed.

We have reached a crucial moment in this debate, and I intend to use my platform to continue this conversation on Wednesday night and going forward. The media have previously been quick to move on to other stories after these tragic acts of gun violence. That must change.

Opinion: Don't let this moment pass without acting on gun control

Mass shooting survivors talk gun control
Morgan, guest spar over gun control

I've made my own views clear on my show -- the senseless killing has to stop. High-powered assault rifles of the type used at Aurora and Newtown belong in the military and police, not in civilian hands. High-capacity magazines, too, should be banned. And background checks on anyone buying guns in America should be comprehensive and stringently enforced.

As President Barack Obama said, doing nothing is no longer an option.

But, at the same time, law-abiding Americans who want to protect themselves under the Second Amendment right to bear arms must be respected. As should the rights of Americans to use guns for hunting and sport.

This is a vital debate for the country. Some 12,000 people are murdered in the United States with guns every year, compared with just 35 in Britain, where there are strong gun laws.

Analysis: Guns and the law

Sandy Hook should, and must, be a tipping point for real action to bring this number down.

Follow @CNNOpinion on Twitter.

Join us at Facebook/CNNOpinion.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Piers Morgan.

Watch Piers Morgan Live weeknights 9 p.m. ET. For the latest from Piers Morgan click here.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 2:12 PM EDT, Fri August 1, 2014
By now it should be painfully obvious that this latest round of the Israeli-Palestinian crisis in Gaza is fundamentally different than its predecessors.
updated 5:24 PM EDT, Fri August 1, 2014
Sally Kohn says like the Occupy Wall Street protesters, Market Basket workers are asking for shared prosperity.
updated 7:31 PM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
President Obama will convene an Africa summit Monday at the White House, and Laurie Garrett asks why the largest Ebola epidemic ever recorded is not on the agenda.
updated 2:03 PM EDT, Fri August 1, 2014
Seventy years ago, Anne Frank made her final entry in her diary -- a work, says Francine Prose, that provides a crucial link to history for young people.
updated 7:50 PM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Van Jones says "student" debt should be called "education debt" because entire families are paying the cost.
updated 3:41 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
Stuart Gitlow says pot is addictive and those who smoke it can experience long-term psychiatric disease.
updated 7:00 PM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Marc Randazza: ESPN commentator fell victim to "PC" police for suggesting something outside accepted narrative.
updated 2:45 PM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Mark O'Mara says working parents often end up being arrested after leaving kids alone.
updated 4:31 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
Shanin Specter says we need to strengthen laws that punish auto companies for selling defective cars.
updated 12:45 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
Gabby Giffords and Katie Ray-Jones say "Between 2001 and 2012, more women were shot to death by an intimate partner in our country than the total number of American troops killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined."
updated 7:58 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
Vijay Das says Medicare is a success story that could provide health care for everybody, not just seniors
updated 1:43 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
S.E. Cupp says the entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner thinks for himself and refuses to be confined to an ideological box.
updated 9:11 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
A Christian group's anger over the trailer for "Black Jesus," an upcoming TV show, seems out of place, Jay Parini says
updated 4:28 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
LZ Granderson says the cyber-standing ovation given to Robyn Lawley, an Australian plus-size model who posted unretouched photos, shows how crazy Americans' notions of beauty have become
updated 3:39 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
Carol Dweck and Rachel Simmons: Girls tend to have a "fixed mindset" but they should have a "growth mindset."
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT