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 2:42 PM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
Retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling says he learned that the territory ISIS wants to control is amazingly complex.
updated 10:50 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
David Weinberger says Twitter and other social networks have been vested with a responsibility, and a trust, they did not ask for.
updated 8:35 PM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
John Inazu says the slogan "We are Ferguson" is meant to express empathy and solidarity. It's not true: Not all of us live in those circumstances. But we all made them.
updated 3:51 PM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Cerue Garlo says Liberia is desperate for help amid a Ebola outbreak that has touched every aspect of life.
updated 1:42 PM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
Eric Liu says Republicans who want to restrict voting may win now, but the party will suffer in the long term.
updated 11:38 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
Jay Parini: Jesus, Pope and now researchers agree: Wealth decreases our ability to sympathize with the poor.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
Judy Melinek offers a medical examiner's perspective on what happens when police kill people like Michael Brown.
updated 6:03 PM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
It used to be billy clubs, fire hoses and snarling German shepherds. Now it's armored personnel carriers and flash-bang grenades, writes Kara Dansky.
updated 1:27 PM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Maria Haberfeld: People who are unfamiliar with police work can reasonably ask, why was an unarmed man shot so many times, and why was deadly force used at all?
updated 5:52 PM EDT, Mon August 18, 2014
Ruben Navarrette notes that this fall, minority students will outnumber white students at America's public schools.
updated 5:21 PM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
Humans have driven to extinction four marine mammal species in modern times. As you read this, we are on the brink of losing the fifth, write three experts.
updated 7:58 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
It's been ten days since Michael Brown was killed, and his family is still waiting for information from investigators about what happened to their young man, writes Mel Robbins
updated 8:42 AM EDT, Mon August 18, 2014
The former U.K. prime minister and current U.N. envoy says there are 500 days left to fulfill the Millennium Goals' promise to children.
updated 1:38 PM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Peter Bergen says the terror group is a huge threat in Iraq but only a potential one in the U.S.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Mon August 18, 2014
Pepper Schwartz asks why young women are so entranced with Kardashian, who's putting together a 352-page book of selfies
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT