CNN host Piers Morgan’s interview with Second Amendment Foundation founder Alan Gottlieb went from tense to combative on Monday after Morgan caught Gottlieb seemingly blowing off a statement from the daughter of a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting.
As Morgan read a statement from Erica Lafferty — whose mother, principal Dawn Hochsprung was killed along with 20 children during the attack — calling the foundation’s “Gun Saves Lives Day” event a “disgusting political stunt,” Gottlieb shook his head and smiled.
“Why are you laughing?” Morgan asked Gottlieb.
“Because that’s totally over the top,” Gottlieb answered. “That’s not what our intent was. It’s not what anything we were going to do was.”
“Wait a minute,” Morgan interjected. “You plan a campaign to promote the good side of guns on the first anniversary of the worst mass shooting at a school in American history, and you have the gall to laugh when I read out a quote from one of the victims’ families? How dare you?”
Gottlieb responded by accusing the “anti-gun movement” of politicizing the December 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, only to get shouted down by Morgan, who again asked, “How dare you laugh at them?”
“My heart goes out to them, and I have children [and] grandchildren myself,” Gottlieb said. “But that doesn’t allow them to use that day, either, to attack my rights.”
Gottlieb also challenged Morgan to “back off” from opponents of stricter gun safety legislation.
“Oh, I won’t back off [of] people like you, Mister Gottlieb, trust me,” Morgan shot back.
“I bet you’ll use December 14th to push your anti-gun agenda,” Gottlieb answered.
“You’re damn right I’ll use that day to promote gun safety, Mister Gottlieb,” Morgan responded, angrily. “And I’ll do it on behalf of these families.”
Watch the interview, as aired on Monday on CNN, below.