When Dana Loesch appeared on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight to discuss efforts to strengthen gun laws, Piers Morgan introduced her as a “conservative radio talk-show host,” but didn’t identify her as a CNN contributor. CNN hired Loesch as a political contributor in early 2011, but has been absent from the network in recent months.
Without any official announcement, CNN reportedly suspended Loesch soon after she defended U.S. Marines accused of urinating on the dead bodies of Taliban forces, saying, “I’d drop trou and do it too.” Her comment was widely condemned, including by CNN journalists. (By coincidence, one of the Marines involved in the incident pleaded guilty at a court-martial on Wednesday.)
In December, Loesch reportedly filed a lawsuit against Breitbart.com claiming that the site refuses to publish her work or allow it to be published elsewhere. Loesch was formerly identified as editor-in-chief of Breitbart’s Big Journalism site.
In the interview, Loesch and Hughes both got smacked down by Piers Morgan.
In the past few weeks, Piers Morgan has brought on a number of pro-gun advocates to argue with over gun control, and with each argument Morgan appears to get exponentially more frustrated with their arguments. Case in point, on his program tonight, after repeatedly grilling Dana Loesch on her opposition to restrictions on gun ownership, he told her that listening to her argue so vigorously against gun control “makes me sick.”
Morgan asked Loesch why any American would need large magazine drums. Loesch brought up a big news story about a New York man critically injured after being beaten to argue that having a gun would be useful for self-defense. Morgan pointed out that no one died in the brawl, and pushed her to explain why she thinks a gun would have helped the situation.
Loesch argued that the Founding Fathers would have put limits on gun rights in the Constitution if they wanted any. She asked Morgan if he’s ever fired an AR-15. Morgan said he has not, and Loesch told her that it is much easier to fire than other rifles. She and Hughes said they do not support a single one of Obama’s proposed executive orders, which led Morgan to go off on a rant against them.
“The pair of you would like the right to have a tank and you don’t agree with a single–a single one of President Obama’s proposals for gun control. And you know what? It makes me sick when I hear people say that kind of stuff.”
MORGAN: Let’s turn to the other side of the gun debate now. Dana Loesch is a conservative radio talk show host of “The Dana Show,” and Scottie Hughes is the news director for Tea Party News Network. Her young brother was a victim of gun violence. Welcome to you both. Scottie, what was your reaction to what the president said today? And what did you agree with him about? SCOTTIE HUGHES, BROTHER WAS MURDERED BY NANNY’S SON: Nothing. Because it was propaganda. From the second he opened his mouth, I thought the Golden Globes were done a couple of days ago. But from the second he opened his mouth to when he went over and high-fived those kids, exploited the kids — MORGAN: Right. So let me just get this clear. HUGHES: Nothing — sure. MORGAN: You don’t agree with universal background checks for gun sales? HUGHES: In French, back to the Bill of Rights. Strict constitutional. MORGAN: You don’t agree with that? HUGHES: Infringe on my rights. I think there is a certain thing to be said. But let’s point this out here. MORGAN: Well, hang on, hang on. HUGHES: You’re sitting — hold on. MORGAN: How can it possibly infringe anybody’s rights to have a background check for a potentially lethal firearm given that gun owners, the people that — sorry, gun store owners have to have them? What possible infringement of your rights is it as a member of the American society if you want to buy a gun that are background checked? HUGHES: Well, here’s the deal. I’m a legal gun owner. So I’m going to have it. I’m not going to object. You might find a stolen Oreo cookie in kindergarten in my background but I’m going to be cleared, and I got cleared. The criminals, though, are not going to do it. That’s the key to this. If you think the criminals are going to say, hallelujah, and they’re going to have a complete come to Jesus meeting and go get a background check, that’s completely false. If the criminals — MORGAN: But that is about people planning to break the law. That’s down to law enforcement people to enforce the law. It’s a different issue. HUGHES: Well, the key is, though, that once again, you’re doing a federal mandate. MORGAN: You don’t agree with any of this? You don’t agree with — HUGHES: I really don’t. I think he totally exploited — MORGAN: What you — what — HUGHES: — the situation. MORGAN: Never mind — never mind your view about his exploitation skills. Would you cap ammunition magazines to a 10-round limit? HUGHES: No. MORGAN: Why? HUGHES: Because it doesn’t say so in the Constitution. Where do you bullet points the Constitution? MORGAN: Where does it say you can have an assault weapon that can fire 100 bullets in a minute in your Constitution? HUGHES: Piers, more importantly where does it say I cannot? MORGAN: Right. So where’s the limit? HUGHES: Well, there is not because it doesn’t say it. It does not say it. MORGAN: But there — but there are limits. There are more than 50 gun control limits already. There a reason for it. HUGHES: Because I don’t agree with those. MORGAN: You don’t? (CROSSTALK) HUGHES: They shouldn’t matter — MORGAN: So you want a tank? HUGHES: You know what? When is the last time you saw a terrorist attack? Let’s be realistic — MORGAN: Do you want the right to have a tank? Do you believe the Second Amendment gives you, Scottie Hughes, the right to have a tank? HUGHES: You know what, honestly, I don’t see bullet points in the Constitution, sure. I don’t want one. MORGAN: Well — HUGHES: I think my mayor would be upset. MORGAN: OK. Dana Loesch, do you think that Scottie is right? Do you feel you have the right to have a tank? DANA LOESCH, CONSERVATIVE RADIO TALK SHOW HOST, “THE DANA SHOW”: That’s an interesting question, Piers. I want to explain something just very briefly. MORGAN: That is the question. How can this be a sensible conversation? LOESCH: No — listen, listen, listen, listen — no, listen. MORGAN: Dana, you represent a lot of people — LOESCH: Listen. MORGAN: — who believe what you say and trust you. How can you possibly — LOESCH: I want to answer your question. MORGAN: — say you want the right to a tank? LOESCH: I haven’t even said anything yet. You’ve just presupposed what my answer is going to be. MORGAN: Well, tell me you don’t want the right to a tank. LOESCH: The interesting thing about the writing of our Constitution is that, Piers, our founding fathers were very specific on what was and was not mentioned in terms of the Second Amendment. Musket is not mentioned in the Second Amendment. Firearms is what’s mentioned. Arms, period, is what is mentioned in the Second Amendment. And there are two reasons why we were successful in the Revolutionary War. Number one, guerrilla tactics. Number two, we had the same weapons capability as those against whom we were fighting. And I think that that — if you can’t glean my answer from that, I think it’s pretty definitive. MORGAN: Your country, America, has 5,000 nuclear warheads. I’d say you’re pretty covered on the threat of an overseas tyrannical regime. I come back to this question, though, because Scottie wants the right to have a tank. She says there are no limits in terms of the firearms that she can have. By your answer just now, the logical assumption from that is that you also believe there should be no limitation of firearms if a potential enemy has the same thing. So let me ask you again, Dana. Do you think you should have the right to have a tank under the Second Amendment? LOESCH: I think the Constitution is clear and it says that we have a right to bear arms under the definition of arms. We have the right to firearms. MORGAN: Does that include a tank? LOESCH: If that is how arms is defined, I’m going to let you draw your conclusions on that. MORGAN: No, no, no. Because I’d be following — LOESCH: Our founding fathers are clear. MORGAN: I’d be following this very carefully. LOESCH: Piers, the founding fathers are clear. MORGAN: On your Twitter feed you’ve been espousing yourself — LOESCH: Yes. So have you started using the term — have you stopped using the term assault rifle? MORGAN: Dana, Dana, Dana — I’ll come to that in a moment. LOESCH: OK. MORGAN: But you have been espousing very strongly your interpretation of the Second Amendment. LOESCH: I’ve been quoting the Second Amendment. MORGAN: So — this is not a time to be shy. Do you believe — LOESCH: Oh, I’m not. MORGAN: The Second Amendment gives you, as Scottie believes, the right to have a tank? LOESCH: I believe that the Second Amendment gives us all the right to bear arms. That’s how I — that’s how I see it. MORGAN: Does that include a tank? LOESCH: If that’s how — if it falls under the definition of firearms. MORGAN: Do you think it does? LOESCH: I — if it falls under the definition of firearms. MORGAN: Do you think it does, Dana? LOESCH: If I say so, you’re going to — you’re going to fire back. MORGAN: Do you think it does? LOESCH: And accuse me about my interpretation. MORGAN: No, I’m asking you — you’ve been interpreting it all week. I’ve been reading your Twitter feed. Do you think — LOESCH: No, I’ve been quoting the Constitution. MORGAN: Does your — LOESCH: What I think — MORGAN: Does your personal interpretation — LOESCH: What I think is more of interest is your use of the term assault rifle. MORGAN: Does your personal — Dana, answer my question. LOESCH: It’s your use of the terms assault rifle. I have twice. MORGAN: Does the — does your personal interpretation of the Second Amendment include your right to have a tank? LOESCH: My personal interpretation of the Second Amendment isn’t a personal interpretation. It is what it is, and it states what it states. We have the right to own firearms. We have the right to bear arms. MORGAN: Right. LOESCH: Now all of that which falls under the definition of firearms, that is what is guaranteed to us. MORGAN: Does that include a tank? LOESCH: If it falls under the definition of firearms, Piers. MORGAN: Scottie has — HUGHES: When is the last time you heard somebody want a tank and buy a tank? MORGAN: Scottie has — HUGHES: When is the last time you — (CROSSTALK) MORGAN: Scottie, with respect, with respect, you’ve already said that you think it does. Dana won’t answer the question. And — LOESCH: I have answered the question. You just don’t like my answer. MORGAN: I don’t understand why. Well, my question is — LOESCH: So now you — MORGAN: It’s your personal interpretation that you want — (LAUGHTER) MORGAN: That’s not funny. LOESCH: No, no. MORGAN: Because actually — HUGHES: It’s ludicrous. This question is ludicrous. LOESCH: Piers. Piers, with all due respect, I find it so interesting that you’re trying to nail down this definition when you can’t even accurately talk about what is or is not an assault rifle. MORGAN: I will come to that. But here’s why — here’s why it’s such an important question. Because it’s precisely the definition and interpretation of the Second Amendment that has got America into this horrific mess, as I see it, in terms of — LOESCH: We disagree on that. MORGAN: In terms of the right to bear arms and what those arms are. I have no — LOESCH: We disagree on that. MORGAN: I know. But I have no problem with Americans who defend themselves in their homes with a handgun or a pistol or a shotgun. I have a major problem, as you know, with the more military-style assault weapons. Now you say that the weapon used in Aurora and the weapon used at Sandy Hook was not an assault weapon. I ask you what is an assault weapon? If it’s not a weapon that can kill 20 children in a few seconds or unload 100 bullets in a movie theater in 90 seconds, what do you term that kind of weapon if it’s not an assault weapon? And the reason I put it to you is that the last time there was an assault weapon ban, that particular weapon was included in the ban. And people got rounded by modifying it. But it was included. So it’s defined in 1994 as an assault weapon. LOESCH: Actually, it was — it also discussed the cosmetics that you could add on to such a weapon. First of all, let me address your initial question. There is no such thing as an assault weapon no more than there is such a thing as an assault unicorn. And if there is one that exists, I would love to capture it. As for assault rifle, you like to use the term military-style assault rifle. MORGAN: Yes. LOESCH: I’m not quite sure what constitutes to you military style, but I will tell you this. As a — MORGAN: Well, let me — let me — LOESCH: Well, let me — let me explain. MORGAN: Well, let me make it easy for you. LOESCH: Let me explain. MORGAN: Let me make it easy for you. LOESCH: OK. Go right ahead. MORGAN: My brother is a British — my brother is a British army colonel. LOESCH: OK. MORGAN: And he says that from his testing — LOESCH: So you’re an expert? MORGAN: Well, my brother is, yes. He’s fought alongside American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. LOESCH: OK. MORGAN: He says he’s only belonged as does General McChrystal and General Colin Powell on a military field because they perform in a military-style capability. LOESCH: OK. MORGAN: When a young deranged man — (LAUGHTER) MORGAN: Well, it’s not funny. Stop laughing, Dana. LOESCH: I’m not — (CROSSTALK) MORGAN: I don’t like anybody laughing in this conversation. These are — LOESCH: I want to answer your question. You just — you won’t let me answer. MORGAN: These are — these are fundamental — I am letting you answer. I’m telling you that in my view — LOESCH: I know what the answer is. MORGAN: Any rifle that can unload 90 bullets or 100 bullets in 90 seconds has to be an assault weapon. LOESCH: Well, again, assault — when you use the term military- style assault rifle, you do realize that you’re trying to conflate the terms, and you’re giving the impression that Adam Lanza and these other individuals actually owned military standard rifles. An assault rifle, if you want to use this term for the sake of argument. You’re talking about either a weapon or a firearm that’s capable of select fire, which I’m sure you know what that means. MORGAN: I do, yes. LOESCH: Being that you’re discussing it. Or it’s semiautomatic, automatic, or it’s capable of select fire. MORGAN: Now you see — (CROSSTALK) I’m actually not, though. I’m actually not. I’ll talk to you about it — LOESCH: Citizens — but let me tell you. MORGAN: I’m talking about it — no, no, Dana. LOESCH: As a firearm owner, as a member of the NRA. MORGAN: Dana. Dana. LOESCH: As someone who has shot fully automatic weapons and who owns semiautomatic weapons. MORGAN: Yes. Yes. LOESCH: Let me tell you that a citizen cannot go out and purchase a fully automatic weapon. MORGAN: Right. LOESCH: They are regulated to ban. So when you use this terminology, it is from this knowledge base that you were using to cast aspersions on to our second amendment rights. MORGAN: You don’t — you don’t dispute — you don’t dispute that the AR-15 was banned under the last assault weapons ban? (CROSSTALK) Excuse me, Scottie, wait a minute. LOESCH: Right. MORGAN: You don’t dispute that? LOESCH: And Columbine happened, and Columbine happened after that. MORGAN: No, no. That wasn’t the question, Dana. Do you dispute that it was banned? LOESCH: And Columbine happened after that. MORGAN: Dana, you’re having trouble tonight answering any of my questions. LOESCH: No, I’m not. I’m answering all of your question. MORGAN: Just clarify and tell me this one second. LOESCH: You not liking my answers does not constitute me not answering. MORGAN: You say — you say the AR-15 is an assault weapon. Why was it banned then under the 1994 assault weapons ban? LOESCH: Because people don’t like scary-looking guns. Do you realize you can get a pellet gun that looks like a military-style assault weapon — (CROSSTALK) MORGAN: OK. You don’t want to answer the question. OK. HUGHES: And because — it’s because Joe Biden was at the lead of it. Joe Biden was the one. MORGAN: Let’s take a break. Let’s take a break, come back. I’ll try some more questions. Why don’t we see if we can get some answers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RUSH LIMBAUGH, CONSERVATIVE RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Obama uses kids as human shields. The Democrats use kids as human shields. He brings these kids supposedly who wrote letters to the White House after Newtown, bring them up there to present a picture of support among the children. (END VIDEO CLIP) MORGAN: Rush Limbaugh today. Back with me now, Dana Loesch and Scottie Hughes. Scottie Hughes, why shouldn’t President Obama bring these children to the White House to illustrate a point that he is making these proposals now in direct relation to the slaughter of children? HUGHES: Why sit here and say to these — to bring these children up on stage and give them high-fives and then sit there and your White House claims that the NRA ad exploits his own children? I mean, across the board, he is exploiting children. He sat there and is complaining double standard completely. He brought his children on every chance he could during the campaign. And now his White House is coming and saying this new NRA ad is actually attacking his children and that’s just wrong? Hands off my kids? The same thing he did today with those four. And to you point, I’ll be honest to you, people own tanks. People own cannons. Hey, people own jet fighters. When is the last time you heard a crime done by one of those people? MORGAN: OK, Dana Loesch, let’s ask you that question which is about the magazine clips. Do you think that there is any reason why any civilian needs a magazine — or magazine drums at it is now, over 10-round limit or more? LOESCH: I think that there exist reasons that exactly why we should have more than. I know what — New York bans seven. I can think of a story just a headline that just hit the papers today in New York. There was a man who was attacked by a gang of men with bats and tire irons. There were I believe more than seven of those individuals that attacked him. I can’t think of that — MORGAN: What is the point of that anecdote? LOESCH: And also, and also, Piers — MORGAN: But Dana, why do you tell that story? LOESCH: Well, because it’s to highlight that if someone has a firearm and they’re able to defend themselves — MORGAN: Have you seen that video? Have you seen the video? LOESCH: Or — I’ve seen — I actually have screen shots of it. MORGAN: OK. I bet you — I bet you you’ve — LOESCH: But Piers — but Piers — MORGAN: Well, hang on. Hang on. You can’t just say these things. I took the trouble to watch that whole video. LOESCH: Yes, OK. MORGAN: An unfortunate man involved in a pizza argument at 5:00 a.m. in the street gets attacked by a group of people who were clutching a bar of some sort. LOESCH: A tire iron. MORGAN: But he is a live. He didn’t get killed. He wasn’t shot. Is your solution to that fight in a street — LOESCH: I made a suggestion. MORGAN: And we don’t know who caused or what. LOESCH: I didn’t say it was the solution. MORGAN: It’s your suggestion that somebody pull a gun out and shot somebody. LOESCH: If you have to defend yourself against more than one attacker, then absolutely. And, Piers, you also have — have you ever fired a — have a fired a weapon? MORGAN: So that young man should have shot those people? LOESCH: I’m not saying that. I’m saying that if someone has — MORGAN: What are you saying then? LOESCH: There are instances where there is more than one people, more than one person coming at you. There is an instance where you have — (CROSSTALK) MORGAN: Let me ask you. OK. Let me ask you. LOESCH: But, Piers, here’s the thing. MORGAN: Let me ask you this. LOESCH: It’s the founding fathers — MORGAN: What do — LOESCH: — wanted this limit that would have enumerated that and the Second Amendment. MORGAN: OK. We’ve already stopped as you don’t believe there are limitations. So that’s fine. So every one can have a tank. Why would anybody — why would anybody need an AR-15? LOESCH: Have you ever fired one? MORGAN: I haven’t fired one. No. Why would anyone need an AR — LOESCH: OK. Let me tell you right now. Let me — MORGAN: Dana, let me just finish my question. LOESCH: I want to answer this because — MORGAN: Let me finish my question. LOESCH: Piers, this will help so much. This helps so much. MORGAN: Nobody — nobody — let me — (CROSSTALK) MORGAN: Let me ask the question. LOESCH: OK, go ahead. MORGAN: Why would anybody need an AR-15 that has a magazine with 100 bullets in it, as with the shooter at Aurora? Why would anybody need that? LOESCH: Well, first and foremost, if you’ve never fired an AR- 15, as a woman, who also has self-defense — has — uses guns for self-defense and likes to know that I have that security they’re a lot easier to fire than other rifles simply because of the recoil. MORGAN: So you think all women should all be armed with AR-15s? LOESCH: My goodness, now are you going to go off on a tangent every single time I say one thing? You just go off to make up another — MORGAN: I’m trying to clarify what you actually believe. LOESCH: Come on, now, Piers. Stay with me here. Stay here with me. MORGAN: I’m trying to clarify what you believe. LOESCH: Well, I’m trying to explain it to you, but you keep putting words in my mouth every time I try. So stop, let me finish, and we’ll get somewhere with this. No, an AR-15 is — honestly, it’s just like any other rifle. I don’t understand why some individuals can become so scared of this, because they think it’s a scary-looking weapon. It’s not. This is not like the military-style assault rifle that, you know, fully automatic or capable of select fire. MORGAN: It shot 17 Americans — it shot 17 Americans in a movie heater in 90 seconds. It murdered a group of New York state firemen. LOESCH: Do you know there are — there are pistols — HUGHES: Illegally. MORGAN: And killed 20 schoolchildren in an elementary school. LOESCH: There are pistols made by Armalite. MORGAN: Yes. But this particular weapon has been used in the last four mass shootings and still nobody can explain to me why any civilian — LOESCH: How are law-abiding Americans responsible for that, Piers? MORGAN: — need that? Or one of these high-capacity magazines? LOESCH: Piers, how are law-abiding — (CROSSTALK) MORGAN: I don’t get what their need is. LOESCH: How are law-abiding citizens like me responsible for that? I follow the law. And I’ll admit it. I own an AR-15. I follow the law. MORGAN: James Holmes was a law-abiding — LOESCH: I went through my background checks. I’ve taken the classes. MORGAN: Dana — LOESCH: I’m a responsible owner. MORGAN: James Holmes — LOESCH: Why should I be punished? MORGAN: James Holmes was a law-abiding citizen. He bought his guns legally. He bought the ammunition over the Internet. And he went in and shot 17 Americans in a movie theater. So I’m afraid when the NRA — (CROSSTALK) LOESCH: No. MORGAN: When the NRA says taking our guns, attacking our guns today — LOESCH: No. No. MORGAN: Wait. The NRA said today attacking our guns will only hurt law-abiding gun owners like — LOESCH: I want to focus on something for a second, Piers. MORGAN: Do I presume then — do I presume — LOESCH: I want to focus on that. He was — MORGAN: Let me finish, Dana. LOESCH: He was on medication and he was seeing a psychiatrist. MORGAN: Do I presume — Dana, I don’t dispute that. LOESCH: No, let me answer this. I want to bring this up. This is an important point, Piers. MORGAN: I’m telling you, though, that he was a legal gun owner. LOESCH: And it needs to be made. MORGAN: As was Adam Lanza’s mother. LOESCH: No, here’s the thing. This is where people who are — MORGAN: Adam Lanza’s mother was a legal gun owner. (CROSSTALK) LOESCH: Piers, Piers — HUGHES: But Adam Lanza’s mother did not shoot people up, Piers. You have to realize that. LOESCH: And Piers, you need to realize, too, that this is where the people who are supposed to be telling — see, look. I’m going to use the case of Jared Loughner as an example. Do you realize that that — he could have been reported in terms of being mentally unfit, reported to NICS when they did the background check they would have determined that he was mentally unfit. He would have been unable to purchase a firearm. The same thing with Holmes. But you have these laws in place. Piers, what good are laws if they — if no one wants to follow them. MORGAN: Scottie — LOESCH: Do you realize — MORGAN: Scottie said earlier — LOESCH: No. Do you realize that there are laws that have been passed to incentivize states recording these people? MORGAN: Scottie said early that she — (CROSSTALK) MORGAN: OK. I hear you. Scottie said earlier she doesn’t agree with a single thing that President Obama said today. What’s your view? Is there anything there you agreed with? LOESCH: You know, I’m really — because I think that he was moved by what happened at Newtown, which I think anybody would have been. And at the same time — MORGAN: Was there anything you agreed within the president’s proposals? LOESCH: No. MORGAN: OK. HUGHES: And instead of — today instead of having those four children — MORGAN: You know that’s it. You know something? HUGHES: — I would have liked to have the mother from Georgia that sat there. MORGAN: The pair of you would like to have the right to have a tank and you don’t agree with a single — (CROSSTALK) LOESCH: Why are you making — now you’re committing — MORGAN: With a single one of President Obama’s proposals. LOESCH: Now you’re committing the straw man, Piers. Now you’re committing the straw man. HUGHES: Because all you’re doing — MORGAN: And you know something? It makes me sick when I hear people say that kind of thing. LOESCH: Piers. HUGHES: Piers. Do we need to — LOESCH: Piers, when did they say that, Piers? It makes me sick when I hear people — (CROSSTALK) MORGAN: Coming up, (INAUDIBLE) the gun debate and the president’s sweeping proposal.