President Trump on Wednesday defended the need for Americans to own assault rifles because many use them for “entertainment,” even though some killers use them in mass shootings.
British journalist and former “Celebrity Apprentice” contestant Piers Morgan first gave the president credit for banning bump stocks, adding, “I don’t think you got enough credit for that.”
But then Mr. Morgan asked Mr. Trump about the recent Virginia Beach mass shooting and about America’s “particular issue with gun violence.”
“One-hundred and fifty mass shootings in America this year alone. In Britain, we have 35 gun deaths a year. In America today there will be 85, tomorrow 85,” Mr. Morgan said.
“But Piers, in London you have stabbings all over, I read an article where everyone is being stabbed,” Mr. Trump said on “Good Morning Britain.”
“We’ve had 50 odd-murders with knives this year in London,” Mr. Morgan responded.
“Well, they said your hospital is a sea of blood all over the floors. It’s a sea of blood, and they don’t have the guns,” the president said. A survey found England had 285 stabbing deaths between March 2017 and 2018.
Mr. Morgan agreed with the president they have a problem with “knife crime,” but asked, “What can you do as the president to change the mindset about gun violence?”
Mr. Trump responded with “you have to talk about it,” before using the 2015 Paris attacks as an example.
“If there was a gun on the other side, if one or two or three of those people had a gun, it would have never happened,” he said.
Mr. Morgan challenged the president, saying, “More people were shot dead in America that week than have died from guns and Paris since the Second World War. I mean, the stats are so against that argument, aren’t they?”
“What are you going to do, you’re going to take the guns away from hunters? You have hunters, and they want guns.” the president responded.
“I think it can have special licenses for hunters,” Mr. Morgan asked. “I don’t understand, never have understood, why anyone in America needs a semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle at home. Why do they need them?”
“Well, a lot of them used them for entertainment. They do,” Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Morgan interrupted, asking, “Are guns entertainment?”
Mr. Trump responded, “For some people, it’s entertainment. They go out and they shoot, and they go to ranges and they have a tremendous amount of fun.”