I’ve been there done that: gone up against gun control advocates on live TV. It’s like herding cats. Nasty demented cats. Keith Morgan, president of the West Virginia Citizens Defense League, did a fantastic job of it last year, defending Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. More than that, he shot down the interviewer’s rhetorical tricks. I’m not sure that this kind of interchange convinces fence-straddlers of the righteousness of the gun rights cause. But this one sure gave me some major league warm fuzzies, and for that I am truly thankful. Kudos, Mr. Morgan. You kept your cool and nailed it.

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70 Responses to Gun Hero of the Day: Keith Morgan, West Virginia Citizens Defense League President

  1. If anyone here wants to learn how to do what this gentleman from WV does in this interview.

    Simply watch the video “How to Debate a Liberal” by Ben Shapiro (he also has a book called “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans”)

    Watch as many times as is necessary to learn the techniques then go out and practice, practice, practice. Then you too will be a Ninja Master like the man from WV here.

    • Ben Shapiro is one of the best debaters out there that I’ve seen. I’ve viewed his interview with Piers Morgan several times and he owned Piers Morgan in that whole interview. In the same note, Keith Morgan owned this reporter big time. I love watching debates like this…keep it coming.

    • There are SOME people better than Shapiro (Krauthammer, Prager, Sowell) but they probably have 2-3 times as many years experience. Shapiro is fantastic when you factor in his youth.

      He has said some off-message things about guns IIRC. I think he’s still learning some of the nuances on the gun issues. On regular conservative/livbertarian issues he’s usually flawless. He’s occasional on Prager and that makes for a particularly intelligent hour.

      • I don’t know who Prager is, but Krauthammer is a stinkin’ NEOCON. Who used to call themselves “Neoliberals”. And he has the charm of Billy Goat Gruff.

      • Nope. It was written long ago, during an age of myth and mystery, and we cannot possibly divine the true meaning after so many years.

        Oh wait, sorry, I thought I was writing a high school textbook.

    • I don’t think that reposting this video is a bad thing. For starters, there are likely to be new folks to TTAG who haven’t seen it before (as Michael B. commented above). Seeing it can open some eyes as to how people can be effective in debating anti-gun folks.

      It’s a great example of a calm, rational speaker who is destroying the gun prohibitionist’s arguments. He shows how some comments (re: grenade launchers and nuclear weapons) are an irrational distraction from the actual issue, he makes the excellent point (that I would bet many non-gun folks are unaware of) that the police have no duty to protect you, he makes the point that police and normal folks face the same threats, and another point that these rifles are great self-defense weapons and that the gun prohibitionist’s comment about not being used for self-defense is flat-out wrong.

      It is a model that we should emulate when talking with any gun prohibitionist. Even if we are not able to convince the gun prohibitionist, we may be able to make bystanders take a second look at their own beliefs.

      • When debating a Liberal, your audience and debate “target” is not the Liberal you are talking to, it is the audience watching you.

        Which is why it is crucial to frame the debate, the opposition and to not them bully you – in so doing illustrate that they are a bully and thus turn the audience away from that person.

    • Yeah, talking about the past is dumb, nothing that happened in the past is relevant today, history is stupid…

      If you didn’t pick up on my sarcasm, poke yourself in the eye.

    • You should have posted the full video, the best part is at the end when he tells the reporter that he’s carrying and the guy gets scared and leaves.

  2. This is not a debate. This is a well rehearsed speech. Therefore, when asked a question “off” message he punts. he is not a gun advocate. He uses gun advocacy as a matter of convenience to further his real far right agenda.

    • Wow, good thing you caught that, you know how those on the far right never really believe in the RKBA and just use it as a stepping stone to further their real agenda. . . oh wait, that’s a tactic of the left.

    • If you watch the Ben Shapiro video I posted as supporting “documentation” (if you will) you will see that the Premise of “Debating” Liberals is not to think you can debate them on the evidence, on data or on facts. Liberals want to bully their opposition and that is their only goal. They do so in order to prove the person on the other side of the debate is a nasty human being, corrupt, and low.

      The WV gun rights advocate follows all of the rules for debating a liberal that Ben Shapiro outlines and he does so with mastery. My guess is that he has either had a lot of practice or intrinsically understands the bullying nature of leftists.

    • When you’re asked stupid, manipulative questions meant to try to portray you or fellow gun owners as psychotic paranoids you don’t play into that. You re-frame the debate, give the facts to the audience, and portray your opponent as an out of touch buffoon who would hamstring good people and deprive them of their natural rights.

      The “journalist” was not arguing in good faith from the get-go and neither are you.

    • Thanks Mina, excellent example, and well worth going back to as a reference.

      James- others have said it better than I- you reveal more about yourself with the ad hominem against Mr Shapiro, and your general slur- “the far right agenda”.

      If you read a bit of the history of Andrew Breitbart, I think you would better understand his key theme, which Mr Shapiro is doing very well here, is that the internet provides a means for the independent thinking news consumer, to seek out, and the forward thinking news provider (Breitbart) to confront the biased reporting of most of the MSM, and confound them with facts and logical reasoning. This is a fine tradition dating back to the founders, vs what passes for the shouting match of red-faced nitwits on venues like MSNBC or The View, who seem to have bought into the Foucaultian mishmash of po-mo thinking that “feelings matter more than the facts” for example, and its all about “the narrative”.

      I’d suggest that when you bring up a technical quibble on a debate format, followed up with a gross generalization on “far right agenda” that you have engaged in a simpleton mistake typical of the left, the ad-hominem fallacy. When the anti-gunners fall back on this kind of thing, its both a sign that they dont have facts on their side, and frankly are desperate- so much so that it is almost a leading indicator of where that interlocutor is coming from, IMHO.

      http://depts.washington.edu/methods/fallacies.html

      As TTAG attracts more attention, its only to be expected that we’ll see trolls and other perhaps deliberately planted here, to nudge* the narrative, sockpuppets pretending to be gun owners, trying to poison the well.

      Thats why its important to conduct our own discussions, in the same respectful, rationale, reason based approach, both to “out” them, and provide a good example and source of how to, for those new to the gun debate.

      I’d recommend a subcategory of the excellent repository of the “Facts About Guns” tab at the top of the site, for links, or maybe even cached copies of the better examples of “how to” like this video from WV, and Mr Shapiros. The more we 2A rights (and 1A rights) advocates can stay calm in the face of insults, the better you present yourself, and your point of view.

      And in general, my opinion of the POTG at least here at TTAG, is we have a lot going for us in facts, life experience, and ability to stay calm in the line of fire, to offer to younger folks coming here for that example, and the Truth About Guns.

      So, thanks again, to the Gentleman from WV, Mr Morgan. Well Done, Suh!

    • “Ah, tower, this is ghost rider, requesting derogatory statement for incoming bogey, bearing one, zero, troll…?”

      “Hold, ghost rider… Um, that’s a negative ghost rider, patten is full, and we can not engage the bogey’s feelings…”

      “Ah, Roger that, tower, engaging bogey with a question to point out the hypocrisy of the bogey’s comments…”

      “Ah, Roger that, ghost rider, you are clear to engage…”

      So, James, would you be using this forum to as a matter of convenience to further your real far left agenda? It’s seems that way to me, only difference is Mr. Morgan was likely asked to be on that show for his views, and no one here is asking you to be here or to comment.

    • “…when asked a question “off” message he punts. he is not a gun advocate. He uses gun advocacy as a matter of convenience to further his real far right agenda.”

      Junior, this is a perfect example of the Liberal bullying tactic being discussed. Instead of pointing out flaws in his argument (an extremely difficult, if not futile task) you mount a personal attack and question his integrity in an attempt to bully others into disregarding his message.

      And if he was pushing a “real far right agenda” I certainly didn’t see it, unless you happen to think that personal responsibility for one’s own life, liberty and pursuit of happiness is somehow a far right agenda.

    • Maybe but I re-posted it yesterday in my comments because I have been trying to illustrate over the last several days the winning strategy for dealing with leftists (usually in debate.)

      So I dug this up and posted as an excellent example of how it should be done. IMO of course.

      • I was not complaining – just curious.

        If I recall, another similar video ended with the pro 2nd amendment guy saying he could be carrying during the interview and the interviewer almost soiled himself.

  3. Agree, Mr. Morgan does a fine job. But – at 3:12 he accidentally admits that FAuto are used in crime. This is a slip up. He should have nailed the host for his ignorance. And using the “southern border” is a dog whistle for Libs to label him Right Wing Wacko. Best to stick to the subject. There is plenty of Gov mismanagement elsewhere to cite.

    • What he says isn’t untrue. Drugs flow from Mexico into America because there’s money to be made and the cartels have relatively safe places to manufacture them down there.

      If the proglodytes could magically outlaw guns tomorrow they’d start flowing North of the border too.

      The laws of supply and demand don’t just disappear because government waves its hand and says something is illegal.

        • Agree, I ended up watching the Ben Shapiro interview with that jackhole Piers. Shapiro did a great job up against a much more obnoxious host and explained the connection the way you did.

      • To paraphrase Adam Smith, c. 1775: The only thing accomplished by government levied excessive taxation on or prohibition of consumer goods is to finally create a market in which the profit from smuggling overcomes the risks involved. (“An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” – Adam Smith.

  4. I’m so, so weary of hearing the same, tired BS rhetoric, misconceptions, and misdirection from gun control advocates and the press. Notice how the interviewer at no point even stopped to listen to anything Morgan had to say. You cannot have a discussion with these people. They just keep plowing ahead with their propaganda. They never, ever listen.

  5. Im sick of the merry-go-round Q &A on “assault weapons and High Cap Mags….. they ask.. we answer,.. .. I used to do that shit just to piss off my parents when i was young.. Until I got slapped up side the head when Dad figured out I was just pushing his buttons..

    It’s a form of Passive aggression, and it’s a liberal tactic to instigate tempers and thus Justify why Guns need to be regulated..

  6. FYI, this is a longer version of the interview, and it contains the “after the break” stuff (posted by the WVCDL on Youtube):

    • Absolutely destroyed the interviewer. The only disappointment for me was that he didn’t clarify “arms” versus “ordnance”, but by outing the tired “nuclear bomb” argument as irrational played right into the interviewer’s request for a rational discussion. The media guy was the one being irrational.

      Also. “Of course I’m armed you’re not?” Classic out-grouping. Loved it.

      As a aside, I can’t imagine living in such fear of everyone around me. Sounds awful.

      • Kind of like being a soft, defenseless bunny living in a hole, huh? Poke your head out, look for coyotes, wolves or hawks and scamper about?

  7. Sometimes you just have to ask people in this internet age, “How hard do you have to work to remain ignorant on this subject? A simple search of the ol’ interwebs would educate you immensely.”

  8. I’ve seen this video, the longer one at that, dude wipes the floor with the (obviously anti gun) host, and pretty much emasculated him on national TV, it’s was glorious.

    • I really like the rejoinder to the question “You’re armed, why?” Answer, “Why aren’t you?”

      Next response, “If we were to face an armed attacker right this minute, would you demand that I NOT use my weapon to protect your life?”

  9. I wrote and posted this the other day but it applies here to a degree. It’s a long read but it deconstructs the arguments behind prohibition of any kind and particularly of firearms. It’s a long read (for a blog comment), but I hope it’s informative.

    Given the level of sophistication of the criminal enterprises that sprung up around prohibition of alcohol and the current ones created by the prohibition of drugs the only logical conclusion of a prohibition on firearms is that large and well organized criminal enterprises would arise to facilitate clandestine manufacture of firearms within the country and/or surreptitious importation of firearms manufactured elsewhere.

    While I’m not sure how much arms and ammunition would fit in the space occupied by just the 1.6 million pounds of marijuana seized by the DEA in 2010 (remember that’s what was interdicted and represents only a small percentage of the tonnage that made it across the border), but I suspect it’s enough to arm a significant percentage of the US criminal element.

    These ‘pipe dreams’ demonstrate a basic failure to understand market forces among those who advocate for prohibition of anything for which there is significant demand. Central economic planning has proved disastrous in all places where it has been attempted and this is just one of the reasons why: When the people want something, someone will get it for them, for a profit. If it were this and only this the concept of prohibited goods would be an utter failure but this is only the surface reason that such concepts are undesirable at best. The deeper reason is that those who trade in prohibited goods are by definition criminals engaging in a criminal enterprise without recourse to the courts or other legitimate avenues of dispute resolution or the benefits of police protection. Thus these enterprises are necessarily violent, contributing to the overall crime problem that the prohibition was intended to address. That is, prohibition of highly desirable goods not only functions to increase overall criminality and disregard for the law, but also always fosters increased violence as a basic factor of prohibition. Put differently, for prohibition to be desirable one would have to accept as a basic premise that the prohibition will create more crime and more violence and in no way reduce either of the same. One would then have to reconcile the utility of the prohibition against the encroachment on individual liberty (and/or infringement of natural and constitutional rights) and the increased rate of crime and violence and determine that prohibiting the item is still worthwhile.

    Consider this:
    Prohibiting private possession of nuclear weapons has a very high utility while there is little demand. Thus there is a low incidence of criminality resulting from the prohibition and the prohibition is largely successful.

    Prohibiting coffee has a very low utility while the demand is very high. This prohibition would likely lead to widespread smuggling and the violence associated with it and with black market distribution channels and their accompanying territorial and contractual disputes. It would also likely have the effect of reducing overall respect for the law and the prohibition is unlikely to be highly successful.

    While we slowly come to the realization that prohibition of marijuana has a low utility in the face of very high demand and little success in enforcement of the prohibition we begin to move away from its prohibition.

    Considering this model, prohibition of guns, for which there is very high demand would require enormous social utility to overcome the ‘costs’ associated with the predictable increase in criminality and violence associated with the prohibition and the likely poor success rate of the prohibition.

    Given that by definition those who smuggle weapons and those who unlawfully purchase them would be armed, the level of violence could be unprecedented. Factor in the unique components of a firearms prohibition in light of the 2a, it’s level of support and the historical resistance of Americans to tyranny and the violence may move well beyond the scope of criminality and into that of armed insurrection.

    Also given that firearms are durable items and hundreds of millions are already present it’s doubtful that any prohibition could succeed at all as confiscation would have to immediately follow prohibition in order for any utility of the prohibition to be realized and this action would undoubtedly result in widespread violence and lawlessness.

    In conclusion, and leaving all arguments about rights and liberties aside, it’s difficult to imagine that prohibition of firearms in the US would result in any utility at all even before factoring the ‘costs’ in terms of criminality and violence. In fact, given the current set of facts regarding sentiment and presence of arms, a widespread prohibition is likely to be a destabilizing force both of society and government. Given this, advocacy for prohibition of firearms can only be seen as either ill informed (unaware of the consequences) or malicious (aware of the probable failure of the prohibition and the increased criminality and violence and potential to destabilize society and government and possibly to result in violent revolution).

    Let’s hope that most of those who do so advocate are merely misinformed, as they can be disabused of their illusions or even lacking that can be marginalized as simply ignorant. Those who advocate for arms prohibition with the full knowledge of the consequences cannot be understood to be anything but enemies of the people, the state and liberty itself and as such cannot be converted or marginalized but instead must be ostracized or destroyed.

    • Great post. And yes if you look down through history, any sort of prohibition not only never works but creates new forms of worse crimes where there weren’t any before.

      Can apply to bans of any type. Alcohol, drugs, guns, dogs … the list goes on.

      “Destroy” is a good word and one we would be well to remember as we debate our RTKBA … we do not debate the opposition, we destroy the opposition. It is, after all, the only thing they understand.

      • Thank you Mina, and thanks for reposting that video, excellent stuff. Even if I’ve been unconsciously employing some of the tactics all along, having them presented and articulated as such is enormously valuable.

        A note on my use of destruction: By this I mean everything one might imagine, discrediting, voting out, eviscerating ethically and morally, public denouncement, imprisonment and even outright killing (subject to due process). Traitors and those who would take our liberties in and out of government deserve no quarter and no mercy. In fact we can’t afford to offer them any and they should be disposed of by whatever means avail themselves to good use.

        • I could not agree more. If you notice these are the tactics they use against us. They count on us to be polite, take the high road, be nice … in short to do what we do to display our good character and integrity.

          The problem is that the lefties don’t understand any of that.

          They understand “destroy” because that is their play. Their one play. They understand it and if we give it back to them, they understand that too. Unfortunately for us, who would rather argue based on facts, data and reason – that is ALL they understand.

  10. This guy did a good job. I’ve seen better, but this was good. Verbal thrust and parry far more difficult than it appears, though. Faults found and missteps seen are easier from this perspective than that of the participant, I can assure you.

    If you do not yourself generate, communicate, and execute ideas as a profession, then it can be difficult to appreciate, let alone to replicate, the results of someone who does. Talent goes a long way, but observation of others and practice will take most people farther in developing this skill. This video and the “debate a liberal” video also posted are solid teaching materials.

    • Agreed, well done.

      One other tip- it helps to do the “intel prep of the battlefield”, ie research your opponent, which the innertubz is making easier and easier (h/t to Mr Diggler for “follow the money” to destroy MDAs credibility as a recent example).

      I found it “interesting” that the “The State Journal” didn’t have an “about us” page, nor was it easy to figure out who the host of Decision Makers was, from the Live Leak.

      Here’s more about Mr Bray Cary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bray_Cary

      Far from being what one might expect, as a conservative paper serving as “the only business paper in WV”, this looks to be more of a bully pulpit for an anti-gunner, with a long history in media. So, Mr Morgan’s performance was even more impressive, earing down Mr Carey’s “house of cards”, given Mr Carys ownership of the outlet, and long experience in propagandizing for gun control.

      Which I suspect may not be playing well in his customer base- watch this for another example of the sea-change underway:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/a-blue-states-road-to-red-how-west-virginia-moved-to-the-gop/2013/10/26/afb37f38-27c4-11e3-ad0d-b7c8d2a594b9_gallery.html#photo=1

  11. Very good video. He did a great job on that video. When they are ready to vote Sen. Joe Manchin out I will happily send them a check.

  12. He might have pointed out that modern sporting rifles are used to commit homicides at a rate far lower (statistically insignificantly in fact) than hands and feet. I absolutely love the fact that he suggested ending the interview all together right at the beginning if the interviewer was going to insist on ridiculous and strawman arguments. I’m not surprised but usually disappointed in the quality of my opponent when they somehow get from a debate regarding standard capacity magazines and modern semi-automatic rifles to nuclear weapons, as if the two somehow had something in common.

    I also find it frustrating that so often in debate regarding regulation of weapons the obvious fact that a determined person of only average means and intelligence can in fact procure WMD. If one is interested in killing large numbers of people and has a modicum of time and resources the development and stockpiling of things like nerve gas, blister agents and other chemical weapons to the degree that with reasonably obtained delivery systems (read crop sprayer) thousands or 10s of thousands of people could be killed or injured quite readily. It’s a testament to the fact that there are basically no people in this country who wish to indiscriminately kill their countrymen who aren’t also deranged and addled to the degree that they lack the organization and focus to execute such a plan that such attacks have never taken place.

    I decline to go into detail since I wouldn’t want to offer an instruction manual in creating mass casualty events but I assert that there are readily available and lawful to possess agents that with little or no modification would prove quite lethal if dispersed as an aerosol over a populated area.

    The debate is about firearms in particular, not artillery, rockets, bombs and certainly not about WMDs. Attempting to deviate is always an attempt at a straw man argument and while it’s effective if allowed, it should never be allowed.

    I have to wonder what the criminal facility would be of something like an M2 BMG or even a SAW like the M249. They are big, loud, expensive to own maintain and operate. Require a high degree of skill to operate effectively and are virtually impossible to conceal. Even if you could buy them at Wal-Mart I seriously doubt they would turn up as crime weapons very often. Given that for a few days of training and the cost of a few machine tools one could convert AR-15s to select fire weapons at the rate of several a day at least, and given that such modified weapons are virtually non-existent in crime there is either no need or a lack of urgency in using such weapons for criminal ends.

    I’m getting far afield but I have to submit that since the knowledge and ability to produce automatic weapons is readily available, and that the ability to train with one is also a simple matter of space and economics, that if there were any great ends to be had from producing and using automatic weapons in crime it would happen a bit more often that the statistical outlier it currently is. Not only do the numbers bear out that there is little desire among the criminal element (for that is who commits most crime after all, career criminals) but I’m at a loss to come up with a crime that would be only possible or enhanced in it’s commission by use of an automatic weapon. (The one that sticks out is the North Hollywood bank robbery, which would have been at least as effective with a note and a finger poking though a pocket and which resulted in the death of both perpetrators, not exactly an advertisement for using automatic rifles to commit crime.)

    Outside of suppressive fire, automatic weapons are not much of an advantage over semi-automatic ones. Even the US army experimented heavily with reducing the basic infantry rifle to a 3 round burst since full auto fire is typically inaccurate and consumes too much ammo for a soldiers load to support full auto fire for more than a minute to two.

    While I would not like to see the result of something like the M249 or RPD platforms being employed at a crowded mall I would likewise not like to see what a heavy truck could do to a crowd of pedestrians. The means to inflict mass casualties cannot ever be absent from a free and technologically advance society. I also highly doubt that the sort of person who contemplates shooting innocent strangers in a crowded place is willing or able to devote the time and effort involved in learning to even load a belt fed weapon, let alone obtaining one and learning it’s practical use. I also doubt that in such a crowded and chaotic environment one armed with such a weapon is at any real advantage to a citizen or several armed with handguns and the will to resist. (It’s hard to mow down a crowd while at the same time scanning for the several people who are bracing to return accurate fire on you.) If we moved towards constitutional carry and lawful possession of whatever sort of firearm you have the means to purchase on the open market one can predict that for every instance of someone utilizing SAWs or crew served weapons in a crime there would be a dozen citizens responding immediately with pistols.

    Liberty first, safety second. In the end I predict that safety will not be seriously harmed by greater liberty, there is a balance. Even if safety must suffer though, let it suffer at the hands of liberty.

  13. Everybody knows “Godwin’s Law.” Well, I propose “Farago’s Law:” In any debate about gun control with a gunhater, the issue of citizens owning nuclear weapons will be raised by the loser.

    • Yep.

      Spread the word- another sub-category worthy of recording…

      Farago’s Law – The list starts here:

      1. Bray Cary – The owner and chief anti-gunner, “The State Register” West Virginias Only Biz Paper, dtd 2/20/14. “then that means Nukes are suitable for civilians under 2A” = FAIL!

  14. Anti’s use nothing but fear and emotion. To combat it, called them out on the facts and also called them out on what they know about firearms and the people who use them. Another great example of this is Emily Miller vs Piers Morgan.

  15. As soon as they go to the irrational (like a nuke or a grenade launcher) in a so called rational debate, you have won the day. Also when they say that SCOTUS is wrong, even though they normally praise then, again they have lost the debate. Useing facts and figures to these people will always cause then to go crazy and try to use emotion to win. Again causing them to loose the debate.

  16. The big difference between this interview and others is the pro-2A speaker was actually allowed to talk. Usually it’s Piers Morgan or Rachel Maddow talking over them the whole time. If they’re present at all.

  17. Have a (unoffical) hat that I got from the LAPD Officers’ Association back in 1983. Says “To protect and serve, when we fucking feel like it” I’d say that cap was way ahead of it’s time.

  18. I can’t tell you how much progress, work, and effort that the WVCDL has done for our state. They do more for my and other’s rights than any other organization in the area.

    Instead of my NRA membership, I give my money to WVCDL. Best bang for my buck, and I believe they have more genuine passion.

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