Hardball | March 20, 2013
>>> allstate agent.
>>> welcome back to "hardball." harry reid dealt a devastating blow to gun control supporters yesterday when he signaled his bill next month won't include senator dianne feinstein 's assault weapons ban . handing a political victory in round one to the nra . according to reid it was a numbers game .
>> right now her amendment using the most optimistic numbers has less than 40 votes. that's not 60. i'm not going to try to put somebody on the floor that won't succeed. i want something that will succeed.
>> i saw that coming. feinstein who has championed the cause for decades of fighting assault weapons plans to keep fighting for her ban.
>> very powerful. i've known that all my wife. it doesn't take a weapon away from anyone. i mean, my goodness, the nra says there are 2 million of these or 3 million of them, whatever it is, in the country already. how many assault weapons do you need in the united states of america ?
>> well, the new york covered that this morning. look at that, wow. the headline "shame on u.s., assault weapons bill is dead." that is tough. surrounded by the photos of the children there killed in newtown , connecticut. not a bad memory to keep in mind. first, just three months after newtown and eight months after the aurora, colorado shootings in the movie theater it's time to do something. tonight i'm urging y'all to call your senators and members of congress. i don't hardly ever do this but if you have a pencil or a piece of paper write this down. you can decide whether to do it in the next hour but you ought to do it. 202 is the d.c. number. 224-3121. 224-3121. i will give that number later. it's the capitol operator. if you don't confused, they will help you. i think it is time to act if you want to have any say on this thing on gun control . i think the way to fight for this right now is the background checks . go for background check on gun sales. this is the line of defense right now. background checks . a reasonable thing given what happened in newtown , a very disturbed person involved in killing those kids. at least find out if there are people with mental oh emotional problems, who have bad records, shouldn't be getting guns. this is the time to see if the background checks work. mark and emily is here. thank you. i want to talk to mark. and let me just tell you what i want to do here tonight. i want to face faks. i'm a political guy. not especially spent my life finding gun safety although i did write my letter to congress. johnny carson said to do it and he was nonpolitical. i said, damn it, i'm going to write a letter. i think the line of defense and i hope you can focus on it right now is background checks . how can anybody oppose something that 92% of the american people want. in other words, any thoughtful person who isn't derangedly pro gun says, yeah, we ought to make sure the crazy people , whatever we want to call them, deranged, whatever, dangerous people , husbands who beat up wives and threaten them, people like that should not have guns. let's talk about that, if you can, mark. you're the expert.
>> you're right. nobody in the public does oppose background checks . very few people in the actual gun lobby do, either. 74% of nra members think they should get a background check because they get background checks .
>> members. what about la pierre and p t. people who get paid by the nra ?
>> there's a big difference between gun owners , gun dealers as my dad was and the nra leadership in the business of making money , paying their executives, and selling more guns. the way they do that is by creating a constant atmosphere of hysteria in which any reform is just another step on a slippery slope to gun confiscated. they said in the mcdonald decision it's now off the table.
>> yeah, i mean, i think the nra has proven that they're better at this so far.
>> describe the politics of this and why harry reid yanked assault weapons , why we never even got the magazine limit of ten rounds on your magazine for the semi automatics. why that never got even in play here.
>> well, i mean, it's partly a testament to the power of the nra , the power of the nra with democrats. look at what's going to happen in 2014 , democrats are up in red states . people like kay hagan , folks like that who don't want to be on record supporting the assault weapons ban . the house figured as well to add the assault weapons ban to any major bill would kill it.
>> even though a majority of people want a ban.
>> the reality is polls don't vote. polls aren't up for re-election. all of the folks in the red states are up for re-election in 2014 . i think in many ways they will be happy to vote against an amendment, this assault weapons ban , but also support universal background checks . that will make them look moderate.
>> mark, how do you build an organization of people that really do keep their minds on and their money on gun safety ?
>> well, i think we've started to do it. at this point we have more than 00 mayors around the country, 100 are republicans. we have almost 1.5 million grass root supporters and all of them are about as heated up as we have seen about anything. they recognize this is a national moment. if you're going to turn this issue around, now is the time. we've sent more than 200,000 e-mails into the white house and members of congress and shut down switch board and won a major victory in colorado that was pretty hard fought. i think the predicate is there. success is patchwork but it is going to come.
>> how do you get people to remind themselves? i know this is a tough one. the gun owner cleans his gun, he packs his shells, he goes hunting, he goes skeet shooting , he has friends who are hunters. he's constantly reinvesting in their gun. they're t not gun nuts but that point of view has a self energizing as expect to it. how does a person who doesn't want a gun in their house , doesn't want their kids to have a gun, doesn't even go to movies with guns in it, how does that person keep in mind and their hearts the determination to vote for gun safety candidates against gun rights unlimited types?
>> here's how they do it. something that you know and we know is the 33 americans are murdered in this country every day with guns. that's a virginia vishlg tech or newtown tragedy every single day. but under most circumstances, most days you don't hear about that. it doesn't make news other than locally sometimes. that's changed since newtowns. people are seeing the mass shootings happening and the scale is grandeur. as a result, when one or two people have killed in idaho when you wouldn't have paid attention before, suddenly it's making headlines. our staff makes sure when people are killed who normally wouldn't pay attention to that that word gets out.
>> what do you make of that kid killed in virginia. sad case. the kid is drunk. comes home. sneaks in the window he thinks of his house . it's the neighbor's house . the guy kills him.
>> with a gun.
>> there's a difference between what happens in your house and what happens outside of your house . the law has said if you have an intruder in the house and no way to escape, you can use deadly force . our concern is like in florida that pass these shoot first laws that say if you are able to claim that you were concerned about your safety, you can shoot to kill anywhere you happen to be.
>> that's what's happening.
>> i think a lot of the activity is in the states. you mentioned colorado , states like maryland, new york obviously, pass very tough restrictions on guns. and that's where the action is. if you look at the history of gun laws in this country, stutter steps about ten or so pass in the history of this country, took seven years for the brady bill to finally become law and then it was challenged by the nra . this happens in fits and starts. it's not just overnight these sorts of laws have passed. and everythii think we're seeing the beginning. it's surprising that universal background checks might actually pass. i talked with some folks over in the house who say maybe it doesn't even come up there but it looks like it had momentum in the senate.
>> i'm like mayor nutter in philadelphia, get the guns off the streets, too. mark glaze, thank you. i'm going to be saying by the end of the show , i think i'll mention it five times. by the way, it's
202-224-3121. call your senate right now. make some noits.
>>> up next, another whopper about approximately obama from none other than michele bachmann is back and she dodges a report. look at her there. trying to ask questions about bachmann,