Martin Bashir | July 23, 2012
>>> welcome back. perhaps the most outspoken critic of the current stalemate on gun control , new york mayor michael bloomberg who chastised not just mitt romney but the president over the failure to not advance meaningful reform.
>> he and governor romney have to tell the public what they are going to do. people say it's bad politics to address the issue. i think they are wrong. i'm going to try to stir it up, so is everybody else. you ask one of the families, is this the time to focus on how to keep their other children from getting killed, they would do it now.
>> joining us political analyst, contributor and managing editor of the grio.com and jonathan capehart, msnbc contributor. mitt romney talked at a fundraiser about the shooting. here is what he had to say about it. there will be a natural reaction to say what can be done about it? how can we prevent this? what can government do? in your mind, is that a leap or even appropriate tying his small government argument to a mass shooting.
>> i think it's an appropriate time. it's ongoing appropriate time certainly after something like this to talk about what could have been done to prevent it. i don't think we should label that as politics so much as a revisiting of policy. in this case as you pointed out in the last segment, i go through this myself, buying sudafed d is harder -- they track it very carefully, yet this man was able to purchase guns and ammunition without bells going off. the other thing that concerns me when the conservative rhetoric focuses on smaller government and trying to protect rights. the hypocrisy, what about protecting the right to vote. we hear a different argument when we hear about that constitutionally guaranteed right. the reality is this conversation is dominated by money and influence of nra and not by what is good policy.
>> we talk about, jonathan , the assault rifle ban, weapons ban in 2004 in the brady campaign to prevent gun violence . the number of those guns traced to crime fell 66%. the numbers are there, the proof is there. why isn't the policy? jay carney even said no new measures are coming.
>> we all know why the assault weapons ban was allowed to expire and why nothing has come in its place. it revolves around three letters, nra , national rifle association . to piggy back on something karen just said about the same people who, they are not worried about voting rights , they are worried about gun rights . what about worrying about the people who are the victims of gun violence . i think that's where the frustration and dare say the anger is coming from when you hear mayor bloomberg say those tough words of criticism against president obama and presumptive republican nominee mitt romney . at some point someone is going to have to stand up and say, enough of the massacres, enough of the families being destroyed or turnafter part over gun violence . we must do something about this.
>> the nra very effective in lobbying against gun laws it doesn't like. there are gun enthusiasts in the country, those that believe in the second amendment, that feel there is no need for people have access to assault weapons , deer and moose don't wear flak jackets for hunting. as jonathan points out families across the country, not just when we look at aurora but when we look at what happened in tucson, ft. hood, all under the obama administration. the reach of horror and sadness from all the loss of life that has happened at just those three incidents, it's far reaching. why haven't those people been able to accumulate a wider, larger voice to combat something to see something get done.
>> it's interesting, karen and jonathan talked about what's changed. you're exactly right. we have a history of responding to terrorist incidents with regulation. we're taking off our shoes at the airport and having to not bring liquid on a plane because the government reacted to terrorist incidents . this is by anyone's definition a terrorist incident . we stalled partly because of the republican party changed. i went back and looked at the roll call when it passed in 1983 . you had eight republicans that voted for the assault weapons ban . it did not get filibustered, past 54-46 by what used to be a traditional majority. out of those eight republicans, the only ones left, lincoln chaffee 's of the world no longer in congress, the only senator that voted for that was dick lugar . that brand of republican willing to look at reasonable gun regulations isn't there anymore.
>> when it comes to hay fever , the government is more interested in my weepy eyes than knowing if i'm buying 6,000 pounds of ammunition and having them shipped to my work.
>> this is important. these are measures most people agree and the nra opposed. when you buy sudafed d, you give your driver's license, goes into a database. they track how much you buy and the amount you're buying every single time. this gentleman was able to purchase guns and ammunition and there's no database that allowed flags to go off to alert the local police . part of the reason, for example, the atf had been considering gun walking programs because, again, they are not allowed to track the guns. why? the nra fought so viciously against any kind of national database or tracking system out of the quote, unquote, protection of second amendment rights. there's a place here, and this is another example, we have to balance those second amendment rights with the safety and security of our people.
>> karen finy, joy, jonathan , my thanks to three of you. today's top lines, they are coming up. an accident doesn't