Martin Bashir | February 20, 2013
>>> are you suggesting we have no -- we just legalize all drugs? is that what you're suggesting? that would go real well in "parents" magazine. let's talk about everybody being able to, no matter what your age, go out and be able to purchase cocaine.
>> the vice president seemed a little taken aback by some of the questions he took during an online chat with the readers of "parents" magazine. indeed he was probably expecting the focus to be more on homework and high school than hard drugs like cocaine. which led him to be a little suspicious about where these questions were actually coming from.
>> is this "parents" magazine?
>> it is why.
>> i have "parents" magazine at home. i've never heard anybody ask these kinds of questions, but i'm delighted to answer them.
>> let's bring in democratic strategist julian epstein. we noted the vice president's sort of bemused reaction to some of the questions he got in the online chat . as others pointed out, the questions he took regarding limits to high-capacity magazines sounds similar to an ad that the nra cut on this very issue. what do you make of that?
>> i think this is clearly an nra mole. this is what we've clearly seen after newtown is the nra is losing the argument, both the constitutional argument and the argument about the effectiveness of these laws and has become good at one thing, which is disrespecting the families of the victims, as they did the newtown hearing, disrespecting the office of the president of the united states as they did going after the president's family, disrespecting the office of the vice president by planteding moles to ask these kinds of questions during an interview of the vice president. these are the kind of tactics that you would expect when people are beginning to lose the argument. clearly the nra is losing the argument here on the constitutional issue. anybody that has read the heller decision understands the supreme court said the second amendment only protects the right to a handgun inside the home. and in fact that case invited the legislation that is very similar to what the president is proposing. so the people making the constitutional argument have no idea what the second amendment really means as has been interpreted by the conservative united states supreme court . secondly, they're losing the argument on the effectiveness. we know as we've discussed on this show, martin, that these laws would be very effective. we know from the international data where you compare the number of firearm-related deaths we have in this country, 30,000 a year, to a couple hundred in other countries like japan and the u.k. we know as you compare the states that have stronger gun legislation, how many fewer gun-related deaths. we know as you look at the assault weapons ban from the 1990s that assault weapons -related crimes after the ban went down by something like 60%, 70%. we know if you have a handgun inside your home, you're 22 times more likely to have an innocent victim . so they're losing the argument. just one last point if i can. you know, i mentioned the 30,000 gun-related deaths every year that we have in this country. the fbi says we have only 200 justifiable homicides with handguns. so you compare 200 justifiable homicides with handguns to the 30,000 that we lose every year, the nra is clearly losing the argument both on the constitutional issue and they're also losing the argument on the effectiveness of these laws which is why they go to these bogus tactics like disrespecting the office of the vice president and the president of the united states .
>> and just to make the point, julian , just in the last 24 hours , we've seen one 28-year-old man in texas who was shot in his neck and jaw after a botched carjacking. police in detroit are still looking for a gunman who opened fire last night outside a child's birthday party . and this morning in brooklyn, two people were shot, one killed, while sitting behind the car of a wheel. this goes on and on on a daily basis and tragically we will continue to report it. julian epstein, thank you so much for joining us.