Martin Bashir | March 06, 2013
>>> former congresswoman gabby giffords returned today to the tucson shopping mall where she was shot in the head in 2011 . she was joined by husband mark kelly , family members of the others wounded and killed on that day. this time it was to push congress to pass legislation on universal background checks .
>> gabby is back. she is back.
>> julian epstein is a democratic strategist and former chief minority council to the committee. julian , it's impossible to imagine how hard it was for gabby giffords to return to the scene of that horror. but her insistence may be paying off. jeff flake joined lindsey graham and democrats pryor and baggage to prevent the mentally ill from buying guns. that's two bipartisan gun bills in two days. that's not small beer is it?
>> no, it's not. and i think your first point is right. it's traumatic for any victim of a shooting to go back to the scene of a crime. anyone with experience in trauma will tell you that. she shouldn't have to go back to the scene of the crime to get congress to act. the good news, however, i had a breakfast conversation with senator blumenthal about this yesterday. the good news is the politics are shifting rapidly. you're seeing not just the two things you alluded to. not clear what will happen on the floor. if it doesn't get passed on the floor but it becomes a big game pain issue. if you look at the congressman who's running for re-election in aurora, this has become the single biggest issue in that re-election. and he will likely -- i think he will likely lose because he has basically become an nra stooge.
>> he has a high rating from the nra.
>> he has an a-plus rating. they are shifting quickly. used to be shifting at a glacial pace. colorado house just passed sweeping gun control measures. the circuit court as we discussed last week reminded everybody that the second amendment could quote the conservative supreme court in no way casts a doubt over any of these proposals we've been talking about. so i think we're seeing rapid change. and the one thing that gabby's visit to tucson reminds us as senator blumenthal pointed out to me yesterday is that the tucson incident like the newtown incident points out that background checks as important as they are are not going to be enough. because background checks would not have stopped what happened in newtown or tucson . but an assault weapons ban would have limited the carnage.
>> gabe zimmerman was killed that day as was 9-year-old kristina taylor green. family members spoke if had from the heart. take a listen.
>> a civics lesson was turned into a nightmare. i lost a play mate. my friends lost their daughter.
>> it's very hard for me to be here today. here where my son was gunned down. here where his body lied on that sidewalk for many hours. dead.
>> do you think, julian , that people in congress will find it easy to listen to that kind of testimony and say no to sensible regulations?
>> i don't. that's why i think you and other folks in the media have an important job. you put a magnifying glass on this. like when the father of a victim in newtown speaks out, this is what it's about. i asked you to get people like dr. begg on the show to talk about exactly what that scene was like and the kind of damage that assault weapons bring into our streets all the time. the kind of damage that just background checks alone will never stop. this is what this is about. that's why i think the media has such an important role. again, much credit has to go to the president for this. because of the president keeping this center front , that focuses people on it.
>> thank you for your contributions on the subject as well. thank you.