Mitchell Reports | February 12, 2013
>>> the president will be speaking to a chamber filled with victims from gun violence , and joining us is new york city police commissioner ray kelly and commissioner kelly, thank you very much for taking the time. what do you want to hear from the president tonight about laws, changes in the laws that will actually help make people safer in new york city and other urban areas and around the country?
>> well, i think they'll hear his agenda. we know it includes universal background checks . we know that we're looking for a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and to strengthen the databases, the national crime -- instant crime background check system. i think those three things we'll hear about. we heard about the scourge of gun violence , and the president will refer to newtown, the horrific event that is happened there in december. i had a meeting yesterday with the vice president, and that clearly was the topic of conversation. i think it's fair to say that the chiefs that were there certainly supported the president's agenda, and i know the new york city police department, mayor bloomberg , does as well.
>> mayor bloomberg is actually putting his money behind this. his personal money, contributing to the campaign. gabby giffords , the new public service announcements . she will be there. at the same time there is such a big lobbying effort against new gun laws . do you feel that this is a moment that could pass, or is this going to be different this time?
>> oh, i think certainly it's a moment that will pass, and i think that really was the theme of the discussion yesterday that time is of the essence . you continue to kick this can down the road. if it is kicked down the road, then i think you'll see the public interest wane. we know that there's been a little sea change in the country with the affect of what happened in newtown, but, yeah, we think that certainly could be lost, and what was discussed yesterday is getting it to the floor, getting it to the senate at least next month, and certainly the political folks agree it's very important to get a vote on the president's agenda as quickly as possible.
>> should the president keep pushing for the assault weapon ban, or is that too heavy a lift, and should we focus instead on background checks and some of the things for which there is more consensus?
>> folks in washington than certainly better than -- you have to look at what's possible, what's practical, but i don't see any logical need for assault weapons , no recreational need, and that was certainly something the president put forward. i think -- there's talk about it being a heavy lift , but i think it very much should be on the table as far as the president's proposal going forward.
>> new york city had a record low of homicides in 2012 and hags are really the problem in new york city and other urban areas . what is your message to chicago to philadelphia, to other cities that have not been able to get to --
>> you know, each city is different. different culture, different demographics, but all we're doing in new york is working. we have very pro active enforcements. we have operation impact. in areas where we see a spike in shootings and violence. right now we're focussing on these gangs of wrung people that we believe are responsible for about 30% of our shootings. we have a whole new approach in place. we're using our attorneys. we're increasing our gang division. we're certainly monitoring social media very closely. it's been the treasure-trove of information for us, and that's working as well, but we would advise other cities.
>> and, finally, to the victims of gun violence who were in the chamber tonight, what would you say in terms of giving them a sense that the law enforcement officials in this country, pole politicians and the president are really committed to making something happen this time?
>> well, i think we have seen a change. you can feel it. you can certainly read it in the media. people have been tweeting about it all the time. i think auz said before, this whole issue -- we have to push it now as best we kshgs and i think the victims can be a very important voice. their presence there tonight will be a strong message. it's time to act, and i think it will certainly be part of the president's mission tonight as well.
>> ray kelly , thank you very much. thanks for joining us.