msnbc | January 09, 2013
>>> hi, everybody. good morning, i'm thomas roberts . developing news tomming the agenda today. the white house taking action on gun violence in america . this hour, vice president joe biden kicking off day con of a series of meetings the 16 pennsylvania avenue with a deadline fast approaching to put concrete gun control proposals on the table. today, joe biden meeting with victims of gun violence and leapt tiffs from gun safety groups. now, tomorrow, he sits down by members of gun ownership groups including the controversial national rifle association , walmart also coming to the table as a major gun seller. the vice president will be meeting with representatives of entertainment and gaming video industries. joe biden on the force on this president's task force is trying to create some consensus with the actual goal of recommendations by the end of next month.
>> process is designed to get input. and the vice president's group will assess different actions. make recommendations and then the president will decide what he would like to pursue, what he believes is the right course of action.
>> of course are the most high-stakes session is tomorrow's sitdown with members of the nra . nra going little reaction in the brief response to the invite. saying, quote, we got an invite late friday. we are sending a representative to hear what they have to say. with gun advocates floating gun restriction bans on high-capacity magazines what options are truly on the white house for americans as well as the american congress .
>> incorporate 00 the challenge is to put something on the table that has some meat to it. as governor cuomo says there's more holes in these laws than a piece of swiss cheese .
>> we've got a right to have rifles. we've got a right. but these assault weapons , we don't have that right.
>> assault weapons are the drunk driving in a prohibition debate.
>> that's the course here. nobody's talking about prohibition.
>> joining me now is mayor villaraigosa of los angeles . mayor, it's good to have you on this morning. as we talk about this, we want to show everybody just a portion of proposals that could come out of the white house gun task force . there's the universal firearm background checks , a national database of gun sales. then strengthening mental health checks, as well as stiffening penalties in school zones. now there's this jam-packed schedule that we led the show off for vice president joe biden , this week, all eyes are really going to be on that nra meeting tomorrow. is this just for show, mr. mayor? sore is there any hope that the vice president can get the nra to soften its position that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun? or the fact that we need to arm america's teachers after newtown ?
>> i think this is a watershed moment. it's an opportunity, i think, for us to seize the moment. and that's what the vice president and the president and i think members of the house and senate are going to do. i think the list that you put up there is a good place to start. i'd add an assault weapons ban to that. it's clear that we have to do something. the vast majority of the american people expect that we'll do something after the massacre at newtown and i think they will get that done.
>> sir when we talk about the big push this week, the first calling is a listing session because a self-imposed deadline at the end of this month to come up with proposals for the president to push in his state of the union address . you and other, mayors, that is, have led the way on this. does it have to be a big bold proposal. sore should the white house take incremental stepsed for broader reform?
>> well, i think it is important. that the vice president meet and that the congress here of broad range if -- from a broad range of constituencies that that is important. we need to have this national dialogue. but we also need action. and i do prefer bold action. what happened in newtown , what's happening over the last couple of years across the country in terms of these mass shootings, they need to be stopped. we need to do something about the violence. and not just responsible gun control laws. i've said, as well, in l.a. is an example. we have our police officers patrolling every school, visiting the schools on a daily basis. we need to do something about the violence that we see on tv. and in our movies. in our games. parents need to step up and really work with their kids. and we need to do something about the culture of violence. mental health . so it needs to be comprehensive. but it doesed me to be bold. that's what this moment, i think, requires.
>> sir, later today here in new york, the governor andrew cuomo is set to call for the nation's most restrictive state wide ban on assault weapons . i want you to take a listen to an interview he gave recently to a local radioization.
>> in this state, the assault weapon ban has more holes than swiss cheese . confiscation could be an option, right?
>> yeah, we've never done that before. i don't think.
>> mandatory sale to the state could be an option.
>> that's a form of confiscation.
>> permitting could be an option.
>> mr. mayor, is it going to take people like yourself, in local roles in major cities, governors also in states around the country, leading the way on this at the state level, before we see something at the federal level ?
>> no, i think we need to do them simultaneously. along with senator perrotta in the 1990s , i was the author of the assault weapons ban in the state of california . that ban also needs to also -- we need to address the loopholes and the cracks in the cheese, if you will, if that ban as well. but we need a federal ban. and we need federal legislation for universal background checks . and mental health databases. and all of the comprehensive approach that i mentioned needs to take place at the state, the local and federal level .
>> you talk about a simultaneous push here. i want to ask you about immigration reform . politico is reporting about that. there's this growing concern among immigration advocates who feel that immigration reform could take a backseat to gun control . are those fears warranted? that the administration and the president in his second term cannot tackle comprehensive immigration reform and as take on the task of broad legislation of gun control ?
>> well, what did they call the last congress? the do nothing congress? didn't pass very much legislation, waited until the absolute deadline to address the fiscal cliff. there should be a concern about whether they can walk and chew gum at the same time. at the same time, we expect this congress to be able to address the issue of responsible gun laws . the sequestration issue and the issue of immigration reform . the time is now. we've got to seize the moment. the republicans need to understand. that and the democrats, that 11 million people looking for a pathway to citizenship, they're working in my city. almost 2 million of them live in the l.a. area. and they want to be a part of the american dream . the dreamers need to be able to have a permanent solution to their situation. we need to have citizenship as a part of that. not some second class citizenship. so they need to get to work. they can work on more than one issue at a time. and they certainly need to do that in this case.
>> sir, i need to ask you this before we let you go, this internet firestorm that was created when actor charlie sheen tweeted a photo of the two of you in mexico together. it was over the holiday. sheen was claiming that he was partying with you in an event in mexico. he apologized later saying his words were misconstrued. can you explain what really happened there?
>> hey, look i said all i'm going to say about that. the people of this watching your program don't care about me or charlie sheen . they care about the issue of gun violence . the issue of immigration. what we're going to do to address the need to get america's economy back on track. i'll let everybody else focus on all of that.
>> all right. we're going to let you go. i think the people do probably want to hear your part of that. we will let you go, sir. we appreciate it.