PoliticsNation | February 27, 2013
>>> we're back with real progress to report on the gun safety . vice president biden kept the pressure on telling the nation's attorney generals no more excuses. new york mayor michael broomberg met with the vice president a day after the mayor's gun safety cabinet won a primary in chicago. an action on capitol hill with the major senate hearing on the assault weapons ban . emotions ran high for neil, the father of a child killed inside sandy hook elementary school .
>> jesse was the only family i had left. it's hard for me to be here today to talk about my deceased son. i have to. i'm his voice. i'm not here for the sympathy and a pat on the back as many people stated in the town of newtown . i'm here to speak up for my son. there's many changes that have to happen to make a change effective. mental health issues, better background checks , bans on these weapons, bans on high capacity magazines. they all have to come together and work effectively. common sense tells you that.
>> common sense tells you that. also, at the senate hearing, a milwaukee police chief brought a powerful message for banning assault weapons .
>> how many people have to get murdered in a mass murder for it to be enough? now i have been wrong time after time after time. i'm a grandpa. i have little kids at home. is 20 babies enough to say these implements should not be easily distributed. that's what we're asking for. when was that gun bought?
>> chief edward flin joins me now. chief, thank you for being here tonight.
>> thank you for having me.
>> you had a heated exchange with senator lindsey graham over background checks . let's show that to our viewers.
>> how many cases have you made for somebody violating a background check .
>> we don't make those cases. we make gun cases. we make 2,000 gun cases a year, senator. that's our priority. we are trying to prevent the wrong people buying guns. that's why we do background checks . if you think i'm going to do a paper chase then you think i'm trying to misuse my resources.
>> i'm asking how the law works today. he's made no cases, you have not made any. how many cases have you had turned over from the u.s. attorney to prosecute at the state level that you know of?
>> we all know the answers to these questions. we don't chase papers, we chase armed criminals.
>> you really wouldn't back down. but you seem very committed and passionate about this, why?
>> you can't be a career police officer and work in an urban jurisdiction and not be passionate about it. every year, there's a slow motion mass murder in our cities. individual tragedies such as newtown and aurora. they are daily tragedies of deaths in the city. they are committed with semiautomatic weapons, many with high capacity magazines. some of them assault rifles . a country that is unwilling to do anything about that doesn't care about itself citizens. i don't believe that. i found it extraordinarily frustrating as i sat there. every one of them said oh, we respect your work. we are so sorry about the tragedy in newtown , but we're not going to do anything about it. it's unacceptable. you can't help but become a little agitated when someone engages and says look over here, nobody prosecuted these people for filling out their paperwork wrong. no, but we have arrested thousands. the background checks worked. the purpose of the background check isn't to create cases, it's to prevent guns fall sboog the hands of criminals. on that basis, they have succeeded.
>> chief, in a recent poll, overwhelmingly, americans support universal background checks , 92%. when you look at a new nbc poll x nbc/ wall street journal poll, it shows the majority of americans want a more strict gun laws . less trick or treat , 4%, keep as is, 34%. why do you think you are getting some of this political resistance like you saw on capitol hill . would you say stricter gun laws and background checks . universal background checks . what could be so controversial about that?
>> if we are going to be honest, the realish sh issue is not the second amendment, it's congress. a lot of people make a lot of money selling weapons to people. now the bill is proposed by senator feinstein, specifically exempts 2500 different weapons from the bills provisions. there are thousands of weapons available to sportsmen and hunters and people concerned about self-defensself-defense. trust my, i honor those defending themselves. law-abiding citizens need something to protect their home. there are many weapons available to do that. the issue is, what is our willingness as a society to regulate destruction whose only purpose is kill large numbers of human beings as rapidly and efficiently as possible. don't tell me the brady bill didn't work. the guns used in newtown were purchased after the bill expire expired. don't tell me that. say you care about their child and leave before they testify. that's what happened. it's disgraceful. stop fronting and care about the lives of your constituents.
>> new york mayor michael bloomberg met today with the vice president at the white house . here is what he said after the meeting.
>> i walk away pleased, optimistic. i'm not under any delusion this is a slam dunk or that it is already in the bag, if you will. i think it is something that the time is coming and if not now, it will be later. the difference is there's going to be a lot more people murdered between now and later. when you think about it in that context, there isn't any time to waste.
>> he said that he is optimistic, he has some hope. are you optimistic after today?
>> you have to remain optimistic if you are going to stay in police work for a career. you have to hope sooner or later the system can work. the question before us is straight forward. do we have the political will and capacity to come up with a provision to keep people safe from military assault weapons ? it's not a hard problem to solve. it's been solved before. it worked for ten years during brady. crimes committed with assault rifles decreased by 66%. we can do this if the will is there. i'm got to believe those congressmen can listen to those parents.
>> you stood up strong today. didn't waiver at all. i'm honored to have you on the show. thank you for joining us and thank you for the way you are standing up for the people in this country.
>> thank you.
>>> coming up, with their brand in free fall , are republicans finally ready to take on