The Ed Show | January 08, 2013
>>> good evening, americans, and welcome to "the ed show" from new york. the battle over sensible gun laws has finally reached a tipping point. this is "the ed show." let's get to work.
>> 20 heartbroken families lost a child in the sandy hook school shooting . i know how much it hurts. my 9-year-old daughter was murdered in the tucson shooting.
>> two years after the tragedy in tucson , gabrielle giffords is taking the nra head-on. and a powerful new ad calls for courage in congress.
>> whose child has to die next?
>> senator barbara boxer is here on the progress.
>>> sheriff joe arpaio has a posse patrolling around arizona schools. tonight we'll try to find the truth about arming public school teachers.
>>> congressman steve palazzo wanted aid when his district was ravaged by hurricane katrina , yet voted down sandy aid. he took a hypocritical tour of sandy damage today.
>>> congress has hit a new low.
>> say ah!
>> say ah!
>> even root canals are more popular. bob shrum and howard fineman are here to assess the damages. on the heels of the horrific massacre in newtown , connecticut, something needs to change. here is one reason why. two years ago today, a gunman opened fire in tucson , arizona, in a parking lot . he shot 19 people, including congresswoman gabrielle giffords . with a gun carries 33 rounds and a magazine of ammunition. six people died, including one child. the mother of that child now has a strong message for our elected leaders in washington.
>> 20 heartbroken families lost a child in the sandy hook school shooting . i know how much it hurts. my 9-year-old daughter was murdered in the tucson shooting. i have one question for our political leaders . when will you find the courage to stand up to the gun lobby ? whose child has to die next? to every mother, we cannot wait. we have to demand a plan. go to demandaplan.org and add your name.
>> the ad is part of a campaign of the group mayors against illegal guns . demand a plan has a three-step solution to reduce gun violence in america . they want a criminal background check for every gun sold in the country. a ban on assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines. and they want to make gun trafficking a federal crime , all common sense stuff. groups like demand a plan want to keep the focus on this issue as vice president joe biden and his task force hold meetings this week to create a path forward. tomorrow, wednesday, the vice president will meet with the victims groups and gun safety efforts. on thursday he is going to meet with sportsmen and gun ownership groups across america . on friday, the president invited the national rifle association to sit at the table for discussion. the nra said nothing about the meeting other than this brief statement. "we got an invite late friday. we are sending a representative to hear what they have to say." retired army general stanley mcchrystal is the latest voice for common sense change in america on gun laws . the general spoke on msnbc this morning about the types of assault weapons used in these mass shootings.
>> when it hits the human body , the effects are devastating. it's designed to do that. and that's what our soldiers ought to carry. i personal hi don't think there is any need for that kind of weaponry on the streets, and particularly around the schools in america . i believe that we've got to take a serious look. i understand everybody's desire to have whatever they want. but we've got to protect our children. we've got to protect our police. we've got to protect our population.
>> compare mcchrystal's comments from those from the other side.
>> 1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms. it doesn't matter how many lems you get out there on the street, begging for them to have their guns taken. we will not relinquish them. do you understand?
>> the lines are being drawn. members of the right wing fringe are using fear and fantasy to end the debate over gun legislation. a caller to my radio show this afternoon sounded more sensible. this gentleman is a gunowner and hunter from kansas, the middle of the country.
>> i am appalled as a gunowner and an ethical sportsman, i am appalled by the level of gun violence in this country. gunowners ought to be leading the charge to end this gun violence . if you love guns, and if you love your hunting heritage, my god, how does your stomach not turn at the violence that's committed out there with things that you claim to love?
>> matt from kansas is not the only gunowner who feels this way.
>> you have a gun.
>> yes, a glock.
>> you still have a glock?
>> gaby and i are gun owners . we're strong supporters.
>> it's the common sense consensus you're going for?
>> we are. and i think most gunowners are in the same camp with us.
>> gabrielle giffords and her husband mark kelly used the second anniversary of her shooting to push back against the gun lobby . in a joint op said ed for usa today , they wrote americans for responsible solutions, which we are launching today, will invite people from around the country to join a national conversation about gun violence prevention. we'll raise the funds necessary to balance the influence of the gun lobby , and we'll line up squarely behind leaders who will stand up for what's right, the children of sandy hook elementary school and all victims of gun violence deserve fellow citizens and leaders who have the will to prevent gun violence in the future. giffords and kelly made their announcement after visiting with families in newtown , connecticut. kelly says they are committed to a common sense approach to gun laws .
>> i bought a gun at walmart recently, and i went through a background check . and why can't we just make it more difficult for criminals and the mentally ill to get guns?
>> but the nra would say to you they can get them illegally.
>> i don't agree with that. the gun lobby even opposes a gun purchaser being checked against the terrorist watch list . i mean, doesn't that seem like a common sense thing to do?
>> background checks are common sense to the american people . 94% of the public believes all gun buyers should have a background check . the gun lobby , they have fought against this. more than 60% of the public want a ban on semiautomatic weapons, like the one used in newtown and also aurora, colorado. it's not going to be easy to push back. the gun lobby is in the full campaign mode, a coalition of gun groups will hold a gun appreciation day on january 19th , two days before the presidential inauguration . but gabby giffords and mark kelly are the voices of authority in this entire climate. giffords is the strongest possible advocate at this time for a moment to get common sense laws on the books.
>> when it can happen to children in a classroom, it's time to say --
>> giffords is right. enough is enough. if it's not enough now, will it never be enough? the bottom line here, folks, is that we are at a crossroads in this country in this conversation. if we don't do it now, when are we going to do it? when do the people's opinion matter to the lawmakers in congress? how many more children do we have to see die? and how many more bogus promotional sound bites do we have to have from the national rifle association that don't tell the truth about gun violence in this country? it's not just laws, it is a societal problem. but we have to take the step forward and do something right. i'm a sportsman. i've hunted for over 35 years. do i look like a guy who wants to see my firearms and my freedoms being taken away? no, of course not. but there are sensible laws. you know, we're right now operating on a document that is archaic in many ways. the constitution in the second amendment, the right to bear arms, they didn't have machine guns back then, and they didn't have high capacity clips back then. they had muskets. and the constitution has latitude for us to move on this, because society has changed, attitudes have changed, technology and manufacturing has changed. and the death on our streets in this country have changed. and we need to do something about it. but just like the couple you just saw, the congresswoman and her husband, it takes courage that they are showing america tonight. they need to get involved, and they are. they are leading. and it is about leadership. get your is ocell phones out. tonight's question, should responsible leaders speak up about gun legislation? text a for yes and b for no. you can go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com. we'll bring you the results later on in the show.
>>> joining me tonight from california is senator barbara boxer . senator, great to have you with us tonight.
>> great to be with you.
>> you bet. you have been on the front lines for many years about gun violence in this country. and it has got to be more than conversation at this point. what has motivated you over the years to be so passionate about doing something about the societal problem we have?
>> well, ed, for me it started in 1993 . i was a new senator when a gunman with an assault-style weapon walked into a law office in san francisco , 101 california street , and the result was mayhem. and one of those lost in that shooting was one of my son's best friends, a law school compatriot of his. and this young man threw himself over his wife, who was there visiting him at the law office and saved her. i can't get over that. my family can't get over that. but it's not about me, and it's not about them, because since then, since 1993 , there have been 47 mass shootings, and so many more added to the list of deaths, unneeded deaths and injuries. and, you know, i think there are moments in our history that are pivotal moments, and we change. and we all come out and say, you know, regardless of our opinion and a lot of other things, we need to have some common sense here. i think there was something about the slaughter of those babies that brought us together. and i am so grateful to gabby and mark, because they have so much credibility as gunowners themselves, gabby as a victim, knowing what happened to her. i think it's one of those moments. do you know, ed, more people are killed on the streets of america in two years than in the ten years of the vietnam war ? and i was around when everyone said no to the vietnam war , no to the iraq war . this is another kind of a war. and we have more control over it if we have the courage.
>> can we win this war? is the conversation and the mood at a tipping point in this country, in your opinion?
>> i only can hope so. i can't get into the mind of that gentleman who started pointing his finger at piers morgan and going off on some rant that the government is coming to get us all. government is not coming to get us all. we get to that point, nothing is going to help us if the military turnses against the people. let's get real here. we're talking innocent lives lost. it seems to me we should do three things right now. get the weapons of war off our streets. keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and children, and also make sure that our schools are safe by allowing the local governments to avail themselves of some grant programs so they can bring secure schools, make them a reality in their neighborhoods.
>> senator boxer, with the assault weapons ban of 1994 , would that pass the senate today?
>> i can't tell you. i haven't taken the pulse of my colleagues. but i can tell you this. i believe we will be able to get some things done. maybe it's going to be the high capacity clips. maybe it's going to be senator feinstein's bill. i certainly hope so. we need to close the gun show loophole. there are certain things the obama administration could do on the mental health front and on enforcing existing laws when it comes to tracking guns through the computer system that was set up. we have to come together. i think it is one of those enough is enough moments. it's one of those pivotal moments. i believe it is happening. but i do want to say to the viewers, it's really up to you, because it's going to take courage for certain colleagues to step up to the plate. and we have to make sure people know that if they do the right thing, it will be noticed, and it will be rewarded by support.
>> senator boxer, thank you for your leadership on this. i appreciate your time.
>> on "the ed show." thank you so much. share your thoughts with us on twitter and facebook. we always want to know what you think.
>>> coming up, gun clubs claim they're training hundreds of teachers to carry guns in schools. but are they telling the truth? we've got the facts about firearms and safety of