The Ed Show | January 30, 2013
>>> the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. that's what nra ceo wayne lapierre told america following the massacre at sandy hook elementary school last month. well, one of the good guys with a gun came to capitol hill today and ripped apart the nra logic. representing an group james johnson says the good guys can only do so much, and the tougher gun registrations are urgently needed.
>> the best way to stop a bad guy from getting a gun in the first place is a good background check .
>> johnson explained that the so-called gun show loophole allows 40% of firearms to be purchased without a background check .
>> allowing 40% of those acquiring guns to bypass checks is like allowing 40% of passengers to board a plane without going through security. would we do this?
>> the good guy charged with protecting the people was countered by the lobbyists charged with protecting the multibillion gun industry. wayne lapierre says he is against closing the gun show loophole, even though he had supported closing it in the past. recent polling shows that eight out of ten nra member says they support universal background checks . so who exactly is lapierre speaking for? the man's twisted logic didn't stop there. lapierre used his platform to stoke more fear and paranoia.
>> they had lived under the tyranny of king george , and they wanted to make sure that these free people in this new country would never be subjugated again. i also think what people all over the country fear today is being abandoned by their government.
>> are you kidding me? do you really feel that way? take a poll on that one. baltimore county police chief johnson didn't quite know what to say about that.
>> i find it to be scary, creepy. and simply just not based on logic.
>> let's turn to dan gross, president of the brady campaign to prevent gun violence . dan , good to have you with us tonight. what do you make of lapierre 's performance today ?
>> you know, he showed his true colors , the true colors that he always shows which is he is not there to represent the voice of the american public. he is not even there to represent the voice of the members of the nra . he is there to represent the interests of the gun lobby , and he'll drum up whatever fear and paranoia and mistruths he can to promote that agenda. you know, it's kind of ironic that he began his testimony. i was sitting right there in the front row today. he began his testimony by saying he is there to give voice to 4.5 million nra members. if he is there to give voice to the members of the nra , he would be there advocating universal background checks , because that's what they support.
>> because nine out of ten americans and eight out of ten members of the nra support universal background checks . so how he can speak for them, i don't know. this is the first time i've heard wayne lapierre kind of go into the fringe thinking that we have to have these firearms because we're not so sure whether the national guard is going to be called out to take our rights away from us, or there is going to be some kind of coup against people who own firearms and the government. have you ever -- this is somewhat of a new approach by him. and i call it into the fringe zone. your thoughts.
>> yeah, i mean, he certainly is representing the point of view of a very extreme minority when he starts espousing this, you know, black helicopter kind of stuff. you've certainly heard that coming from the gun lobby before. i don't know if it's ever come as directly from wayne lapierre , but, again, it certainly exposes his real agenda here, which is not to have a constructive conversation about what we can do to prevent gun violence , but to at all costs, with any means necessary to promote the gun industry.
>> well, i think it exposes his desperation on this issue.
>> that's the hope.
>> now, the lawmakers that i talked to say that you're not going to get -- you're not going to get the assault weapons ban . that the filibuster rule, if you had 51 votes, you could probably get it. now that it's the 60 rule, it's not going to happen. so what is the best thing you can get out of this? what are you hopeful for right now? what is realistic?
>> i don't think it's time to take any part of the white house task forces and the president and the president's recommendations off the table. you know, every element of that proposal is supported by the majority of americans . it's solutions from the assault weapon ban to universal background checks that the public is clamoring for a discussion around.
>> and we have to look at this whole issue. we need a sea change . as i sat there today, i couldn't help but think this is one of the issues that there are some people who are on the right side of history and there are some people who are on the wrong side of history. we need a civil rights sea change on this issue where the voice of the american public is heard and the interest of the american public is felt to create that kind of change. if that's the spirit, we shouldn't be prioritizing solutions now.
>> did you get a sense that the republicans who were on that committee were moved at all?
>> yeah, i mean certainly everybody was moved and touched genuinely and deeply by gabby giffords and mark kelly 's presence there. i think you learned a lot, not only from what was said, but what wasn't said. you know, there was a lot of conversation from the republicans there about the assault weapons ban and, you know, talking about that and the context of the second amendment. you didn't hear as much conversation around universal background checks , because i think there is a real acknowledgment of the reality that universal background checks actually have the opportunity to strengthen the second amendment because it reaffirms the rights of law abiding citizens, people who aren't criminals or terrorists or dangerously mentally ill to own guns. you know, i took solace -- partially what was said and the sympathy that seemed to be there on both sides of the aisle. but very importantly on what wasn't said.
>> moving republicans on this will not be easy. that's stated. i believe that. dan gross, good to have you on "the ed show" tonight. thank you.
>>> hillary clinton is leaving the door open, and center-left america needs to hear or carry the movement forward. that's what i think. joy reid joins me for the discussion.
>>> and then later, republicans could be learning a real tough lesson about the economy. find out how regular americans doing their part. but republican-style spending cuts are basically holding back and maybe even killing this economy. we'll explain why paul ryan is so terribly wrong