The Rachel Maddow Show | February 26, 2013
>>> tonight for the interview we are going to do something that is unusual for us as a show. this is exclusive, but it's also a different format for us. we have three people here tonight for the interview together. three people who share the honor of being the siblings, the brother and sisters of vicky soto . and you know that name, victy ki soto because she was one of the teachers who was killed at sandy hook elementary school in newtown , connecticut , in december. she died shielding her students, trying to get them hidden away within her classroom. since then her family has refused to let the need for a response to that tragedy fade with time. vicky 's younger brother , matthew soto attended the state of the union address , a visible reminder, a moral marker of the victims of gun violence who president obama said at that speech deserve a vote on reform to tackle gun violence . vicky 's mom and daddona and carla accepted the presidential citizen's medal for their daughter at the white house . again, not fading away. and today vicky soto 's brother and her sister took their case to capitol hill . they knocked on doors in the senate and the house on behalf of their sister and her students. they made the case. joining are carly and jillian and matthew soto , the sister and brother of the sandy hook elementary school thank you for being here. i know you've had a really long day already. thank you for joining us. i know you went to families from newtown and virginia tech and aurora. what was it like and how did they react to you guys?
>> it was amazing. it was nice to have people who wanted to listen to us, and when were willing to sit there and listen to what we had to say. and it just -- it was nice. and, you know, their reaction was just to listen and to hear what we had to say to listen to us ask for help. and, you know, us ask them what we can do to help you do something about this and help us get some change here. so they were very nice and open to what we were say, and they listened to us, and very sympathetic for the circumstances that were at hand.
>> carly, when you were having the meetings today, did you get the sense they were going to do anything? honestly?
>> honestly, i think that they're going to try. i feel like after listening to our stories and after seeing the pictures of our sibling, of one of the little boys in vicky 's room, jesse, and just seeing the photos kind of made it real for them. and i think that after talking to us maybe it kind of sunk is in that something really does need to change, that it wasn't just a newtown family. there was other families there that were -- are asking for a change also.
>> carlos matthew , you're still in high school ?
>> one of the things being put up for a vet on thursday, i was talking with your senator about this is the idea of letting more -- more security resources for schools that want it. so if schools want more cops or more armed guards or some other kind of security in schools, that's one of the things that should be considered. are you happy that they're considering that? do you have feelings about that?
>> have i mixed feelings because yes, that will help sort of. but you can't really protect yourself everywhere you go. like are you going to put armed guards in malls and in hospitals and are you going to put them everywhere?
>> what are you feel like you have a sense that your priorities are? if you could wave a magic wand and have anything done or if you could at least be the most persuasive you could possibly be to members of congress so they would change something, would what would you have them change?
>> i would probably be the assault weapon ban and just because no one needs those guns. there is no reason to have them unless you're military.
>> what do you guys think about that?
>> i agree. you know, like we've said and we've said it several times, we aren't trying to take away the second amendment from anybody. we understand it and we aren't trying to take it away. but there is no reason, like my brother said, that assault rifles are on the streets, that people have access to them, because there is no need for them. and a big thing that we feel very strongly about is that there needs to be background checks for every gun that is sold out there. there is no reason people can purchase them without having a background check . there is no need for that. and it just is common sense that you should have to have a background check for every person to whether they're criminal or they have mental health issue, anything that.
>> should have to fill out the form. and should it be checked.
>> the senator was about one nra -- and what one lobbyist called the connecticut effect. people who don't want changes in gun laws are waiting for the connecticut effect to wear off, so they will stop feeling so bad about what happened to your sister , and maybe there is less urgency about it. i have a feeling you have a feeling about it.
>> that aggravates me so much, because if it is not sandy hook , it will be another school. a month before, there was a shooting in colorado at a movie theater . and it is going to keep happening until something happens. and you know, how many people need to die? how many little kids need to die? and now it was 6 and 7-year-olds that get killed. that is disgusting. it shouldn't happen.
>> everybody in the country knows your sister 's name, which has to be comforting. but also an emotional weight for you guys. i mean, the whole idea of the connecticut effect, even though it is being used by people who want it to go away, is that we feel so emotionally connected to what your sister went through. you guys are trying to change that emotional weight, to something concrete, change. is it emotional? people talking to you must burst into tears.
>> you do, you definitely have the moments where you break down and cry. we don't want our sister to die for no reason. we lost our sister , tragically, and now we're honoring her by fighting for change in her name and fighting for change in her name, and all the other victims of sandy hook elementary school . and all the other school shootings . we don't just want her to be a statistic, we want her to be known for an amazing teacher that she was and an amazing sister that she was. and ask for something, demand that something be done so that nobody else has to go through this.
>> carlos , matthew , you guys are dealing with this as a family and are obviously very close. but taking that emotional burden of that loss and trying to make it a public thing. does it make it harder to deal with or easier?
>> in my case i feel like it is easier to deal with. because in my case i feel like i'm getting something done. if i can prevent this with one family, prevent one family not to go through what i'm going through right now it will mean the most to me. and that is what i want to happen.
>> carlos matthew soto , jillian soto , siblings of vicki soto , talking with the national alliance , the brady campaign , you guys had a hell of a day on top of what is a very difficult time already. and to have the strength to do what you're doing and come here and talk about it with such respect and composurcomposure, it is very moving.
>> thank you.
>> thank you, we'll be right back. [ shapiro ] at