The Rachel Maddow Show | March 14, 2013
ED SCHULTZ, "THE ED SHOW" HOST: "THE ED SHOW". I'm Ed Schultz . THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now. Good evening, Rachel .
RACHEL MADDOW, HOST: Good evening my friend, ed. I am going to miss this moment with you every night at 9:00 p.m ., but I am so looking forward to watching you become the weekend anchor and just taking over that part of the media.
SCHULTZ: Thank you.
MADDOW: And I look forward to being your teammate and your co- conspirator for as long as you'll have me.
SCHULTZ: I appreciate your support, Rachel . You're a great friend. I want to know if I can fly Ed force one to no man's land. I've got to call "Politico" and see if we can get that deal done. And you have to admit, that fish was a dandy, wasn't it?
MADDOW: I don't totally believe the fish, but on this day, I'll give it to you .
SCHULTZ: That is a true story . That is the truth.
MADDOW: I'm old enough for that.
SCHULTZ: Rachel , we'll see you down the road. Thanks so much.
MADDOW: Yes, absolutely, man. Thank you.
SCHULTZ: You bet.
MADDOW: All right. Thanks to you at home, as well for staying with us this hour. We've got a big show for you today. We've got Sister Simone Campbell here who I'm really, really looking forward to talking to. We have as our guest also this hour, the man who you would most like to ask about this footage that you see on your screen right now, because this might just look like a traffic jam , but it is actually a political traffic jam . It is a traffic jam on purpose and for a very specific reason. And the man who can explain it is here tonight in just a few minutes. But we are starting tonight in Connecticut . And I almost never have to do something like this at the start of a story, but I feel I need to in this case. So, in all seriousness, we on this show have been in touch with a bunch of families, a bunch of people who were directly affected by the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown , Connecticut . People who had family members killed or friends killed there. And if you are one of those folks, you might not want to watch this story at the top of the show. I'm sorry to have to say it but I feel it's the only responsible thing to do. So, now you know. All right. Today, the " Hartford Courant " newspaper published new details of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary , new details that we did not know before. Today marks three months since the massacre of first graders and school staff at that school . The headline in the "Courant" today focuses on reports from sources close to the investigation who say that the killer from Sandy Hook researched other mass murderers, including the right wing nationalist attack in Norway a couple of years ago. That attack saw eight people killed by explosives and 69 people shot to death, most of them teenagers. But we also now have the most specific information we have ever had about how the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre happened. The way he got into the school , which was locked, for example, was bullets. There were glass windows at the front entrance of the school and the killer shot through the glass window , shot the windows multiple times, thus making a hole in the glass big enough for him to get through. The school principal , Dawn Hochsprung , and the school psychologist ran into the front hallway of the school when they heard that noise from the gunfire and the breaking glass , the gunman then shot both of them dead immediately. There were only two people who were shot that day in that school who were not killed . Only two people injured and not killed . Both of them were hit at that point in the attack. That initial point. One teacher who was in a meeting room with the principal and the psychologist was hit by a ricochet bullet from that initial onslaught of gunfire. She was wounded in the leg, but she crawled back into the meeting room and she called 911. Further down that same front hallway, another teacher heard the noise and came out into the hallway to close her classroom door. She too at that time was hit by either a ricochet or an errant bullet from the initial blast of gunfire. She was shot in the foot and she survived. Now, all of the shootings so far in the incident was done with the same gun, with the Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle , for which the gun, we're told, had multiple, extended 30- round magazines . After shooting his way in and killing the principal and the school psychologist after wounding the two teachers, he then went to the classrooms. The first classroom he came to was Kaitlin Roig 's classroom . The door to that classroom was closed when he got to it apparently because Kaitlin Roig had heard the noise and closed her door. "The Courant" reports that her classroom window was also covered up so the gunman could not see in. Quoting from "The Courant," "Sources say that Sandy Hook Elementary had only weeks earlier had a lock down drill and that Kaitlin Roig had not taken down the piece of black construction paper that teachers are instructed to place over the small window in the classroom doors so that no one can look in." And so the gunman went past that classroom . He kept going down the same hallway, and he went into the classroom where Lauren Russeau was the teacher . In that classroom , he killed Lauren Russeau , the teacher , and he killed all but one of the students. The students, the first graders were all found together in the same corner of the room apparently trying to get into the confined space of the bathroom in the back of the room like they had been trained. The one student who survived in that classroom survived apparently by playing dead . She played dead and then once the gunman had left and moved on, she ran from the room. When the gunman moved on where he moved on to was the classroom where Vicki Soto was the teacher . Quote, "Authorities believe the gunman started walking toward the back of Vicki Soto 's classroom where the bathroom was. When he noticed some of the children hiding under the desks, the gunman then shot those students." "The Courant" says today, "At some point, he stopped shooting either because the Bushmaster assault rifle jammed or he made an error in reloading it. And that gave six children the opportunity to escape." Teacher Vicki Soto had placed another group of five children in a closet where they too were found alive by authorities. Police had previously thought that some bullet holes that were in three cars in the parking lot outside the school showed that the gunman had been shooting at police as they were responding to the scene. We learned today that authorities now think those bullets were the gunman shooting not at police as they were arriving but at another teacher who was standing near a window. So apparently he missed the teacher , the bullets went through the window and went on to hit the cars in the parking lot. We also learned one absolutely stunning detail today that we did not know before today . And it's this. Overall, this entire incident from the first shots fired to break that glass so he could get inside, from the first shots fired to the last shot fired -- so the first shot fired with that assault rifle to the window, to all the subsequent shots with the assault rifle to the end, to the time when he finally stopped shooting with the assault rifle for whatever reason and he switched to the pistol with which he killed only himself, overall the entire incident took less than five minutes. And in less than five minutes he fired 152 bullets. He's said to have used 30- round magazines , which means he may have had to reload four times to shoot those 152 bullets in less than five minutes. I mean, if you think about it , it's one bullet in the chamber of the rifle , 30 bullets in the first magazine, that's 31. Then you load 30 more, 61, then you load 30 more, that's 91. Then you load 30 more, that's 121, and then you load 30 more, that's 151 bullets. And then he is done with the rifle and then it is just one more bullet from the pistol, which he fires into himself and then it is done, 152 bullets. Four magazine changes. Had he only had access to 10- round magazines instead of 30- round magazines he would've had to reload 14 times. He would've needed 14 spare magazines beyond the one in the gun with the extra round in the chamber, reloading 14 times. You think he would've still pulled off the whole thing in less than five minutes? Before anybody had time to think before anybody had time to react, before the cops got there, do you think there's any chance he might have had a jam or might have screwed something up in the reloading or might have dropped something or screwed it up a little bit earlier before bullet 151 left the gun with not even five minutes elapsed? Today in the Senate , the Judiciary Committee passed on a party line vote, a new federal restriction on the sale of assault weapons . It's been proposed by California Senator Dianne Feinstein , no Republicans voted for it. The bill includes a return to what used to be the law until 2004 , the restriction on the sale of magazines that hold more than ten bullets at a time. So, that bill will now go to the full Senate . And so far, no Republicans have said they will support it. In debating it today, though, something kind of amazing happened in the Senate and we have the tape of it. And so, I want to show you the tape, but I want you to know that what's going to happen here at the beginning is that you will see the Republican senator from Texas Ted Cruz , freshman senator, giving a little lecture about what he thinks is important in this discussion -- giving this little lecture specifically to Senator Dianne Feinstein . But bear with me. Sit through the lecture for a second because what you're watching for here, what you want to see is the reaction to the lecture. Watch.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: If I might pose a question to the senior senator from California . It seems to me that all of us should begin as our foundational document with the Constitution . And the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights provides that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The term "the right of the people" when the Framers included it in the Bill of Rights they used it as a term of art. That same phrase of "the right of the people" is found in the First Amendment , the right of people to peaceably assemble and to petition their government for redress of grievances. It's also found in the Fourth Amendment , the right of the people to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. And the question that I would pose to the senior senator from California is, would she deem it consistent with the Bill of Rights for Congress to engage in the same endeavor that we are contemplating doing with the Second Amendment in the context of the First or Fourth Amendment . Namely , would she consider it constitutional for Congress to specify that the First Amendment shall apply only to the following books and shall not apply to the books that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights , likewise would she think that the Fourth Amendment 's protection against searches and seizures could properly apply only to the following specified individuals and not to the individuals that Congress has deemed outside the protection of the Bill of Rights .
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator, you offered a question? SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D), CALIFORNIA : Let me just make a couple of points in response. One, I'm not a sixth grader. Senator, I've been on this committee for 20 years. I was a mayor for nine years. I walked in, I saw people shot. I've looked at bodies that have been shot with these weapons . I've seen the bullets that implode. In Sandy Hook , youngsters were dismembered. Look, there are other weapons . I've been up -- I'm not a lawyer. But after 20 years, I've been up close and personal to the Constitution . I have great respect for it. And so I -- you know, it's fine you want to lecture me on the Constitution . I appreciate it. Just know I've been here for a long time, I've passed on a number of bills, I've studied the Constitution myself, I am reasonably well-educated, and I thank you for the lecture. Incidentally, this does not prohibit -- you use the word prohibit. It exempts 2,271 weapons. Isn't that enough for the people in the United States ? Do you need a bazooka? Do they need other high-powered weapons that military people use to kill in close combat ? I don't think so. So I come from a different place than you do. I respect your views. I ask you to respect my views.
CRUZ: Mr. Chairman --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Durbin -- SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: Mr. Chairman, I can't add anything to that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Cruz?
CRUZ: Mr. Chairman, I -- would ask another question of the senior senator of California . I think nobody doubts her sincerity or her passion. And yet at the same time, I would note that she chose not to answer the question that I asked, which is -- in her judgment, would it be consistent with the Constitution for Congress to specify which books are permitted and which books are not. And to use the specific --
FINEMAN: The answer is obvious, no.
MADDOW: Let the record show that you can be a United States senator for 21 years, you can be 79 years old, you can be the chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and one of the most recognizable and widely respected veteran public servants in your nation. But if you are female while all of other those things, men who you defeat in arguments will still respond to you by calling you hysterical and telling you to calm down. They'll patronize you and say they admire your passion, sweetie, but they deal in facts not your silly girly feelings. It's inescapable, you can set your watch by it. Senator Feinstein , to her credit went on to explain with facts and everything, that the First Amendment does not stop us from regulating some forms of speech. Like, for example, child pornography . Senator Sheldon Whitehouse then went on to say it's hard to imagine that it would be a violation of the First Amendment for somebody to yell fire in the crowded theater but it would not be a violation of the Second Amendment to prevent someone from bringing 100- round magazine into a crowded theater in, say, Aurora , Colorado . In other words, Senator Ted Cruz 's argument is not the best argument on Earth . But the message, the political message here is nevertheless clear. Dianne Feinstein was the president of the board of supervisors in the city of San Francisco ion 1978 , when she was suddenly through an act of violence forced to take over as that city's mayor.
REPORTER: This is the body of supervisor Harvey Milk as it was taken from city hall . Witnesses say after killing the mayor, White ran down the hall firing three shots at Milk , killing him. In the total confusion after the shooting, the president of the board of supervisors, Dianne Feinstein , spoke.
FEINSTEIN: Both Mayor Masconi and Supervisor Harvey Milk have been shot and killed .
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jesus Christ!
FEINSTEIN: The suspect, the supervisor Dan White .
REPORTER: A few moments later, Dan White surrendered to the police. This is a stunned city.
MADDOW: It was a stunned city. After the San Francisco mayor and Supervisor Harvey Milk were shot dead in 1978 . That is how Dianne Feinstein became mayor of San Francisco in 1978 . And that's what she was talking about today. To Ted Cruz when she talked about seeing the bodies, an incident in which she had to put her fingers into the bullet holes to try to find a pulse that she did not find. San Francisco was a stunned city again in 1993 when a gunman walked into an office at 101 California Street holding a pair of semiautomatic weapons . He had modified them so they could fire even faster your typical semiautomatic weapon. With those weapons , he killed eight people and wounded six others before he killed himself . It was in reaction to that massacre at 101 California that then Senator Dianne Feinstein led the national fight for an assault weapons ban in 1994 . And at the time, nobody said it would pass. But it did pass and it was in effect for 10 years, while the Constitution survived and everything. President George W. Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress let that law expire 10 years later in 2004 . And because they let it expire, that is why the mother of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter was able to buy legally and easily the Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle that the Sandy Hook gunman used to fire all but one of 152 bullets that he fired in the space of less than five minutes that morning three months ago today in Connecticut . The gun that he used that day would've been illegal for his mother to buy. Had the Republican-controlled Congress and President George W. Bush not let Dianne Feinstein 's law expire in 2004 , the mother of the young man who killed those 20 first grade kids, his mother from whom he took all his weapons would not have been able to legally and easily buy those big 30- round extended magazines that we are told he used that day. Not the gun, nor the extended magazines . She would've only been able to legally and easily buy 10- round magazines , not 30- round magazines . So, when he took those weapons from her that morning, he would've needed 15 separate 10- round magazines in order to reload 14 different times to try to do what he actually did so easily and so quickly thanks to the expiration of Dianne Feinstein 's law in 2004 . It is three months after Sandy Hook as of today. The bill to reinstate what used to be law which we now know might have made a large difference at Sandy Hook , that bill to reinstate what used to be law heads to the full Senate now. Everybody says the politics of this are impossible. Why should they be?