The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell   View more episodes

Aired at 06:00 PM on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 (1/11/2011)      View all transcripts from this day


00:00:02Now time for "the last word with " >> good evening, rachel.
00:00:06Thank you.
00:00:09>> Sure.
00:00:09>> Remember when president bush and the congress allowed the assault weapons ban to expire in 2004?
00:00:17Well, no one put up much of a fight, but if congress cared as much about controlling bullets as it cares about controlling tax rates and it had extended the assault weapons ban, jared loughner would have needed to reload after firing half as many bullets as he did.
00:00:35Imagine the amount of grief that could have been saved if 15 of those bullets were never fired.
00:00:42When the investigation reveals the exact order of the 31 shots fired, we'll be able to do the grim accounting and tell you exactly, exactly who would be alive today if the republican house, the republican senate and the republican president had the basic human decency to do the right thing in 2004.
00:01:08>> I think we are at a turning point in american political culture.
00:01:13>> It's raised questions, too, about gun control laws in this country.
00:01:15>> There's no reason why anybody needs more than ten round per pistol.
00:01:20>> Three days after the tucson massacre, attention finally turns to guns.
00:01:26>> What happened was not because of the guns.
00:01:28This was about hate.
00:01:30>> For some voters in some districts, the gun issue drives their vote more than anything else.
00:01:36>> The gun lobby's so completely dominates the debate.
00:01:40>> The most effective lobby in the last 20 years is the nra.
00:01:44>> Too many guns, too many bullets.
00:01:47>> At least 31 rounds before emptying the magazine.
00:01:51>> He was just standing there just shooting them one right after the other.
00:01:55>> And several members of congress are now drafting legislation.
00:01:58>> They're trying to get rid of those clips and make it so you can only have 15.
00:02:01>> Why don't we have reasonable gun control laws in this country?
00:02:04>> And too easy for very sick people to buy weapons capable of shooting dozens in a matter of seconds.
00:02:11>> Breaking news about too far more grim -- >> jared loughner.
00:02:14>> The fourth note had been found.
00:02:17>> Crazy people shouldn't get any kind of gun.
00:02:19>> And what is congress doing?
00:02:21>> Won't it seem as if some in are asking for gun control for them but no gun control for you.
00:02:28>> The possibility of stepped-up security measures.
00:02:30>> I'll be interested in the republican-led congress on the house side when it comes to mental health funds.
00:02:37>> But the memorial to the victims.
00:02:39>> The community will hold its first mass tonight.
00:02:42>> The president coming here i think means a lot to many members of this community.
00:02:46>> There are, of course, other victims here recovering, and, of course, the congresswoman is still in critical condition.
00:02:52>> She gave a thumbs up for her doctors and reached for her breathing tune.
00:02:57>> For the president to go to arizona and focus not necessarily on guns or mental health but the empty seat in that classroom.
00:03:09The empty chair at breakfast.
00:03:12That has impact.
00:03:14>> Good evening from los angeles.
00:03:16Tonight congresswoman gabriel giffords remains in critical condition but is now able to breathe on her own.
00:03:23She's responding to simple commands and the doctor who performed her surgery put the good news this way.
00:03:30She, quote, has no right to look this good and she does.
00:03:35We've also just gotten the first pictures of the congresswoman inside the hospital.
00:03:41Her family releasing these two photos.
00:03:45This one of her husband sitting at her bedside.
00:03:49And another one, a picture of him holding her hand.
00:03:54But tonight there are more details about the accused assassin, jared loughner and his parents who issued this statement this afternoon.
00:04:03This is a very difficult time for us.
00:04:05We ask the media to respect our privacy.
00:04:07There are no words that can possibly express how we feel.
00:04:09We wish that there were, so we could make you feel better.
00:04:13We don't understand why this happened.
00:04:15It may not make any difference, but we wish that we could change the heinous events of saturday.
00:04:21We care very deeply about the victims and their families.
00:04:23We are so very sorry for their loss.
00:04:26Thank you.
00:04:28Tonight the associated press is reporting on what has been found in the loughner home including a " investigators believe the handwritten message was a reference to congresswoman giffords.
00:04:41It was found in a safe alongside other notes.
00:04:44" another said, "my " and included the name giffords.
00:04:52The associated press is also reporting that on the morning of the shooting, jared loughner's father saw him take a black bag out of the car trunk and, when he approached his 22-year-old son, he mumbled something and took off running.
00:05:09The associated press quoting authorities says the father got in his truck and chased his son as his son ran away.
00:05:16Joining me now, a neighbor of the loughner family, gloria waddill.
00:05:20Did you see any of that activity saturday morning that I just described, the father chasing the son?
00:05:26>> No, I did not see that.
00:05:27Nothing like that at all.
00:05:34>> But in living nearby, you did have some strange experiences with jared, didn't you?
00:05:41Could you tell us about those.
00:05:42>> Yes, I did.
00:05:46I had a couple experiences where he would come over and he came and would be standing there in my driveway, standing by my white chevy truck, and I had just come home from work.
00:05:57I got off at midnight.
00:05:58And I would come home.
00:06:00And I would notice that he was just standing there.
00:06:04And I would ask him what -- i don't think you want to know what I was asking him, a four-letter word why he was standing in my driveway.
00:06:14I wanted to know why had was standing on my property.
00:06:18He would not answer me.
00:06:20He would stand there and then he would leave.
00:06:23>> Were you afraid of him, gloria?
00:06:26>> I wasn't afraid of him because normally I'm already armed when I come home.
00:06:31>> And when you heard the news that jared was involved in this shooting, what did you feel?
00:06:38How much surprise did you feel about that?
00:06:42>> It did surprise me.
00:06:43It surprised me that somebody could go and do something like this to so many innocent people.
00:06:50And right now the whole community is hurting.
00:06:54We're all hurting for what he did.
00:06:56>> And do you know his parents?
00:06:59>> I don't know his parents, but I went by there today to see if I could buy some groceries for them.
00:07:06I understand they haven't been able to leave the house because they're surrounded by the media.
00:07:13And I just felt bad for them because they had nothing to do with this.
00:07:16>> Did you have any communication with them?
00:07:20Were you able to buy groceries for them today?
00:07:23>> No, I was not.
00:07:25I went to the neighbor, the one that's been in the news lately with wayne smith and his wife and I spoke to them.
00:07:33And I did tell them that I was there to try to see if i couldn't get some groceries for them.
00:07:40That I felt bad for them, you know, this wasn't their fault and the parents' fault.
00:07:43And to see if I couldn't help them out somehow.
00:07:44And me along with another person that works for the post office, roland molina, we both went over there and asked if we could help, but nobody came to the door.
00:07:55>> Knowing jared as you do, do you think there might have been any political influence in his action?
00:08:03Or what would be your guess about what made him go out there and do that on saturday?
00:08:09>> I have no idea what made him do what he did.
00:08:13He's just a strange person.
00:08:15Most of the time that I saw him was after midnight.
00:08:19And that's the times that i would see him.
00:08:2200 in 00 in the morning.
00:08:26I found him across the street twirling a little fluorescent purple light item out there that was making noises.
00:08:35And I happened to look up, and i put my flashlight to him because that was just me getting off of work and I would put my flashlight up to him.
00:08:45And I asked him who he was, what was he doing in the neighborhood.
00:08:47And he didn't respond.
00:08:47He just kept doing what he was doing.
00:08:50I went back inside.
00:08:51The next morning I found silly string that had been put inside my mailbox jaus covered in silly string.
00:08:59>> Gloria waddill, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
00:09:03You probably feel lucky that his rage was never turned on you.
00:09:08We're glad that it wasn't.
00:09:10Thank you very much for joining us tonight.
00:09:13>> Thank you.
00:09:14>> Earlier today, senator barbara boxer called for sensible gun laws like the ones they have in california that prevent the sale of guns to people with serious mental illnesses and domestic abuser.
00:09:29She called to reinstate the assault weapons ban that would prohibit the sale of ammunition clips with more than ten rounds.
00:09:35Joining me now is senator barbara boxer of california.
00:09:37What do you think is possible legislatively on gun control now?
00:09:42It feels to me like your party has given up on this.
00:09:46Is there a way to revive in it the wake of this tragedy?
00:09:50>> In the wake of this tragedy, lawrence, we've got to revive a lot of things.
00:09:56We have to look at the way we talk to one another.
00:10:00We have to think about the images that we use.
00:10:03We have to think about the way our language and the way we impact other people, and, yes, we have to look again at how to keep guns away from people like mr. loughner, killers like mr.
00:10:18And it shouldn't be about partisanship.
00:10:20My goodness.
00:10:21It should be about how we can work together to prevent this from happening.
00:10:27In my lifetime, I've seen too many political assassinations and attempted political assassinations.
00:10:35And every time it just tears our hearts out.
00:10:38And this one is tearing our hearts out.
00:10:41To see a 40-year-old congresswoman who we pray is going to come back with all of that fervor and strength that he has, but cut down like this.
00:10:51It shouldn't happen.
00:10:53>> Senator, I am struck by the lack of memory in this country.
00:10:58There's a report in the huffington post today saying that there's a new limited edition line of assault rifle components that are engrarched with the words "you lie" in honor of congressman joe wilson's outburst during president obama's 2009 health care speech.
00:11:18Now what other message could we take from having "you lie" on a weapon, a statement that was thrown at president obama.
00:11:26What other message is there that this weapon is being designed in effect to be what, aimed at the president of the united states?
00:11:41A country where we have film of john kennedy's head being blown off with a rifle?
00:11:44How can people in this country even think of putting something like that on a weapon?
00:11:51>> Well, it's unthinkable that somebody could do that.
00:11:55And you know, there's another image.
00:11:58I have one here.
00:11:59I don't know if you can see it.
00:12:01And I don't know whether you've had it on your show.
00:12:05But this is another one where you can buy this.
00:12:09It's a sticker.
00:12:10It says liberal hunting license.
00:12:13It shows a donkey with five bullet holes.
00:12:16And it says, no bag limit.
00:12:18And this son a site called -- I'll tell you in a minute.
00:12:22Patriot shop dot us.
00:12:23They put it, lawrence, under their humor section.
00:12:27Now, they may think it's funny, and they have every right to think it's funny, but the thing that I was taken with -- and it might have been with someone on your show or someone's show on msnbc, an expert in mental illness that said that people who are severely mentally ill like we think this gentleman was who committed this heinous crime, they live in their own world.
00:12:55But the background culture enters into it.
00:12:58And no one is saying it caused him to do this or anything else, but we do this kind of an image or what you refer to as a gun that says "you lie" and we all know that incident and we praise that and put those words on a gun.
00:13:16This may enter the background noise.
00:13:18And it makes violence okay.
00:13:20People who do it think it's funny, think it's a joke.
00:13:24That's why I'm saying this is another moment.
00:13:28Unfortunately, we've had too many where we need to pause and think about it.
00:13:33All of us.
00:13:34>> Yeah.
00:13:34The background noise of the reagan -- the shooting of president reagan was a movie made by martin scorsese where you couldn't have imagined any crazy person taking that as a stimuli for going out and shooting the president.
00:13:51But this stuff is very directly provocative to that idea.
00:13:56We've never seen material like this around to be in the background noise of what people like jared loughner may or may not be consuming in the course of the day.
00:14:08Senator barbara boxer, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
00:14:13Thank you very much for joining senator lautenberg and caroline McCARTHY'S SENSIBLE RESPONSE TO This situation.
00:14:22Thank you very much.
00:14:23>> Well, it's an honor to work with them.
00:14:27>> Thank you, senator.
00:14:27>>> What more can be done to protect members of congress as capitol hill tries to slash budgets, should more money be put into security?
00:14:30And the gun used in saturday's massacre, it's already lethal design made all the more so with an ammunition clip that doubled the amount of bullets it could hold.
00:14:38We'll show you this weapon in action ahead.
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00:16:50>>> As some members of congress say they'll now carry a concealed weapon on them, the man in charge of their security says that is not the answer.
00:16:54Another congressman proposing cracking down on violent images directed at government officials.
00:16:57We'll discuss those next.
00:18:33>>> In the aftermath of saturday's deadly shooting in tucson, lawmakers on capitol hill are weighing the possibility of extra security.
00:18:44Some members of congress don't want to change the way they operate because of the actions of one crazed gunman.
00:18:52But others say these changes are long overdue.
00:18:55Among the proposals being floated, undoing the 5% cut to congressional office budgets and adding an additional 10% to pay for security.
00:19:06A republican proposal to enclose the house gallery in plexiglas to keep explosives from being thrown on the house floor.
00:19:15And an a to z review of the capitol police and its security processes.
00:19:20There is bipartisan support that would formalize relationships between the capitol police force and local police departments, getting both sides more involved in security at different political levels.
00:19:36Some members even say they plan to carry guns, including north carolina democrat heath shuler, utah republican jason chaffford says he's always had a concealed weapons permit now plans to carry much more often adding that it makes him feel more secure and comfortable.
00:19:47Joining me now, the man who oversees security in the senate, terrance gainer, the senate sergeant at arms, along with congressman robert brady who says he'll introduce a bill making it a federal crime to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a member of congress.
00:20:09Congressman brady, how would you get a proposal like that past the first amendment of the constitution challenge.
00:20:18>> Let the supreme court figure that out.
00:20:21They'll spend money to see if it's constitutional or not.
00:20:25It's constitutional now as pertains to the president and the vice president.
00:20:27Why shouldn't it be constitutional as it pertains to members of congress?
00:20:30>> Well, you know, I don't think you're going to get very far with that one.
00:20:36Terrance gainer, in the house they're talking about increasing possible security details for congressmen.
00:20:44If you provided, if you tripled the capitol police force and allowed one to travel with every member wherever they went, we'd be dealing with one tenth of 1% of the federal budget.
00:20:58This is not something that's unaffordable.
00:21:01What is the resistance to expanding the security force and enabling a traveling security force to be out there in the field with people like congressman giffords when they're in a safeway parking lot.
00:21:15>> Number one, one person wouldn't do it.
00:21:18To do proper protection of an individual, you really need 8 to 14 depends on the circumstances.
00:21:25So I don't think putting more officers or more guns or more jail cells is the way to try to reduce violence.
00:21:33That said, some people need to be locked up and they will be.
00:21:38But I think we need to slow down and take a very thoughtful look at what the best way is to increase security.
00:21:47>> But when you hear the stories about how this gunman was gainer, one person standing there with a gun could have done it.
00:21:58He went down pretty easily once people got to him.
00:22:02And when you're -- the difference between one police officer beside the congresswoman with a gun and no one beside the congresswoman to protect her seems like a pretty big difference, doesn't it?
00:22:16>> Well, it is, but the whole incident unfolded in less than a minute.
00:22:22So even on my best day in law enforcement, I don't think i could have quick draw.
00:22:28He came around ready to do some shooting.
00:22:31I spoedz if you're going to play the hypothetical and go back into time, it would have been better if someone had paid attention to him and put him in a mental institution, then no one would have got shot and no officer would have needed to have been there.
00:22:50>> Absolutely.
00:22:51And I agree with you.
00:22:52I'm not saying that it would have prevented things, but 19 people shot, 6 of them killed.
00:22:59Maybe with one officer there those numbers would have been much lower.
00:23:01Congressman brady, what do you feel you need in terms of personal security now after this experience when you go out into your district in a situation like congresswoman giffords was in?
00:23:06>> I don't want any.
00:23:06I don't want any extra security.
00:23:07I don't need extra security.
00:23:08I don't know why you think i won't get far with my legislation.
00:23:09The president of the united states and the vice president are just like members of congress as far as human beings that deserve to have the same exact protection from these people out there than we do.
00:23:15Not to have their entourage of police officers around them.
00:23:19But not to put a bull's-eye on the president of the united states.
00:23:24You should not be able to put a bull's-eye on a member of congress or crosshairs where they live.
00:23:31I don't want any more protection.
00:23:33I want to come and go as i please in my district.
00:23:34I'll continue to do that.
00:23:35>> Congressman brady, will you JOIN congressman McCarthy's effort to limit the size of the magazines usable in these automatic weapons?
00:23:46>> I'm the original co-sponsor to that bill.
00:23:49carolyn McCarthy is the person we wanted to put that bill forward.
00:23:54She had a personal experience.
00:23:57Her husband is still feeling the effects of that.
00:24:00We know she's the right person to articulate that bill.
00:24:01I'm an original co-sponsor of that.
00:24:03>> That's good to hear.
00:24:04Everybody talks about this so far as if there's no real momentum behind it, there's nowhere for it to go.
00:24:12But do you think that coming off this experience you'll be able to change the dynamics of this politically in the congress?
00:24:21>> Unfortunately, tragic like this gets people more aware.
00:24:26I hope that we do have the votes to get this passed.
00:24:30 gainer, in terms of extra costs that would be necessary to increase the security levels, assuming that there are some smart and executable ideas that come up, do you think that in the current political climate where the house just last week, republican house was making a big thing about cutting the staff budgets as if that's some sort of significant cut, do you think in that environment it would be possible to get money to increase spending on security for members of congress and the house?
00:24:58And the senate?
00:24:59>> I'm not sure it would be, but even if it was, I don't think it's a good use of money.
00:25:06I've done some cost estimates because we have individuals who have 24-hour protection.
00:25:08I've talked to the secret service.
00:25:09If you did 24-hour, 7-day a week security for all members -- and like congressman brady, they don't want that -- it would cost in excess of 2 billion, with a b, dollars.
00:25:20I think if we're going to spend 2 billion, we should get more law enforcement for our cities where there's a whole lot of violence going on.
00:25:31>> What about this idea, mr.
00:25:33Gainer of more cooperation between the capitol police and local police in the districts where the congressman is going?
00:25:42I know there are a lot of uses of that, for example, nypd is very jn generous about providing security coverage for visiting senators who feel that they need it when they come to new york city.
00:25:58Do you think there's some possibilities there that should be explored?
00:25:59>> You bet I do.
00:26:00I think that's one of -- we're going to re-emphasize with the members and the staff tomorrow when they need them.
00:26:08The capitol police has been doing that, like the secret service does.
00:26:13No one has enough to do this by themselves.
00:26:16If they can re-emphasize to the staff that when they get threats or weird people or anything that makes the hair on the back of the neck come up, let us know about that.
00:26:23Then we can work with the local jurisdictions to figure out who's in the best position to provide law enforcement services if any is needed.
00:26:33A lot of these small events, you won't need that.
00:26:37It's just not required.
00:26:39 gainer, do you have any advice for congressman brady and other members about how they should organize these events now?
00:26:43Is it a bad idea to do it out in the open in a safeway parking lot?
00:26:44Is it smarter to be in an closed space?
00:26:47Are there any points you would make to them about how to organize these events.
00:26:52 brady is a great friend of law enforcement, knows philadelphia very well.
00:26:58It's an example that we understand that the members and their staffs understand their cities and jurisdictions very well.
00:27:08So I wouldn't tell -- I would tell them have that event where you want to have it.
00:27:14But when it's being planned, the same way you would say where it is going to be or how many people indoor, outdoor, whether you'll serve coffee, let's take a look from a law enforcement perspective and see if maybe a local beat car needs to ride by or if something more is needed.
00:27:24It will depend on the time, the size, the where and what the issue is.
00:27:26>> Congressman brady, will you think about those issue ors will you continue to organize your events the way you always have.
00:27:36>> I'm going to continue to organize my events the way i always have.
00:27:41The police commissioner contacted me, the mayor has contacted me and said if i needed any or I thought I needed any more protection to come to an event that I'm having, all i have to do is shale cooperate with me and all the members of the city of philadelphia and if I need smi protection, all i would need to do was ask them and they would provide that for me.
00:27:59>> That's perfect.
00:27:59Congressman robert brady, democrat of pennsylvania, be safe out there.
00:28:02And terence gains, the senate sergeant at arms, thank you both for being with us tonight.
00:28:07>> Thank you for having me.
00:28:07>> Thank you.
00:28:10>> Next I'll talk to howard dean about what congress can do about guns.
00:28:16>>> And the national rifle association wants everyone to stay focused on praying for the victims.
00:28:22In tonight's rewrite.
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00:32:05>>> Ahead on "the last word," the ammunition clip used in saturday's shooting used to be banned.
00:32:11We'll show you why when "the last word" continues.
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00:35:25>>> In tonight's spotlight, the political aftermath of saturday's massacre.
00:35:30Tomorrow's first order of business for the house will be a resolution honoring the victims.
00:35:36Tomorrow night president obama will be joined by two of his cabinet members and supreme court justice anthony kennedy at a memorial service at the university of arizona, but in the days ahead, the issue that has been ignored since the last century, gun control, will come back up.
00:35:50On this program last night, DEMOCRAT carolyn McCarthy told us how she plans to restrict so-called high capacity ammunition.
00:35:59Republican peter king wants to ban people from carrying a firearm within a thousand feet of government officials.
00:36:08My next guest is one of the few in politics who understands both sides of the gun control argument.
00:36:15Joining me now former dnc chair and former governor of vermont, howard dean.
00:36:21Thanks for joining me tonight, governor.
00:36:24>> Lawrence, thanks for having me on.
00:36:27>> Governor, you were quoted in today's politico saying the battle over gun control is over.
00:36:33Why have the democrats given up on gun control?
00:36:37>> I don't think we've so much given up on gun control.
00:36:41The question is what the second amendment says.
00:36:44And the second amendment as decided by the united states supreme court says -- their interpretation is that individuals have the right to bear arms.
00:36:49So what I said, I don't know what the politico quote was, but what I said to the person who was doing the reporting was we now have to call upon the people who won the battle, which is the gun people, to exercise some restraint, so show common sense.
00:37:08For example, the new hampshire legislature last week voted to allow guns in the statehouse.
00:37:12Now, that's nuts.
00:37:12I don't know anybody who needs protection in the statehouse.
00:37:14But they will now.
00:37:14I haven't seen a deer in the new hampshire statehouse for quite some time.
00:37:19I can't imagine why hunters need to go in there with firearms.
00:37:24Now that we have the rulings by the supreme court, now start to use some common sense.
00:37:30>> Well, there's no question about the right to bear arms in the constitution, but that has been regulated and we did have a regulation that expired in 2004, the assault weapons ban, that did not allow this kind of shooter that we saw this weekend to have all that extra ammunition loaded into the gun right away.
00:37:53He doubled the amount of ammunition he could shoot in his first round.
00:37:55He had over 90 bullets with him in these extra large clips.
00:37:57Those clips used to be outlawed in this country and under a perfectly constitutional restriction, and the states of new york, new jersey, hawaii, california still outlaw those clips.
00:38:11So why not go back in to those kinds of details.
00:38:15Don't call it gun control, if that's the radioactive political phrase, if that's going to turn people off in certain states.
00:38:24But go back in to that kind of certain reasonable limitation on the use of these weapons.
00:38:31>> Well, the other thing that you also we ought to be doing, lawrence, is we have got to stop guns from getting into the hands of people like this person who did the shooting out in arizona or the one who did all the shooting at virginia tech a couple years ago.
00:38:39You know, criminals.
00:38:40These folks are getting guns.
00:38:42They don't seem to have any trouble doing it.
00:38:45I don't think that the people who claim that they can control, people have all the firearms they want but keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, okay, give us some help keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.
00:39:02Let's close the gun loophole.
00:39:05Let's be serious about instant checks and things like that.
00:39:09>> What about bullet control, which is really the piece of this that we don't pay any attention to at all?
00:39:17>> I agree with that, too, lawrence.
00:39:19>> Go ahead.
00:39:20>> I agree with that.
00:39:22>> I can't go and buy 90 sleeping pills today but I can go and buy 90 bullets today.
00:39:28>> You can buy dumb dumb bullets, and those are the things, the cop killer bullets.
00:39:32There's no reason for that either.
00:39:33What's happened is in the zeal to win the fight, the so-called pro gun lobby, which has won, has gone to a ridiculous extreme.
00:39:42They've won.
00:39:43So now I say, let's sit down and see what we really can do that makes sense.
00:39:49We won't talk about the second amendment any more in this country.
00:39:54Id eight times in any statewide race I was in.
00:39:58But the people in vermont are not whackos, they're hunters.
00:40:03If that was the reason for not having gun control, I don't have a problem with that.
00:40:09We don't have gun laws to speak of in vermont.
00:40:12We have a high homicide rate.
00:40:15But when you feel it's your right to have a bazooka, your right to have dumb dumb bullets, your right to have a gun that can fire 90 rounds, it's your right no matter how many convictions you had to have a gun or it's your right because nobody will do anything about it, I think that's an extreme position.
00:40:34I bet 90% of gun owners agree with me that we ought to do something around the edges to make this a safer country.
00:40:43>> Governor dean, you know gun owners better than most elected democrats in terms of having a feel for them and what they think.
00:40:53Let's consider your -- another former governor from a distant state, alaska.
00:40:59Sarah palin.
00:41:00We've discussed on this show what she should have said about this event.
00:41:05But what about what she should say about firearms?
00:41:08Here she is probably now the most prominent politician who has a very strong connection to gun owners and the gun community.
00:41:11Isn't this a good time for her in the coming weeks to talk about what she thinks responsible gun ownership involves, things like maybe don't stop -- bullets and so forth.
00:41:23Go ahead.
00:41:23>> I wouldn't just pick on sarah palin.
00:41:26I think in general what I'm asking is for the people who have the close relationships with the hunting community and close relationship with the gun community, now let's use this occasion not to go relitigate gun control.
00:41:43I think that argument we're over with that one.
00:41:46But let us look and see what we can do together that makes some sense about restricting these kinds of bullets that only are made to kill police officers or restricting the kinds of guns that are only made to do these terrible things and restricting guns from people who have felonies or have mental illness problems.
00:42:06Those are the kinds of things that I got to believe a huge number of americans degree on.
00:42:09I think we ought to go ahead and do those things.
00:42:12The leadership will come from the folks who have pushed very hard for freedom to own firearms and they won the fight.
00:42:22And now they have to be responsible.
00:42:25>> Governor, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
00:42:29>> Thanks very much, lawrence.
00:42:31>>> As the nation mourns, the national rifle association is encouraging everyone to do nothing but pray for the victims of the shootings.
00:42:42In tonight's rewrite, why congress would rather pray than work.
00:42:46>>> And later, we'll show you saturday's murder weapon in action.
00:42:48Why are people flocking to buy the same gun and who needs 30 bullets in a handgun?
00:42:53Ed schultz explains it all to me.
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00:45:06>>> The nra says the only appropriate thing to do now in the aftermath of saturday's shooting is to pray.
00:45:09In tonight's "rewrite" why the nra is praying you do exactly that.
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00:47:34>>> Time for tonight's "rewrite," quote, anything other than prayers for the victims and their families at this time would be inappropriate.
00:47:43So says the soulless spokesman for the national rifle association, the most successful special interest lobby in the history of lobbying.
00:47:57Success in lobbying is scored according to how difficult your case is.
00:48:03The nra has a very difficult case to make, that there should be absolutely no restrictions on access to guns and bullets in this country, and that we must never allow our homicide rate to fall below any other country's homicide rate.
00:48:20No, no one has a more difficult lobbying case to make than the nra, but the nra exercises virtually flawless mind control over republicans and has left democrats cowering in fear for decades.
00:48:38Democrats lost the congressional election that followed their last serious effort at gun control in 1994, so they have studiously avoided the subject since then.
00:48:51In 2004, the most liberal of the viable candidates for the presidential nomination were as a pro gun democrat.
00:48:59And the eventual nominee made sure he was photographed on the hunt with his shotgun.
00:49:05In the last presidential election, the subject of guns never came up.
00:49:11And the democratic party surrendered to the nra was complete.
00:49:15Liberals have picked other fights willing to go to the mat over a 4% difference in the top tax rate after blithely allowing the gun control law they passed in 1994 to expire ten years later.
00:49:30Since the massacre on saturday, precious few democrats have come forward with a relevant response.
00:49:37On this program last night, new york congresswoman carolyn McCARTHY ANNOUNCED SHE'LL TRY TO Reinstate the 1994 ban on high capacity magazines that allowed jared loughner to fire 31 shots rather than the 15 the gun was limited to before 2004.
00:49:56Her colleague frank lautenberg said he is planning to introduce similar legislation in the senate.
00:50:03You heard barbara boxer and robert brady tell me of their support for that legislation.
00:50:10And all the smart talkers in washington insist that kind of legislation has no chance and will probably never even come to a vote.
00:50:20No liberal groups have sprung into action to flood their vast e-mail lists to support congresswoman McCarthy and senator lautenberg as they have for so many other issues that have come up during the obama presidency, from the public option to the top tax rate.
00:50:40The collapse of conscience among professional politicians in washington is not surprising.
00:50:47The silence of the grassroots organizations that are so quick to spring into action for other legislative items was not predictable.
00:50:57And it is dispiriting.
00:50:59And so congress will follow the nra's orders.
00:51:02Anything other than prayers for the victims and their families at this time would be inappropriate.
00:51:10So instead of going to work tomorrow, members of congress will hide behind religion and the media will look on in wide-eyed awe at their piety.
00:51:26Congress' prayers will not be heard by the next mad man out there in search of an automatic weapon to open fire at a college or a supermarket or a post office.
00:51:39And thanks to the nra's and congress' prayers, the next shooter will easily be able to get off at least 30 shots before he has to reload.
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00:55:10>>> According to the latest gallup poll 41% of merps have a gun on their property and 44% think we should have stricter gun laws.
00:55:1742% Think that current laws are all we need.
00:55:21And only 12% agree with the nra and think gun laws should be less strict.
00:55:31Sales of handguns in arizona jumped 60% on monday.
00:55:32The second biggest jump in any state in the country.
00:55:34Ohio saw a 65% increase yesterday.
00:55:3816% In california.
00:55:3838% In illinois.
00:55:40And 33% in new york.
00:55:44The glock 19 was the same handgun used in the virginia tech massacre which left 32 people dead.
00:55:52Handgun sales went up after that shooting, too.
00:55:57Joining me now ed schultz, host " thank you very much for joining me tonight.
00:56:02>> Good to be with you, lawrence.
00:56:05>> You got to explain these people to me.
00:56:07You're a gun owner.
00:56:09I've never owned a gun.
00:56:10In arizona since saturday there's been a run on this weapon, this glock 19.
00:56:15They're selling more than ever.
00:56:16What is that?
00:56:18Can you -- do you understand that reaction?
00:56:22>> There's a couple of chains of thought here, lawrence.
00:56:25Number one, when something like this happens, gun collectors like to have the firearm that was involved in the shooting because they think that there's going to be some legislation against it, and it becomes possibly some day down the road a collector's item.
00:56:40The other thing is there's this strange fascination with some gun owners.
00:56:45They just want to own the gun that was used.
00:56:46And then others will view it, you know, this really is a good firearm for safety.
00:56:50Maybe I ought to get one of these things because it was pretty effective.
00:56:56So there's a wide range of reasons as to why people would lock on to gt the glock 19, but you're exactly right, in a number of different states we've seen a run on this firearm because of this tragedy in tucson.
00:57:06>> Now, this 30-clip magazine that carries the extra bullets, it was illegal until 2004.
00:57:14Still illegal in new york, new jersey, connecticut, hawaii -- california, hawaii.
00:57:18That doubled the amount of shots that he could fire on saturday.
00:57:22Why would anyone need to be able to do automatic fire of more than the 15 bullets that the thing comes with in the standard issue?
00:57:31>> Well, you know, this is the question that gun owners and gun grabbers in this country who want, you know, some good legislation for safety, this is the question, this has been the political football.
00:57:44It doesn't take very long to get very heated.
00:57:47The bottom line here is that when the assault weapons ban was put into place in '94 and it expired in 2004, the democrats didn't make an issue of it in the political arena.
00:57:59So they let it expire.
00:58:01That, of course, the limit went from ten rounds up to multiple high capacity type clips, which in this case there were 33 rounds in that one clip.
00:58:10Now, why somebody needs that, that's a personal judgment.
00:58:13I'm a gun owner, I'm a sportsman.
00:58:17I've never personally had an inclination to go buy a firearm nor have any of my sons when it comes to a pistol.
00:58:26But there's such a heated discussion in the sportsman community across america.
00:58:28Once you make legislation, there's instant fear that it's never going to stop.
00:58:32There's instant fear that we better get this firearm while the law it what it is because some party will come in, some politician will come in and limit it.
00:58:41These high capacity clips are for one reason and one reason only, to carry more ammunition, to get more bullets out in a faster method.
00:58:51And what they're used for in this society other than maybe target practice is defense or perpetrating and carrying out what happened on saturday.
00:59:00Personally, I don't think somebody needs 30, 40, 50 rounds in a clip.
00:59:04But that's another thing, lawrence.
00:59:06You know, if these laws are loosened up even more, the gun manufacturers are going to -- they're going to see an open market.
00:59:16They're going to put even more clips and adjust the firearm as time goes on.
00:59:20So I think we're at a crossroads.
00:59:22Just like those many people in this country thought that 9/11 changed everything, when is an incident like this going to change our thinking on what we have to do with firearms?
00:59:31I think it's time for some serious discussion.
00:59:35>> And that means tonight that ed schultz has just gotton last word on the last word.
00:59:37Thank you very much for joining me tonight, ed.
00:59:39>> Good to be with you, lawrence.
00:59:40Thank you.
00:59:41" a reminder, msnbc will have live coverage of the memorial service scheduled for tomorrow night at