tv All In With Chris Hayes MSNBC February 15, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PST
tonight. as with every night, thank you so very much for being here with us. good night from nbc news headquarters in new york. >> thank you, chris. good evening from new york. i am chris hayes. on this valentine's day on this ash wednesday when catholics are called to think about their mortality, 17 people are confirmed dead in a mass shooting at a high school in south florida. at least the 12th, 12th school shooting this year. here february 14p. we know 15 people were injured now being treated in area hospitals. gunman a former student is in custody. we'll walk you through the details in just a minute. first, chris murphy represents the family who's lost loved ones at sandy hook elementary school over five years ago. he was there in newtown on the day of the massacre. today as the horrors in florida were unfolding, chris murphy took to the senate floor. >> let me just note once again
for my colleagues, of that this happens nowhere else other than the united states of america. this epidemic of mass slaughter. this scourge of school shooting after school shooting. it only happens here not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck. of but as a consequence of our inaction. we are responsible. for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel. anywhere else. as a parent, it scares me to death that have this body doesn't take seriously the safety of my children. that seems like a lot of parents in south florida are going to be asking that same question later today.
we pray for the families and for the victims. we hope for the best. >> senator chris murphy joins me now. what goes through your head when you see a story like this and you represent the people you do and you have the job you have? >> i mean, my heart drops to my stomach because i know what this community is going through and what it's about to go through. when something like this hits you, and you lose this many kids in such a short period of time, the ripples never end. people always ask me how newtown is doing. it will never ever recover. many families have moved away. the trauma of the kids who survived to the sister, the friends those who stepped over the dead bodies as they left the school are with you forever. you have to realize after the tv cameras are gone from parkland, after people moved to the next story, their grief is just beginning. for those of us who lived
through this is what we think about on days like this. >> i have covered probably, i don't know, probably 20 of these at this point. i was in las vegas, in orlando, san bernardino. i'm sure you have sat there and watched a number of these. there's a kind of learned helplessness. you feel like you're sitting in a car in neutral and gunning the engine as you watch this transpire. do you feel that way? >> i don't feel helpless. i don't feel helpless because as i said on the senate floor, the responsibility for this lies in our hands. it is congress that has applied a kind of quiet unintentional endorsement to the murders. these are copycat killings. used to be there was a greater diversity of weapon used. not anymore. it's an ar-15 every time. there's a deadiness to the weapon that's unique. talk to those of us how have seen the crime scene reports from sandy hook.
by doing nothing about it, by refusing to have debate about criminalizing the purchase of these weapons, we're sending this just very strange perverse signal to these unhinged young men contemplating crimes of violence that if it comes with no condemnation from the highest levelses of government, then maybe they're green lighted. i know what's not what my colleagues mean to do but people listen to what we say and do. when we do nothing, it has impact. >> that is a very different way of thinking abouting this than i've heard before and very different than talking about the restrictions on the statutory side. you're saying there's a kind of implicit symbolic tacit, i don't know, approval, winking and nudging, to ration of this ridgelized mass slaughter because you and your colleagues don't do anything on the lawside? >> while have to ask ourselves why this is happening in the united states and nowhere else.
we don't have the details about this young man. this profile exists in every country. there are disaffected deeply troubled young men in every first world nation. only here do they go to weapons of mass destruction to try to deal with their inner turmoil. some of that is because they have access to weapons here that you don't have access to other places. some of it is because of a celebratory culture of violence that yes, is endorsed by the united states congress when we don't take seriously our obligation to make sure kids like there don't have weapons like this. so no, i don't think that inaction sack explicit endorsement. but i think it is part of the story as to why these young men make the decision to do this had a decision na kids like them don't make in other countries. >> we have later in the show mark fullman, from mother jones who has covered mass shootings and particularly the copycat nature you mentioned.
i'm saying this live on air as we cover this about whether covering it makes it worse. whether essentially we've created a doom loop of imitation here. should we ignore these? >> no, you shouldn't ignore them. ultimately this will move this country to action. and i've seen of the anti-gun violence movement get stronger and stronger every year. and i think we have to look at what happened today that you didn't cover. there were 90 other people who died from gunshot wounds today. none of that gets covered. it still happens week after week, day after day. so there's no evidence that not covering shootings prevents them because nobody at the national level covers what happens in chicago every night. it continues to happen in large part because they have access to weapons that other countries don't have access to. >> when i look at congress at this moment in our history and the president, and i look at
statistics and i look at america, between opioids and guns about 100,000 americans are dying a year. 65,000 and 35,000. it's a shocking thing when you look at these two. there seems like there's something fundamental broke in. the levels of representation with the government that those two inspectors grind on creating the trauma and death and grief that they do with essentially no response from the government. >> yeah, and this week we're going to be talking about putting 25g billion to a wall to protect ourselves from a fictional enemy. we are screwed up in our priorities here about how to best protect the american citizenry. on this issue of gun violence, it is merely a question of political power. we get stronger year after year. we saw the exit polls in virginia which tells you more and more americans have moved the issue of gun violence up their list when they go to the
polls. openfully they're doing the same thing for the opioid epidemic. our priorities are screwed up and only the voters can change that. >> why are those priors screwed up and what conversations -- what are the conversations like when you talk about your colleagues about that? >> well, i think we are ignoring these two epidemics for different sets of reasons. i think on the gun violence question, it really is a matter of political power. the gun lobby controls congress right now. behave to break their grip. on the issue of opioid epidemic, it's about stigma, discrimination. people who think this isn't a public health problem but we need to change the way people think about it. there are specific problems plaguing each of these debates that need to be solved independently. >> there's a way in which this -- people look at this. i'm watching people's reaction. i'm having the reaction. i have three kids.
you're a father of children. and you know, it's really difficult to you process emotionally even for incredible distance. there's a fundamental failure of the most sacred duty of the government to protect people, protect kids in this kind of place. and the argument you're going to hear, it will already start is that well, you don't know the particularities and you take it out and there's ebola people and what do you do in the face of that argument? >> well,ing this idea that you can't regulate evil is ridiculous. that's the core functionality of government to try to regulate evil instincts. you can't every stop every single act of evil doing bug you can certainly make it less likely. we know from the data that in states and communities that have looser and laxer gun laws, there are more gun crimes committed.
in states like connecticut, we've seen 40% reductions in homicides. we're not going to symptom every bad act from happening but we have enough data to know there are policy tools at our disposal to dramatically change the trajectory of violence in this country. we are absolutely shirking our most basic foundational responsibility when we allow evil to act unabated in this country as we are with inside the debate over gun violence. >> i want to show up a tweet from your colleague senator marco rubio talking about this. he said it was a day i believe if i'm not mistaken, a day that you pray never comes and then a mother of a newtown victim said, oh, please, you had a chance after newtown. you did squat because you were doing immigration and didn't want to lose votes for your constituents. you looked at us and said you
couldn't act. sleep tight with the blood on your hands. do you get viscerally angry about this with your colleagues? >> i do. i do. i'm not someone who shout and scream but the reason that i sat on the floor for 15 hours was because i couldn't taking this inaction any longer. and the reason that i get hangry when people send out thoughts prayers and nothing else, they're meaningless if you're not willing to put action behind your faith. so yeah, a lot of these senators are really nice to the victims of gun violence when they come into their office. and then when they leave, they go back to the business of doing absolutely nothing. and that is infuriating to mel back, a good friend of mine. that is infuriating to me. my hope is it is infuriating to the voters of florida who decide to send somebody to washington
who recognize that orlando, parkland are not inevitable. there's a consequence of inaction. it's a matter of changing representation to get a different outcome. >> you talked about organization and about virginia. you have it does seem like there's always been ans a symmetry of the organization between the forces in this country that want to maximal little loose regulatory regime for weapons and people on the other side who want something stricter. you say you've seen evidence of that he evening out. what do you mean by that. >> i mean, let's talk specifically about those virginia exit polls that showed 18% of republicans came to the polls with their number one issue being guns but 19% of democrat who's came to the polls their number one issue was guns second only to health care. we've seen the number of activists show showing up to town halls to campaign headquarters grow to the point where i think in 2018, we have
more activists than the gun groups do. you've seen spec races turn on there issue. look at the senate race in new hampshire where kelly ayotte was blasted for voting against a backgrounds checks bill. that's one of the reasons she lost her seat. you slowly see the issue turning. it is a social change movement not unlike the others that took decades in order for us to start withining legislative fights. it's changing but certainly slow. >> final question and i'll let you go. the nra spent more money trying to elect donald trump than anyone it had ever. and he tonight didn't say anything. there was a tweet about thoughts and prayers i believe. do you want to hear from the president of the united states on this issue? >> i don't know. i don't know. i mean, i'd be worried to ask more from for more of president trump's thoughts on mass shootings. i worry that he would make it
worse, not better. if i thought he was going to offer thing that was real, actually consolation, i'd be willing to hear more. i'm not sure what's that we would get. >> senator chris murphy of connecticut, thank you for your time tonight. >> thanks, chris. >> again, to recap what we know what happened today, the gunman killed 17 people, murdered them including sounds and teachers. 15 injured people are being treated right now in area hospitals. the shooting at the marjory stoneman high school began shortly before school was dismissed for the day. a warning sopt of the footage we're about to show you is disturbing. >> holy -- [ gunshots ] >> oh, my god! oh, my god. [ screaming ] >> the gunman was on the loose for more than an hour in that school. students who were able to leave ran or walked out with their hands up to indicate they're not a suspect. that image you're seeing is an
image that's familiar. almost in its own perverse way iconic in america. the helicopter shot of the people evacuating a mass casualty situation with their hands up. we know what that looks like and all can instantly recognize when we see that flashing across our screens what has happened in america on the day we see that. others sheltered in place, barricading themselves, hiding from the shooter. some parents were texting their children during the lockdown. police apprehended the suspect nearly two hours after the incident began. the suspect was placed hill handcuffed on a stretcher and taken to an area hospital. he's being led knee broward central "almanac of american politics" ing. nikolaus cruz expelled last year for disciplinary reasons was armed with a semi-automatic rifle. >> we have a shooter in custody.
he was taken into custody i believe about an hour after he left stone man douglas after he committed this detesticle act. >> we have 17 confirmed victims. 12 vips within the building. two victims are outside just outside the building. one victim is on the treat at the corner of pine island and two folks, people lost their lives at the hospital. >> while students sought safety, s.w.a.t. teams he conducted room by room searches to assure there were no other shooters. dozen of parents rushed to the scene. many informed their kids if they escaped the worst have been taken to an off site location. president trump tweeted out his condolences and reportedly offered federal assistance to governor rick scott. tammy leitner joins me now from parkland, florida. what is the scene down there right now, tami?
>> chris,'s been hours since gunman nikolaus cruz terrorize the school. we have an active scene. they're still going through with the bomb squad securing the school. parents are still showing up out here at the school, not all parents have been able to make contact with their loved ones. and we've been speaking with students all afternoon. i'm here with hector navarro. hector, you're a senior, 18 years old. you were there today whether he gunshots rang out. why don't you take me through what happened. >> well, obviously, it started off as a normal day like any other day would. we had a fire drill second period just a normal one. followed procedure. went to our designated zone. we had another one when it came 30 minutes before the bell. obviously we were suspicious. we didn't think anything of it though.
then as soon as we were lining up for the fire drill, we heard shots ringing. and it's like something i'll never forget, just hearing those shots on campus. that obviously there shouldn't be shots moo. >> reporter: at this point, you were with about 100 other students and several teachers. the whole group ran, is that right? >> we all started to go towards this little area against the fence in the canal. and we were trying to get as far away as possible. >> so you guys are running away from the classrooms. >> yeah, we were running on the field, running through the gates. and then at one point, me and a bunch of other students decided to hop the fence and run with the rest of the class, but not in such a confined area. >> so you guys were worried about getting stucking there in the school with the shooter and so you ran away from school? >> yeah, pretty much. we didn't want to be there. no one wanted to there be after hearing the shoots. >> i know you're okay. you're not sure about all of your friends at this point.
>> not at all. i have several people that i have not been able to get in contact with. >> i'm really sorry about what's going on. hopefully you'll still hear from them. >> my prayers are out there. and my prayers are with the families of students that lost their lives today. it's all love for me. all love from everybody in the community. we all come together as one to try to get past this incident. >> tough thing. thank you for talking to us. i appreciate it. chris, you know, there are still 15 people injured in the hospital. 17 people that were killed in the school shooting. some of them teachers, some students. a lot of families, a lot of students, a lot of teachers and an entire community grieving this evening. chris? >> tammy leitner, thank you. hector, thank you for taking time. i appreciate that in parkland, florida. mark fullman is the national affairs editor at mother jones. he wrote about the race to stop school shootings and has been writing about the specific ways
in which mass shootings like this school shootings, lone gunman are a sort of zing phenomenon. what's your thoughts watching this unfold today and hearing the news about it tonight? >> hi, chris. i'm sorry to be with you yet again for this subject. my heart goes out to all the people in florida suffering from this terrible attack. you know, it's still early. i want to to be careful. there's a lot of migs information in the media events. this is the case we've seen over and over again. these do not happen in a vacuum. this person planned this attack meticulously. he was using tactical gear, tactics we've seen in previous cases. and i think it's important for the american public to realize that there are often behavioral warning signs that precede these attacks. people need to speak up and reach out for help.
there's a myth about mass shootings the shooters snap. they think about doing this for long periods of time and carry them out. there are things that can be done to intervene. >> what are those things? >> well, you be know you hear people making threats or behaving erratically. often, especially in a school setting, teachers, administrators other kids are often really important in terms of speaking up when they hear something or see thing that makes them feel uncomfortable. there's a lot more awareness of this problem now. there have been a number of cases thwarted with the very snow where kids have spoken out when they were worried about a kid. from early indications in the reporting on this case, this was a person who was disgruntled and probably acted in threatening ways before, was expelled from the school had apparently an obsession with firearms. common signs in these cases. >> there seems like a
representply indication effect. there's gun violence in america which grinds on day after day and the majority of gun fatalities in the country are suicides when you just look at homicides there are many. most are not done in this fashion obviously. there's this sort of zing phenomenon which there is evidence is a kind of replicating phenomenon. what does that mean? >> there's a so-called copycat problem with the attacks. we're living in a media environment now where there's much greater awareness of this. when it happens, the images and details circulate so fast and often there's kind of sensational treatment of it by the media. and there is evidence of study -- i've studied a lot of cases where there's evidence that the people who commit these crimes are aware of that and they're seeking infamy and notoriety in the media. they know they can get it by doing this. one of my fears in talking with expert who's study the problem
is that the kind of social media feedback loop and media feedback loop is contributing to this more and more. because it's in a sense has become a more plausible way to babe and to deal with one's deep greechbss or problems. this is seen as a way by certain vulnerable individuals as a thing we can go out and do and in some sense that is relatively new and appears to be getting worse. >> you have written about this and you've tweeted and others sort of guidelines for the coverage on precisely this front, things that something that we are very aware of and try to do. one of them is sort of there's a sort of glory seeking thing here we've seen in mass shooter after mass shooter. they want their pictures plastered everywhere, their names plastered everywhere. it's important essentially not to cover it in that way. >> i think that's right. i mean, i've written. this quite a bit and thought
about it a lot, talked with experts. given the case evidence we very in terms of emulation of previous attackers, there's reason to think, there's evidence that shows us that kind of mitigating the repetition of imagery especially of certain kinds of images where shooters pose with guns or aspiring attackers pose with guns and put these i think on facebook, that's the kind of imagery they want to play over and over in the media. while we need to cover these attacks vigorously, it's an important you know, serious problem that it's in the public interest to learn about and to know about. there are steps the media can take to reduce the repetition of the naming of the shooter and showing these images that they're precisely what they want to have seen. >> mark follman whose reporting has been illuminating for me. thank you for making time tonight. >> thanks, chris. >> 17 dead in florida.
at this hour, president trump has not spoken about today's school shooting in florida on camera. only once has the president addressed the nation following a shooting, something he did after the las vegas massacre. >> we pray for the entire nation to find unity and peace. and we pray for the day when evil is banished and the innocent are safe. >> hatred and from fear. >> president obama took a much different approach to these sorts of events. he would personally address the nation in the immediate aftermath of the mass shootings, something did he at least 14 times including hours after people were gunned down at a community college in rose berg, oregon.
>> as i said just a few months ago, and i said a few months before that, and i said each time we see one of these mass shootings, our thoughts and prayers are not enough. it's not enough. it does not capture the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel. and it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in america. next week. or a couple months from now. somehow this has become routine. the reporting is routine. my response here at this podium ends up being routine. the conversation and the aftermath of it, we've become
numb to this. it cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harp on other people to get his or her hands on a gun. and, of course, what's also routine is that somebody somewhere will comment and say, obama politicized this issue. well, this is something we should politicize. it is relevant to our common life together, to the body politic. this is a little choice that we make. to allow this to happen every few months in america. we collectively are answerable to those families. who lose their loved ones. >> as a former white house press secretary, political analyst josh earnest has seen from the inside how white houses responds to tragedies what goes through
your mind when you watch something like today unfold and watch that from the president you work for. >> like so many americans i get a pit in my stomach. other people do too because everybody feels the grim routine that the president was just describing. i was sitting in the front row of the briefing room when he gave those remarks. i remember talking to him before he went out there. he didn't ask for any notes. he knew what he wanted to say. and he didn't get up, it's not as if he spent the night before thinking what he wanted to say. he spoke just hours after the tragedy occurred. this is something that weighed heavily on him. and i think it weighs heavily on all of us who as citizens who observe this is carnage and certainly those of us who are idealistic enough to enter public service to think if we act collectively as a country, we can take the kind of steps required to protect our fellow citizens. it's not rocket science.
there's no bill that we're going to pass that's going to prevent every act of gun violence. we do have a system right now that is broken. just a couple months after president obama gave those remarks, in the briefing room, he wrote an op-ed in the "new york times" in which he said he would become a single issue voter on this issue. he would only support money for dras and endorse democrats who, candidates, democrats most of the time but candidates who supported common sense measures that would reduce gun violence. it is only when those of us who support these kind of common sense measures share the same intensity of those who are members of the nra and those who are guided by the views of the nra, that is when we start to see the kind of change we would like to see in congress but we're not there yet. >> i know the president had the occasion and i maj this president will probably have
this occasion to speak with families that are mourning the loss of people they loved deeply that were taken from them in this manner. i wonder what that effect has where you do it over and over again with essentially nothing to tell them. nothing to -- no answer to give them. >> that's right, chris. i can tell you that i travel to a number of these kinds of locations with president obama in the aftermath of tragedies it took a genuine personal toll on him. you know, when people compare ins of him when he was first elects and when he left office and note how much he aged in that process, a decent chunk of that aging was as a result of comforting our fellow americans who had been through a tragedy like this and it was, you know, it was painful for him as again, as it is for all of us who watch this happen. there was not much he could say in terms of our broken political system but it was important for
the most powerful person in americaing to symbolically express his condolences on behalf of the american people to offer his consolation. and i know that for many people, it was very meaningful to them and often it was people ho had not been political supporters of president obama but yet it was important and meaningful to their process of healing to know that he again, even symbolically that the president of the united states was standing beside them. that is an important role we expect of all our presidents. and that is an emotion and a role that our current president does not appear to be comfortable with. but until our congress tarts to make changes he's going to have to get comfortable with it because this is going to keep happening. > the president did really put his shoulder to the wheel on this politically and it didn't work. not necessarily because he was inefficiently persuasive but
because of the political structures being what they are. i talked to chris murphy about this. do you think the ground has shifted at all now? >> you know, i would point to the same things that senator murphy did which is there is some evidence out there to indicate that people on the side of common sense gun reform, gun safety legislation resolution startinging to increase in intensity and to make clear that this is a voting priority. that has not yet resulted in a change in the composition of congress that will be required to see things like background collection, universal background checks be implemented to see things like weapons of war like ar-15s like the weapon that may have been used in this incident. this is a beach war that has no business being on our streets. there's no reason congress shouldn't prevent those kinds of weapons from being on our streets. there are common sense things we can do and look, you know, when you look at organizations like every town and moms demand action, they remobilizing.
they are organizing. that is a positive sign but we have not yet seen their mobilization efforts result in the kind you have change in congress that will be required. of course, chris, you noted earlier that president trump has strongly supported by the nra. as long as he's in the oval office, i'm not optimistic he's going to sign any of those bills. it's not just a change in congress we need. we have to change the person in the oval office, too. >> josh, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. contributor jennifer ruben is a columnist for the "washington post." there's probably no issue more -- more sort of captures the trajectory of our politics than guns which have polarized extremely strictly along sort of partisan and ideological lines. and now are bringing sort of brought us to the place we're at now. what do you think about that. >> i think it's gotten worse over time for exactly the reason you said.
even people who are not gun owners have made this into a cultural standoff with what they see are' leets coming to change chair way of life. once you make it not about the gun and not about safety but about your personal identity, it's hard to have a rational conversation. and i think the change is only going to come when frankly, not only these groups many bereaved parents but from places in red america where there is a gun culture, where there is an indigenous movement. so long as it gets caught up in the culture war and seen as just another ramification like immigration, like gay rights, you list it, i don't think we're going to make much progress because we are just at logger heads with each other. there's got to be some way to try to take it out of there. >> that's a good point. >> mothers against drunk driving changed the culture. where it suddenly became not something to wink at, nog not something excusable but
something wholly unacceptable. they changed laws at the stout -- state level. they changed behavior patterns, rules regarding personal responsibility, civil liability. there is a lot to be done. we're not going to get any help from the president. that's the message i give out every day kay. so long as trump is there, nothing bigging will get done. it doesn't mean nothing gets done. there are things that can be done in the state houses and state elections. there are things that can be done in terms of mobilizing voters. there are signs that the nra trick doesn't work all the time or as much as it did. in virginia, you had ed gis lel me run out, they're trying to steal your guns message. it didn't help him at all. there were other reasons why he lost. it's not a magic -- not a magic hour, not a cure-all for many of these politicians the way it used to be. so i think some really
thoughtful people who know more perhaps about cultural change than political change have to begin working on changing the culture and changing the mind-set on getting people from red america who live in a place and a communities where the gun culture is very strong to put together agappeal that reaches those people. >> it's a really good point. the point about auto fatalities particularly is there used to be a lot more and we reduced them through cultural change, mothers against drunk driving, changes to the law. there are thousands of people walking around and thousands and thousands of family not in grief and not going to funerals when they're 15 years old at hair high school like so many people do and like i did losing someone in a driving accident. because of those changes. there is -- it has been done before. it's the sort of way in which this government throws its hands
up at this problem in a way it doesn't to others. >> yeah. and you have to contrast it to the instances when we have islamic terrorist. and immediately lit president jumps out there. he doesn't care whether a spec remedy, usually something having to do with persecuting peaceful muslims has anything to do with the fact at hand. he's into it. i would say something else. i've written about this about the federal budget in general. republicans don't want to do something about guns, why aren't they doing something about school safety? why are we wasting money in all quadrants and hollowing out all sorts of things that could be done at the state and local level? rather than persecuting so-called sanctuary cities what about giving grants so we can help to secure schools, put in safety glass, put in buzz in and buzz out systems. there are a slew of things we can doing just in the safety area. republicans have no interest
because they have given up on the notion that the federal government should do much for people. and so we have a very big government, a very big debt. but they're not delivering security. they're not delivering safety. and why aren't they doing anything in that realm? i would like to see someone stand up and say listen, i want to make sure we have enough money to put a cop in every school, to have safety glass in every school, to have an alarm system, to have training for teachers. why doan we do this with $30 million rather than having a military parade to please donald trump. >> we'll be backing with much more coverage right after this.
douglas high school is disturbing. gunshots are audible and the students fear for their lives. you should see what this kind of weapon does if you can stomach it. it was a scene repeated over and over today as children tried not to get killed for merely coming to school. >> holy -- >> oh, my god! oh, my god. [ screaming ] >> joining me retired nasa astronaut and neighbor combat veteran mark kelli whose wife was a victim of gun violence in 2011 and cofounded the giffords law center to prevent gun violence. what goes through your mind having experienced the effects of a bullet in your life when you see this unfold? well, a lot of things. first of all, the immediate
reaction of not again. and i was hoping that it would be you know, more months since the last -- since the next horrific mass shooting was to happen. after that, i think it goes more to the victims and their families, the folks who have died today but also you know, the folks that survived and are going to have to live with this horrific injury for you know, in a lot of cases these are young people. possibly for decades. they've got a really long road ahead of them in some cases. >> what have you learned in this phase of your life and career and you and gabriel giffords, this is not something you are spending full time on obviously before your wife was shot, but now is what the two of you work on. and spend a lot of time around people who have been through similar experiences. what have you learned about what recovery and what changes in a person's life after an incident like this? >> well, i mean, there are all different. chris, actually what i thought you were going to ask is what have i learned in general why we live in a country that has this
kind of gun violence and why we seemingly can't do anything about it. but what i've learned about the victims, there's a lot of strong people out there. i see the strength in gabby every single day, how she's motivated to make a difference and other people that he have suffered at the hands of some pretty terrible gun violence. >> answer that first question you thought i was going to ask. what have you learned about why we tolerate this? >> you know, i've learned about the power of corporate money in our politics. how that money, the money from the gun lobby matters so much to our elected officials, that it paralyzes them to do anything on this issue. i mean, how many months the las vegas shooting, the worst shooting in the history of our country happened october 1st. and what we got from a lot of members of congress and the white house were thoughts and prayers and there will be an appropriate time to do something
about this. well, is today the time? we know that stronger laws make safer communities. that is indisputable. just compare florida, the state of florida to the state of massachusetts. in florida in 2016, you had 12.6 people per 100,000 die from gun violence. it has some of the weakest laws in our country. the place with the strongest laws, massachusetts, that number is two. so the laws do matter when you have a lot of guns as our nation does, you've got to do a really good job about keeping them out of the wrong hands. and the corporate money in pollics is preventing us from doing that. >> mark kelly, thank you for your time tonight. >> thanks for having me on. >> and arizona state representative daniel hernandez was with giffords when she was shot in 2011. hernandez is credited with helping saving her life. what do you think about what those folks in the hospital and
those families are going through right now? >> it is something that's a completely preventable tragedy. it's one that we've become way too familiar in this country. what we don't often do is reflect what is happening. to those shot, those killed, the scars will last a lifetime. for them and for the families of the victims. so i'm glad that you showed that video because it shows this is not a clean thing. this is not a nice thing. this is something that's horrific, gory and it's painful. the recovery for those injured will last a lifetime. not just the physical wounds but the traumatic wounds and the psychological wounds. i'm glad you showed that video. what the washington gun lobby has done well is they make us move on quickly. they make us move on after tucson, after the shooting in las vegas. their agenda is one where we say now is not the time. we wait till the news cycle ends and we move onto the next topic. if we don't show what are the consequences, what is the pain these victims feel, we'll never
get the change we need in this country. >> talk about yourself. you witnessed this. you went through watching this unfold and experiencing the trauma of that. what did it do to you and what did it take for you to get past it? >> for me, it was holding the head of the congresswoman, no person should ever have to hold the head of their hero because of a gunshot wound. no child should have to go to school and be afraid they're going to die or in the screams we heard fearful at any minute the gun may be pointed at them. for me, it took a long time. it took years to be able to talk about it in a way where i didn't feel a gut reaction. and even now, listening to the video, it was a painful experience for me. this is not something that goes away quickly. we need to make sure we're telling folks this is what happens. there is devastation to the bodies and to the minds of these people injured. and it is up to our elected
officials like myself and those in congress to make change. and we haven't seen it after newtown. we haven't seen it after tucson. we didn't see we didn't see it after vegas. the bump stock ban was a minor, minor thing that we were trying to find some common ground. the washington gun lobby for the last 45 years has made people fearful. i've had republicans talk to me all the time in the statehouse saying, i'm on your side, i agree with you, but we can't go against the nra. i'm glad congresswoman giffords and mark kelly have started an organization to stand up to the washington gun lobby that has the radical "guns everywhere" agenda. >> daniel hernandez, now an arizona state representative, thank you for being here. >> i'm sorry that i have to be here. thanks for having me, chris.
>> yamiche alcindor and phillip rucker, yamiche, what was it like there today? >> today, like at the white house, i think that president donald trump's response was something that was i think incredible for this administration in that he wouldn't go on camera. there was no briefing today. he called a lid. unlike president obama who was on cameras and was known as the comforter in chief, you have a president governing by twitter. so some people think that the president has spoken about this, he's offered his concondolences, says federal officials can offer the state support. but this idea that donald trump, who is outspoken on so many issues, has yet to be in front of a camera to speak about this. i should tell you, i covered newtown, connecticut, parents there, after the shooting, were
advocates for gun control, a lot of them are still in court as of last year trying to sue the maker of ar-15s because they think the gun manufacturers need to feel the heat and understand that they need to do something in this fight. as a reporter, there was a groundswell where people thought all this stuff was going to change. and nothing happened. >> phillip, today was a strange day before this happened, at the white house there are multiple scandals swirling around them, they're caught in multiple deceptions and outright lies, a top aide accused of domestic violence against both his wives, who was kept on with a temporary security clearance, there are questions about prominent cabinet secretaries. there was a real question about what are they going to say at the briefing, it kept getting delayed and delayed, and then the lid. >> and then the lid. there are still no questions -- or no answers, rather, to all of those questions about the brewing scandals at the white house. to add a few more, there's
growing scrutiny on the security clearance process at the white house and how many officials are operating there without a full security clearance. there's a lot of heat on chief of staff john kelly, who has lost the support of many of the senior staffers working under him at the white house. and widespread speculation that the pretty will be looking to replace his chief of staff. 0 a lot of questions that went unanswered today. as soon as the shooting happened, the white house decided to cancel that long-delayed press briefing, and as yamiche said, we haven't seen or heard from the president. >> yamiche, you raised an interesting point, because the president offers his opinion on so many things, espn personnel moves, the shoplifting case against the son of a ucla basketball player, he has opinions about things immediately and publicly on certain things. it creates a standard where when he doesn't speak and doesn't speak out, that itself is a kind
of statement. >> especially because you have a president that people think wasn't really at least traditionally ready for the job in the way that his predecessors had been. so he's really learning on the job. and the people around him, including his voters, have really given him the space to grow into the job of the presidency. but what we have right now is someone that, as of right now, has not wanted to be the consoler in chief. he's wanted to talk about the people that he wants to pick fights with. he's wanted to make sure the democrats understand that he has the upper hand, that his party is in power. but in terms of something like this, i don't think anybody really thinks that president trump or at least in the near future is going to start saying, okay, we really need to look at how these manufacturers are happening, we need to look at what kind of legislation to look at. he's obviously a traditional republican president, he won't come out and say we need to change gun reforms, we need to crack down. >> phillip, quickly, do you think we'll see the president
tomorrow on camera? >> i assume so. i assume he's going to want to get out on camera and address the american people. but i do not think he's going to take on the gun law issue. after the vegas shooting, he said it was premature to discuss and would not engage that topic. >> perpetually premature, it seems. >> always. >> yamiche alcindor and phillip rucker, thank you for your time. senator barbara boxer and tom marshal. senator boxer, having legislatively worked on this in the wake of a mass slaughter of a school when you were serving. >> i wrote that bill after sandy hook, i would he it more as a grandmother than i did as a senator. our children go to public schools. you know, this was a horrible day. this was valentine's day. and it will be forever tarnished. i send my love and support to everyone. and i have done it over and over
again. we are failing our children. we are failing our families. we, as mahatma ghandi said, should be judged by how we treat the most verbal people. we can't protect our children because we're too scared of the nra? we couldn't even do the bump stocks bill? we couldn't even do my school safety bill, which one of your other analysts was talking about, the simple things we could do to fix those infrastructures around the schools to make it harder for people to break in, to get in with guns, to have more police presence around the schools. we couldn't even do that. and we have a president who can't even speak out against a wife beater. we are failing our citizens in what is the greatest country in the world. and we better look inside and step up. we have to step up.
>> you know, josh, you've written about the sort of cultural politics in play. the nra has really become -- they almost don't even talk about guns anymore, in some ways because their victory has been so total that they survey the landscape and look for new worlds to conquer. >> in some ways, too, i think they probably realize that the culture war is what buttresses their victory in the gun war. so since they've kind of gotten everything they want on the gun front, they just need to keep stoking the culture war because that's the root of their strength. the thing -- you know, every gun safety activist that is out there, you know, working on background checks and, you know, a ban, all these things are critically important. we know they will each have a marginal effect, but they build over time. when this happens, it's a such a disgrace that we let this happen. and a key reason why this keeps
happening is we send a signal by doing nothing. we validate it. and that is something, i think that is actually a cause and a driver much more than we think. because we send a message that we are impotent and that we truly value the total right to have guns in every circumstance over this. that's more important, when we send that message. >> that's a point that senator murphy made earlier. do you think, senator, that it sends the signal to people who think about doing this? >> it's the signal that we saw the president send to the neo-nazis. i will say one good thing, in california we've seen over the past 20 years over a 50% reduction in gun deaths because we do have some tough laws. so i think i will never give up on the u.s. senate and the house, because we can't. we have to hold their feet to
the fire. but in the meantime, the states have to act. >> and in some ways, that cultural force you talk about, in some ways donald trump is such an unlikely vessel for it, and yet here he is, the most supported nra candidate ever. >> yeah, it's one of the many crazy things about him. i mean, i want to come back to that point, jennifer was talking earlier about m.a.d.d. and drunk driving. what happened there is something that oh, you know, we all have a little too much to drink and drive sometimes. then it became not at all okay. >> taboo. >> i think the key here is, we are resisting any recognition that the person who wants total rights to have guns anywhere and everywhere and never hurts anybody. >> all 30 of them. >> right, and never hurts anybody, him or herself, that person, that's responsible. we allow that sense that guns matter more than anything else.
>> and that clip is going to be on an nra broadcast soon, precisely for the reasons that you've identified. former senator barbara boxer and josh marshall, thank you for making time tonight. that's all for this hour. our coverage continues with rachel maddow. good evening once again from our nbc news headquarters in new york. of course we begin tonight with the news of today's terrible school shooting. this one in parkland, florida, about 40 miles north of downtown miami. around 2:30 this afternoon, a former student from marjorie stone natural douglas high school returned to campus and opened fire, killing 17, wounding at least 14 others. in what has become a familiar scene in this era of heightened school violence in our country, students could be seen filing out of the building, running out of the building with their hands in the air as heavily armed members of law enforcement moved in to search the area. only today in florida some of