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tv   CNN Tonight With Don Lemon  CNN  February 15, 2018 12:00am-1:00am PST

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rkland, florida. ten more in non-life threatening condition. the suspect, a 19 year-old. 19 years old. a former student in custody. sources say he is talking to investigators. he had been expelled. law enforcement sources say the weapon used to kill 17 people was an ar 15. he had a gas mask and smoke grenades and pulled a fire alarm to lure out more victims. sources also say he tried to mix into the crowd. the crowd of students. to try to escape. those are the facts there. they don't even begin to tell the full story. the story is this, this is a sickness that has infected the country. unchecked and unfettered gun violence. 17 families are torn apart. parents who sent kids to school this morning imagine that. many people send their kids to
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school. just like they have done every other day for years. they trusted their kids would be safe. teach erts went to work this morning trusted that they would be safe. in their space. in their work environment. the way we all should be safe in the work environment. every day and everywhere. in school, churches, offices, nightclubs. concerts. do you feel safe tonight? there's another fact we need to face. every one of us is playing the odds. in a country of 325 million souls that we won't be the ones who get hit by the next bullet. that gets that phone call about someone you love who did. your son, your daughter, your brother, your sister. your spouse or your parent. even a friend. anyone you know. the phone call that changes your life. but with every deadly shooting
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in this country the odds get worse sdp worse and worse. are you really willing to keep play the odds? your life is too precious for that. the lives of loved ones are too precious. the lives of the people in our cities and towns are too precious. have we forgotten life is a gift? it's a disgrace this still happening after sandy hook. columbine. virginia tech. the church. pulse nightclub. las vegas. the list goes on and on. this is who we are right now. is this really who we want to be? a country where anybody at any time could be shot to death. and then when a bunch of people are killed and lives are shattered we are sad, and maybe angry and we forget. and we move on until the next time. with the tragedy remaining in the headline for even a shorter time than it did before.
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so just forget politics here. this is about lives. the lives of all americans. we need to keep guns out of the hand of dangerous people. everyone agrees with that. people who oppose gun control will say today is not the day to talk about it. and they are right. because the day to talk about it was years ago. and yes of course we also need to make mental health a priority in the country. guess what, we can do both. we can do both of those things at the same time. if we don't, we have no one to blame but ourselves. this is america. don't forget that. i know that we are better than this. so let's discuss all of it. the facts and the story behind all of it. i want to bring in martin savage at the scene of the shooting. at broward north health hospital. let's talk about the news now. martin, 17 confirmed dead. what more do we know?
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>> we know the high school is something that no one ever expected in this community. tonight it is one massive crime scene. authorities the sheriff said that 12 of the victims inside of the school have now been identified. of course that means there are five other people that have yet to be identified. they are not releasing any names because of course notification through family is first and foremost in their minds. sheriff did say among the dead a football coach. among the wounded, a child of one of the sheriffs deputies in this community. the impact is so far reaching. the superintendent says that all of the students have now been accounted for. in other words there are no students that are missing here. they may not have identified but they do know and have accounted for all students. and on top of that the grief process begins. superintendent says tremendous grief and sorrow. governor scott spoke out.
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saying this was a absolute pure act of evil. that's how he classified it. there were questions like the issues you were raising about the whole issue of gun control and what has and hasn't been done and security if the school. he was not addressing that. didn't even go there. i should point out that what also is being reported here now is that this investigation is only geing under way. it is quite clear even though authorities say they didn't have heads up or warning, they do believe there was students or people who knew the gunman who had some indication he was going to carry out this act. the sheriff didn't say how he knew. he said believe he come tomorrow he expects five, ten, maybe a dozen people to come forward and say they heard something about this. inside the school the terror very clear. coming from the students as they lived it. as they recorded it on cell phones. here's a sample.
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>> you understand how that sounds. and the imagery is just terrifying to listen to. the power of the gunfire coming. the state attorney general is speaking to us tonight. she says all funerals are going to be covered the cost that is by the state of florida. kp counselling for the survivors will be covered by the state of florida. it is quite -- they are just barely coming to grips with what happened. so far something the state has seen too much of. >> you know what's interesting to me, not that you had anything to do with it. we bleeped out the expletive instead of the fire. the gunfire is much more offensive than someone saying
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bad words. those bad words don't cause lives to be lost and cause people to be mourn. it causes fake out rage. moving forward, that's where we are. this shooter pulled a fire alarm to draw people out to get the higher death toll. what more about this are you finding out about this suspect? >> well, we know the suspect is a 19 year-old. that he is a former student. and yes, as you described it's reported he had a gas mask and throwing smoke grenades. it's not the first time something like this has been done. arkansas i can remember same exact thing. the fire alarp was triggered to pull students. these were young students, out of the classroom. to be shot and killed by an eleven and 13 year-old at that time. that has been used before. i the gunman did attempt to mix in with the students as they fled the school and he was apprehended later.
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that ruse did not work. and he was arrive. in most of the mass shootings we have seen. especially mass school shooltings. usually the gun person kills themselves. that was not the case today. taken into custody. a time of reckoning is yet to come. >> i want to get to the hospitals now. that have been troeting the victims. what are you learning? >> it's the broward health system that we're getting the latest information from right now. there are two primary hospitals. i'm at the hospital that's closest to the school. a total of 17 patients were transported from the high school to the two hospitals. and what we're learning from the hospital this evening is that there is some good news. we don't know how many of them were students, how many were
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teachers. of the 17. we are learning that ten of them have non-life threatening jour injuries. they are still wounded. non-life threatening. five are considered life threatening injuries. there are five patients that are still fighting for their lives tonight. the bad news is that two of the patients that were transported to the hospital did not survive injuries. a hospital said they refrain from explaining exactly what they suffered from. they didn't want to get into details trying to protect the children as much as they could and the parents who trying to come to grips with this. a woven into this the complexity for the hospital was when the shooting happened. because the hospital is so close one of the patients they received was the gunman himself h. the suspected gunman. he was brought here by ambulance. he was surrounded that ambulance surrounded by police cars. treated here by the doctors. the doctors said they simply had
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a to strip away the idea of who all the people were. they had to treat them as humans. and then this suspect was put back into an ambulance and taken away. that ambulance driving down the highway surrounded by police vehicles. they certainly want to make sure that they question this suspect thoroughly. that was some of the struggle here this evening. again, five patients here they have in a condition they call life threatening. >> we have to remember these are children. kids. parents and family have to be terribly scared about loved ones. are folks getting answers at the scene that they need? is the scene chaotic? >> it's quelled a little bit. it's having covered so many of these, it's in the hours after a shooting that there is the most terror. you just don't know as a parent. we have seen it time and time again. the school itself is chaotic.
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the police the law enforcement have got to figure out what's happening and parents are left in the trying to connect with their children. trying to figure out what's going on. if they don't gt the answers the school they go to the hospital. what we saw here were vehicles that are symbols of american family life. vans, suvs tearing into the parking lots. at a controlled rate of speed. you would see mothers and fathers getting out and rushing to the emergency room entrance. being directed by law enforcement to go to a different part of the hospital. to try to figure out where their children are. to get some answers. and that's really what it remind you of. when you watch the scene over and over again. the family vehicles pulling in here and the parents simply trying to figure out what's happened to their children. a scene an american culture that keeps happening that they continuely don't understand.
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>> thank you. martin savage at the skaen. please standby. i want to bring in two students at. a senior. and his brother a freshman at the high school. i appreciate you joining us so much. i can't imagine you have the courage to do this. we're so glad that you do. thank you. aiden, first of all. we're glad you're safe. you were in lock down in your classroom. you took pictures chl tell us about what was happening and what you were thinking when you took these photographs? >> really the first thipg that popped in my mind was where's the shooter, and where's he going next? as you know we have all the entire school probably heard the pops. and really nobody knew where it came from. as you know there can be echoes left and right. it was hard to identify it. so everyone just wanted to know
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where he was. were you safe. is your friend safe. and it was chaos. >> how long were you on the lock down, what were you seeing and hearing? >> i was probably on lock down for about an hour. maybe ten minutes. it started with a few pops in the beginning. maybe about two. and i didn't really think much of it as we normally have pops of chip bags opening at lunch or throwing something on the floor. and i actually had one of my friends run to the classroom from usingth bathroom in the fourth period. and he was frantically screaming there was a shooter. and that he could be close. we all were just kind of startled and then once the fire drill alarm was pulled, we knew this wasn't a joke anymore.
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as we previously had a fire drill the same day. a few hours earlier. and we knew this wasn't normal and there was something sinister going on. >> you didn't believe it. you thought it was fire works or something. no one believed it. >> maybe fire crackers. pulling a prank. >> so how did people react? did you learn anything from the fire drill from the drills that you had that helped you in the particular situation? or nothing you can do in a situation like this that can prepare you. >> yeah, we learned, you know, that we need to be silent. phones need to be on. we need to be on the same side as the door. not in sight of the window. we did do that. of course there were tears. there was crying. some of my classmates didn't know if they were leaving the the school alive. >> sadly some of them didn't. brandon i want to bring you in
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here. you're a senior. you knew the shooter. tell us about it. >> yes, sir. i had class with him sophomore year. i got assigned to a group project and he started talking to me. he got kicked autoof private school. he was held back. he enjoyed hunting. wanted to join the military. he was quiet and strange. >> what do you mean strange, brandon? >> always to himself. never tried to associate with anybody. but once given the opportunity he liked to talk. >> was there nick besides him being a loner? he was shy. is there anything besides that that would make you think he might go to extremes. certainly not to this. but anything that raised any alarms? >> other than today's stereo types, not really.
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>> not really. did he have you said he was a loner. did he have any friends? he spoke to you. did you consider yourself a friend or just knew him? >> as far as i know he didn't have any friend. i wasn't really friend with him. i tried to avoid him. when i got assigned to work with him he started talking. >> how long have you been at the school? he got kick out of two other schools. and aspirations to be in the military. do you know how long he had been at the particular school? >> from what i belief it was his first year. >> how long was that? >> last year. and got expelled. two years ago. >> he was there. two years ago and there last year. he was there for two years? >> yeah. he was expelled last year for possession of weapons. >> possession of weapons. >> that's what i was hearing over the news today. >> you heard that. >> i didn't see him after.
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>> were you surprised to see him then again? did you have interaction with him before this started? did you see him or figure out after it was him? >> i was hearing it after the fact. sitting outside the school waiting for my brother. hearing parents and listening to the news. friends texting me and getting information. >> because of the rules, we we don't know what the reality is. certainly we'll check on the information. i don't know that to be true. maybe it is. did anyone at the school know about the weapons part of it? the alleged weapons part of it? >> i'm not really sure. >> you're not sure. you say today was surreal for you. tell me about what you experienced? >> i was just sitting in class getting ready to leave. there was like five minutes left. the second fire alarm of the day went off. which is alarming. two in one day. got outside and stood for two minutes with my friends.
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we heard gunshots. nobody knew what to do. people just started running. >> did you know any of the people that didn't make it? >> haven't really heard any names. >> you don't know. what about you, aiden? >> this wasn't fully confirmed. i heard some people talking about it. i think maybe an officer my world teacher may have. >> no names. >> all right. they don't know if one of my teachers didn't make it or not. he was -- here's the first classroom to the right from the stairs where the shooter entered. and people suspect he's gone. there's been no word about him. >> so aiden, houpg were you in the classroom? how long did it go on before you left the classroom? >> about an hour.
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>> you stayed in the classroom for an hour? not knowing what was happening? >> no, not really. we were watching the news inside. we weren't really learning information that could help us in the situation. immediately. we didn't know if there were multiple shooters, where he was. >> the actual shooting how long did t go on? >> it probably lasted maybe ten, 15 minutes. we were trapped inside the classroom for almost an hour. because they just didn't know whether this guy had multiple people with him. or where he was before they found him. >> after that period of time, did people start to come in? take me through when did you realize it was safe to go out. take me through that. >> so, it was probably 45 minutes in and we had an add min
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in the room. that was spectating sp she was telling us that police will be arriving shortly. and we did start hearing police opening the door. and busting through the doors actually. and starting to evacuate kids. and we kept hearing coming closer and closer to the door. and eventually made it to us and we all evacuated. >> so once you're outside, what was that situation like? was it chaotic? were authorities and school officials, what were they telling you? >> they weren't really telling us anything else. besides keep moving. make sure your hands are on the shoulders of the person in front of you. no hands in your pockets. keep moving, keep walking until we made it out of the school property. and we dispersed from there.
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>> nicholas cruise tried to blend in with the students. so that was a reason probably said keep your hands above your head. they weren't sure who was necessarily involved in the situation, correct? >> yeah. >> did you see him at all trying to blend in? either of you guys? >> no. >> anyone at the school do they recall that? >> not that i have spoken to. >> most of the people -- go ahead. >> most of the people that were presumably running with him made it too far away to see anybody. some people went to walmart and starbucks. >> have you spoken to anyone anywhere near him or any of the people who were either injured or sadly killed? >> nobody i have spoken to personally was injured. >> you are a freshman as i
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mentioned. bran brandon a senior. aiden your tweets drew attention from the country. how does it feel people were following along with you as this situation was unfolding. because no one knew anything. you were sort of the vessel that was giving information to the rest of the country and the world. that's a huge responsibility. >> i first started posting on twitter after i notified my family members. i tagged the high school. i was nervous. and i just wanted it to be known it was out there. and i started getting notifications on my phone that people were engaging with the tweet. and people really found it useful information. as i probably tweeted maybe five minutes after we started settling down and hiding.
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and you know there was no major news source at the time. there was barely any police at the time. so i feel like a lot of people found it useful and i'm glad that i could do that. >> i sort of touched on this earlier, brandon, did yo take the active shooter training seriously before? i know you have had it. did you take it seriously. no one thinks it's going to happen. >> no one expected it to happen. but we had protocol put in place. we learned about it and talked about it. you never really know what to do until the real thing happens. >> it's hard to talk about it i'm sure. and people to understand. but, if you can help the rest of the country and the world understand what you guys are going through and the people there. what do you say?
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>> i'd say that we have to move forward. arm in arm. we need to unite together. this is obviously a time of tragedy. and especially since it happened so close to us. i feel like our entire nation needs to bond together and come together. i feel like there shouldn't be a divide. this is murder of children and staff and people that help children. and i feel like we need to come together as a country and society. >> aiden and brandon. thank you so much. the words mean a lot. you are two very brave young men. i would spend more time with you but i have to get to a press conference with the governor of florida. more on the breaking news. governor rick scott in a press conference. evil.
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so. thanks, everybody. >> that was governor of florida. answering questions there. i guess it was a spanish language news person speaking. and spanish. again rick scott the governor of florida finishing up what appears to be a press conference in florida talking about the shooting today. 17 people lost their lives. a number of people injured nd that mass shooting. the students we spoke to a moment ago unbelievable young men. and you heard what aiden said there. that we need to come together and talk about this. and need to figure out how to prevent this from happening. taking the politics out. examining what we really mean in this society. about who should be able to have
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a weapon that can kill multiple people in an instant. is this what our forefathers wanted? is this what you want as arnt parents, friends? aunts, uncles, loed ones. is that what you really want? someone who is 19 years old. barely a teenager. to of the authority to have the authority to be able to take those lives in an instant. someone who is obviously dealing with some things going through some things. is that what we want as americans? is this who we are? think about that. when we come back much more on this breaking news. what we're learning about the gunman's background. his background check at a gun store.
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here's our breaking news at this hour. 17 people killed in a mass shooting at a florida high
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school. people most of them kids. high school kids. we're learning more about the 19 year-old suspect's weapons. and about clues from his social media. cnn justice reporter joins me now. thank you so much for joining us. breaking news tonight is about what happened. i understand you have new news tonight on the shooters background check. what can you tell us? >> a will the of questions throughout the day about the weapon. the ar 15 style rifle that he used in the shooting. we're learning from u.s. officials who have been briefed on this investigation that the shooter purchased the firearm. they have information the atf has been tracing this firearm and what we're being told is he purchased this himself. he went into a gun store and was able to purchase this ar 15 on his own. we believe it's been tone in the past year. and key here is that he passed the background check. because he's 19 and if he
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purchased this a year ago. he was 18. tha legal. you can purchase this style of weapon at a firearm store at his age. what you can't purchase is a handgun. you have to be 21. so it's an interesting piece of detail here that there's nothing essentially preventing him from purchasing this weapon. >> you have to be 21 to purchase a handgun? but only 18 for an assault style weapon. >> that's the federal law. >> essentially there was nothing preventing him -- not his age. nothing in the background. from purchasing this. >> that is -- that makes no sense. do we know anything about search warrants? there's new information about that. >> the local police there along with the fbi and the atf working together here. we know of two search warrants that were being executed.
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police and the fbi and atf are in the process of. one of them is his home we believe. and there's another location we're not sure what the location is. but at this point it's usually expected in the types of situations they go to the home. they grab the computer. whatever else. to look at get a sense of what he was doing at home. his computer and through the computers. what you would normally see in these types of situations is going on right now. this will be work that will go on through the night. and tomorrow morning he's supposed to be in the court. police will learn a lot about him through the night sfwl okay he's supposed to be in the court in the morning. talk about more about the information on his social media post. >> these are some of the instagram posts. we heard the sheriff all day raise issues with the social media, his background. the background check of him. and what they were able to find
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was disturbing items. about guns, different thijs he talked about killing law enforcement. and really concerning to them. and wondering the police there wondering why is it that when he expressed about killing. the pictures he used of the weapons. why is it no one went to police to report this? he certainly right now is not on the police radar of the police. but certainly when you look at the type of items he was posting. open for anyone to see on instagram. it raises a will the of questions for police as to why no one reported him. the sheriff sort of stressed this tonight. he said if this whole idea of if you see something say something. he kept talking about that. because time and time again these type of situations we do hear this. someone sees something and think i'm goik going to ignore it. in the end it turns out to be a big deal. if you listen to the sheriff tonight it seemed like he was concerned there was missed
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opportunity here in trying to prevent this. no one alerted the police about him. >> thank you. getting more information. please come back and report it to us. i want to bring in cnn contributor. a national reporter for the "washington post." a former fbi assistant director of criminal investigative division. you heard the news. it floors me. i don't know everything about %-p weapons. what i have is common sense. you can get a handgun at 21 years old. right? but at 18, you can buy an assault style weapon? you can't buy a handgun when you're 18. what is the sense. i really want to know this. i don't mean to be facetious. what is the logic? >> i don't know the logic. actually in florida if you're 18 you can get either. florida has one of the most liberal gun laws in the country. if you look at -- >> that's not a federal
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regulation? that's by state? >> right. correct. if you look at the web site of the international association of chief of police the largest police organization in the country, the major city chief association all the major law enforcement associations. they have come out against the sought weapons especially the ar 15 for years and years. during the time they were controlled or banned, violent gun crime went down 66%. so the assault weapons are -- they're not the only issue. there's many other issues involved. they are one of the issues. >> so, chris, once again we see the images of young children running out of this school. hands above their heads. law enforcement they swamp a mass shooting scene. you can see them. we have seen these images before. what will investigators be looking for at a crime scene
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here? >> well, there are a lot of things going on. the fbi evidence response team is looking very hard at the crime scene. his movements tracking his movements. from start to finish. what's more important, though is you talk about the sort of the early warning system that see something say something. this kid was flashing red. there were neon signs over his left shoulder from a social media post. he was about to go off. and i have seen social media posts from two years ago. and he's posing with weapons, posing with knives. he's making threats. 219 followers. that's 219 chances that someone could have picked up a phone and called. this is the most egregious example of nobody picking up the phone and making the call. a teacher or a parent. this kid was flashing red. >> we keep asking signs missed.
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and if there's anything you can do. we have done this with every single shooting i have here. i have been on this anchor desk for 12 years now. do we ever really -- does it ever make sense? do we ever find out what the issue is beyond the one common denominator? which is you know what? that's for you. >> there are always lessons learned. there have been many things that have changed over the years. mainly in the area of trying to prevent the incidents from a security point. i do school security assessment. i'm up on the most recent security techniques. the things that will work or have the best chance of working. it's a combination of things. i still go back to that first line of defense. which is the people that are
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observing the behavior of the person. and know you know in your heart something bad is about to happen. you're reluctant to pick up the phone and stigmatize the person. and draw law enforcement attention to them because you're afraid maybe you're wrong. >> the stigma is not whether someone has a mental issue. a mental health issue. that's not the stigma. the issue is allowing those people that kind of person to have access to a weapon. especially assault style weapon. wes you have been sitting by patiently. you heard the information. he was able to legally buy an assault style weapon at 18. perhaps that he wouldn't have been able to do that with a handgun. i'm hearing at 18 you can do both. in the state of florida. legally. >> sure. i think that each of these shootings and, don, you have been talking about the years you have been here. covering these.
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my entire career has been going from one of these shootings to the next. and it's one of the only constant things each year. we'll find ourselves here having this conversation. we are here in las vegas and charleston. and the list goes on. it seems endless back to columbine. the details are different in each case. so in this specific case it does seem based on what we know so far, that there were clear and obvious warning signs of who this person was and perhaps he might have been someone a risk. you think of other cases. steven paddock and vegas. we still don't have an explanation. it seems it might have been difficult to have spotted him beforehand. even getting at it there through this conversation there are clear common denominator. certainly mental illness but the access to the weapons. we are the only country where this is routinely happening this way. where children are being shaugtered as they sit in high
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school and elementary school. we know our valentines day might be interrupted in the afternoon. a cell phone video burst into the phones of children and hands trembling as they hear gunshots in the high school hall way. this this is something we run the risk of becoming desensitized to. but we're all traumatized by this. that frankly a will the of our brothers and sisters across the world do not have to worry about. walking into a church or synagogue or high school or elementary school and being gunned down. >> if you look at any of the information, any of the studies, anything about this. the only common denominator. that separates us. the rest of the world is here and we're here. off the charts when it comes to this type of violence. and the only common link is the
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number of guns that americans are allowed to have. you can save it. people who are saying it's not the time to talk about guns. yes it is. shut up. i don't want to hear it. it absolutely is. again, anyone with any sense knows that this is the one common denominator that america has the sickness that we have. that we have these things. is having this much access to guns for people. especially for people who shouldn't have access. don't tell me it's not time to talk about it. if you talk to the people who lost loved ones. it's time to talk about it. my loved one would be here if this shooter didn't have access to an assault style rifle. it's a rifle, of course it's different. that makes no sense. what is the logic behind that?
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>> we feel -- we can feel this frustration. how you're talking in the kfrgts. we have fallen into the cycle. when the shooting happen people jump out and say don't talk about guns and don't talk about mental health. don't talk about these things yet. there's a real, for many of us who carry the stories and speak and meet the families. as folks who genuinely want to better understand the world we're in and understand what's happening. it is clear that guns are in the primary factor. in this conversation. and that we can't get to that point and can't have that conversation. yet we're seeing dozens of children being killed. i had a colleague who did an amazing project this last year: looking at the hundreds of children present for a school shooting inside a school. the number of 1,500 students since columbine. a whole general ragts of students who brought up with
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lock down drills. knowing there might be a mass shooter that comes into the school. a generation of teachers taught this way. and there's a fear. from some folks and this isn't about the politics or partisan. there's a fear that having the reasonable conversation that the reality is guns are the factor here. will lead to policy changes that those folks maybe do not want. it was eluded to earlier, you talk to policing groups. they are often the most vocal advocates f advocates for stricter gun laws. if you want to cut down on crime or officers being killed. and things that a lot of folks who support gun rights talk about supporting. if you want to support the police the police are first to say there should be tighter restrictions. there should be tighter restrictions on widely available they are. for whatever reason the political conversation goes to
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thoughts and prayers. and moves beyond or passed a conversation. >> because a political argument about whether people want to take your guns away and it's a second amendment. it becomes so silly. and any thinking person knows -- listen i want to be able to check my family. i have loved ones who li live 'lope. i want them to protect themselves. i want them to have a right to have a gun. who needs an ar 15? who really needs an ar 15 beside ts law enforcement. or somebody responsible enough to have that type of gun. military or law enforcement. someone who had responsible gun training. a 19 year-old who walks into a gun store? are we giving that responsibility to that person? this is the facts, the shooter used an ar 15. this type of gun has been used in aurora. look at your screen everybody.
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aurora, new town, san bern, las vegas, all the other shootings. sp more. ar 15 style weapons. so freesquently used in the mas shootings. >> the rifle is ubiquitous. again an international association chief of police the largest police organization in the world. and they say assault weapons should only be in the hands of police. and and military. they kill too many people too fast. that's what they're built for. and the you are urban setting and in the hands of young people, people who are under 18 or excuse me under 21 in this case. it's even more exaggerated. they are going through problems and all kind of issues. it doesn't belong in their
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hands. it's just it's a weapon that can kill too many people too fast. and law enforcement doesn't want to go up gens those weapons. they're the weapon of choice for gangs and terrorist organizations. they're not built for hunting. they're built for killing people. a lot of people in a short period of time. >> nothing will get done. thank you gentlemen, i appreciate it. nothing will get unless we as americans stand up and realize something is wrong. and try to make changes. guess what, nothing is going to get done unless our lawmakers have the backbone to stand up and make changes. if they don't, the next shooting is blood on their hands. we'll be right back. they have passions to pursue how do they avoid trips to the post office? stamps.com mail letters ship packages
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back now with breaking news. a mass shooting at a high school in florida. 17 people are dead. 17 people killed. the 19 year-old suspected had been expelled from the school. i want to bring in frank bruni.
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columnist for the "new york times." another shooting another angry young man. we have seen too many tragedies like this. what's your reaction? >> how many more will we see before we take this seriously. we're not taking this seriously. when it comes to congress and gun control. we have done nothing. we have had sandy hook, the pulse nightclub, we have had the las vegas strip. on and on. what dhanged since then? can you point to a meaningful new regulation or law? we have some of the most relaxed, lax gun laws in the country. we are a country that is swimming in guns like no other developed country. what do you know we're drowning in gun set like no other developed country. that tells us something and we're not heeding that message. >> that whole the whole gun control has become the negative thing that people say, you want gun control which means you want to take guns from everyone. is it gun control or gun
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licenses? we don't say car control or driver's license control. or car insurance control. or house insurance control. because in order to get a driver's license, you have to pass tests, i have to be a certain age. no one says we want car control. what about just gun licenses, gun laws? >> or gun safety. and it's my bad for saying give up control. >> no, i'm not -- >> it is. if we're serious about getting somewhere, we have to be very careful. in our tactics. that includes language and includes talking about all aspects of it. this is absolutely a story of guns and compels us to look at gun law and gun safety. we have to look at the rest of it. this seemed to be a troubled young man who was giving off warning signs. if we're going to be serious about solving these things as we talk with great vigor about gun
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laws and safety. we need to talk about whether we are looking at each other with enough alertness and concern. whether we are sounding warnings about the people around us when the warnings deserve to be sounded. it's a tough thing. none of us want to be ratting out people and be an alarmist. civil liberties are important. i think as with hear more and more about this story we'll find out a lot of people failed in noticing what this young man was sending out and maybe intervening. >> a little bit more on this. before i move on. just the add surdty in this. i had really bad allergies this winter and the flu. when i went to the pharmacist i had to show a driver's license to get pseudo-fed. when i wanted to buy a house, my gosh i had to jump through hoops. everything but my first born. when i bought a car in order to if you want to finance. you have to do all of these things. when i moved to new york city to
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get a driver's license. where's your social security card and passport. how do with e know this is you? when i was in when i covered aurora, for this net work, and wint into a gun shop in aurora, colorado to buy an ar 15. it took me 20 minutes to get that gun. >> right. >> and brick bring it back from colorado. on an airplane. no problem. >> right. that's wrong. and that's not what the second amendment was supposed to be about. and let us remind ourselves it was written 200 years ago. before we have the weapon that was just used nd this massacre. there's something wrong with the culture. we refuse to address it. and that's on all of us. you mention lawmakers not having enough backbone. 100% true. we're not putting adequate pressure on them. not enough voters are prioritizing this as an issue to make sure the lawmakers snap to. if they feel the wrath of voters
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the way that he feel the nra. they may change. and vote for things they are running from as fast as they can. >> people are probably surprised i'm going on about this. as you know, i lost a loved one recently. and tragic, shockingly because it wasn't expected. so what i'm saying is that i can't imagine what the folks there are going through. i know what i went through. i can't imagine sending my kid off to school going about my business, and thinking my kid safe. because the teachers are there and the security people are there. and maybe a police officer. my kid is fine. they're with students and peers. and going to get a higher education and for the american dream. and then getting that phone call. i just my heartbreaks for people. the reason i say that here's what the president says. he's right my prayers and condolences to the families. no child, teacher or anyone else should feel unsafe in an
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american school. we know he's a big advocate for gun rights. talks about the second amendment. saying everyone is trying to take your guns away. he opposed gun measures. >> right. that expression of sympathy is it lovely. whether it's gun measures or something else, what are you doing? mr. president. in your state of the union you went on and on about the danger of undocumented immigrants. i didn't hear you talk about gun safety. i heard you praise the heroism and the action of law enforcement officials and rescue workers in las vegas. what about talking about how we make sure the law enforcement officials and workers don't have to wait among the corpses in the first place? he's not having a complete conversation and not showing leadership. >> if you toent have a life you don't have a job. saying the immigrants are taking jobs away from whatever. however you feel about it. if you don't have a life, nothing else really matters. if your loved one is not here.
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nothing matters. he wants to spend $25 billion on wall that every thinking smart expert will tell you doesn't make a difference. nothing to do with border security. everybody want ts pord border security. take the $25 billion and spend it on keeping lives, keeping people alive. rather than some talking point for your base. >> in fraction of the money could fund a really comp reensive investigation into why the country has a rate of gun death unlike any other. >> we know why. >> we know it starts with the availability of guns and and there's other stuff now. that wall does nothing for the parents sending their kids to school tomorrow with a pang of fear in their heart. sending their kids to schools that have active shooter drills because this has been happening for so long. it's crazy that this very school where the bloodshed happened they were used to active shooter
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trils because every school prepares for this moment. this moment is so envisionable by people it's part of the schools procedure. to prepare for it. that's nuts. >> thank you, frank. 17 lives lost. for the people who are still alive mourning them. i'm sorry. that we as americans did not take better care of these students. of the peep who were there. we'll be right back. . . .
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>> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. pray for this city. pray for this school, the parents, the folks that lost their lives. it's a horrific, horrific day. >> 17 more lives -- 17 lives lost in the latest episode of gun violence plaguing american schools. the suspect's social media now raising disturbing clues. a florida community reeling as officials resort to thoughts

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