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tv   At This Hour With Kate Bolduan  CNN  February 28, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PST

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i'm erika hill. you're looking at live pictures of the hearse carrying the casket of the late reverend billy graham. that casket will make its way into the capitol where he'll lie in honor as we follow this we'll be bringing you this ceremony and service live this morning. a welcome as well to international viewers joining us now. the military guard making their way out there to the hearse, they will be carrying the casket up the east front steps of the capitol where again the late
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reverend billy graham will lie in honor. a moment and honor that has been given to four private citizens, the last person to lie in honor there, rosa parks in 2005.
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the macasket making its way into the capitol. you see family gathered as well. the president will be there. boris sanchez joins us now from outside the capitol where you just witnessed this event, the millty guard bringing the casket up the steps for us. >> that's right, erika, it is really a rare moment in american history where you see both parties come together to commemorate the life of a truly special american, he was known as america's pastor. at 99 years old, known for not only sharing faith with millions of americans but also for elevating his faith to play a role in politics and being influential, not only in the political process, but really in the white house specifically. billy graham was known to be an adviser to a number of presidents spanning decades. it was said that he prayed with
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presidents going from harry truman to barack obama. donald trump of course attributing billy graham's influence to his own reexamining of his faith and getting closer to his own spirituality. we should note that president trump said that billy graham was a great man and he would be missed not only about christians but by all religions. he's set to give remarks later today and joined by vice president mike pence who called billy graham one of the greatest americans of the 21st century and other leaders in congress, paul ryan and senate majority leader mitch mcconnell also set to deliver remarks. yesterday they spoke with reporters and said that this was an easy decision to memorialize billy graham this way. he becomes only the fourth private citizen to lie in honor at the u.s. capitol. he joins rosa parks and two law enforcement officers killed during a shooting here at the capitol back in 1998.
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it will be interesting to see how the president communicates billy graham's impact to the nation, a man that will long be remembered not only for his faith but the way he impacted the political life of so many for so long. >> boris, with the latest there from the capitol. thank you. we want to bring in randall balmer, chairman of the religious department at da dartmouth. as we look at the scope and impact of this man, reverend billy graham. how do you put that into words, randall? >> it's pretty tough. he's a person who was enormously influential. i think he was arguably the first religious celebrity because he came into prominence at the unique moment in history and launching pad was really the 1949 crusade and revival campaign in los angeles at which -- during which time william randolph hearse instructed his papers to puff
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graham and that provided a launching pad for him into the public sphere. more important, he's important because he was able to lure evangelicals out of their subculture and out of their cozy little world that they had constructed in the early decades of the 20th century and into the mainstream of american life and that was symbolized by his very public friendship with the succession of american presidents. >> and it's remarkable too, not just that friendship that ensued, the faith that they put in the reverend billy graham and how he helped them with their own faith journeys. when he talk about bringing evangelicals out as well, the impact we have seen in the time since, is frankly enormous. >> it is enormous and i have to say that mr. graham himself was -- he initially played a
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part in that but he came to -- >> i'll stop you there for just a moment. we're seeing the casket now come in.
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cetera. isn't lg an obama guy. why not use justice department lawyers. disgra disgraceful, exclamation point. kaitlan? >> reporter: that tweet after jeff sessions that michael who wits will be looking into the alleged abuses of surveillance. a few things wrong with the tweet, yes, he was appointed to his latest current position in 2012 by president barack obama but he's someone who worked in top roles at the doj under both republican and democratic administrations and once appointed to a job by george wsh bush administration. a little bit of context. known as a straight shooter here in washington. that tweet is part of the larger attack by the president on his attorney general jeff sessions, someone he has been very frustrated with since he first recused himself from overseeing the russia investigation last march. he continued to attack on
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twitter and interviews since that first happened calling him weak, beleaguered and very disappointed in him and would not have picked him to be the attorney general if he knew he would have recused himself. less of an attack on the speker general whose job is to inspect those kind of matters and more of a return of those attacks that friendly fire on his attorney general jeff sessions. >> of course as all of this is happening there are new revelations about the president's inner circle and what may be playing out there. >> reporter: a very bad day for jared kushner. his top aide announce d he was leaving the white house, his communications director, and two other very note worthy things, jared kushner has seen his security clearance downgraded from a top see kcret interim clearance to see kret interim clearance that will affect a lot of things that have been in jared kushner's portfolio during the last 13 months in the white house. he's in charge of negotiating
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peace in the middle east but also relationships with canada and mexico and several things on his plate that are going to be affected by this. and also, his day to day life here in the west wing because he's someone we know one of the top officials in the white house who is requested almost more information than any other official to access to highly classified information. and he's also someone who has read the presidential daily brief, that document that the president gets that highlights the most pressing information from around the world, something we know jared kushner look the at about but will no longer be able to look at with just a secret interim clearance. that also came on the same day that the "washington post" roshted that officials from four countries have discussed ways they could exploit jared kushner by discussing ways they could do that through his financial problems he had before and lack of foreign policy experience, several other things that certainly affect his standing here in the white house. so jared kushner coming to work with a very, very different day to day life than he had the last
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13 months. >> kaitlan collins, thank you. still to come this hour, bob mueller now zeroing in on president trump's business activities in russia before he announced his run for president. is mueller crossing that red line that president set for the special counsel? that's just ahead. we're also keeping a very close eye on what's happening at the capitol. you see paul ryan there making remarks. when we return, we'll hear from the president and bring those remarks to you live.
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afi sure had a lot on my mind. president trump now taking to the microphone. >> thank you speaker ryan and leader mcconnell and most importantly, thank you to the entire graham family for honoring us with your presence here today. thank you. in the spring of 1934 billy graham's father allowed a group of charlotte businessman to use a portion of the family's dairy farm to gather for a day of prayer. on that day the men prayed for the city. they prayed that out of charlotte the lord would raise up someone to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth. we are here today more than 80
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years later because that prayer was truly answered. billy graham was 15 years old at the time. just a few months later he accepted jesus christ as his lord and savior. that choice didn't just change billy's life, it changed our lives. it changed our country and it changed in fact the entire world. the north carolina farm boy walked out of those fields into a great and beautiful history, starting at a small bible school in florida, he soon led a nationwide revival. from a large tent in los angeles, to 100,000 people in a
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single day at yankee's stadium to more than 2 million people at madison square garden, over 16 weeks in 1957. and i remember that because my father said to me, come on, son, and by the way he said come on, mom, let's go see billy graham at yankee stadium and it was something very special. but americans came in droves to hear that great young preacher. fred trump was a big fan. fred trump was my father. in london, tokyo, seoul, bogota, moscow, new delhi, saigon and jo han necessary berg and scores of other places he shared the power of god's word with more than 200 million people, in person and
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countless others through television and radio where people loved to watch and listen. in 1978, with the support of the catholic bishop, who would soon become pope john paul ii, reverend graham went to poland and spoke of the meaning of the cross to a people suffering under the oppression of communi communism. billy graham carried his message around the world but his heart as franklin will tell you was always in america. he took his message to the poorest places, to the down trodden and to the broken hearted, to inmates in prison and to the over -- and the
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neglected. he felt a great passion for those that were neglected. everywhere he went reverend graham delivered the same beautiful message, god loves you. that was his message. god loves you. we can only imagine the number of lives touched by the preacher and the prayers of billy graham. the hearts he changed and sorrows he eased and the joy he brought to so many. the testimony is endless. today we give thanks for this extraordinary life and it's very fitting that we do so right here in the rotunda of the united states capitol where the memory of the american people is enshrined. here in this room we're reminded that america is a nation
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sustained by prayer. the painting to my left is of the pilgrims as they embark for america, holding fast to the bible and bowing their heads in prayer, along these walls, we see the faces of americans who prayed as they stood on the lexington -- who prayed as they headed west, as they headed into battle and prayed as they marched for justice and always marched for victory. around us stand the statues of heroes who led the nation in prayer during the great and difficult times from washington to lincoln to eisenhower to king and today in the center of this great chamber lies legendary
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billy graham. an ambassador for christ who reminded the world of the power of prayer and the gift of god's grace. today we honor him as only three private citizens before him have been so honored. and like the faithful of charlotte, today we say a prayer for our country that all across this land, the lord will raise up men and women like billy graham to spread a message of love and hope to every precious child of god. thank you. god bless you. and god bless america. thank you very much.
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>> president trump and his remarks there. speaking for about six minutes talking about the reverend billy graham and when he was first introduced by his father, his father was quote a big fan, talking about his message of love and hope that the president hopes will continue to be spread around the world. we'll be right back. we danced in a german dance group. i wore when i first got on ancestry i was really surprised that i wasn't finding all of these germans in my tree. i decided to have my dna tested through ancestry dna. the big surprise was we're not german at all. 52% of my dna comes from scotland and ireland. so, i traded in my lederhosen for a kilt. ancestry has many paths to discovering your story. get started for free at was a success for lastchoicehotels.comign badda book. badda boom. this year, we're taking it up a notch. so in this commercial we see two travelers at a comfort inn with a glow around them,
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period before the campaign. cnn has learned special counsel robert mueller and his team are looking at how russia might have tried to influence donald trump when he was weighing a presidential run. following that part of the story for us. what is the special counsel looking at here? >> we've learned that the special counsel has been asking questions about the timing of president trump -- timing of trump's decision to run for president and whether anyone heard anything that the russians may have been that may have been compromising on the president and other questions were asked about the financing of the miss universe pageant in 2013 in moscow and questions were also asked about two failed attempts to have a branded trump tower in moscow. one person told us they were asked whether any russians were seen at the trump tower offices in new york in 2015, the year that trump began his presidential bid. >> there's also the issue here of what the president said in july telling the "new york
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times," probing into his finances or his family's would cross a red line. is that reviving the idea that perhaps the president migtd fire robert mueller? >> we haven't seen tweets or reaction from the white house this morning to suggest that is something that is being considered. we -- former independent counsel ken starr told cnn earlier today he thought it went beyond the mandate. the special counsel is thorsed to look at anyone that may have arisen from the investigation. one of the sources we spoke to for this piece told us there were allegations that these things were out there and that the special counsel may have been checking the boxes to make sure to rundown all of these leads. >> appreciate it. thank you. i want to dive deeper with seth waxman, former federal prosecutor and cnn political reporter rebecca berg and david chalian also with us. take a listen.
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>> i think it's beyond his mandate. the mandate is what happened during the 2016 election in terms of collusion? that's the key idea. >> seth, do you agree with that? is it in fact beyond the mandate? >> with all due respective to disagree with mr. starr on this one. i agree they are looking at the conspiracy between the russians and trump campaign to influence that 2016 election. but as a former federal prosecutor having investigated many complex criminal conspiracies they do not start and drop out of the sky. there's a relationship between these parties that started years ago and as part of that investigation, the prosecutor will want to know what happened, how did they get to know each other? what kind of business transactions were taking place over the months and years leading up to the 2016 election. so to understand the nature of those relationships especially if there was untoward conduct in the years leading up. i think that entirely arises out
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of. we would call it as direct evidence of the conspiracy, not inadmissible and entirely relevant and fits entirely within mr. mueller's scope of his investigation. >> so you see it fitting within the scope. david, as we look at this, referencing once again what the president said back in july to the qults new york times about the red line in terms of going back and looking into finances, how much could this be pushing the president perhaps towards looking at robert mueller once again a bit more closely? >> sorry. i think you have to realize here that in this process the president doesn't actually get to draw red lines. yes, we should be on lookout for his response to this and if he lashes out in some way in response to this reporting but i don't think bob mueller is all that concerned with political red lines if you will that president trump is drawing to try to sir couple describe this investigation to a place he feels comfortable.
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>> we did see the president lash out on twitter against his own attorney general calling him disgraceful in all caps. some ways too contradicting his own press secretary we heard from. is there a sense of how much more jeff sessions is willing to take here? >> well, we've already seen jeff sessions to date take a great deal of abuse from the president, erika. this is not by any means a new fphenomenon we're seeing but jef sessions has shown he's not willing to step down from this job. he offered his resignation or suggested to the president earlier in the term that he would offer his resignation if it would please the president but president trump didn't show much of an appetite for actually firing jeff sessions. so given that, jeff sessions is just in a position where he's having to take this abuse from the president and do his job day to day. we've seen to date that jeff sessions is willing to put up with that from the president and do what he thinks is right. the funny thing is in this
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situation, that jeff sessions is doing fundamentally what the president wants, he's just not going about it in the way the president would prefer. >> which we saw, definitely in the tweet. when we look at -- there's so much going on here today, i'm jumping around a little bit but we have so much to cover on a day when any other day we would be looking at paul man that ford pleading not guilty. we have to move on to things like jared kushner, the downgrade in the status and ripple effect we're seeing there. is this a win for john kelly or could it be a nail in his coffin? >> well, it certainly a loss for jared kushner. there's no doubt that this was a rough day and day of rough headlines for jared kushner. having the security clearance downgraded will certainly prevent him from doing some of the activities that he had been doing assuming that the president himself doesn't just wave that and grant his own authority, which he has certainly the ability to do.
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as you heard the president himself, he was going to leave this in john kelly's hands. you know that john kelly has been on a mission to bring order and discipline inside this west wing in a way he sees fit and how a white house should run and there's clearly some tension between kelly and kushner over this while publicly their statements suggest there's not. there clearly is some tension. i would add ivanka to that mix as well because john kelly is trying to run a shop where the relatives of the president don't have some avenue of advice that go around him. and this is now part of that. >> there's also as part of the development involving jared kushner, there's also a "washington post" reporter that officials in four countries are discussing ways that they could semly exploit jared kushner in some ways. what really matters is whether they are successful. in some ways this is what you would expect, looking to find their own way in. is there more here than the h d
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headlin headlines? >> there could be to the extent jared kushner has been compromised in some shape or form. that's exactly why sally yates went to the transition team from trump and told them that michael flynn was potentially compromise. and a person that has that kind of access to the president of the united states of course his son-in-law being in that kind of position can be completely troubling. it begs the question, of course, did something more happen that rises up into the president himself and does that cause the president to be compromised. that is what part of the investigation is looking at. did the russians have the goods on the president and is that o somehow compromised him. that's part of what bob mueller is looking at. >> hope hicks spent nearly nine hours before the house intelligence committee, not talking about anything during her time at the white house, although we do know that she admitted to sometimes telling white lies with the president prior to that time.
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rebecca, is there concern at this point within the white house that even circles in washington as to what the white lies could tutor is this more case of a headline. >> it's certainty headline and interesting, we're going to need to get more detail. what was hope hicks lying about to the president. what was her motivation for this? was itself preservation? was it an attempt to not anger the president unnecessarily or was this something more fundamental and more serious? ideally, this is something that these committees in congress and potentially mueller would be looking at, would be probing the questions they would be asking. but one of the obstacles for the congressional dcommittees in particular with a hope hicks testimony yesterday, in some cases the former white house officials in the case of steve bannon for example, are not being forthcoming with questions pertaining to their time in the white house without invoking
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executive privilege explicitly. >> appreciate it. thank you. up next, students at parkland high back in class today two weeks after 17 of the classmates and teachers were kilds. as they make emotional return, a major sporting goods company takes a stand. if you've been diagnosed with cancer, searching for answers may feel overwhelming. so start your search with our teams of specialists at cancer treatment centers of america.
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shooting. you see them now. these are live pictures of the dismissal. you won't see any overhead shots right now because the school had asked all news organizations to please keep helicopters out of the way, noting how disturbing that sound can be for some of the students and the staff as they are returning and their families. we are obviously honoring that request. you see them making their way out of school off campus, diane gallagher is in parkland live as the students wrap up day one. and what have you been hearing from them and families? because i know a lot of parents were there to help bring the kids back today. >> reporter: they were. some of the parents of the students who passed away came this morning. they wanted to be there with the students and some of their other children who had to come back to the school. i want you to hear though from a student who went to school today, dmitry and i rode the bus together to tallahassee and you were a little anxious about starting back at school today. how did it go? >> it went well.
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it was really cathartic in my opinion and it was emotional because of the victims i had two classes with so it was -- you know, as well as i guess it would be. >> reporter: the principal said it's going to be compassion not curriculum. we got texts from you and your classmates as people were doing board games and doing things to help heal. how did you occupy the time today? >> we just kind of talked and talked about very futile things because our minds are there to talk about math and statistics and science and stuff. we were just trying to ease back in with the curriculum and a lot of our teachers asked us, how do you wand us to proceed? do you want to start going back into the curriculum or do you want your time or how do you want us to do it? i liked it in that respect. >> reporter: how do you want them to proceed? >> we're still not sure yet. a lot of students have said let's start getting back into it
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and others said let's ease in it and others not ready yet. it's mixed and i think that it's going to take some time but i think the rest of the remainder of this week will be really good for all of us to have a little bit of that time with our friends and everything. >> thank you so much. i appreciate you coming and talking to us and thanks for obviously you can see these students are going through a lot, but they have been strong for the past two weeks, and a lot of them showing that strength again today. >> they absolutely are, and setting quite an example for the rest of us. diane gallagher, thank you. as the students do make their emotional return, one retail chain says it is now taking a stand. dick's sporting goods announcing it will step selling assault-style weapons and is raising the minimum age for all gun sales to 21. the parkland shooter bought a gun at dick's. it was not the ar-15 style used in the shooting. but the dick's ceo says this is the time and the right move.
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>> if these kids are brave enough to organize and do what they're doing, we should be brave enough to take this stand. that's what we've done. we actually sold the shooter a shotgun in november of last year. now, we looked at that and found out that we did this. we had a pit in out stomach and say, we need to -- we don't want to be a part of this story. we need to have a responsibility to these kids. we decided we are not going to sell these any longer. >> cnn correspondent alison kosik is live outside a dick's sporting goods store. this is a big move. how is it being met? >> reporter: yeah, dick's sporting goods really taking a direct stand, the strongest move by any corporation so far. really a prime example of corporate america stepping up to try to make change happen in the gun violence debate way before congress has a chance to act, if congress will do anything. in its statement, dick's saying, we heard you, the nation has heard you, and now it's time to do something about it. dick's ceo saying, look, we're going to stop selling all assault rifles at our stores
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immediately and will no longer sell those high-capacity magazines that make it easier for a shooter to fire off those weapons without having to reload. dick's saying also it won't sell any gun to anyone under the age of 21. now, interestingly enough, as you heard in that little sound bite that you played, after the shooting the folks at dick's went through their purchasing records and found out that nikolas cruz, the shooter in parkland, had actually purchased a shotgun legally at a dick's store, but it wasn't the gun that was used in the shooting at the high school massacre, and it wasn't even the type of weapon that was used in the shooting. but the ceo making a point to say we are doing this for the kids, and we are doing this because we hear your voices and because we're not seeing any action on gun violence thus far. so we're going to take action into our own hands. >> alison kosik, live in new jersey, thank you. up next, a suspicious letter
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opened at a military base. 11 people fall ill. the new details in this bizarre incident, next. liberty mutual saved us almost $800 when we switched our auto and home insurance. liberty did what? yeah, they saved us a ton, which gave us a little wiggle room in our budget.
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11 people falling ill after a suspicious letter was opened at a military base in arlington, virginia. officials say the letter tested negative for harmful substances. it's still been sent, though, to the fbi's lab in quantico for further analysis. barbara starr joins us now. she's on the story. what more do we know about this? >> well, we're still waiting for that final word from federal law enforcement as to what, if anything, may have been inside this envelope. you're right, 11 people experiences symptom when is it was opened apparently in a marine corps office here at this base in the washington, d.c. area. three taken to the hospital. they were actually released late last night. people experiencing and reporting symptoms such as
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burning. one person reporting a bloody nose. so a very, very quick response last night by local and federal law enforcement and emergency response personnel to this base, decontaminating everything, getting people to medical care. so now the initial tests by all accounts is showing it was not a hazardous substance. but certainly symptoms were reported, so they are conducting additional testing today, trying to figure out exactly what, if anything, was in it and the letter, which appeared to have some rambling language in it, who may have sent it and what their motivation was. >> all right. we'll continue to look for those. barbara, thank you. >> sure. and before we let you go this hour, another look at the events at the capitol. live pictures for you here now. the late reverend billy graham lying in honor at the u.s. capitol, just the fourth private citizen to be given that honor. the public will have an
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opportunity to pay their respects beginning in just about an hour. just moments ago, the president laying a wreath. the president and the first lady paying their respects there. once again, live pictures for you now of the casket lying there in the capitol. again, the public will have the opportunity to pay their respects in just about an hour. you see the family gathered there. thank you for joining us. "inside politics" with john king
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starts now. thank you and welcome to "inside politics." i'm john king. thank you for sharing your day with us. the special counsel is asking about precampaign trump organization dealings in russia. the president lashing out at attorney general jeff sessions. disgraceful is the new insult. plus, honoring america's pastor. a farewell tribute to billy graham at the united states capitol. and back to school at marjory stoneman douglas high school. students confront their fears, and some, their frustration. >> the thing that makes me the most mad is even after two weeks, even after two weeks of all of this, not a single bill has been passed at the state or federal level. none of our glass is being replaced with bullet proof glass. none of our locks that are being replaced are able to be locked from the inside. no legislative action has been taken. all we have now is more guns and more chances f


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