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tonight on "nightline" -- armed and angry. they say they won't live under america's laws. >> don't touch me. >> and will go to extremes to make their point. it's been called violent, racist and oscar-worthy. tonight, the superstars of "django unchained" answer their critics in a "nightline" exclusive. after newtown, gabby giffords and her husband talk exclusively to diane sawyer about their emotional journey to the scene of the tragic school shooting.
with cynthia mcfadden in new york city. >> and good evening, i'm cynthia mcfadden. tonight, living outside the law. it may surprise you to learn there are a growing number of americans living right here in the united states who insist that federal laws do not apply to them. including the 22-year-old who showed abc's dan harris the radical lengths he's willing to go to to fend off uncle sam. >> i'm going to go in and speak with the prosecutor. >> reporter: it's 8:20 on a monday morning at the county courthouse in idaho, and the 21-year-old operating this video camera is trying to bring it into the courtroom where he's contesting a minor ticket. >> i don't know what the held law book you're reading, man, but it doesn't apply to me. >> reporter: watch what happens next. i'm going in. >> no, you're not going in. >> don't touch me. >> you're not going in, sir. >> let the record show that you just battered me and -- >> step back.
>> you're using. oh! stop, please. i'm not doing anything wrong! >> reporter: his name is robert peterson, and he says getting tased is a small price to pay for his belief that the american government has no authority over him. >> reporter: what do you use it for? >> just target shooting right now. i haven't had to shoot anything yet. >> reporter: so you would never take a reaction that was like shooting cops? >> if he's shooting me first, then shooting back would be a good reaction. >> reporter: robert is one of the latest and youngest people to latch on to many of the believes of a growing underground movement known as sovereign citizens. people who do not believe that many of basic laws of this country apply to them. >> i'm not an american citizen. >> i would advise you not to say anything. >> i am my counsel. >> reporter: they have disrupted courtrooms, led police on high speed chases, and even engaged in murderous shootouts with
authorities. there are an estimated 300,000 sovereign citizens in america. the fbi classifies them as a domestic terrorist movement. many of these people followed a scary progression from passionate but peaceful, to ultra violent. so when we saw this video on youtube, we wondered were we witnessing the real-time radicalization of a 21-year-old on his way to violence? >> you guys are really overstepping your bounds right now. >> reporter: when we tracked him down, we found a young man who on the surface at least appears average. he lives in his mom's house with his two younger brothers. he rides his bike. but he also straps on a pistol every time he leaves the house, which is perfectly legal here in idaho and openly declares the local police to be his enemy. >> unfortunately, yes. they're the enemy. they're the enemy of anybody who wants to live free. >> produce the information that i require or you will be placed
under arrest for obstructing. >> reporter: robert's long series of run-ins with the cops began when he was 18 and got busted for making fireworks. that's when he went online and stumbled into this whole idea that argues that the american government is a corporation profiting off of us and that it is not necessary in many cases to get taxes or get a driver's license. can't you see where people might look at this and say this is just kind of weird? >> not really. >> reporter: robert's mother worries her son's believes will get him killed. how do you see this thing ending? >> hard to say. my fear is that it's going to end with him getting shot. that's my ultimate -- what i believe is going to happen. >> reporter: do you agree with your mother that your philosophy might end up getting you killed? >> it could, yeah. but i'm willing to live with that, or die with that. >> reporter: it is certainly true that putting his believes into practice has produced
nonstop conflict. >> i'm talking to you, it makes me a little nervous. >> reporter: this is robert arguing with officers giving him a ticket for riding his bike at night without a light. >> have i been charged with a crime yet? >> reporter: here he is trying to take his gun into a courthouse. >> will you authorize me to come in here? with my gun. >> no. >> reporter: for a 22-year-old, it's pretty extensive rap sheet. >> she's certainly spent more time than most here in 22 years of age. >> reporter: do you worry that this is heading perhaps in a bad direction? >> well, we hope not. but we need to be aware of who he is and his ideology. just in case it manifests itself into a problem down the road. >> now there is something in the chamber. >> reporter: after months of bucking the system, the day robert had been waiting for arrived. he was going back to the very same court where he was tased to face charges stemming from that incident. >> the conference, i don't know what's going to happen other than they're probably going to offer me another deal and i'll
probably refuse it. >> reporter: he was facing two years in jail for battery and contempt of court. >> take your hat off. >> you don't have a warrant for this, do you? >> no, i don't. >> arms out, please. >> reporter: there was extra security on hand, including the plaintiff who tased robert. >> you don't ever want to do that to anybody, but my job is to protect the people, and not cause the defendant harm or anything. you always hate doing that. >> reporter: inside the courtroom, robert's defiance continued. >> remove your hat. >> no, thanks. >> out of respect for the court, they want him to take his hat off, but i get it. he doesn't have respect for the court. >> reporter: he finally took off his hat and the judge set a trial date three days later. but the next day, robert was called back in front of the judge to discuss a possible deal. look what happened when he refused to rise.
>> it's against my believes. >> i will find you in contempt if you don't rise. >> all right, i will rise under protest then. >> reporter: in the end, robert took the deal the prosecutors were offering. no jail, but he knows his struggle is not over. do you expect this to be your last run-in with the law? >> probably not, no. >> reporter: now robert says he plans to sue the government for $15 million. >> this is the invoice. >> reporter: the next step in what he believes is a mission, one that he hopes will open the floodgates and inspire others to follow his lead. for "nightline," this is dan harris in idaho. >> our thanks to dan harris. just ahead, all the controversy and all that oscar buzz. my exclusive interview with the director and stars of "django unchained." ♪ this is amazing, how did you find us? i thought we might be related,
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"nightline" continues from new york city with cynthia mcfadden. >> if you listen carefully, that little sound you hear is oscar buzz, getting louder and louder. we'll have to wait until thursday for the official announcement, but it seems like one of the movies topping just about everybody's list is "django unchained." i sat down with director quentin tarantino and two of his stars to get the inside scoop on the film that has everybody talking. it's a "nightline" interview. it's hard to imagine jamie foxx as a slave, or leonardo dicaprio as a despicable slave owner.
>> i'm curious. >> i'm curious what makes you so curious. >> and yet, here they are facing off in one of the most daring movies of the year, "django unchained." >> what's your name? >> django. the d is silent. >> the latest from the provocative writer-director quentin tarantino. the new film defies classification. a revenge fantasy. >> i like the way you die, boy. >> a romance. a western. and it has everyone talking. one critic said recently, there is something for everyone to hate in this film. and something to make everybody mad. >> i don't think that you do a film like this with quentin tarantino and not expect that. i think it's what you sign up for. >> foxx plays a freed slave who goes on a blood-soaked mission to rescue his wife, played by kerry washington. >> you scaring me. >> foxx says he quickly discovered he'd have to park all his success at the door. >> quentin, he looked at me and
he says you got to be a slave. i went what is that about? as i looked at my louis bag, and he said if you don't leave that outside, we're not going to be able to tell the story. which is tough for me because i worked all my life to get to where i am as jamie foxx and now he says you're not there. if you do it the right way, it will be an iconic film. >> it certain sli a controversial one. among the controversies, its liberal use of the "n" word. >> i don't think anybody is saying that we use the word more excessively than it was used in 1858 in mississippi. if that's not the case, then they can shut up. it's my job to tell the truth. >> dicaprio takes a chance in this one, playing calvin candie. >> this is one of the most narcissistic, self-indulgent, racist, most despicable
characters i've ever read in my entire life. >> i can choose to do with my property whatever i so desire. >> not only is the character he plays vile, taking this part was a big deal for an actor of his caliber. the first time he hasn't been the leading man since his colossal success in "titanic" 16 years ago. >> i'm the king of the world! >> pure evil is new for him. >> the first day on set was incredibly difficult for me. >> can i speak on that? >> well, let him speak on it. >> i know, but i have to tell it. because i watched. and he goes -- he said it, he goes buddy, hmm. and i said what's the deal? he says it's tough. i said you know what? you're human. it's supposed to be tough. samuel jackson quickly said hey, mf, get over there, it's just another tuesday for us. and let's get going. >> of course, it's not just the language that's loaded, but the topic itself. slavery.
including a particularly painful scene where kerry washington is whipped, a scene the film makers won't let us show you. >> everybody, people in the trucks, just stood still. quentin had a great thing that he would do on his set. he would play music in between scenes. this particular day, i asked for a certain piece of music. fred hamlin, "no weapons." so as kerry is, you know, being strapped up, we played that song, and the song was -- ♪ no weapons formed against me shall prosper ♪ i looked over and saw the girl who had never been on the set before and her hands went up like this and she started testifying. and as everybody had tears in their eyes, you felt the ancestors, the significance of why we're doing this film, and
showing it this way. >> for all the dark moments, the film is also unexpectedly funny. >> anyone bring any extra bags? >> no, nobody brought an extra bag! >> and that humor has raised hackles, too. foxx himself got stung at the thorny intersection of comedy and race when he hosted "saturday night live" last month. >> i kill all the white people in the movie. how great is that? >> the blogosphere lit up with complaints of reverse racism. foxx wants to clear the air. >> i never in my life felt like what i went through and being called [ bleep ] as a kid that i wanted to go out and kill all the white people. i never felt that. i can't find any black people that feel that way. the only thing i wanted to do is live my life, have my life spent freely without someone judging me because of the color of my skin. >> and that, of course, is all django wants, too.
but getting there is a brutal and bloody affair. for dicaprio, some real blood was spilt. he broke a glass in this scene, but kept on acting. >> if you care to join me in the parlor, we will be serving white cake. >> that was the fun part, watching their reactions. because it happened and i opened my hand and blood starts pouring everywhere and i saw jamie go -- and quentin goes -- [ laughter ] >> but only a drop in the bucket for the reigning king of carnage quentin tarantino, who started 20 years ago with the extremely violent "reservoir dogs." not surprisingly, django is drawing fire for its use of violence. >> in shakespeare's time, he was blamed all the time for the anarchy in the streets. >> so you don't see any connection at all. >> no, i don't. i don't have any responsibility of what a whacked out crazy person might do. >> but for all the controversy
surrounding django, the laundry list of its possible offenses and insensitivities, foxx has a suggestion. >> what i tell people is this. before you form an opinion, i've seen people come out of the movie going into hating. i'm going in to say i don't like quentin and jamie foxx and all this, whatever it is. and leo look too good. i just don't like none of this. i've seen people come out of the movie, wow. i take it all back. they had me laughing. they had me rooting and cheering. because you're not rooting for the black guy to kill the white people. you're rooting for the guy who just wants to be in love with his woman. >> "django unchained" is in theaters now. next up, gabby giffords and mark kelly tell diane sawyer about their shattering visit to newtown, connecticut, and how it inspired their powerful new message. then i heard this news about a multivitamin study looking at long-term health benefits for men over 50.
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their emotional journey to the scene of another senseless tragedy. and how it inspired their new call to action. >> in the two years since it's estimated more than 57,000 adults and 5,000 children have died from a gun in the united states. including the 20 children in newtown, connecticut. last week, giffords and kelly went to try to console the families. >> the first couple that we spoke to, the dad took out a cell phone and showed us a picture of his daughter. and i just about lost it. you know, how did we get to the point where 85% of the children in the world that are killed with guns are killed in the united states? that is a sobering statistic. >> so that's what changed for you? >> yes. >> they say it is now time for action, common sense change led by gun owners, too. you have a gun. >> yes. a glock.
>> you still have a glock. >> gabby and i are both gun owners. we are strong supporters of the second amendment. >> so their group is called americans for responsible solutions and it will become a political action committee to spur congress on questions of mental health, high capacity gun magazines, and background checks on purchases of guns. >> i bought a gun at walmart recently. and i went through a background check. why can't we just make it more difficult for criminals and the mentally ill to get guns. >> but the nra would say they can get them illegally. >> i don't agree with that. >> but they made these arguments. the only thing that stops a bad guy is a good guy with a gun. if there had been somebody with a good there in that parking lot with jared loughner. >> there was. there was somebody with a gun. other than jared loughner. >> he says there was a man nearby who had a gun in his pocket. but almost accidentally shot the hero. >> a good guy with a gun. >> it is still a kind of miracle
that congresswoman giffords survived. a bullet had torn a tunnel through her brain. >> yeah, that's it. that's a thumb. >> today, she says she is still making gains, but every one is hard-fought. >> the hardest part? >> every day, right, awful. >> she is trying to say because of her injury, she has trouble seeing on the right side, but in the room with her, there's no doubt she understands quickly. which she says makes it more frustrating when she doesn't have the words to answer. >> it's a struggle. >> but she will not give up trying. lots of therapy every day. >> physical therapy. yoga. speech therapy. >> your right toe started moving a little bit. >> yes, toe. >> you're walking faster. and if i tug you along, you really move faster. >> but even if it's hard for her to walk, they say she will be walking th