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tv   FOX News Sunday With Chris Wallace  FOX  December 16, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

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>> chris: i'm chris wallace, a deadly grade school shooting in connecticut leaves officials, parents, and the nation, searching for answers. ♪ >> the majority of those who died today were children. beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. ♪ >> chris: we'll have live reports from the scene. with the latest on the investigation. and the victims. we'll talk with police, parents, of some of the children who attend the school. and with the state's long time senator, joe lieberman. then, will there be a new push on capitol hill, for tougher gun control? we hear the same calls after every mass shooting. but, will the horrific nature of this crime change the debate? we'll ask democratic senator dick durbin, and, republican
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congressman louie gohmert and we'll look at what we can do better to protect or children, when we talk with ronald stevens, one of the nation's top experts on school safety... and our sunday panel weighs in on a crime of mass violence, that is becoming much too familiar. our special school tragedy coverage, begins, right now, on fox news sunday. ♪ >> chris: and hello again from fox news in washington. our hearts are broken. that is how president obama responded friday to the slaughter of 27 people, 20 of them, little children. as we spoke to and for the nation. today, we'll try to make some sense of the senseless act of violence, at sandy hook elementary school. we'll talk with our guests in a moment, but, first, here's the latest from newtown, connecticut. authorities say all of the children, first graders, 6 or 7 years old, were shot multiple
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times. the six adult victims were all women. police say they have good evidence about the suspect, adam lanza, that may explain why he carried out the massacre. and, president obama will speak at a vigil sunday evening, at the local high school. and, meet with the families of the victims. for more on the investigation we turn to fox news correspondent mike tobin in newtown. mike? >> reporter: good morning, chris. people here are flocking to the churches, once again, to mourn and try to comprehend the incomprehensible. as we learn more of the horrible details of what happened here. details from the medical examiner, gruesome. lives ended with multiple gunshot wounds at close range. many of those lives just getting started. 8 little boys and 12 little girls, six and 7 years old. >> i have been at this for a third of a century and my sensibilities may not be the average man's but this is probably the worst i have seen,
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the worst... that i know of any of my colleagues having seen. >> reporter: six of the victims at the sandy hook elementary school, were staff. the principal, said to have been killed while lunging at the gunman, guidance counselor mary sherlock rushing toward the shooter when she was killed and the other known murder scene, where nancy lanza, the mother of the shooter was found dead, police found evidence they hope will explain the motivation of the gunman. >> the secondary crime scene we discussed with the female located, deceased, did produce some very, very good evidence in the investigation. >> reporter: the gunman, 20-year-old adam lanza, reports say she had a disorder, as burger's syndrome and his aunt said he was troubled and needed to be homeschooled. >> he was different. he was quiet, nice, good kid. definitely challenged the family in the house. >> reporter: in newtown,
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connecticut makeshift memorials grow where hearts are broken. people draw on the bonds forged in small town america, for strength to endure the sadness, left by innocent lives, taken violently. and they hear the stories told by parents, like robbie parker about the last time he saw his six-year-old daughter, emilie. >> she told me good morning and, asked how i was doing and i said i was doing well and she said she loved me and i gave her a kiss and i was out the door. >> reporter: federal agents are now fanning out to gun stores and ranges across connecticut following leads and trying to piece together a timeline of what led to the tremendous loss of life. chris. >> chris: mike tobin reporting from newtown, connecticut. thanks for that. let's bring in fox news correspondent molly line who has been finding out more about the victims of the shooting rampage. molly? >> reporter: chris, all across this small community, people are just beginning to come to grips with their grief, and are coming
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together, joining in prayer, and mourning. the small makeshift memorials are everywhere. flowers, balloons, and hand-written signs. some topped with christmas decorations, a reminder of celebrations, that for many families in this tightly knit community of newtown, will never be. >> one of the mothers told me on thursday, he asked her what dying was about and then the next day, he died. >> reporter: monsignor robert wise is acustomed to comforting the bereaved but is struggling with the monumental loss of 20 children. >> the hearts of the whole town are broken. >> reporter: prayer vigils helped some cope with the tragedy and operation ners gathering together to mourn those lost to friday morning's violence. residents we spoke with said people move here because it is a safe place, a small town where neighbors know neighbors. dana kowalski lives near the elementary school. >> i'm numb, still. i can't believe what happened. you hear it happening but never
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here. in your backyard. >> reporter: over the next several days, there will be dozens of funerals and memorials here and, then the daunting task of trying to return to some sense of normalcy. >> what will it be, for the children who survive this and how will they walk into the school and move forward and how will they feel safe? who will they trust? >> reporter: many here know this is an enduring loss and the path forward will be a long one, chris? >> chris: molly, thank you. it is a parent's worst nightmare, you get a call, your child's school is in lock down, many famous in newtown got the call friday, calls that led to relief or despair. joining us now, is robert lacotta, his son, aden is a first grader, saved by his teacher and ran to safety and his daughter was also unharmed and also, joe and lynn and their daughter alexis, in the third grade at sandy hook. two days later, robert, how is
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your family doing? >> you know, we are taking it day by day, minute by minute. it is -- what both our son and our daughter saw is incomprehensible. we are trying to make sense of a senseless act. we speak to him, we make sure we understand what he is feeling. we try to explain things that can't be explained. and, we take stock in our faith and in our community, our neighbors and our friends, who have been just tremendous. >> chris: lynn and joe, and, little alexis, i see in front of you, does she want to talk about it? and if so, what are you telling her? >> it -- as far as talking, we are breaking it to her slowly, we're not trying to pry too
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much. if she is forthcoming and telling us stuff, we're allowing it -- you know, letting her come out slowly. we're not prying into her, you know, what happened. we don't want to do that. >> chris: robert, your son, aden, is in the first grade and i understand the gunman burst into his classroom and was confronted and shot his very brave teacher, we'll talk about her in a minute, victoria soto. what did he do after that? >> we're... we're finding out more and more, every day, but he basically, the children witnessed the shooter, coming into the room and shoot his teacher and continue firing, the children acted on instinct and what they were taught, which was
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to run. and, they did. they just ran up to the main road, 100 yards away. my son and several of the other students were extremely brave in what they did and, acted with the courage that i don't know if i have. and, again, they just ran and were fortunate enough to meet a woman who was -- is another hero in the story, and, took them to the police station. so -- >> and i understand -- >> he just ran. >> chris: i understand that he ran out himself but wait for his friends to make sure they were safe. but, tell us about victoria soto. because we understand, it is coming out that this 27-year-old, first grade teacher actually tried to persuade the gunman not to shoot and put herself in front of the gunman and lost her life trying to save her children. tell us about her. >> you know, i -- the school
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year was relatively knew, my wife knew her a little bit better than i did but i did meet her on one occasion and my wife spoke very highly of her. she was a very caring, compassionate young woman. and, not only did she love her kids, they loved her, in return. she was very special. and, we'll always remember her. >> chris: and lynn and joe, there were other remarkable acts of bravery, none greater than the principal, and we understand when she heard the gunfire, she ran towards it and apparently lunged at the shooter trying to save the students and ended up losing her own life. tell us about dawn hocksprung. >> dawn was phenomenal, i had sent here just about every morning, alexis is part of the
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before and after-school program at the school and every day i would see dawn, all most like an infectious smile and she was so caring and got down to the children's level. she participated with -- in so many activities with the children and, she dressed up when they had a sock hop and went in and danced with the children and this year, if they sold 3,000 books, she dressed up as a book fairy and he just -- just was such a wonderful, wonderful, warm person. and, there is no words to describe the loss that we have all as a community felt, and not only her family. >> chris: robert, you know, aiden knows some of the families who lost children in this, some of them were his classmates in the first grade class of victoria soto. in that sense, is it bittersweet that you have aiden and your
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older daughter, who was also at the school, kalen and, so many of your neighbors don't. >> yeah. it is a small community, right? so, all of the children know each other from preschool. they go to church together. they have play dates together. so, it is bittersweet. my wife waited for news of our son for over an hour after we got the call and when he didn't come out, we never thought that we would -- he was gone, and... but he could have very well have been one of those that were affected and we feel very blessed and it is bittersweet, because we do, while we feel blessed that we still have our son and our daughter, we mourn for our friends and neighbors, who weren't as fortunate and lost their children. >> chris: and, lynn, finally, and i guess this is the hardest question, how do you make sense of this?
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>> there is no sense. there is absolutely no sense to this. and it is -- i think i'm still very numb, and, as he said, we're blessed with having our daughter here with us today but how many families and friends and everyone within the community didn't go home with their children friday night. and it is just very, very heart wrenching and there is no -- no way to make any sense of anything, what this person has done, not only to families, but to a community, to a nation, and it is just unfathomable. who would have ever thought here in this little town of newtown, of 20 some-odd thousand people, and that is why people are here, it is a small community, a wonderful community, where people are -- they come together, and, as we were coming through town, there is a banner that says, we will be strong, as a community. we will remain strong. and, we will always be here, for
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anyone and everyone, within our community. and, within our school. >> chris: lynn and joe and alexis and robert, we want to thank you all, so much, for sharing your stories. and, just know that our prayers and the prayers of the nation are with you. and all your neighbors in newtown, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> chris: friday's mass shooting is the worst in connecticut history and the second worst ever in this country. cold numbers magnified by the fact so many of the victims were little children. joining is now is joe lieberman, representing connecticut in the senate and has for 24 years, senator, thanks for coming en on this difficult weekend. >> thank you, chris. >> chris: what do we do? >> as lynn said, there is no answer. i mean, this is evil. we have been through this before, too many times. columbine, gabrielle giffords, aurora, the movie theatre. virginia tech. i think we need a national
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commission on mass violence. not to be in place of anything else, the president or congress or state governments might want to do. but, to make sure that the heart break and the anger that we feel now, is not dissipated over time, or lost in legislative gridlock. i have to tell you, this reminds me of the days and weeks after the terrorist attacks against us of 9/11. and, at one point, john mccain and i turned to each other and said, we can't let this just go. we have to create a national commission to investigate exactly the questions we're asking about newtown, how could this have happened and is there anything we can do to try to prevent it from happening again. >> chris: but, there were forums after 9/11 and after the commission and the way that the intelligence community and fbi shared information, it wasn't just, let's wallow in our grief.
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let me ask you a specific -- >> no, but i want to say, quickly that that is exactly what i don't want to top. i don't want to us wallow in our grief. i want us to ask, what can we do as a society to make sure young men like adam lanza get mental help before they become shooters and killers. what is the role of violence in our entertainment culture today and stimulating a vulnerable kid like this and what can we do to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of -- >> let me ask you those specific question, in the '90s you supported the brady law which called for a five-day waiting period. >> right. j and the assault weapons ban and 2000 you and al gore campaigned around the country and lost and a lot of people took as a lesson, part of it was, states like tennessee and west virginia the fact that you were pro gun control and frankly since democrats have been scared of touching that issue. is it time for democrats to push for stricter gun control? >> it is time for democrats, republicans and independents to
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say, acknowledge two things: one is the strongest conceivable gun control laws won't stop all acts of violence. but, also, to acknowledge that the stronger our gun control laws are, the fewer acts of violence including mass violence that will happen in our society. so, as a result of the brady law, and it still exists, if you go into a licensed federal firearms dealer to buy a gun you have a background check and it is a there row one. but, if you buy a gun from somebody who is not licensed, or at a gun show, you don't have to be checked at all. that is a loophole we ought to close. assault weapons, these were developed by the u.s. military, originally. as weapons of war. and, i think we ought to restore that assault weapons ban, because, not to take anybody's guns away from them, they have now. but, to stop the manufacture and sale of those weapons.
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now. because, look what lanza did to these poor kids. >> chris: let's talk about a couple of other things. mental illness. this is obviously a disturbed boy and many of these other cases. >> correct. >> chris: homes in aurora, the entertainment industry, the statistics are, kids will have watched thousands of acts of violence on videos, on games and movies and tv, by the time, you know, they are ten. specifically what kind of thing can we do about that? >> that is why i think we need a national commission, i spent enough time on this question of violence, and the entertainment culture, to reach this conclusion: the violence in the entertainment culture, particularly with the extraordinary realism to video games and movies now, et cetera, does cause vulnerable young men, particularly, to be more violent. it doesn't make everybody more violent. but, it is a causative factor in some cases.
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we have to ask the entertainment industry, what are you going to do to try to tone that down -- >> would you pass a law? >> in our society we try to do it voluntarily but we have come to a point where we have to say, if not, maybe there are things we can do to tone it down. there is a better ratings system now than used to be on video games and violent movies but they are still out there. when it comes to the mental healthsystem, i think we really have got to ask ourselves, first, off, this is like the slogan that we use in homeland security, see something, say something. we have to ask parents, friends, school officials, if you see a child, a young person, that really looks like they are potentially -- real troublesome, get them mental health help and we have to ask ourselves, as a society, is there enough mental health help available for these kids. there is no cure -- violence is
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as old as cain killing his brother, abel and got didn't accept that as a given, and, he said, where is your brother and he said, am i my brother's keeper and god says, yes, i hear your brother's blood crying out to me from the ground and we have to continue to hear the screams of these children, and see their blood, until we do something to try to prevent this from happening again. >> chris: senator lieberman, thank you, our sympathies go out with you as you head back home today. >> thanks, chris. >> chris: to your home state of connecticut and your vigil tonight. >> thank you. >> chris: up next, with yet another mass murder new calls for gun control, is now the right time? as our coverage of the school tragedy in connecticut continues. [♪] bla music is a universal langu.
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♪ >> president barack obama: we'll have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedy like this. and regardless of the politics. >> chris: that was president obama, friday, suggesting it is now time to reopen the national debate on gun control. as horrific as this shooting is,
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we have been here before as a nation and there has been little interest in the last decade in tightening gun laws. joining me now, dick durbin, the senate's number 2 democrat, who is in his home state of illinois. senator, how do you read the president's comments that we just played? is it time for a new push? tighter gun control? >> well, first, let me say the nation is in mourning and reflection and prayer over what happened at newtown, connecticut. there isn't a parent or grandparent that didn't visualize some child they love being in this terrible situation and subjected to this kind of violence, but let me tell you, chris we need a national conversation, calling for a commission, i'm open to these ideas but we need a national conversation about safety and i'd go beyond joe and add the issue of school safety into the conversation as well, but gun control is part of it. we ned to sit down and have a quiet, calm reflection on the 2nd amendment. are there guns that really
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shouldn't be sold across america. military assault weapons such as the one involved in this horrific incident in connecticut? are there high ammunition clips, high capacity ammunition clips that have no value, whatsoever when it comes to sporting and hunting and even self-defense, the person could buy body armor and use to it protect themselves as they kill innocent people. can we have a thoughtful, calm, reflection on these things? and do it in the context of our 2nd amendment? i think we need to. >> chris: the president as we have in that clip, mentioned regardless of politics, and the fact is, that we have that slaughter of people at the movie theatre, in aurora, colorado, just in july. at that time, you said you supported a ban on assault weapons, you assault said -- >> i did. >> chris: back at that time, there is zero chance congress will pass that. it is not just republicans. quite frankly, as i pointed out to joe lieberman, your party has been afraid, because of politics, to push it for the
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last decade. >> chris, there is plenty of blame on both sides, politically and there is also a responsibility of the people across this nation. i would appeal to the hunters and sportsmen, i know them from illinois, they are my friends and are good people. they love their families and hate what they are hearing about newtown, connecticut. but, they have been largely quiet. this conversation has been dominated in washington by you know and i know, gun lobbies that have an agenda. we need people, just ordinary americans, to come together, and speak out, and to sit down and calmly reflect on how far we go. i'm going to be holding a hearing after the first of the year, in about two weeks or so, on this constitutional question. that is the starting point. the supreme court raised questions about the 2nd amendment, what are the protections? what are the responsibilities? let's spell this out and try and do it in a thoughtful way and move forward together. that is what we need. >> chris: but let's deal with some of the arguments against
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new gun laws, the fact is that connecticut, senator, as you well know, has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, nancy lanza, the mother of the shooter, had bought and registered these guns legally. what more can we do? >> listen: why in the world would anyone, even nancy lanza, need a military assault weapon? designed for the military? that has the capacity to fire off hundreds of rounds? heartbreaking to hear this coroner speak about these poor little kids, whose bodies were riddled with bullets, for goodness sakes, can we stop for a moment and reflect on this? i'm all for sport and hunting and self-defense. this goes way beyond that. >> chris: and finally, senator, what about those people who say, in our next guest, louie gohmert is one of them, the answer is not fewer guns but more guns so if a person like this comes into
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a movie theatre or mall or school, somebody is there who can take him down? >> i just... i honestly think that that argument just doesn't hold water. when you think about it, are we talking about arming teachers, arming principals? is that going to make us a safer america? i don't think so. too many people are harmed by firearms, their own firearms, accidentally misused or turned on them. i don't happen to buy that approach but i want to sit down and calmly discuss all of the options. i think we need to do this as a nation. that is the only way we can move forward and make sure that there is a lesson to be learned in newtown, connecticut. >> chris: let me ask you, after aurora, you said there was zero chance congress would pass a new law. do you still say zero chance? >> no. i think that what happened in newtown, connecticut, may at least lead some to finally decide to sit down and to have this conversation. i really think we may have a chance, because of this terrible tragedy, that is what happened
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after 9/11 and it can happen after newtown, connecticut as well. >> chris: senator durbin, thank you for joining us today, sir. >> thank you. >> chris: the core of the debate goes to a basic constitutional provision, the right to bear arms, does this tragedy change or limit that? joining me now, republican congressman louie gohmert of texas, congressman, welcome. >> great to be with you, chris. >> chris: attorney general holder spoke out about the shooting on friday. let's take a look at what he said: >> we need to discuss who we are as a nation, talk about the freedoms that we have, the rights we have and how those might be used in a responsible way. >> chris: what do you think about his comments about our rights and our freedoms, being used in a responsible way? >> well, i think coming from him, that is really important to note coming from a man who is over a department that forced the sale of guns to people that would bring them about the death
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of people like brian terry and, there should be national outrage about mexicans, our neighbors, 200s or more, killed by the guns that his department have forcibly -- forced to be sold. so, he's right. really, senator durbin is right. the conversation we have to have has got to have everybody open mined. i mean, we all react emotionally and that is why we have all shed tears and our prayers will continue to go to the people in connecticut who have lost loved ones. >> chris: after the movie theatre shooting we referred to. in july. in aurora, colorado. you said that what we need is more people carrying weapons, so that if a shooter comes into a movie theatre with a gun, somebody can stand up and defend him and defend other people. question: and this is the question dick durbin had... do we really want folks at movie theatres and shopping malls and schools armed? >> once we have this actually
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open dialogue about the situation, chris, you find out that -- there has been great investigation and study into this. every mass killing of more than three people in recent history has been in a place where guns were prohibited. these -- except for one, they choose this place, they know no one ill be armed. having been a judge and reviewed photographs of these horrific scenes and knowing that children have these defensive wounds, gun shots through their arms and hands as they try to protect themselves, and, hearing the heroic stories of the principal, lunging, trying to protect, chris, i wish to god she had had an m-4 in her office, locked up so when she heard gunfire, she pulls it out and didn't have to
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lung her rowcally with nothing in her hands and takes him out and takes his head off before he can kill those precious kids. >> chris: i understand the right to bear arms and the supreme court made it clear, the founders meant what they said when they put the right to bear arms in the constitution but let me ask you the question dick durbin asked. why do people need these semi-automatic weapons? i was reading about the glock he had and the other gun he had. five bullets a second. there is the bushmaster. these were created for law enforcement and created for the military. why does the average person -- i understand a hunting rifle and hunting, why do they need these weapons of mass destruction. >> for the reason george washington said a free people should be an armed people and ensures against the tyranny of the government, if they know the biggest army is the american people, then you don't have the tyranny that came from king george. that is why it was put in there and once you start drawing the
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line, where do you stop? and, that's why it is important to not just look at this emotionally, and, the reaction is, let's get rid of all guns and you do that as a judge and react emotionally but use your head and you look at the facts. and this face facts are, every concealed-carry has been allowed the crime rate has gone down, washington, d.c. around us ought to be the safest place in america and it's not. chicago ought to be safe. it's not, because, their gun laws don't work. >> chris: congressman, thank you. thanks for coming in today. we'll see where the debate goes from here. >> thanks, so much. >> chris: up next we'll talk with an expert, what can be done to make our schools safer and our sunday panel as we continue our special coverage of the tragedy in the classroom. ♪ playing sports is just my whole life.
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around the country could join us in our coverage. a somber day in newtown, connecticut as president obama and the nation join the people of that community in mourning. good evening from washington, i'm bret baier. the service in newtown, just about to get started, remembering the 26 people gunned down in that school friday morning, most of them children. we're told that before the vigil, the president met with family members as well as
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first responders. this acumenical will have song before the president speaks and the president is the primary author of this speech we'll hear tonight. this auditorium filled with family members, first responders. let's listen this as the piano music starts before the president walks in. ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> as we wait for the president to arrive. let's bring in our panel. senior writer for the weekly standard, steven hayes, kirsten powers, nina easton
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and charles krauthammer. and steven, we talked about what the president wants to do tonight. >> i think his main message is to communicate to the people across the country that we're altogether in this. that we're with the people in newtown, that we're thinking about you, we're praying alongside you. he really does have to be the consoler in chief. while it does seem odd to say it this early because the pain is so raw and so fresh, it's inevitable that this service will probably be the first step in what will be a long and incredibly difficult recovery process and the president's job in some ways is to begin that process with words of healing along with leading clergymen, clergy folks with him tonight. >> bret: charles, we've heard from ed henry that this will not be a policy speech, that this will be a consoling speech, this will be a uniting
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speech. we heard a lot on the sunday shows, about policy projections going forward, but not tonight. >> not tonight, but i do think that this event is likely to be a watershed, i mean, it's hard to predict these things because we're all caught up in the emotion, but the frequency of these attacks and finally, the nature of this one, in the same way that 9/11 woke us up to terrorism after years, decades of being attacked because of the sheer magnitude, this one, i think, will make a magnitude because of the sheer innocence of the victims. in arizona the president in the speech talked about rising to a higher level of civil discourse and the vehicle he used to make that point was the nine-year-old girl who died in that attack. she would have wanted us to conduct ourselves in a better way. and it was in that case was only a single child.
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here it is essentially, you know, a whole classroom full of utterly innocent change and in the language, men, women and children, nothing special about the innocence-- in some way all the victims are innocent, but suddenly transcendently, it's about children. i think that may make the difference and i think the best course is the one that lieberman suggested not rash action and not business as usual, but a commission that will look at this, bring in studies and bring in social scientists and have conclusions the way as 9/11. >> bret: we'll continue with the panel in a moment, but ed henry standing outside the school. ed, i want to check in with you. >> good to see you, bret. as you know, what has been a slight delay to the start of this program, the president was going through the grim task of greeting each family of the 26 victims in different
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classrooms set out on the high school behind me, trying to spend some personal time with each of them, an as the panel has been saying, to start the grieving process, start the healing process as they move forward here. i will note it is very chilly out here, it's been getting chillier as the night wears on and yet, there have been a lot of people lined up outside and i now see some people leaving behind me we believe could not get in because you said, it's already at capacity in that auditorium. one woman just in the last five or ten minutes walked by and she was still headed in, she didn't realize it was already full and she was with a friend and i asked them how long it took them to get here because the cars are lined up. there's no more parking spaces near this high school and the two women said they walked one hour in the rain, in the cold, just to be here, just to reach out to the fellow members of this community. so, it gives you an idea of the depth of the pain that people are feeling, but also, the depth with which they're reaching out to try to help one another through this
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crisis, bret. >> bret: thank you, on the stage 26 candles in glasses in front of the podium there. 26 candles representing the 26 people killed inside sandy hook elementary school. 20 of them children, ages six and seven years old. nina easten, fortune magazine. >> i think to remember it's not even the largest mass murder at a school, virginia tech was, but this is the -- we hope, as charles said, a tipping point because when it involves small children, six and seven year olds, whose bodies were riddled with bullets, ranging from three to eight-- three to 11 wounds per child, it's so horrific that it should be treated as a moment just like 9/11 was, we should have a crisis commission to look at this. when you look at these past killings, these mass killings, both from schools and outside,
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there's a couple of things that stand out for being in common. one is that there were warning signs and it often involved somebody who was emotionally unstable and people knew about it and secondly, it involved semi automatic weapons and raises the death toll and makes it a mass murder as opposed to a murder. >> kirsten. >> we hope it's a watershed moments, we focus on the moments and move on and the people who are most entrenched are the people that argue no, we must have semi automatic weapons or you can't do anything to limit video games. you have these people who have self-interest in it and they tend to dominate. what makes this one, as charles was saying, they were innocent, but they were helpless. i think that's one of the major things you often hear people saying, well, if the person had been armed they could have defended themselves. well, these were the most helpless people in the world these little children who
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wouldn't know, maybe they knew to run away at best, but you know, who really looked to adults to help them. if this isn't a watershed moment then we probably never will have one so i really hope that we'll see something come of this. >> bret: it may also be a watershed moment, steve, on the mental illness side of the coin. we haven't talked a lot about that as a nation. but some people today are talking about that a lot more than they ever have. >> well, if we do have that kind of broad commission take a look at this and say, look, normally i'm skeptical of these kinds of commissions coming out of washington, they're an excuse not to get something done rather than to have a serious conversation about important issues, but i think in this case we could have that kind of conversation potentially, through a commission, but it would have to include those kinds of issues, i mean, we've seen as we've discussed a little bit earlier, again and again and again, signs and warnings repeatedly again and again,
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people, parents who have cried out and said that they want assistance, that they want help and unable to get it. that has to be part of this discussion, particularly if we learn more about adam lanza and the problems that he may have had. >> charles? >> i think if you put lieberman and rudy guiliani in charge, you might get a commission that actually does something and everything has to be on the table, all the three elements. i mean, for 30 years ever mentally ill, not over there, but because of the homeless majority of which are mentally ill, they're not destitute and we leave them to die in the cold with their rights on. and of course i've been talking in the the wind all of these years, but there's a change in our attitude with commitment and abuse of that in the 50's, but there's got to be looking at that as well as the other elements. as i said it's going to impinge on the first amendment, going to impinge on
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the second, going to impinge on the fifth. that's a lot of impinging, but our country might be ready for that how to deal with a mass killings in an open society. >> bret: we've been just given under two minute warning and president obama and the official start of this prayer service in newtown, connecticut. this is the newtown high school. this is where we will be seeing the president speak for the nation, remembering the 26 people killed, shot and killed in sandy hook elementary school. 27 killed, including the mother of the shooter. 28 the shooter killed himself. ed henry is outside. ed? >> reporter: bret, we're talking to more people who again, unfortunately, can't get in because, you know, it's just at capacity. but while they're disappointed, they understand the situation and supposed just spoke to, from the sikh
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community, not here, boston a long drive away and one woman from that we talked to, said there's a connection, the sikh temple. and they wanted to be here and explained to us just a moment ago, getting teary-eyed talking about how she and her family wanted to be here for this community. so exactly what you're talking about, people who have seen enough of these go by, standing up and saying they want to stand together and figure this out. >> bret: you've been there now for the day and just encapsulate some of the emotion in just talking to people out there? >> reporter: the biggest thing i've seen, i've been stunned and actually haven't seen a lot of people and they're just walking by so i don't want to overstate it, but i don't see a lot of people crying or screaming out in pain. obviously, the families have gone through this over the last 24 hours so the people in this community look determined, look like they're out here in the cold because
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they want to be here for their fellow citizens and when i've talked to them, they've said things like i knew a teacher who was killed. and another gentleman said he knew the principal who we've learned about who was so heroic and put herself in the line of fire to save other lives and that's what i'm seeing tonight. >> bret: ed henry, thank you. the president has just entered the room. president obama, at newtown high school, where this prayer service to remember the victims of the newtown, connecticut school shooting. let's listen in. >> on behalf of the newtown interfaith clergy association, i welcome all of you. we needed this. we needed to be together here
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in this room, in the gymnasium, outside the doors of this school in living rooms around the world. we needed to be together, to show that we are together and unit united. we gather in such a moment of heart break for all of us here in newtown. we gather especially mindful of family and friends and neighbors among us who have lost loved ones by an act of unfathomable violence and destruction. we gather to grieve together to care for one another, to pray and embrace, to weep and to remember and to declare in our many voices that these darkest days of our community
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shall not be the final world heard from us. we will sigh in our sorrows, but we will also care for one another with our love and our compassion. in those early hours of this crisis it became clear to we clergy and faith leaders here in newtown that initial, an initial community response would be needed, that we would need to come together and so, we asked our first select woman and our superintendent if it might be possible for us clergy to invite the community to gather here at newtown high school to continue and to begin and to continue what will be for many a long journey through grief and loss. we are not here to ignore our differences or to diminish the
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core beliefs which define our many difference in traditions, but to offer our love, care and prayers for our families and our community. we wanted to offer our voices in the form of words from our sacred texts and prayers from the depths of our being, but also to have time for us to be together in silence. and that is what we will do. we will have a time for sharing and prayer and also a time for silence in between so that all of us can pray as we wish and think about what it is that is most important to us. now, there's a reason why all of the clergy are sitting down there and not up here. and we hope you don't get tired of seeing us have the long walk up to this podium,
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but we wanted to be -- to have a symbolic gesture that we ourselves are with you and among you in these coming days. that we are all in this together. we want you to know that our care for this community extends beyond the walls of our various houses of worship and the people within them. we are here for all of newtown. that means that you who are of st. rose catholic church, in the midst of your tremendous grief there is a jewish rabbi with a tora in hand ready to speak words of comfort and do whatever he can to uphold you in the coming days. and at temple israel you have a service of a japanese american minister ready to
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pray with you and with songs from john wesley. >> and conversation with uccars know that we have muslim brothers and sisters ready to offer prayers of compassion and pentecostals ready to pray with episcopalians and luthren ministries offering grace in jesus christ to others to receive comfort and support from those of no faith. you see, now more than ever, we need each other for we are all in this together. that's why we even have our politicians sit down there as well. a sign and symbol and reminder to all of us that we are in this together. so now, let us come together. let us pray. let us listen and let us seek
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comfort of our various faiths, drawing from words and praye prayers. fear not for i am with you. be not dismayed for i am your god. i will strengthen you. i will uphold you with my victorious hand. god is with us. god's love unites us. god's purpose steadies us. god's spirit comforts us. let be our god forever and ever
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>> i offer you this prayer from my heart to your heart, on behalf of all of your children, all of your loved ones. the hebrew memorial prayer.
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please rise. ♪ . [singing prayer] ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪


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