♪ >> i looked at the headlines. the attorney general says is really forces have been met with armor piercing bullets. the palestinian ambassador to the u.n. has given an emotional address. she is calling for justice for all palestinians who suffered under the israeli occupation. senegal has begun three days of
morning after 11 newborn babies died in a hospital fire. students across the u.s. have walked out of class demanding political action on gun control. 19 children and two teachers were killed this week in texas. a former director of the louvre has been charged with antique trafficking. they facilitated the transfer of ancient objects during the arab spring. they deny the charges. your up-to-date with headlines. more news coming up after "inside story." >> [speaking foreign language] >> [speaking foreign language]
>> no more thoughts and prayers. grieving americans demand gun control after the worst school shooting in the u.s. in a decade. congress has repeatedly failed to pass tougher laws. what is stopping action to prevent another tragedy? this is "inside story." ♪ >> hello and welcome to the program. mass shootings have been described as an epidemic that only happens in the u.s. to gun violence archive has already reported 213 shootings
this year. the latest killed 19 children and two teachers in the town of uvalde in texas. the worst school shooting in a decade took their lives just a few days before the start of the summer holidays. the 18-year-old gunman since chilling messages online before the attack and entered the school despite being confronted by a security guard. grief in the tightened community is turning to anger as americans once again demand gun control laws. >> another school massacre in america. more flowers to mourn the dead. just before 18-year-old gunman massacred 21 people at robb elementary school, the governor says he shot his own grandmother. >> anyone who shoots his grandmother in the face as to have people in his heart. but is far more people for
someone to gun down little kids. >> the republican governors news conference devolved into political theater when his democratic rival interrupted to denounce decades of inaction in congress and in texas. >> he talked about that this was people. the only thing people is what he continues to do to the people of the state. he said this was unpredictable. it was completely predictable. i predict this will continue to happen. >> she is a teacher at another school, but her niece was at robb elementary. >> all we heard was whatever we saw on the phone. whether it was news or facebook. that is how we found out about the tragedy. we did not find out about her
until late last night. 11:30's when they confirmed. >> a high school dropout for years bought two assault rifles shortly after his 18th birthday. he carried one of them into the school, storming past an armed guard. it was an hour before border patrol agent's gunned him down. >> i don't understand how people can sell that type of a gun to a kid. to an 18-year-old. what is he going to use it for? but for that purpose? >> just what motivated him is a question authorities attracted answer now. police are still scouring the scene and looking for a motive for what set the gunman off before he apparently shot his grandmother and they came here
to robb elementary school. it was the second deadliest school shooting in american history. but political deadlock on gun control and a long and bloody history suggests it will not be the last. >> the deadliest school shooting happened 10 years ago when 20 children and six adults were shot dead at sandy hook elementary will in newtown, connecticut. a democratic senator from that state made this impassioned plea. >> i am here on this floor to bag, to literally get down on my hands and knees and beg my colleagues, find a path forward here. work with us to find a way to pass laws that make this less likely. i understand my republican colleagues will not agree to everything i may support but there is a common denominator that we can find.
♪ >> let's go ahead and bring in our guests in baltimore. a gun violence survivor and director of emergency general surgery at johns hopkins hospital. a professor of american in comparative politics at northwestern university. and the former regional political director of the national rifle association and author of a book. thank you all for joining us on "inside story." to gun violence archive has already recorded 213 shootings this year. that is shocking by any measure. you are a survivor of gun violence. i want to ask you what your initial reaction is when you learned about this latest horrific school shooting. >> thanks so much for having us on. i felt terrible this past week
as every american rightly should. once again we woke up in america with this recurring tragedy that continues to unfold time, and time again. i am absolutely horrified, angry , and heartbroken. i refuse to believe that this is the best we can do. >> the world has seen in the past that in other countries, when there have been mass shootings, lawmakers are able to come together and pass gun control measures. it happened in scotland, australia. what is stopping action on this in america? especially at a time when americans have been demanding that their lawmakers do something about gun control? why can this not be achieved? >> thank you for the question and thank you for having me. i agree with our other presenters. this is a horrifying reason to
be on this show. to again have to discuss another horrible tragedy. as an american, a mother, and educator. it is a very sad day again for america. your question about why we have not seen legislation reform, especially with public opinion so strongly pushing for it, is we have two major divisions in the u.s. that are very difficult for us to overcome. policy change at the national level. i want to be clear, i'm not the only person who thinks that what happened in uvalde or what happens anywhere we see horrific gun violence, such as the racially motivated attack in buffalo and in california. i am not the only person who feels that this is wrong.
70% of americans believe that we have a serious problem with gun violence in this country. but we are divided both on political, partisan lines and divided based on our gun ownership. those divisions are making it very hard for us to decide how we go forward. keep in mind that in terms of guns owner -- gun ownership in this country, we are very different than any other country in the world. the u.s. has 400 million civilian owned guns in the world. that is more than one gun per person. yet that huge amount of guns, which is far more than any other country in the world, is held by only 30% of americans. we have about 30% of americans who say they are gun owners holding 400 million civilian owned guns. both republican-democrat divide and the divide over gun
ownership combines to make it very difficult for us to agree on policy measures moving forward. >> you wrote a piece in 2019 for politico. this was after there had been shootings in california and texas and ohio. you said i believe there is a way for achieving meaningful gun law reforms without alienating responsible gun owners. meaningful gun law reforms did not happen. do you think this is something that can actually happen now? if so, how can it be achieved? >> thank you. yes, it can happen. but i think part of our problem in this country is we talk around the issue and we use terms about the policy. but the real argument ends up being about the politics of the debate rather than the policy.
if you ask gun owners or non-gun owners, we are all in agreement on who should not have guns. whether it is negligent misuse, largely by children. the intentional criminal misuse or someone with severe psychiatric problems. dangerous psychiatric problems. none of us want those people to have guns. we can agree on that. and then we sort of go into those deja vu. we start arguing about the politics involved in the issue instead of focusing on how did this individual obtain the gun? what can we do to have prevented that individual or type of person from getting it. in this instance, maybe we really do need to have a discussion. right now under federal law you
have to be 21 to be able to buy a handgun but only 18 for a long gun. it is one of the easier things we can do right now is talk about that change. it would have had an impact in texas and in buffalo. they were both 18-year-old shooters who bought guns lawfully from dealers. >> i want to bring up a reaction to the shooting from a survivor of another school shooting that happened four years ago. the cofounder of the march for our lives movement after 17 of his fellow students and teachers were killed in parkland. he thinks things will be different this time because we voted out more nra backed politicians than ever in american history. we have the most pro-gun reform president and congress in american history. plus, the nra is the weakest it has ever been.
republican state legislatures have passed gun reform. we just need them to do it in congress. no single policy will end every shooting but progress and reduction of gun violence is better than nothing. david hogg said the nra is the weakest as ever been and he believes things will be different this time. do you agree? do you believe political ground is now shifting? >> i think there is a lot to him package there. it is very clear that the nra is weaker. but i don't think we should lose sight of how powerful they are. their revenue is still in the hundreds of millions of dollars. i want to be clear and goes to his point. i don't think the problem are responsible gun owners. the problem is the leadership of the gun lobby does not represent the membership. we have seen that through noah
-- numerous pieces of data where people support commonsense measures. the other piece we have to really remember is most government in america happens at the local and state level. we have seen hundreds of pieces of common sense legislation that has passed in states all across this country. we live in a country that has porous borders. we need to see federal action in order to shore up what is happening. not just from the mass shootings that we see in cities like baltimore. we have young brown and black men who are being slaughtered on our streets. it really requires a multifaceted, multisector approach to tackle this problem. >> i saw you just now nodding along to a lot of what he was saying. it looks like you wanted to jump in. >> i agree very strongly with
the last two statements that were made. there are some points of agreement on the federal level. bipartisan agreement for things with mental health issues. we should strengthen background checks. 70% of republicans and 90% of democrats believe that we should have background checks. that would make a big difference. states that have robust background checks in place are shown that they have 60% less likelihood of those kinds of mass shootings. that is the kind of federal law that could make a big difference. although i appreciate the optimism of that tweet and i know where that person is coming from, unfortunately the structure of our federal government makes it so that even
if public opinion is aligned, it is very hard to get federal laws passed. as i want to make clear to our audience, the congress has two houses. the house of representatives and senate have to pass the exact same bill to create outlaw. the house of representatives can just pass a majority. but the senate has to pass a super majority which means 60 out of 100 votes in order to pass that bill and have it become a law. that is just because of the structure that is set up. unfortunately, small, conservative, rural states are represented by senators who can filibuster and prevent that bill from moving forward in the senate even if the vast majority of americans and the majority of republican agree with these kind of bills. i hope we are able to see some movement on the federal level.
i agree with our other presenter that we need this kind of across-the-board basic measures like background checks. i also really like the attention paid to think about the state and local level. people who want to be a part of the change and want to put in their time and effort into making their communities and schools and churches and streets safer should look at the local and state level politician. their voices and their impact can be so much greater at that level. because we have a federal system, the states are able to create laws that really matter for the people living in those states. that is another place where we have to put our energy and efforts. >> you just heard her talking about the difficulty of getting any kind of gun control legislation passed in the senate. earlier in the program, we
showed some video of u.s. senator chris murphy. he was literally begging his republican colleagues. he has been a representative from a district that included sandy hook elementary school where the 2012 mass shooting happened. in this video he said he understands that the republicans will not agree with everything he supports but there is a common denominator. what did you think when you saw the video? do you think this will change minds? is there political willpower on behalf of republicans in the senate who would be willing and able to work with senator murphy and other democratic lawmakers to actually pass gun control legislation? >> in short, no. i do not. the politics of this issue really determines what is possible in the policy.
until we aligned the policy with the politics, i don't think we will see a change at the national level. when i suggested changing the federal law 221, i think that is in the round of due ability. it is certainly not going to solve a lot of the problems. but there are so many things we can do that do affect the day in and day out problems. talking about a mass shooting. because it is newsworthy, naturally. but that is not where the bulk of the shootings in this country occur. they are not as newsworthy but they are far more of them. gang-related shootings, negligent shootings. there are many more things we can do about those things. they are not sexy so they are not political.
if they are controversial, we have a fight. and that is the politics of this issue. >> even if the senate were somehow able to come together and pass some form of legislation that might include universal background checks, i am curious to get your perspective on how long it might actually take for that to make a difference? especially in a culture where so many mass shootings continue to happen. >> i think it is important to remember. we talked a little bit about this. it is not about implementing one policy or one solution. when you think about the
structural racism that we see in urban cities that has created this vicious feedback loop, we have to focus on understanding how poverty has limited opportunities. it still is poverty. it is not about just one piece of legislation. we all have to be part of the solution. something is often missed here is do i think federal action will happen tomorrow? probably not. but the reality is our country has changed. that number is closer to zero.
our country has shifted. are we seeing it fast enough? no, because continue -- people continue to beat slaughtered on our streets. an action is unacceptable -- inaction is unacceptable. >> i know you have touched on this a little bit earlier about how traumatic all of this is for survivors and families in the country. we have to take a step back and refocus on that. what is a horrific experience like this due to a person? what does it do to the survivors? two relatives of those who have been killed? >> as someone who is a survivor,
now i have to come to this discussion. from a different vantage point as a trauma surgeon. to talk to those moms and dads. to explain to them that their child who left that morning is never coming home again. there are no more birthdays and graduations. they are left with a picture of their kid on the wall. it is absolutely heart wrenching. this is happening every day where health care professionals who are at the center of this discussion because we're not just taking care of these patients, we are having to talk to these families. it is just horrific. it is preventable. >> one of the things that is
causing a lot of anger is the fact that the national rifle association has recommitted to holding its annual meeting in houston, texas this week. that is despite the mass shooting that happened in uvalde. you are a former nra regional political director. the fact that there cannot even be a moment when the nra will step back from their stance, maybe be canceled or delayed as, what do you think of that? >> i think it has to do with other factors. they have not had an annual meeting in three years because of covid. they are in a state of internal disarray. they are already there. they have been setting up for the last couple of days. it was really too late cancel.
it gives the nra more power than they have to always focus on the nra. a third of the people in this country own guns. what we are missing is that it is over half of the households in america have someone in the household who owns a gun. it is not surprising that people who own guns care very much about the guns they own. they did not misuse those guns. somebody else did. they feel they are being blamed for something they did not do. they want to blame the person who misused the gun as much as anyone. it is having that brought understanding that god owners are in large -- gun owners are a large agreement about keeping guns out of these people's hands. they need to be allies, not be
demonized as the enemy. if we are going to move forward. >> we have run out of time so we will have to leave our conversation there today. thank you very much to all of our guests. thank you for watching. you can see the program again any time by visiting our website . for further discussion, go to our facebook page. you can also join the conversation on twitter. for me and the entire team, thank you. ♪ ÷÷ñ■ñ■ñ■ñ■ñ■ñ■ñ■ñ■ñ■ñ■ñ■ñ■ñ■ñ■ñc ç