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tv   The Last Word  MSNBC  December 17, 2012 10:00pm-11:00pm PST

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if we don't get that right, we don't get anything right. that's how as a society we will be judged. >> washington today the united states senate observed a moment of silence for the 20 children and six adults who were murdered here in newtown, connecticut, on friday morning. >> i now ask that the united states senate observe a moment of silence for the victims of the sandy hook elementary school tragedy. >> but united states senators are not being silent now about gun control. they are already taking up the challenge. president obama issued when he spoke to the grieving newtown
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community here last night. >> we can't tolerate this anymore. these tragedies must end, and to end them we must change. we will be told that the causes of such violence are complex and that is true. no single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society, but that can't be an excuse for inaction. surely we can do better than this. in the coming weeks i'll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this because what choice do we have? we can't accept events like this as routine.
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are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage? that the politics are too hard? >> california senator dianne feinstein who wrote the assault weapons ban which was signed by president clinton in his first term and expired under president bush announced on "meet the press" yesterday that she will introduce a new version of that bill on day one of the new congress. >> it's a first day bill i'm going to introduce in the senate and the same bill will be introduced in the house, a bill to ban assault weapons. it will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation, and the possession not retroactively, but perspectively, and it will ban
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the same for big clips, drums, or strips of more than ten bullets, so there will be a bill -- >> today senator feinstein told andrea mitchell that in 1993 when she introduced her bill, the politics were difficult then, and everyone thought passing that bill was impossible. >> i came here. we set about writing a bill. i talked to senator biden about it. he was then chairman of the judiciary committee, and he laughed at me, and he said, diane, you're new here. wait until the gunners get hold of you. i said, joe, i'm going to do this as an amendment on your crime bill. i did. it wasn't -- there was no cloture. it was debated. there was a motion to table. we won the motion to table. chuck schumer did the bill in the house. both bays went through unamended were signed by president clinton who mobilize people in the house, was very helpful and became the law for ten years.
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this can be done. i've done it. i know it can be done, and i'm going to do my level best to get it done again. >> senator feinstein might now be able to find support even from gun rights democrats such as senator joe manchin of west virginia who said this on "morning joe." >> i'm a proud nra member and always have been, but we need to sit down and move this dialogue to a sensible, reasonable approach. when you look at it, diane saying that basically assault weapons. i don't know anyone in the sporting or hunting arena that goes out with an assault rifle. i don't know anybody that needs 30 rounds in a clip to go hunting. >> polls conducted over the weekend for the washington post-abc news found that 54% of the public support stricter gun control laws now. 43% oppose it. 52% support banning semiautomatic weapons, which automatically reload every time a trigger is pulled. 44% oppose that, and 59% support
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banning high capacity ammunition clips, meaning those containing more than ten bullets. only 38% oppose that. three weeks after dianne feinstein surprised the senate in 1993 by passing her amendment to ban assault weapons, dennis mccarthy was shot and killed on a long island railroad commuter train when a mass murderer opened fire on that train. six were killed. 19 were wounded, including dennis mccarthy's son, kelly. carolyn mccarthy buried her husband, dennis, held her family close through the grieving, and then decided to run for congress with one issue in mind, gun control. carolyn mccarthy was elected to congress in 1996 and has been in the house of representatives most consistent supporter of gun control since she first took her oath of office.
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joining me now is new york congresswoman carolyn mccarthy. also joining me msnbc's chris jansing, who has been here in newtown, connecticut, covering the story since the day of the shooting. congresswoman mccarthy, this kind of incident i know, and i've heard you say on other shows, takes you back to that experience, getting the call about what happened on the long island railroad. tell us what it's like and how that was actually able to drive you to what has become your new career and this cause. >> going back all those years ago, it was actually when my son -- he had been in the hospital icu. they didn't expect him to live for quite a few months, but it was during rehab when he was learning how to speak again that he finally asked the question what happened? how could this happen here in america? how could it happen on long island? i didn't have the answers, but i told him i would find out those
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answers, and the more i certainly looked into it, i decided that i was going to become an activist and try to save any family from going through what we went through. i became involved with chuck schumer back then. i became involved with dianne feinstein then, and came down here, and i lobbied the members of congress. i lobbied the new york delegation. i went from person to person begging them that this was the right thing to do, and believe me, it was not easy because my member of congress was totally against me, and it was that -- during that time that i decided that i would run against him. the bill was passed, and it was a lot of hard work. the same as it will be this time around, but like diane and senator dianne feinstein, i feel that this time it's different. it's different from all the times that, you know, you and i, lawrence, have talked about too many times these killings in aurora, gabby giffords. it's time. the american people are fed up
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with these mass killings. >> congresswoman, i have to say that i have covered far too many mass shootings going back to columbine, and we always talk about how things have to change, and you say this time it's different, and i can tell you that the heart wrenching scenes that all of us have seen here and on television are in many ways different because of the young children, the 6 and 7-year-olds, but do you think that your window of opportunity for change is finite, because people do move on, and if so, how do you capitalize on it? >> people go back to their normal day to day living. that's absolutely true. it's going to be up to us and it's going to be up to the grassroots and it's going to be the organizations across the country that are going to be working with us to make sure that when the bill is introduced and as we go forward, we get
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them involved. i'm hoping that the media down the road will always be concentrating on this. remember, we have the anniversary of our colleague gabby giffords getting shot almost under the same circumstances. there's a difference, though. the nation did mourn during all these shootings. what i'm feeling now and what people are telling me is the anger, the pure anger that someone could be able to use these -- this kind of gun, large capacity clips and take down all these children. that is what most of -- listen, there are many things that join us together. you know, even here in congress. i will reach out to my republican friends and say, listen, this is a time to stand up. this is a time where we have to do the right thing, and for the good of the country and certainly for the good of the nation for our children, they should not be afraid to go to school. no one should be afraid to go to
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the movies. nobody should be afraid to go anywhere without the thought of possibly being gunned down by these large amounts of guns. >> congresswoman mccarthy, i agree with you that this does feel different, and it has not felt this way to me before. if i had been doing this program on friday night, i think i would have said then i don't expect anything to change, but based on what i have been hearing since friday and through today, with senator joe manchin, with others coming out and obviously being willing to move in some direction, it does seem like this is a new moment. what strikes me as so strange is why did it take this much to move people? why wasn't your husband's murder on the long island railroad muff to prove to anyone that this could happen anywhere? >> well, i think that, you know, people thought that this wasn't something that happened every day, and to be very honest with
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you, because they were able to pass the assault weapons bill and the crime bill and ban the large capacity clips, we didn't see them on the market. they slowly dried up. the assault weapons became too expensive. you couldn't get the large capacity clips. when the bill expired in 2004, that's when we saw again all these guns coming back on to the streets. the large capacity clips, you could buy them anywhere. that's the difference. it's also, i believe, the close proximity to all these killings. it doesn't seem to be once a year, once every two years. we are getting closer and closer where you have the copycats. obviously even those people that are deranged know it's very easy to get a gun, and they can certainly get the large capacity clips, so it's easier for them to do their mass killing.
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that's why we need to get these type of guns and the large capacity clips off. there's something else too. you know, it is the holidays, and they know those with families, those with children on how lucky they are that their child is going to be around them. they can feel the pain of those parents knowing that come christmas morning it's not going to be a time of joy. this is going to take certainly the people, the parents, the teachers an awful long time, an awful long time to get over this, but i do believe the american people will be with us this time. >> congresswoman carolyn mccarthy, thank you for joining us tonight, and thank you for your leadership on this issue. >> thank you very much. coming up, remembering those who were lost. two former students who credit principal dawn hochsprung with their success and a cousin of
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olivia engel. join me. [ nyquil bottle ] you know i relieve coughs, sneezing, fevers... [ tylenol bottle ] me too! and nasal congestion. [ tissue box ] he said nasal congestion. yeah...i heard him. [ female announcer ] tylenol® cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal congestion. nyquil® cold and flu doesn't.
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26 funerals. that's when this little town of newtown, connecticut, faces over the next week. coming up, two former students of the principal who lost her life inside that school trying to save her students. that's coming up.
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>> charlotte, daniel, olivia, josephine, ana --
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>> the first two funerals for the 20 children murdered here in friday's massacre in newtown, connecticut, were held today. a funeral was held in newtown for jack pinto. jack was a 6-year-old. mourners say he was buried wearing the jersey of the football player he idolized, new york giants wide receiver viktor cruz. cruz spoke to the pinto family on saturday and played sunday's game with the words "jack pinto, my hero, written on his cleats. a funeral was also held today in fairfield, connecticut, for noah pozner. he was the youngest victim. he just turned 6 last month. his twin sister, arielle was his best friend. she was in another classroom and was not injured. noah's mother said in her eulogy today, i will miss your
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perpetual smile, the twinkle in your dark blue eyes. today a spokesman for the connecticut state police said that two adults whose names they did not release were wounded and survived the shooting. the police also revealed that they had no previous contact or concern with the shooter prior to friday's massacre. the shooter used a bushmaster ar-15 assault rifle with numerous magazines, with 30 rounds per magazine, high capacity magazines, and had used a magazine with 100 round capacity. the shooter also had two semiautomatic pistols. he used one of those pistols to kill himself when police arrived on the scene. the shooter also had a shotgun in his vehicle parked outside the school.
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federal agents tell the associated press today that the shooter and his mother each fired guns at shooting ranges over the past few years. they also visited ranges together. the chief medical examiner says that the shooter's mother died from multiple gunshot wounds to her head. also among the dead is sandy hook principal dawn hochsprung. according to the associated press the principal was killed while lunging at the gunman as she tried to overtake him. a board of education chairwoman says administrators were coming out of a meeting when the gunman forced his way into the school and ran toward him. joining me now brendan rick either and anna maloney, both former students of sandy hook principal dawn hochsprung.
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anna, how long ago was she your teacher? >> about 12 years ago. >> in elementary school? >> middle school. >> middle school. what grade? >> she wasn't a teacher at the time. she was actually our vice principal. >> oh, okay. vice principal. what did she mean to you in your education at that school? >> i think that most of us all saw her as a team because we were part of a program that was called the summit program, and we worked together, and she would check in on her status on a daily basis and just offer positive reinforcement. >> how did you find out what happened to her? >> um, i work at the head start program in danbury, and so all day we were taking in information and figuring out lockdown. rumors were coming in. some were true. some proved not. the name the principal, which her -- came through, and it didn't come to me until i went home, and my mom called. >> so you found out at home? >> then i knew who the principal was. that just changed the whole day.
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>> what were your thoughts when you discovered that that's who had been killed? >> i'm glad i knew her. i'm glad she partook in my life. i'm sad that i didn't reach out to her this summer the way i had planned to, but more so i couldn't imagine mr. hochsprung without her because they were, i don't know, just two peas in a pod. >> he is a teacher himself? >> yeah. >> brendan, when did you get the news? when did you find out? >> it was on the train to new york city at that point, and i was trying to check in through social media, and i found through one of my friends a rest in peace mrs. hochsprung -- laffertiy as we knew her when we were in middle school before she was married, but that's when i found out that she was one of the victims of the tragedy. >> and a vice principal in a middle school might not be the most connected to students. what was your connection to her? >> yeah. at first i was scared of her because she was intimidating. >> uh-huh. she was a real authority figure? >> yes, she was, especially for someone so young. but when i got to know her and her husband, they were loving. they just cared about each and every student. for me they pushed me to continue to work hard and focus on my studies and, you know, i think they really helped get me focused and for the next, you know, four years in high school
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and four years in college and two years in grad school after that. >> where do you think your education would have gone without her influence? >> well, it's tough to say because i had so many great teachers as well throughout the whole process in the public schools, but ms. hochsprung and what was your connection to her? >> yeah. at first i was scared of her because she was intimidating. >> uh-huh. she was a real authority figure? >> yes, she was, especially for someone so young. but when i got to know her and her husband, they were loving. they just cared about each and every student. for me they pushed me to
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continue to work hard and focus on my studies and, you know, i think they really helped get me focused and for the next, you know, four years in high school and four years in college and two years in grad school after that. >> where do you think your education would have gone without her influence? >> well, it's tough to say because i had so many great teachers as well throughout the whole process in the public schools, but ms. hochsprung and mr. hochsprung, i think, really motivated me exceptionally well to take advantage of those great teachers that came down the line after them, so maybe i wouldn't have gotten a graduate degree. maybe i wouldn't have done as well in high school or whatever it would have been, but i know they greatly influenced my life, both of them. >> what did you feel when you got the word that she was murdered in this most horrific and unimaginable way? >> yeah. i think the first thing that anna said was i felt awful for mr. hochsprung because, you know, that's someone he connected with, and you could just tell that they just loved each other wholeheartedly, and i felt awful for him, and then i didn't realize she had kids of her own. i learned about it. she was obviously a teacher to us, but she was a mom at home and a wife at home, and that's above all first and foremost for her responsibilities.
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>> anna, what's the way you would like us all to think of her, and what's the way you'll always remember her? >> energy. >> energy? >> she just walked into a room, and everyone smiled. like, she just -- it was a feeling, like, when i thought of her. just energy. >> anna, brendan, thank you very much for joining me here tonight. >> thank you. >> we appreciate it. thank you. >> thank you. coming up, we'll have two survivors of mass shootings who are now determined to change governments. the way it cleans. everything about the oral-b power brush is simply revolutionary. oral-b power brushes oscillate, rotate and even pulsate to gently loosen and break up that sticky plaque with more brush movements than manual brushes and even up to 50% more than leading sonic technology brushes
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>> dylan, madeleine, catherine, chase, jesse -- >> 20 children's names read by the president. 20 children's names and names of six adults. up next, the story of one of the children lost on friday. olivia engel's cousin will join us next. if you are one of the millions of men
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log on now to and you could pay as little as ten dollars a month for androgel 1.62%. what are you waiting for? this is big news. james, grace, emilie, jack, noah. >> that was president obama last night as he read the names of the 20 children murdered here in newtown, connecticut, on friday. one of them was olivia rose engel, the 6-year-old that was supposed to make a gingerbread house and play an angel in the nativity play this past weekend. in a statement olivia's family said, "olivia rose engel loved school and always did very well in math and reading. she was insightful for her age and had a great sense of humor.
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she laughed a lot. she is very creative and was always drawing and designing things. she loved swimming and her ballet and hip-hop dance lessons. olivia was involved with her daisy girl scouts, enjoyed playing soccer, and expressed passion in musical theater. she was a great big sister who was always very patient with her 3-year-old brother, braden. her favorite colors were purple and pink. her favorite stuffed animal was a lamb. she was involved in her perish's ccd program and was learning her rosary. olivia always led grace at the dinner table each night. she was a grateful child who was always appreciative and never greedy. her father said she was a 6-year-old who had a lot to look forward to. joining me now olivia's cousin, john engel. john, how can you and the family
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deal with what's happened? i know this is the question everyone is asking you, but it is completely mysterious to us who have never experienced the loss of a 6-year-old like this. >> it's completely mysterious to us. thank you for reading that. that's the first thing the parents said is we want olivia to be remembered. we talked about it today, and they said we're so gratified to see the outpouring of support on facebook, people writing in, and they're saying not your daughter, but they're saying we've seen olivia's pictures, and we know who she is, and i have a daughter like that, and that's been hugely gratifying for all of us. >> reading those things about her, i was just thinking of my daughter. of interests, and there's such
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an easy connection, i think, that we all have to this tragedy. we can feel it very personally, very closely. her funeral is on friday this week? >> yes, it is. >> and what do you see after that? how do you as a family group -- have you figured out any kind of way of planning what you'll do together to get through this? >> this is a family of tremendous faith, and this is the christmas season, and while it's devastating during the christmas season, we have to -- the family is remembering. we have to remember that this is a season of a holy family, and in many respects this is a holy family. this is a family that was so strong, is so strong, and through their faith and through each other and through the support of their friends and
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family they will get through this, and they will be stronger for it. i'm confident. >> john, how did you hear about what had happened? >> i found out through the family. >> on friday? >> on friday. olivia's mother found out early and was there early in the morning possibly before 10:00. she's a schoolteacher, not at that school, but she's a schoolteacher. she's connected with other teachers in school. she's involved in the community. she was there early. they waited all day with the other -- with the best friends, and they were there. >> she knew all day that she wasn't going to see her daughter again. did she know early on about that? >> they held out hope. they held out hope until midnight, friday midnight.
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>> because it could always be a mistake, it could be a wrong identification or something like that. >> what -- are there ways that you think we can somehow help the -- brought attention to what's happened here? >> that's an interesting question. we outside of this want to do so much, the friends put this facebook page up as a way we can participate. >> what's the address? >> of the engel family fund, and they put up this page and they said tell us your stories about olivia. share. then they said if you want to contribute, contribute. we ask that parents, are you okay with this, and they said just pray for us. just pray for us. that's all we ask. friends want to do so much more, and i applaud that.
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i think that the family isn't focused on what they need, and so their friends and their family are going to rally, and that's true throughout this community. it's gratifying to see the outpouring of support from the nation, from the world, from brazil, aruba, finland coming in and supporting this community. this community will survive, stronger for it. >> john, thank you very much for coming in. i really appreciate this. >> thank you. >> thank you. coming up, the people who want new gun control laws in this country are the ones who have survived mass shootings themselves. that's next. copd makes it hard to breathe, but with advair, i'm breathing better. so now i can be in the scene. advair is clinically proven to help significantly improve lung function. unlike most copd medications, advair contains both an anti-inflammatory
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well, if itmr. margin?margin. don't be modest, bob. you found a better way to pack a bowling ball. that was ups. and who called ups? you did, bob. i just asked a question. it takes a long time to pack a bowling ball. the last guy pitched more ball packers. but you... you consulted ups. you found a better way. that's logistics. that's margin. find out what else ups knows. i'll do that. you're on a roll. that's funny. i wasn't being funny, bob. i know. this is usually where we squeeze in a little something about what's coming up in the show, but i want to give john engel, who is the cousin of olivia engel, who was killed on friday, a chance to just say one more thing in this amount of time that we have here. john.
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god has called them all home. >> that was president obama concluding his reading of the names of the 20 children murdered here in newtown, connecticut. as the community grieves for the loss, many victims who survived friday's carnage now have to learn to live with what they've been through and what they've seen. steven barton is a survivor of another mass shooting and an advocate for ending gun violence. steven lives just a few miles away from newtown, connecticut. steven was one of the survivors of the movie theater shooting in aurora, colorado, in july when 12 people were killed. colin goddard is another mass shooting survivor. colin survived the 2007 shooting rampage on the campus of virginia tech that left 32 people dead. joining me now, these two survivors, steven barton and colin goddard. strooechb, i'm struck by this
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amazing dimension of your story that there you were in that movie theater in colorado, a victim of that shooting, and then very close to where you live here in connecticut this happens. what were you feeling friday when you discovered where this shooting occurred? >> i couldn't believe that gun violence had struck so close to home again. i went from having zero experience with this sort of tragedy to snt north span of five months two different events that were some of the worst mass shootings our country has ever seen. >> colin, what are the things that you know that this community is going to experience over the next weeks, months, and years in the aftermath of this? >> i mean, there will be a day when the media trucks leave, you know, and things will become
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quiet again in newtown. you know, people will be there, but on everybody, and it's going to be weird. it's not going to feel right with having so many of your community members missing now, gone forever, so, you know, it's going to be really tough to find this kind of new normal in their lives, to find a way to move forward, but i've already seen from what i can see on television and what i have read about that the amount of support is similar to what we got, you know, in virginia tech. i'm sure it's what stephen got in colorado. from people from across the world, frankly, reaching out and saying, you know, i'm feeling for you. you know, i have a family too. so, you know, i just hope and pray that at some point each one of these families will find something positive, you know, to put their efforts towards and remember their loved one and make sure that what happens to them doesn't happen to another american family. >> and stephen, what was your choice in moving forward from your experience of being a victim of one of these shootings?
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>> well, you know, i just wanted to turn what had been essentially a senseless act of violence into something that had meaning for me, so i decided i really wanted to get involved with gun violence prevention and so i joined mayors against illegal guns, which is a bipartisan coalition of 750 mayors from across the country cofounded by mayor bloomberg of new york city and mayor menino of boston, and it's been an incredible experience so far to see how far in the past year we've come on this issue and in my mind the momentum has really changed and the conversation is changing. not just in the halls of congress, but, you know, over dinner tables across the country, and i really think the american public is ready for this conversation, ready for change, and, you know, they're ready to finally say enough is enough. >> colin, do you agree that this
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time it's different? >> i mean, i, unfortunately, have witnessed a few of these mass shootings. it was continuing to see this thing happen to other people something similar to what i experienced is what compelled me to get involved in this work, you know, and i have seen a lot of these mass shootings since 2007, and, yeah, it's never quite been as outrageous as this. it's never quite been as overwhelming as this. we've never had new calls from new supporters, new donors, new people on the hill we've never heard from, new politicians. i mean, it's -- i think the white house just got the largest petition they've ever gotten on any sort of social issue, you know, so i do think it is different. i think when you see little kids like that, i mean, that strikes a cord in your human -- in humanity that everyone, no matter if you are from a red state or blue state understands, no matter if you are a gun owner or not, you don't want to see that happen to your family and your kids, and i think this is different, and i think we will see some change. >> yes, david, i have been
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trying to isolate what made this different, and i guess it is the children because body counts don't seem to matter. it was higher at virginia tech. when gabby giffords was shot, there was only one child killed wrish say only. that seemed like a grow tefk enough tragedy at the time. one child killed. it seems that the killing of 20, the killing of 20 6-year-olds, 7-year-olds is somehow the key that unlocked what may be the right amount of political will to do something about this. >> yeah, and frankly, it's disgusting that it takes something like this for elected leaders to actually start paying attention to this issue, but, i mean, the fact remains that they are paying attention. as colin said, congress people that have never really stood up on this issue are now standing forward and making their voice heard, and that's exactly what
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their constituents want right now. people are just fed up. the fact that 20 children, their blood has been spilled, and, you know, i hope that it won't have been in vein. >> stephen barton and colin goddard, thank you both for joining me tonight and thank you for your work on this issue. >> thank you, lawrence. >> thanks, lawrence. >> we'll be right back. i'm ensure cle ... clear, huh? i'm not juice or fancy water. i've got nine grams of protein. that's three times more than me! [ female announcer ] ensure clear. nine grams protein. zero fat. in blueberry/pomegranate and peach. nine grams protein. zero fat. sfx- "sounds of african drum and flute" look who's back. again? it's embarrassing it's embarrassing! we can see you carl. we can totally see you. come on you're better than this...all that prowling around. yeah, you're the king of the jungle. have you thought about going vegan carl? hahaha!! you know folks who save hundreds of dollars by
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>> dawn hochsprung and mary sherlach, vicky soto, lauren russeau, rachel davino and ann marie murph where i. they responded how we all hope
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we would respond in such terrifying circumstances. with courage and with love. giving their lives to protect the children many their care. >> chris jansing, this is a story of tragedy, but it is also a story of those heroic women, an extraordinary thing that they did do and tried to do in that school. >> there are so many extraordinary things about that. you know, you have a principal, a psychologist who literally put themselves in the way of a gunman. teachers who did the same thing. the observations that i have had over the last few days, lawrence, the clergy members who were in that room and had to be there to help tell the parents that they had lost a 6-year-old or a 7-year-old and now a community that this week has already scheduled 14 funerals, but the support system has risen up in a way that every person
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i've talked to has said has helped, has made a difference in a situation that is so heartbreaking you think nothing could possibly help. >> you know, the way i have been feeling about this since friday was i -- and for tonight for this program, i didn't want to talk about it, but i didn't want to talk about anything else, and i don't really know how to -- i didn't come here with something to say. i've said everything that i think about gun control and ammunition control and on this program for the last couple of years. i didn't have anything to add, but it's watching you here and watching others here, it simply felt like it was time to come here and listen to what's happening here. i'm glad we're able to do that tonight, but you've been doing it right through the weekend. what has that been like for you? what has it been like to be -- living through this with this community here? >> i think it's an honor.
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i think it's an honor to tell their stories and what i've said all along is i think what's important is, yes, we need to know what happened. we need to know why it happened. i know that once they get past the initial depths of their grief, the families, many of them, will feel that they need to figure out a way for these children, for these teachers not to have died in vein, but i think it is important this week to also talk about what was lost. it's not just a number. as horrible as it is, 20 6 and 7-year-olds. you need to talk to james mattioli. three 6-year-olds, lawrence, will be buried tomorrow, and we don't want to just use that number. we want to say jessica rekos was called the little ceo because she ran the house held. her parents admitted it. charlotte bacon loved pink and she never met an animal she didn't like.
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i've covered far too many of these stories, and what you do find is that the families want others to understand really what was lost. >> yeah, i mean, when one of the families issued a statement today about their child, and i was given a little excerpt of it to read. i said, no, give me the whole thing. if they issued a statement to us, to the media about their child, i want to read that in its entirety. as much as we can deliver of these real people is what i would love to be able to achieve here. >> the other thing is the incredible generosity and graciousness. the very first statement that came out from the family member offered sympathy to the family of the shooter. how do you do that? how do you do that? how do you find that in your heart? i guess the question we're left with can we find in our hearts as americans to make these children not have died in vein? >> chris jansing, thank you very
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much for joining me here tonight, and i want to end tonight the way "saturday night live" began this weekend, with the new york city children's chorus. ♪ silent night, holy night all is calm, all is bright ♪ ♪ round yon virgin, mother and child ♪ ♪ holy infant so tender and mild ♪ ♪ sleep in heavenly peace sleep in heavenly peace ♪ ♪ silent night, holy night
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wonderous star, led thy light with the angels let us see hallelujah to our king ♪ ♪ sleep in heavenly peace sleep in heavenly peace ♪ ♪ silent night, holy night wonderous star led thy light
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with the angels let us sing hallelujah to our king ♪ ♪ sleep in heavenly peace sleep in heavenly peace ♪ law and order. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews down in washington. let me start tonight with this. is gun violence, mass violence, mass violence against children
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the price we pay for freedom? is watching and doing nothing what we have to put up with to obey the second amendment? is it? we're supposed to do nothing because the constitution upholds the right to bear arms? well, we have easy access to semiautomatic weapons in this country, semiautomatic rifles. is it a good society that does this, allows it? a country where anyone can get ahold of a rifle that can kill 26 people in ten minutes. is this a good society? is it really a free society when you can't be sure your kids are safe sitting at their school desks? i ask the questions knowing the only way we can end this is with the votes of politicians from deer hunting country, not from the big cities. will they be there? will politicians who fear the gun lobby bear up under the strain of attack against any measure, no matter how small, to curb the power of the gun owners? the question tonight, what should and, most importantly, can be done to stop this kind of