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tv   MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle  MSNBC  February 26, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PST

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aren't getting any help from narrow national parties. the parties want to be focused on their primary candidates. but these teens are doing it on their own raising the $2,000 they need or getting the 10,000 signatures they need to get on the ballot. it's a full time job but teens we spoke to are committed took on that ballot. >> the next generation of political activists on both sides of the aisle. that does it for this hour of "msnbc live". i'm headed over to the white house. stephanie ruhle and i'll see you tonight. >> how about those teenagers taking action? extraordinary. >> all right. >> good morning, everybody. i'm stephanie ruhle. my partner ali velshi is off today. it's monday, february 26th. let's get started. >> i don't think there's a man or woman in this county who can keep brow waard county safer thi
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can. >> now sheriff israel is under pressure to resign. they are calling for sheriff israel to step down or be removed. >> your really not taking any responsibility for the multiple red flags that were brought to the attention of broward sheriff's office about this shooter before the incident? >> i can only take responsibility for what i knew about. >> broad counward county is investigating why three of their sheriffs remain outdoors. >> yes, i believe there needs to be a full investigation. governor rick scott has order an investigation into the law enforcement response to the deadly shooting. >> i don't personally, i don't want to go back to school until our legislators in florida pass one bill. >> so grateful to be here, and it wouldn't be possible without officers and first responders and these amazing doctors and
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especially all the love that everyone has sent. >> do you believe arming teachers would make children safer? >> to be honest, i don't know. i think that having a teacher who is armed, who cares deeply about her students, or his students, and who is capable and qualified to bear arms is not a bad idea but it's an idea that needs discussed. >> president meets with state leaders. those governors aren't seeing eye to eye on all of the president's proposals on gun violence, even some republican governors like florida's rick scott do not agree with fortunate's proposal to arm some properly trained teachers. >> how can we expect our teachers to step in and take action if trained security guards that are part of the sheriff's department wouldn't take action? >> gun control advocates put the power of the pocketbook up against nra. >> brands like united airline,
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met life are doing away with perks. >> teachers of california, florida, kentucky, texas, new york, they own gun stocks in their pension plans. >> there you have it. a lot going on in florida. it has been 12 days, seems like a lifetime, since 17 state of the union and adults were killed and 14 others injured in that mass shooting at marjorie stoneman douglas high school. while there's been a lot of talk here's the thing. there's been no real solid change to protect americans from gun violence. right now president trump is meeting with a dwroup group of governors at the white house where he says school safety is his top priority. more than 850 miles south a rally is under way at the florida state capital in tallahassee with supporters demanding action on gun law reform. in parkland teachers are back at stoneman douglas today preparing
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for their students return to class which will be on wednesday. please take a look at this. they were welcomed by a colorful rainbow near the school early this morning. the school opened yesterday for the first time since the shooting, so students and teachers could collect their bags and ease their way back to campus. counselors and support dogs were there for comfort. one freshman saying just seeing the building was scary. and as the community tries to heal, there are questions about whether police missed the chance to save lives. governor rick scott is now ordering the florida department of law enforcement to investigate why three broward county sheriff's deputies stayed outside of the building while the shooting was unfolding. joining me is now an english teacher at stoneman douglas. catherine, welcome. i'm so sorry for what these two weeks have brought you. >> thank you. yeah, it's been tough. >> i want to ask you, broward
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county sheriff scott israel is facing criticism over whether his officers responded appropriately. last week he said deputies will carry rifles on school ground from this point forward and some of them will, in fact, be ar-15s. you're going be, threw are now back on campus. do you feel safe? >> i do feel safe. i do feel that they are doing everything within their power to keep us safe, both the administration of the school and the local law enforcement is really stepping up. i think that it will be difficult for some of the students to see the guns, but i think that -- we all understand that, you know, these are the guns that are here to keep us safe. these are not a threat to us. so, i do feel safe on campus. >> you were at the orientation yesterday and you said it was therapeutic. you're back this morning for a breakfast. walk us through what it's like and what are students telling
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you? >> it's overwhelming, first of all, to walk on campus and see -- the first thing you see when you drive up to campus is a makeshift memorial with flowers and posters and all kinds of things and that's amazing to see. and we've got all these banners that have been sent to us from all over the country in support of us and our students, so that's really nice. seeing the students is both difficult, but it's also -- it makes us all feel so much better. this is what we do. we care about our students. and to go there and be able to talk to them and hug them and cry with them, i think has been good for all of us. so, it's been difficult to come back, but i think it's definitely helping all of us. it's sort of cathartic for everybody involved. >> you just said local law enforcement is doing everything in their poerks whiwer, which re
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question do they more power, different power. 150 schools wrote a letter which was printed in the "new york times" saying quote we implore you mr. president and our national legislative leaders to do everything necessary to stem this tide of senseless gun violence. the united states of america can and must do better. now is the time to take action. as educators we believe in the united states constitution. we also believe our country need not choose between the protection of responsible gun ownership and the prevention of gun violence and yet both can be achieved through thoughtful and forcef fuful legislation. this was printed yesterday in the "new york times". 155 heads of schools. now over to 230 have join that. the state of florida has reached out. do you agree there's a middle ground and this isn't a
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political issue but a safety issue? >> i do agree with that. i like, i think, most of us support the second amendment and i support people's rights to own, to own a gun for their own protection. i do not, however, believe that an ar-15 is something that's used for protection. that's a military style weapon and its only purpose is to kill as many people as point a short amount of time and i don't think any civilian needs something like that in their home. so while you're a responsible person and taken the proper courses and know how to handle a weapon, i have no plob with someone having a weapon in their home but this is not the type of weapon anyone needs have. >> president trump is suggesting arming some teachers, some qualified teachers in a way to stop school shooters. ivanka trump said it's not a bad idea. what do you and your colleagues think? >> i can't speak for my
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colleagues because i think we all have very different opinions as most large groups of people do on this type of issue. but as far as i'm concerned, i think that more guns is not the answer. my experience, when the police came in to clear my classroom is that the first thing they did was to point guns at myself and my students and they were doing it in the interest of our safety, to make sure that no one in the room was posing a threat. but if i had a gun in my hand at that point they probably would have shot me. so i don't necessarily think that's a good solution to this problem. i think having the armed security guards and people who are trained in this type of situation would help but i don't think teachers need have guns in the classroom. >> that's an extraordinary point. had they walked in and you were carrying a gun you would most likely have been pointing the gun because you would have feared an intruder.
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it could have cost your room. before they came into your room you were teaching a regular establish class and your class was reading act 3 of macbeth. what's the lesson plan? >> that's a really good question. well we're not going to be reading macbeth. i think that at this time we've kind of -- we'll move past that. we are going to be, day one is just going to be talking. there's not any curriculum going on. i think an important part of this process is to come together and share feelings and be able to, you know, cry together, if necessary, and talk about things. some of them, i'm sure will not want to talk about it. maybe we'll talk about some other things, some happier things. curriculum is not on our mine for the first few days of school, certainly. i am going to, however, try and -- when we do resume curriculum try to have some sort
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of projects that they will be able to see the real world value in and connection with something that they are passionate about. i think that's really important at a time like this to be able to show them that whatever they choose to make a difference with, and have a passion about they can do that. their actions have an effect on the world. so i think we're going to work on some of the things that will show them that. >> from what we've seen there are some extraordinary public speakers in your state of the union body. thank you so much. and i wish you good luck this week. >> thank you very much. over the weekend more than a dozen companies they decided to cut business ties with the nra. that's a big statement. the question is what does it mean? several including shipping giant fedex didn't and streaming services amazon, apple tv and road crew continue to provide nra tv on their service. google's chrome cast continues to allow use toers play nratv on
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their televisions. as nra feels the pinch will gun manufacturers face a similar backlash? according to atf data the production of rifles by u.s. gun makers more than doubled from 1.8 million in 2010 to more than 4 million in 2016. nearly half of those 4 million rifles were made by just five companies that make ar-15s, remington, rugger, schmidt and wesson, vista outdoor and springfield armory. without publicly available data on the different types of rifles in production, it's difficult to tell just how many ar-15s are out there. the nra and the national sports foundation estimate americans own anywhere between five and 10 million ar-15s. even that is just a drop in the bucket compared to 300 million privately owned firearms in the united states.
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and those guns bring in $15 million. in a 2015 report found 31% of u.s. households owned guns which is a steep decline from the 1980s. what does that tell you more of those guns are concentrated in much fewer hands. in 2012 researchers estimated gun violence cost the the u.s. $229 billion every year in medical treatment, legal fees, imprisonment, long term disabilities, investigations and more. the direct costs are nearly 13 every single day. and these are just estimates. why? cdc doesn't have money for studies on gun violence. with new pressure on businesses to reevaluate their relationship with firearms manufacturers along with the growing movement of namely student change is on the horizon. remember the nra says fine you can cut these business ties.
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many people who support nra, who support the second amendment as it is, authors single issue voters and they never forget to vote. president trump wants you to use are tax dollars to discuss arming teachers. next, from training courses to ammunition, we'll break down what exactly is the cost of giving our teachers guns. and we're also watching the rally and tally for gun reform. thousands of people are gathering in tallahassee pushing for stricter gun laws after the state. after the rally smaller groups, the important meeting, will be meeting with lawmakers. stay with us. you're watching velshi and ruhle. that's my girl!
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welcome back to velshi and ruhle. we're waiting to hear from president trump. he met with nra leaders and told them quote, we need to do something. as soon as we hear from the president we'll bring you his comments. something we have heard from the president, he's been suggesting that arming some teachers could be a low cost way combat and even prevent school shootings. last week we looked at the number of teachers the president proposed arming, but now let's look at that idea that he's saying it's practically free. assuming the president is lumping all public and private school teachers together, that's
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about 718,000 educators. "the washington post" looked at a few different paths to reach the president's goal of hardening schools. there are companies that give basic safety training for about 100 bucks. if we can get all teachers in that course it would cost just shy of $72 million. let's say we want more training. more than basic. an ohio company gives a training course called faculty administrator safety training and emergency response. or faster program. the company behind it buckeye firearms foundation says it gives 26 hours of training over three days. right now teachers can take the course for free thanks to private and corporate donations, but if three quarters of a million participated that's about the size of the army and navy combined and it's likely taxpayers would be asked to shoulder some of the cost. at $1,000 a participant that would balloon to $718 million. but what if we also account for
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the cost of guns. "the washington post" looked at the glock g-17. pretty much what you think of when somebody says a handgun. the company describes it as the world's most popular pistol. at $5 thunder guns could cost $359 million in total. if we go by just the basic gun safety training and provide firearms the president's idea would cost nearly half a billion dollars but if we want to provide the more expensive training in the guns well that would bump up the tab to more than $1 billion. it's a big number. joining me now is david hemingway. he's dedicated decades asking the question of firearms and public health. david, you have said something really striking about the idea of arming some teachers. you call the idea crazy and then you said what should we do about reducing airline hijacking. do we give passengers guns as
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they walk on. we saw ivanka trump say it might not be a bad idea. why do you think it's so crazy? >> well, the evidence is overwhelming in the united states and throughout the world is that the more civilians with guns, the more danger and more killings there are. in order to -- if we wanted to give more and more people with guns, what you want is incredible training. you want people who not only can pass some simple background check but you really want them to be able if they have guns at school to just be the best of the best. typically you don't want to do if there's a fire is to pour more gasoline on that fire. it's very, you know, we have a big gun problem and the evidence is pretty strong that having more and more guns is not the answer. it creates much more of a problem. >> tell me about the research you've done because nra argues that more guns means more safety. 20 years ago you authored a
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study that shows the opposite and i just spoke to a teacher from that high school in parkland who had said when the police officers came in to clear her room, had she been holding a gun they might have shot at her. so accidental gun deaths are a big issue. >> oh, yeah. it's homicides and suicides and accidents and there's study of guns in the home. having a gun in the home increases the risk for suicide, maybe three fold. increases the risk for accidents enormously and increases the risk for somebody in the home dying from a homicide, often a woman. there's evidence across states and regions and cities holding everything else constant, more guns, the more death. people aren't just good and bad, even good people, you know, get angry, they get tire, they get careless. and you have any kind of thing they can get mad, they can get
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drunk and you have problems that can occur. >> while you were at the harvard school of public health, you've been researching this for decades, i don't know if you saw it yet but could you have seen eric trump who has no degree, no expertise on public health or gun safety, he was on fox news this morning saying it's not a gun problem, ate mental health and societal problem. again, i am unaware if he is, i would be happy to report it or invite eric trump to join us, i'm unaware eric trump has any sport of expertise on mental health. but what do you think about that idea that he's floating out there? because when you have the son of the president of the united states making a claim like this to millions of people watching fox news, they will take it as fact. >> well, the evidence is overwhelming that most homicides don't have anything directly to do with mental health problems, that people have mental health problems are typically more like try to be victims of assault rather than perpetrators of
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assault. think terrible accident typically there are a viearietyf things that could have prevented the accident from occurring. typically what's hardest to do, you want to do the things which are most cost effective to prevent these things from happening, and trying to make everybody a perfect person would be nice, but it turns out not be very cost effective. typically what we know is that in most areas in injury prevention if you do something about the product, as we did to make cars so much safer, it's much, much better. we know, for example, if you look across all of the developed countries, 26 industrialized democracies, that none of these other countries have a gun problem. problems about homicides, about school shootings, about killings ever police. and why is that? it's not because they don't have mental health problems. it's not because they have much
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nicer people. it's because they don't give unlimited access to the most deadly of the deadly weapons. >> i know it's your life work but the cdc doesn't do expansive studies on the impact of gun violence. why and what would be different if they did start studying it again? >> it would be so much better because then we would know a lot more about what to do, about what makes sense. in any area, guns, gun violence -- >> why don't they? >> automobile crashes. because they are afraid. they know that if they fund anything they will get raked over the coals by congress and probably their furng will be cut. >> wow. >> so, i've been to hearings -- i've been to meetings where cdc personnel, they don't even want to say the word "guns." this a major public health agency. >> they don't want to mention
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guns because they are afraid. >> you notice in all these, you know the school shootings, where is the surgeon general in the last ten years? you know, coming out and saying what can we do? what can we do? how can we reduce the problem? again, the gun problem in the united states in terms of public health is not just about school shootings, it's every day in the united states, over 300 people are shot and about over 100 die. day after day after day on average. >> excellent point. unfortunately, the shooting we saw at the high school in florida didn't happen in a vacuum. gun violence is an issue every day in america. david, thank you so much for joining me. i appreciate it. >> thank you. next disturbing reports that armed deputies stayed outside stoneman douglas high school during that massacre and didn't going. we'll speak with a former head of the nypd and lapd bill bratton. if president trump gets his way, are you ready for this one, i had personal pilot, i had
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personal pilot from the trump plane could soon run the faa. trump told members of his administration he wants his long time employee john duncan to oversee all civilian aviation in the united states. how about that? you're watching velshi and ruhle live on msnbc. ♪
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welcome back to velshi and ruhle. florida governor rick scott order the state's department of law enforcement to conduct an independent investigation into the shooting at stoneman douglas high school. questions are mounting this morning over the response by the broward county sheriff's department. police from another police department witnessed three arriving broward deputies take defensive positions outside but not go in the building. broward coroner sheriff israel is facing mounting pressure to resign spoke with kerry sanders. >> if i see that anybody, a deputy or sergeant or a lieutenant did anything else wrong, i will bring that out and we'll have a press conference on that. that's what leaders do. i don't think there's a man or
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woman in this county who can keep broward county safer than i can. i'm proud to be the sheriff. i plan to continue on being the sheriff. >> joining me now msnbc senior law enforcement analyst and former new york city police commissioner bill bratton the executive chairman of risk. it's so important for us, for the public to understand this complex issue. i want to start with what is the standard operating procedure for law enforcement arriving at schools? we sit here and say how dare they take a defensive position. but i have no idea. maybe that's what you're supposed to do. >> the current procedure, the protocol that's been adopted around the country is constantly evolving. current procedure evolved out of the columbine situation. it was significantly changed during the time of the mumbai terrorist attacks, multiple attackers around that city. the current situation, our strategy, if you will, is to get in as fast as you can.
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>> they should have gone inside. >> definitely. the sheriff is correct in his criticism of the first sheriff's deputy they have video showing while the shooting is going on he did not enter for whatever reason. there's also a dispute between the two agencies, the sheriff's office as well as what the smaller community that other sheriffs deputies may not after the shooting had ended had also entered the bulling. they will have to be questioned going forward. but the current policy, practice and procedure of every police department in america is you get there and you go in. we're continually trying to equip our officers better. in new york city, during my time, we were equipping every police car in the city with heavy duty vests and helmets so even officers only armed with .9 millimeter hand guns can have extra protection to provide additional safety to them as they go into the danger. >> teachers, this idea is being
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floated around by the president. ivanka trump has said caring teachers who are equipped to carry guns is not a bad idea to do so. given how complicated this issue is, as someone who truly understands this, what is your take on the idea that teachers who would not be in their day-to-day classroom wearing helmets or kevlar vests and maybe have handgun in their drawer should they be equipped those who have gun training or expertise? >> nra has consistently weighed in after these shootings with what i would see as misdirection. the idea of let's focus on arming the teachers, take it away the issue of the guns, licensing of guns, who gets guns in the first place saerntly the increasing number of incidents involving these ar-15s, assault weapons. issue ultimately is something that local government will ultimately make the decision. the local school board, the local sheriff, local chief of police, local town manager. it's not a national policy
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that's effectively going to be put forward to that will address this issue. it is a local issue. some school systems already have some of their teachers armed. that's their decision. most american police chiefs, myself falls in that capacity do not support the idea of arming school teachers. that's my position. that's the position of the majority of american police chiefs. >> what about local law enforcement or florida fbi missing a lot of red flags that came beforehand. we say over an over and the president said it last week if you see something say something. people did see something. they said something over and over, yet it still happened. >> that's unfortunate. there's a television show that's coming out in the next couple of weeks based on a successful book about the missteps up to the events of 9/11 president that was missteps that has sense been corrected. similarly from this incident as you always try to do, we'll try to learn from it. what, in fact, everything happening twin broward sheriff's
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department with those two dozen, three dozen calls. was anybody could late them. did they have the capacity to could late. if not going forward how do we do that. there were misstaeps based on the preliminary review of this incident all along the way, fbi, local law enforcement, children's services, so that a lot of fingerpainting going on right now. i aplplaud the governor having n investigation. >> does the broward county sheriff need to be suspended because there's so many red flags missed. >> i'm not familiar with regard to politics in florida. the sheriff is an elected official. independently elected by the voters. ultimately his fate allows the governor to take action. ultimately it's up to the voters whether they re-elect him. >> i know i'm going to watch
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that show and i certainly hope this investigation in doing so they learn from their mistakes. next, the ar-15 versus hand guns. we'll break down why exactly the ar is so deadly and why gun control advocates are targeting this specific weapon. dozens of colleges and universities are now standing up for high school students who face harsh discipline after protesting for gun reform. schools from around the country now say that being punished for civic action will not hurt their chances of admission.
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for up to 12 hours with just one pill. aleve. all day strong. . a teacher with. a teacher would have shot the hell out of before he knew what happened. >> that coach was so brave who ran into gunfire to protect the guns, if he had his gun, concealed, if he had his gun, he would have been -- he would be alive today. most of the people would be a whole different story. >> concealed! so this crazy man who walked in wouldn't even know who has it. that's good. that's not bad, that's good. and a teacher would have shot the hell out of him before he knew what had happened. >> wow. president trump proposing arming teachers as a way to stop school shooters. but that's not going over well with many teachers from marjorie
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stoneman high school including one i spoke with just a few minutes ago. >> my experience when the police came in to clear my classroom, was that the first thing that they did was to point guns at myself and my students and they were doing it in the interest of our safety, to make sure that no one in the room was posing a threat. but if i had a gun in my hand at that moment they would have shot me. so i don't necessarily think that that's a good solution to this problem. >> and any activity any teachers on this program who disagree, who want to carry a weapon, who believe like the president said that they could shoot the hell out of a mass shooter like that. let's take a look at what teachers would be up against if they were armed with a hand gun and confronted with a weapon like an ar-15. an ar-15 style rifle, well that's a semiautomatic weapon. meaning the fire -- it fires one round when the trig certificate pulled and automatically reloads the chamber make it ready to
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fire again. hand guns can also be semiautomatic but some like revolvers are not, meaning it can take a lot longer to fire multiple rounds. another big difference the speed of bullets. the ar-15 can fire bullets between 2800 and 3,000 feet per second. a .9 millimeter handgun between 700 and 1100 feet per second. the ar-15 can hold much more ammunition than a hand gun april a typical ar-15 holds 15 bullets. magazines that hold more are available. one doctor who has seen ar-15 and handgun injuries gives a stark comparison of the damage each firearm can do to a person's body. she says quote, routine handgun injuries leave an entry and exit round and tracks throughout the victim's body that are roughly the size of a bullet. when she saw the damage from a
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parkland victim she said the organ looked like an over ripe melon slashed by a sledge hammer. i want to bring in malcolm. you've trained for years as a fighter in the military. you fired weapons dozens of times. i've never done anything like. walk me through what happens to your body in the middle of danger. >> well, you know, the psychology and physiology of what happens in a fire fight is completely dependent on the individual. everybody behaves differently. i mean the way i felt the first time someone ever shot at me which was overseas in a military operation in the middle east, you know, i froze up for about a second and then realized i was in mortal danger and looked for cover. you have to be trained to want to get up and go into fire. that's what the armed force does for you. i went through s.w.a.t. officer
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training when i got out of the military and the first thing they do is they teach you, is to really lock up and then move in on a target. that's what active shooter training is foirn law enforceme enforcement. but if you're not trained or proficient and it's not like nice. the movies have nothing to do with reality. you're putting yourself where you can be killed. >> then let's walk through that difference because this idea that a teacher could have a concealed weapon -- i mean that's a pistol, a handgun. when a mass shooter enters a school and when we usually see this happens they are wearing protective head gear, they are wearing a kevlar vest. it's not like it's a cat burglar in your bedroom pulling your wedding ring out of a drawer and you pull a tiny handgun and go after them. what is it like when an ar-15 is going after your body and you got a handgun? >> well, again, you know, that's really a matter of understanding and training.
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we have a lot of people going on, you know what they think they see in the movies. if you've got a hand gun and that's all the tool you have, you have to be extremely well trained to go out and engage someone who has a fully automatic or semiautomatic weapon. let me tell you a semiautomatic weapon fired in rapid sequence is just as good. depending on the distance you're away, you have to under civilians don't understand, in close quarters. the first thing you have to experience is the explosive southern of the weapon going off, not your, the shooter's. it practically deafens you in an urban environment, inside a school building like that. it's not like the movies where can you hear. it's like somebody stabbing your wear a knife. if you can get past that and still move you'll be conducting a gun battle, a fire fight with people running back and forth in front of pup it's just -- unless
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you're very skilled soldier or a police officer who has already been through that, through simulation or an actual incident, you cannot even start to predict the effect. >> i don't know ivanka trump's expertise in the world of guns, but it sounds as though she's kind of supporting her father's idea to arm some teachers and i want to share what she told nbc's peter alexander. >> i think that having a teacher who is armed, who cares deeply about her students, or his students, and who is capable and qualified to bear arms is not a bad idea but it's an idea that needs be discussed. >> ivanka says that's not a bad idea. what do you think >> that's a ludicrous idea. the worse idea i've ever heard. look, when i went through s.w.a.t. training, and we would come in to a scenario where when
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he a hostage barricade or a suspected one, the first thing we're doing is we come in weapons high and we're looking for your hands. i see a hand gun, we're going engage. and that's what law enforcement does. if you are a teacher who thinks you're doing a defensive, you know, pose and protect a student, law enforcement will just assume you're the shooter. and if we start introducing five, ten guns into that school, the complexity of target identification and clearance and knowing whether that individual is safe or already they are actually complicit and waiting for you to turn your back, it's absolutely minds boggling. law enforcement will go the default which is to shoot the person with the gun. >> shoot the person with gun. imagine if that was that deeply caring teacher that ivanka was referencing just trying from text his or her students. imagine that teacher then losing their life. malcolm, thank you so much. this is a complicated and high-risk issue. i appreciate you joining us.
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>> my pleasure. >> here's a question we'll cover next. is russian money going to the nra? we'll dig into the fbi investigation as officials determine whether illegal money was used to help the trump campaign. you're watching velshi and ruhle on msnbc. or painted in luxurious strokes. and in rare cases... both.
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but i'm not standing still... and with godaddy, i've made my ideas real. ♪ ♪ i made my own way, now it's time to make yours. ♪ ♪ everything is working, working, just like it should ♪
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welcome back. i'm stephanie ruhle. amid the latest developments in the russia investigations, there's this. the fbi is investigating whether russia funneled money through the nra to help get president trump elected. the key to answering that question may be this man. he's deputy director of russia's central bank. he's also reportedly known for his close relationships with president putin and, wait for it, the nra. he also reportedly spoke to donald trump jr. during the nra's convention back in 2016. nbc news intelligence and national security reporter joins me now. ken, walk me through what you can tell us about his ties to the nra. we hear over and over that the majority of members of the nra don't actually give that much money or they get their
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membership for nothing at all. so where does the nra get all this money? could there be a russia tie? because we know that is a spot that the trumps don't like to touch. >> it's a fascinating tale, stephanie. he's a former russian senator, deputy head of the russian central bank, and a putin crony. he formed a gun rights association in russia and began forging nra ties. he and his associate are reported to be the only russian lifetime members of the nra. in 2015, he hosted some nra officials on a trip to moscow. as you mentioned, newspapers have reported that the fbi is investigating whether any russian money went into the massive nra effort to help donald trump in 2016. on friday, the nra sent a letter to senator ron widen, who's been asking questions about it, denying that any russian money went into their election operations. >> they sent a letter denying, but i've got a feeling more questions will be asked. ken, thank you so much. i appreciate you filling us in.
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>> you bet. thanks. before we go, you know what it is time for. my favorite part of the show. monumental american. the time when we highlight someone who may be deserving of more recognition. today in honor of black history month, it's james armistead lafayette, an african-american who served as a double agent during the american revolution. he was born a slave and volunteered to join the army with the permission of his owner back in 1781. lafayette posed as a runaway slave and was then hired by the british to spy on the americans. instead, he reported back to the americans and helped the americans win the battle at yorktown, forcing the british to eventually surrender. lafayette was granted his freedom several years late e and he died at the age of 72 in virginia. what a story. if you have a monumental american, please tweet us, #velshiruhle. we're always keen to highlight someone extraordinary.
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if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis, or psoriatic arthritis, little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats differently. for psoriasis, 75% clearer skin is achievable with reduced redness, thickness, and scaliness of plaques. and for psoriatic arthritis, otezla is proven to reduce joint swelling, tenderness, and pain. and the otezla prescribing information has no requirement for routine lab monitoring. don't use if you're allergic to otezla. otezla may cause severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting. tell your doctor if these occur. otezla is associated with an increased risk of depression. tell your doctor if you have a history of depression or suicidal thoughts, or if these feelings develop. some people taking otezla reported weight loss. your doctor should monitor your weight and may stop treatment. other side effects include upper respiratory tract infection and headache. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take and if you're pregnant or planning to be. ♪ otezla. show more of you.
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thank you for watching this hour of "velshi & ruhle." i'm stephanie ruhle. i'll see you tomorrow morning at 9:00 eastern. my partner ali velshi will be back tomorrow. you can check us out on social media and connect with our show at #velshiruhle or on twitter. we have our own handle now @velshiruhle. right now, andrea mitchell with "andrea mitchell reports."
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>> and right now on "andrea mitchell reports," taking heat. president trump gets an earful from some governors on gun laws, including from florida governor rick scott, a former republican ally. we'll hear from the president coming up. and keeping the dream alive. the supreme court dealing a blow to the trump administration's push to end the dreamers programs. democratic leaders are calling this a victory for now. >> the trump administration tried to skirt the law here and go straight to the supreme court. the supreme court told them no, go through the regular process. so we're ready, and we'll go to court and we hope to prevail on all the merits in this case to keep the daca program going. and charm offensive. ivanka trump closing out the winter olympic, standing where the vice president would not and delivering a message in an exclusive interview with nbc news' peter alexander. >> i think that when there are case


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