tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC May 25, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
thank you so much for letting us in your homes on days like this. we are so thankful. ari melber is next. >> the world continues as we have another day like this. 19 kids and two teachers murdered at a uvalde school in texas. all victims have been identified and removed from the crime scene, according to authorities. the gunman had at least 30 rounds of magazines purchased
legally -- legally -- with an ar-15 rifle, all done one day after he turned 18. he shot his grandmother, as we reported last night. crashed his truck near the school, as you see there. greg abbott, governor of texas did try to confront the shooter but he did not engage and the shooter was able to enter the school you see here. he also barricaded himself in his classroom. he distributed part of his plan to kill in what we are told was a private facebook message about 15 minutes before this shooting. he also reportedly sent text messages to a 15-year-old located in germany. >> the gunman was 18 years old and reportedly a high school dropout. reportedly there has been no criminal history identified yet.
there is no known mental health history of the gunman. he used one weapon which was an ar-15, using two 23 rounds. >> that's additional information we're learning there, courtesy of the governor of the state, greg abbott. he is the chief executive of texas, he is law enforcement, he is the source of the information on this matter, if you look at who follows what, greg ababbott as a leader, as a politician has been pushing gun sales, gun rights, gun usage. that's a big part of his entire agenda, his political agenda. it is obviously overlapping with
his responsibilities of the mass murder of children. so another texas politician who is no longer in office, beto o'rourke, interrupted the press conference that you see there that we're using to get information to confront the governor in a deliberately public and heated exchange. >> you are doing nothing. >> you're pring up nothing. you said this was unpredictable. sir, you are out of line! sir, you are out of line! please leave this auditorium. >> you cannot use a place like this to make a political issue. >> that was some of the exchange. you can hear the back and forth. beto o'rourke is also a
politician currently out of office. you can hear the yelling of others who view him the, the person challenging this, as somehow politicizing it. but beto o'rourke's view and the view of many activists in this space, and we're covering all of it, is the politicizing of gun sales in texas came from governor abbott. as we showed last night, he wanted more guns in his states. he added the nra as a political right wing entity in pushing that. politics, if we are going to do this over and over and over with parents burying their children in small coffins, in schools across america over and over, can't something be done?
people, they are sick of thoughts and prayers, because thoughts and prayers are keeping -- aren't keeping our kids alive. there have been 78 rounds of gunfire at schools this year alone resulting in death. i've been hearing it from folks also who are in the latino community, is this something that's going to be paid attention to or not? is it going to be something that falls out of the headlines? i have to raise that point because it is a discussion that's happening right now in communities. but i think this is the point. it's not that there aren't solutions and it's not that there isn't a majority of americans including those who believe there is a place for lawful gun ownership. reforms that research and the majority of americans support. the problem is we no longer have a political system that is listening to the people, and that is our biggest problem.
but that's why we have to make sure folks show up and are vocal about the fact that protecting the right to own a gun is not the same thing as protecting the right to kill people, and that there's a balance between those two things we can strike and we must. >> i hear you. we've been gathering here and folks have been watching the coverage. now we've got reporters on the ground and we've got people interviewing folks, and last night and tonight we have people directly impacted by this in our coverage. i want to play a little of that, including a parent who is scared and whose individual child was alive, was a survivor at the school, as well as some of what we're hearing in the community. >> it's just heartbreaking. the community right now is heartbroken. i didn't get any sleep last night. i had a phone call with a friend
that they couldn't sleep. >> this is where we, as a community, come together. we need to have a voice, we need to speak. there is something that has to be done. this cannot happen again. like i said, this is not how i want my community to be remembered. we are uvalde, not sandy hook. >> some of those are in d.c. who joined our discussion. jose, tell us what you're hearing in your reporting. >> good afternoon. we're in uvalde, and many people refer to it as uvalde, texas. it's a small community, 17,000 people, very close-knit. people don't lock their doors at night. people know their neighbors,
live with and share their lives with their neighbors. it's been such a deep scar. i'm thinking 17,000 people, 80% of people at the school, 90% latino, both student body and those that work there. i'm in front of the sacred heart church where they're asking people to come and pray the rosary for those who lost their lives and for those who have to continue on with their lives having lost a child. i mean, 19 little boys and girls. two days away, ari, from finishing their year. summer was going to kick in tomorrow. then just these families dropped
their child off for school and will never have the opportunity to pick them up again, pick them up at school, pick them up in their arms, two teachers that died alongside their students. i keep thinking about little xavier, fourth grade, yesterday his mom came because he was given a recognition, and that was the last time, little did that mother know that was the last time she was going to be by her son as he beamed with pride and happiness at being recognized in his fourth grade. or the little girl who had a little recognition and picture that her mom took, that picture of that little girl beaming with a small piece of paper that recognized her. she said she actually called 911 when the shooting started and died. it's so difficult, ari, to, you
know, just express how united this community is but how pained it is. i just don't know how they overcome this, you know. you think -- real quick i'm thinking it's 70 miles from mexico, it's about 60 miles from san antonio. but people who live in this community have roots in this community, have lived here, many for generations. and this is where they've planted their roots and yet this is also a place where they have dreams and aspirations and just this unimaginable terror, horror that struck here. i just spoke to a young man 18 years old who lost a sister in a fourth grade classroom, and he just told me, i can't process it. i can't think that my sister who was going to be a baseball
player, i'm going to be a basketball player, is not home. and i kind of thought last night, she's just coming later. they refused to process him, but each one is going through some incredible pain that they are seeing how they can progress through this. a lot of the people are doing it through prayers. but what a horrendous thing. what an incredibly painful thing that the families of two teachers and 19 children are confronting today. >> yeah. and that's what we're doing here. we're giving voice to that reporting you're doing, and as mentioned, we have people coming up and it's a grim process. we played just some of your interviews, and i know you're
going to continue to be down there doing the work. we thank you for that, jose-diaz beliart. we thank you both. thank you for being here. thank you for being willing to take time to tell us about what you're bearing witness to. what did the students tell you? who did you meet with? >> it was a lot of children that i came in contact with that day. they were obviously crying and just very distraught from the situation. >> about how many students was it? >> i didn't take count. i don't know. it could have been 30, 40
students. >> and what did they tell you about what they went through? >> they were scared. they were talking about what they heard, the bullets. some heard pounding on the door. and others just talking about whether their friends were shot, you know. just not knowing what was happening at the moment. >> what did they say about their understanding of what happened? what do they think happened? >> they knew there was a shooter shooting. that's all they knew. that's all that they knew. and so at that point our only job and focus was to keep those
children safe and assured that they were okay, they were going to be okay. >> which is important. i mean, that's such a big part of this even as a society we discuss what happened or try to make sense of what happened, and there's all these little people and you're doing some of that work. how did they seem to you? how upset, scared, functional did they seem to you, and what did you tell them? >> you know, it's hard to put into words what you're experiencing at the moment, you know. the very obvious is they were all pretty much crying. you know, some of you all may say it sounds cliche or you're tired of hearing people talk about thoughts and prayers, but prayer is the only thing that gets us through this, and that was my focus with those
children, was to pray with them and let them know god was with them at that moment, and he would help them through this situation. and they themselves are children who go to church or their parents have taught them some faith and they joined me in prayer, as did some of the teachers. and just trying to help each other out, hug each other to, you know, make it through that storm at the moment. >> what are you as a pastor telling this community, the parents? what are you telling them? you quoted earlier and i was discussing it with a colleague, quote, we're evolving.
we're not another columbine or sandy hook. and communities have to wrestle through these situations, these mass murders as a part of life now. some mark those cities as trying to come together or build something out of tragedy. people can build out of tragedy in communities, but it would seem to this individual that she didn't want this town or community known only by the tragedy. what are you telling the people as a pastor? >> as a pastor, we're just reminding people, you know, that there is hope, you know, and that something good -- i know you kind of wonder what good can come out of this, but, you know, something good can come out, you know, where we as a nation, as a people can unite to help individuals, you know. you talk about the shooting but there's other things going on in the community that no one is talking about, and it's the
immigrants. we've had police chase us here every single day for a year. there's other things we need to talk about, not just gun violence. we need to come together, we need your help as the media to help us get our voices out at what's happening in our communities, in these rural areas. speak the truth and let's talk about what's happening everywhere, everything, not just one topic or one person or one political party or one religion. let's come together and help so that we're not remembered, so that there's not more cities marked by massacres and shootings. that's what we need to do. that's what i hope to tell this city and this community, let's work together, together to help
one another. >> pastor marcela cabralez. it's an unspeakably difficult time. i think everyone is thankful you're there to help them. thank you for joining us. >> thank you. we'll be joined by a sandy hook survivor, and later in the program we'll discuss what we do as a nation with this ongoing ritual, what we owe each other. we'll be right back. e owe each r a helicopter. only pay for what you need. ♪liberty, liberty, liberty. liberty.♪ growing up, only pay for what you need. my mom, siblings and i faced more than our fair share of adversity. right. but i believed in a future beyond what others saw. when it came time for college, the kpmg future leaders program was there to help. it was more than a scholarship.
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completely stop the carnage that goes on in this country? >> the president spoke again today like he did last night about doing something to increase public safety, which is the government's first obligation. in our coverage last night, we began with the facts in the unfolding massacre, then we turned to the facts around policy. so, again, we do tonight. we began with people on the ground, we began with the latest facts and updates. now we turn to the policy. because if this were domestic attacks from foreign invaders or foreign terrorism, you can bet on day one, two and three, people would be saying, how do you stop the next one? do you let these people into the country? how do they get weapons? somebody flies a plane into a building, do you say should it be easy or hard to hijack a plane? this is standard stuff.
don't let anybody fool you that if you want to engage as a citizen and a voter how to keep each other safe or keep children safe that that's somehow the wrong response. enough about that. let's get the facts as there are new calls to action now. remember, under democratic leadership in the most recent election, this current house has already passed two gun safety bills. we reported on them, and to refresh your memory, they passed last year. they would do something that would bring public support, which is deal first with who gets guns, expanding and strengthening background checks. they do not in any way restrict your right to own a gun, they don't make it very hard to get one, but they would try to strengthen the background checks. what's interesting about this is the house, which passed this, has the mandate of the majority of the public. the house is the part of the congress that has majority support because each district
represents roughly the same number of people. then it's sent to the senate. that's the congress that's not a majority rule and not, remember, how senators are picked because it's not according to the number of people, it's according to states. and that's where these new bills backed by the public from the most recent election were stopped, blocked by a minority of republican senators under minority leader mcconnell. and they represent a minority of americans. the bills, well, they haven't gotten an up or down vote. to be crystal clear, i'm not talking about whether everybody in the senate supports it or not. i'm talking about it getting to the floor. the people in the senate are using tactics and a filibuster so there can't be a floor vote. chuck schumer today saying this. >> there are some who want this body to quickly vote on sensible gun safety legislation. i'm sympathetic to that, and i
believe that accountability votes are important. but, sadly, this isn't a case of the american people not knowing where their senators stand. they know. they know because my republican colleagues are perfectly clear on this issue, crystal clear. >> that, by the way, is chuck schumer's version of being outraged? this is the second deadliest school shooting in american history now this week. the most deadly was sandy hook in 2013 where republicans also did the same thing, something passed the house so it had the public's majority support. there was a president in the white house, again, reflecting a majority vote by the public, and the minority stopped this. ron brownbrownstein, a nonpatte
political reiter, said the senators voting for the bill represented 118 million. most people already supported the background checks, and now as this explodes in our life and culture, more are interested in reacting. the senate is halt bid american rule. we live in a society where kids don't get to vote. those kids in texas don't have a vote on this that we, as people of society, do. the parents of sandy hook didn't, either. these are schoolchildren we're talking about. if lawmakers can't protect them, if we can't agree on public safety involving children, who will? >> when are we going to do something? i'm tired, i'm so tired of getting up here and offering
condolences to the did he have -- devastated families that are out there. i'm sorry, i'm tired of the moments of silence. enough. there's 50 senators right now who refuse to vote on hra, which is a background check rule that the house passed a couple years ago. it's been sitting there for two years. there's a reason they won't vote on it, to hold onto power. >> we mentioned sandy hook and now we turn to mary ann jacob, a library clerk of sandy hook elementary who survived the shooting there. she buried herself and students barricaded a door. i'm sorry you have to do this but we need to talk through this. i appreciate you joining me here tonight. >> thank you for having me. >> your reaction of what we just walked through? >> it's no surprise. we've been watching it the last
ten years unfold over and over and over again, so my reaction is sort of the continued disgust of someone who doesn't think our elected leaders are acting on behalf of the people they represent. but, you know, in addition to that, i think all of us are just as accountable because we're not holding them accountable. every single person today in your country is outraged by what happened, but 99% of them are just what i would call slaptivists. if we don't all stand up and do something, we're not going to change what's happening. >> that makes sense. we want to kind of bridge this. stay with me. governor, your response? >> i think that's absolutely right. i think the democrats particularly have to stop the
hand where i thinking and is very much into this and resolved. the truth is the democrats haven't done their job, either, buzz they were nt ra. the nra is now bankrupt. some will go to jail. it's a crooked organization. the supreme court is now in the the. the only people. if you want to do something about this, then do something about this, but stop complaining and making the politicians do something. it's not going to happen.
ly his tweet is, just to be clear, f you. they haven't worked for the last 20 years about laws that would stop these killings. >> now what we need is a bill on the floor of the house, which is controlled by democrats, which will eliminate ownership of assault weapons by ordinary people that are not involved in the day to day. i'm involved in hunting, but this is not hunt, this is
hunting human beings. the nra is an infinite organization. these people are in the thrall -- these right wingers like cruz are in the thralls of guns they are cater to go. >> mary ann, we look at the certain body count high points. ilts such a grim math that the country does. sandy hook is until ways that people might not realize. when you look at school shootings since columbine, over 300,000 students have experienced some kind of gun violence at school.
should they do any kind of profiling, these are all kinds of schools all kinds of places. this is not any particular state or neighborhood or any particular demographic profile. indeed, this is one of the most tragic things. it unites this generation in the worst way around so many places. how does that figure into what you want to see happening. >> the figures you're putting out are very bad. the epidemic of gun violence takes many forms. you know, we believe that, you know, at moms demand action for
gun safety, the background check is one of the most comprehensive ways, the national background check to try to curb some of that gun violence. make no mistake, there is no imagine i recollect cure for what's going on, and i think what we need is more of the several hundred bills if the house has already passed, or extremist protection recalled tvmt t. we know that 80% plus of gun owners support it, so why don't those people we elected vote for it and why aren't we holding them accountable as voters who elected them? >> yeah, and this conversation brings us back to where we
began, which is as horrific as so much of this is, there was an election in 2020. and the house did pass one of the bills you mentioned. and there is a president waiting to sign it. so people then have to locate -- as both of you have said, if people want to go on expressing what is understandable grief and outrage, people have to locate that pressure point. does he support public safety exception to the filibuster or not. is that more important than children's public safety, and does the rest of everybody want to get into that? as howard said, and other viewers, kbrikd l>> thank you for starting this the.
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we have now a public pattern for these atrocities, anger, grief, and calls for action by many. we watch as our elected leaders come back up and use the same words every time. >> hillary and i are profoundly shocked and saddened by the tragedy in littleton. >> by the news of the shootings in virginia tech. >> an elementary school in uvalde, texas. >> our entire nation with one heavy heart is praying for the victims and their families. >> plenty of politics in life is scripted, but when the script is this easy, familiar, when it melts into a kind of baroque set of talking points for the murder of children, that is one among many signs that we are getting something wrong. and those are just the ones
that, as i've said to you because i try to be very straightforward, are considered in the grim math of body counts. if you widen out to the stuff that doesn't make the national news, over the past five years, there have been over a hundred school shootings with a fatality. this year we've had 27 school shootings. i'll admit to you as a newscaster, most of them don't make nightly news on most of the newscasts. then when there isn't one that is quote, unquote, big enough, we go into a cycle, part of a grim cycle that we in the press acknowledge. president obama referred to this dynamic all the way back to a mass shooting in 2013. >> it ought to obsess us. it ought to lead to some form of transformation. here in the united states after the around-the-clock coverage on cable news, after the
heartbreaking interviews with families, after all the speeches and all the punditry and all the commentary, nothing happens. >> that sound you hear is the sound of nothing happening. at least as best as we can tell. right now. a day after. so maybe it ought to obsess us a bit more. how do we, not only in our policy and leadership and politics, which we've just discussed tonight earlier in the program, how do we, in our society and our discourse as human beings living together, which is what we are in a common society, how do we change this? i get it when people say to me, i watched some of it, i read some of it, i saw the alert on my phone and then i had to look away. i get it. but when is it negligent to allow this process to become so normalized that we check a box and look away.
is there another way to change this ritual and discourse that kicks in after these mass murder tragedies? we brought in someone to think about this with us. michael hershorn is an emmy award-winning producer and also an activist. thank you for being here. your thoughts? >> i wonder if this is a moment for lessee motion and more cynicism. i went back and looked at how democrats responded to this 20, 25 years ago, 30 years ago, and it was much more strategic. it was really about how do we gain power so that we can put in place the policies that we want to put in place. right now from, you know, you and me to chuck schumer, we're responding emotionally and not strategically. flight we don't have the power to change things, and no amount of begging on the senate floor
like chris murphy did, and that really moved me, is going to change anything of the we have to get more senators, more congressmen in power, and then we can change the laws. in order to get more senators and more congressmen in power, we have to think more politically. one of my problems with the democrats in general is that they've lost that benefit to think politically. >> just to be clear, you're speaking as a progressive who supports gun safety measures, and your problems with the democrats sometimes you think the public message to concerned parents and others is what? >> is emotive, tragic. we're sort of co-dependent with the republicans in a way that we say that things need to change, they have to change, but we know they're not going to change, yet we keep saying they need to change and have to change, but we don't step back and say, what do we need to do in order to force things to change?
>> michael, i wouldn't wish being co-depend with ted cruz on anyone. would you? >> not at all. >> when you connected about this today, you pointed to an example where gun safety was a political pitch but not an emotive wail, and it's kind of a clinton old school ad that goes to banning certain bullets -- by the way, bullets are dangerous to everybody, but it was put in the context of protecting cops with those bullets. let's take a look. >> my job as president is to take care of the american people, and i have done my best to take good care of this country. we are safer, we are more secure, we are more prosperous, but in the end, what we stand for, the values we embrace and the things we fight for, will shape the future. >> yeah, so clinton in his
reelection campaign, ran on banning cop killer bullets. he enlisted the support of police departments, police unions in order to push for gun safety in the context of protecting law enforcement. now, that would require a level of message control that i'm not seeing right now, right? you could also say for january 6, that was an attack on cops. so if we were smart politically, we would be looking for ways to create wedge issues that put republicans on the defensive and allow us to win politically. >> that makes sense. briefly, the onion, which is a satirical site, has actually been rerunning this headline after every big shooting. this is just the screen grab, but what it says, and i want to read out loud, quote, no way to
prevent this. the conservatives are out touting a different type of government in saying, we know what is happening, we can protect your children. >> right, and i believe they can have gun safety be the party of law and order and the party of freedom. it's a chance to flip the script 180 degrees. >> it's an interesting perspective and you bring a different background, but it's not like you've worked on seven failed democratic campaigns, which is sometimes what pundits draw on. but you are a communicator and we appreciate your perspective on a very grave topic. we'll be right back. very 'd my share, man.♪
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finally in tonight's hour we look at the information that is now coming out about the people impacted, the people whose lives were cut short. 21 people murdered in this massacre which includes 19 children and two teach, murdered after recess just days out from what would be their summer break. mireles and garcia were the two who taught fourth grade. mireles died protecting her students. >> she did love what she did at the school, and she put her heart into everything that she did. she is a hero. >> xavier lopez's mother was with him during an awards ceremony, just hours before the
shooting. one of our guests referenced this earlier today. many say he was like the life of the party, danced memorably with his family and cheered people out. amerie garza is the one who called 911. you can see this photo. this was taken just hours before when she was celebrating for making the honor roll. eliahana cruz torres's family described her as a girl full of energy and annabell rodriguez was given an award for music. uziyah garcia was described by his grandfather as the sweetest little boy. it's a community in mourning tonight and also praying for change. we'll be right back. d also prayr change we'll be right back.
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good evening, everyone. this is uziyah garcia, a fourth grader at robb elementary school in uvalde, texas. his grandfather told the ap they started throwing the football around together, calling him the sweetest little boy that i've ever known. amerie jo garza was 9. yesterday morning she received a certificate for making the honor roll. her grandmother told "the daily beast" she was super outgoing and a teacher's pet. she was killed while dialing 911. xavier lopez was 10. he was awaiting a summer of swimming. his grandmother told abc news he was the life of the party. he loved to dance and play baseball, and he, too, had just made the honor roll.
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