THE ED SHOW with ED SCHULTZ
December 14, 2012
Guest: Dan Gross, Jerrold Nadler, Lt. George Sinko, Rep. Keith Ellison, Michael Eric Dyson, Mark Glaze
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW from New York.
There are tragedies in life that shake our souls and break our hearts.
Today, the nation experienced one of those tragedies. Every American will
struggle to come to grips with what happened today in a small community in
Sandy Hook Elementary School in the small community of about 27,000
residents was the site of a shooting rampage. At this hour, we know 26
people at the school were shot and killed by a lone gunman, 20 of those
deceased were children.
Surviving students and their parents said teachers ordered children to
hide in closets. Witnesses reported hearing dozens of shots, as many as
100 rounds. Police found the shooter dead. Officers never fired a shot.
The gunman`s mother was found dead at a Newtown location where the
gunman lived. Police have released no motive for the attack. The weapons
used in the shooting were all legally purchased and were registered to the
An emotional President Obama addressed the nation this afternoon from
the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`ve endured too many
of these tragedies in the past few years. And each time I learn the news,
I react not as a president, but as anybody else would, as a parent. And
that was especially true today.
I know there`s not a parent in America who doesn`t feel the same
overwhelming grief that I do. The majority of those who died today were
children -- beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old.
They had their entire lives ahead of them, birthdays, graduations,
weddings, kids of their own.
Among the fallen were also teachers and men and women who devoted
their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams.
So, our hearts are broken today for the parents and grandparents,
sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the
adults who were lost.
As a country we have been through this too many times. Whether it`s
an elementary school in Newtown or a shopping mall in Oregon or a temple in
Wisconsin or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago,
these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our
And we`re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to
prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.
This evening, Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in
America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter, and we`ll tell
them that we love them, and we`ll remind each other how deeply we love one
But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight. And
they need all of us right now. May God bless the memory of the victims.
And in the words of Scripture, "Heal the broken hearted and bind up their
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Much like the president of the United States, Americans are
experiencing a wide range of emotions tonight. And it`s difficult to
process them. These are photos no one will be able to forget, the sight of
crying children being led away from a scene of mass murder should shake the
country to its core. And it has.
The question must be asked: how many more scenes like this one are we
going to see? As a nation, we need to do something, and something has to
be done. This tragedy stopped the country in its tracks and brought the
president of the United States to tears.
As a parent, as an American, as a human being, it`s hard not to have
the same feelings that I had back on 9/11, that maybe all of us had.
Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy felt the same way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. DAN MALLOY (D), CONNECTICUT: I -- I was mayor of Stamford on
9/11 when our state lost many of its citizens, and I lost a number of my
fellow citizens and friends. I never thought that in a public career that
I would have to face these kinds of circumstances or that they would visit
themselves upon this community or the people of Connecticut.
We`ll get through this. And our prayers at this time have to go out
to the families. And so, as I began by thanking those who have expressed
their desires to be helpful, the number one way to be helpful is to say a
prayer or send a best wish or to the thinking of these individuals who have
suffered so mightily today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: In the middle of the holiday season, America is reckoning
with a crisis of our culture. Details will still emerge, but the sadness
will not go away.
Joining me tonight from the scene, the latest bringing us is going to
be MSNBC`s Chris Jansing, who is in Newtown, Connecticut.
These are days that we wish on no one in this business. It is very
hard. It`s very emotional. It`s been a day of tears and broken voices all
Chris, I know that there is a lot of prayer taking place in that
community tonight. What`s the latest?
CHRIS JANSING, MSNBC HOST, "JANSING & CO.": You`re right about that,
Ed. There are at least three prayer services, memorial services that are
being held in this small community. And the pictures we have seen coming
out of one them show that the crowds are overflowing. People are wondering
what can they do, how can they cope.
And, of course, the question that happens always in these
circumstances and that is, why?
Some of the details are beginning to emerge. We know all of this
began this morning when a man who police say is 20-year-old Adam Lanza
reportedly shot his mother in the home that they shared, then went over to
Sandy Hook Elementary where she was a kindergarten teacher, and we are told
opened fire, killing 20 young children -- this is a school where the
students were from 5 to 10 years old -- and six other adults, before
turning the gun on himself.
Police have never officially said that this was a suicide, but they
say no official fired any shots. And you saw the sound there from the
governor just moments after he made that brief statement before the
assembled media. He walked by me.
And it was difficult not to be moved by the look on his face. And, in
fact, within just minutes of coming off the exit and driving into this town
a little earlier today, Ed, I glanced into a car next to me. There was a
very solemn driver in the car, a man, and then in the passenger seat a
woman who was crying. And the emotion has been pouring out in this
community all day long.
It`s been a day of some confusion. The alleged shooter was carrying
apparently his brother`s ID. He was later arrested in Hoboken, New Jersey,
and told police that his brother had some mental health issues.
So, we may be able to start to get some idea of what was in the mind
of this troubled young man. It will do little, I assure you, to calm the
deep sense of loss and immense tragedy that they`re feeling here in Newtown
Now behind me, I`ll just make one last mention, that that is the
volunteer fire station which has been kind of a staging area for some of
the officials who have come here from all over the region, and federal
officials as well. It is also where the parents gathered, those who were
not reunited with their children and got the horrific news that their
children would not be coming out of that school alive.
It remains an active crime scene. It`s expected to for several more
days. And heartbreakingly, not a single person inside there has been able
to be positively identified -- Ed.
SCHULTZ: Chris Jansing, there are the horrific details, and there are
heroes. The first responders who were there, those professionals that were
in that classroom that were dealing with the survivors -- what do we know
how they got them out and kept them from the tragedy as best possible?
JANSING: We know that they responded very quickly. There were
tactical teams. There were local and state officials. There were K-9
units, of course.
By the time they got there, there was little they could do except
secure those children and get them out of there. We know they went
classroom to classroom. And we should say that the shooting happened in
one area of this school in two separate rooms.
They went from classroom to classroom. And the scene was so horrific,
and they didn`t want the children to see it. And many of them clearly were
crying. They had them hold hands and asked them to close their eyes, and
they were led out.
I can also tell you from talking to a couple of local officials here,
and I think it is important to note that the people who are working this,
many of them are people who live there. They know the people who were in
that school. They know the teachers. They know the students. They`re
their friends and neighbors.
So, they are not only having to do their jobs, but they`re doing it at
a time of great very close and personal tragedy as well, Ed.
SCHULTZ: Chris, I know that you have covered tragedies like this in
the past. But one of the things that this country is having a very hard
time to come to grips with tonight is the age of the children.
JANSING: I don`t think there`s any doubt about that. I was at
Columbine for at least I think it was probably two weeks. At that time, we
had not seen anything like what we saw there. And there was lot of
conversation at this point about how do we stop this from happening again.
Well, 12, 13 years later, I was back in Aurora, Colorado, and talking
to many of the same people that I had sadly gotten to know during the
Columbine shootings. And then earlier in the year, I was in Arizona when
Gabby Giffords and the others were shot there.
And you do have a sense everywhere you go, obviously, that there is a
senselessness to it, there is a lack of understanding, that no amount of
information that we get about the shooter can truly help us to understand
how someone could do this.
But there is a heaviness here that is almost indescribable, Ed. And I
think it is related to the fact that we`re looking at these young, innocent
children that if a shooter goes into an elementary school and opens fire on
a classroom, he knows that the victims are going to be children who should,
by all rights, as so many people have said, have their whole lives ahead of
them. And the sense of loss, the enormity of the loss is difficult for me
to put into words here tonight.
SCHULTZ: Chris Jansing in Newtown, Connecticut -- thank you for
joining us tonight and reporting here on THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Thanks so
The magnitude of this tragedy is enormous for this community of
Newtown, Connecticut. People are concerning to houses of worship and faith
leaders. Several churches in Newtown held candlelight vigils tonight.
"NBC Nightly News" spoke with Monsignor Robert Weiss earlier today who
put in perspective the emotional damage facing the people of Newtown.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLILP)
MSGR. ROBERT WEISS, ST. ROSE OF LIMA PARISH: What can you say? I
mean there is really no words to express the magnitude of this. You know,
you send your child to school. You think they`re going to be safe.
These are little kids. They didn`t have any worries. And all of the
sudden you get a phone call or you get a, you know, text that there`s been
a shooting at your child`s school.
You know, it`s just a matter of hugging them and crying with them and
praying with them.
The intensity of emotion is really hard to put into words. There was
sobbing, there was yelling, there was people throwing themselves on the
floor in absolute upsetment. It was a whole range of emotions, and there
are people hugging each other, settling down, and then it would come back
to them again and you would hear an outburst periodically. But it was
very, very heavy emotion.
How do you recover from something as horrible as this, you know? How
do you help a child have to walk into the front door of that school, you
know, the next day that they have class and not see their principal or any
of the other staff that really cared about them or their friends?
I noticed this morning when the children were being dismissed, some of
them wanted to go home, but they were conflicted because they didn`t want
to leave their friends. They were really conflicted this morning about
whether to leave or not. They wanted to just be together. And yet their
parents, you know, were here to take them home.
It`s surreal. You know, it just doesn`t seem real. Like one of the
ladies, her phone just went off because it was time to take her little boy
to a cub scout meeting. And she realized, you know, I can`t take him now,
you know? So those kind of moments are really, really hard on these
Oh, it was awful. Excuse me. I mean, these are 20 people the week
before Christmas that just lost their joy, you know? How do live with
that, you know? And some of them are doing the best they can. And a lot
of them are just absolutely -- they`re devastated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: We`ll have much more on the tragic shooting in Newtown,
Coming up, Congressman Gerald Nadler and Dan Gross of the Brady
Campaign join me next to react to the White House`s comment that today is
not the day to talk about gun control.
You`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. We`re right back.
SCHULTZ: Continuing coverage of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.
We`ll have more of the president`s emotional response to today`s tragic
And Dan Gross of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and New
York Congressman Jerrold Nadler will weigh in with us next.
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: As a country, we have been through this too many times. And
we`re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent
more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: President Obama earlier today speaking about the school
shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Despite the tragedies in Arizona, in
Wisconsin, and Colorado, despite the countless number of people who fall
victim to gun violence each day, every day, the president has not pushed
for tougher gun laws while in office. Nor did he offer any specifics on
legislation that he might support today.
In fact, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters earlier
today that today is not the day to talk about gun control.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg sees it differently. He is calling
out the White House and Congress for their inaction on the issue.
"With all the carnage from the gun violence in our country, he said,
it`s almost impossible to believe that a mass shooting in a kindergarten
class could happen. It has come to that. Not each kindergartners learning
their ABCs are safe.
We`ve heard after Columbine that it was too soon to talk about gun
laws. We heard after Virginia Tech, after Tucson, after Aurora and Oak
Creek. And now we`re hearing it again. For every day we wait, 34 more
people are murdered with guns. Today many of them were 5-year-olds.
President Obama rightly sent his heartfelt condolences to the families
in Newtown, Connecticut. But the country needs him to send a bill to
Congress to fix this problem. Calling for meaningful action is not enough.
We need immediate action.
We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is
leadership, not from the White House and not from Congress. That must end
That statement from Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City.
Let`s turn to Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to prevent
gun violence, and also Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York.
Gentlemen, thank you for your time tonight.
We have experienced a wide range of emotions today. This is
absolutely as bad as it could possibly get. Who could fathom something
like this could happen?
But, Mr. Gross, could this change anything? Could this horrific event
really be a moment in American history where we actually do something about
DAN GROSS, THE BRADY CAMPAIGN: I really believe it will change
things. You know, there has been a national conversation that has been
starting prior to. We`ve seen people coming out, people like Bob Costas,
even Rupert Murdoch, Bill O`Reilly talking about sensible measures.
The American people want to solve this problem. And sometimes it`s
takes an event like this to catalyze thing.
In 1989, there was a horrible school shooting where 35 people were
shot in Stockton, California. That was a catalyst for some of the major
legislation that passed soon after that.
So, I think we have to -- we need to push, and it requires the
American public speaking up and making their voice heard.
But this is a conversation that the American public wants to have.
And we need to make sure that Congress and the president want to have it,
SCHULTZ: Congressman Nadler, do you stand with the mayor of New York
when he says that what we have not seen is leadership from the White House
and not from the Congress?
REP. JERROLD NADLER (D), NEW YORK: We certainly haven`t seen
leadership on this issue in a good number of years. I was heartened that
the president said today that we have to take meaningful action. Unless
that`s simply empty rhetoric, that means that the president is thinking, at
least, of taking the lead and really pushing Congress on this, which is
what it will take.
This -- we -- these incidents, these horrible, horrible incidents that
tug at all our emotions in which people are killed and now kids are killed
are happening more and more frequently. And they will continue to happen
more and more frequently, until someone with a bully pulpit, and that means
the president, takes leadership and pushes Congress and pushes the people
to pushing their Congress members to do something about this.
You know, it hasn`t been much mentioned in the press, but there was an
attack in China today by a maniac on an elementary school with a knife.
Twenty-two kids were injured, but not killed because he didn`t have a gun.
SCHULTZ: Do you agree with the gun laws here in New York City? Do
you think this has curtailed violence in this city?
NADLER: Well, I think that it has curtailed violence as much as
possible. The problem that we have, of course is that criminals go to
Virginia and other places, mostly Virginia, buy large quantities of weapons
and ship them illegally into New York so they get around the New York laws.
Which is why I introduced legislation a number of years ago to limit
the number of weapons that a licensed gun dealer could sell to a person, to
one a month, I think I said. But because no legitimate sportsman needs
more than one -- how many rifles can you have to shoot deer?
SCHULTZ: Yes. Well, today the White House Web site was flooded with
new petitions. But before we get into the X`s and O`s and crossing the T`s
and dotting the I`s of any kind of legislation, it really needs to be
recognized as -- for lack of a better term -- a game-changer, a moment in
history where this changes public opinion.
Do you think we`re there?
NADLER: I think we will be there, if the president exploits it. And
otherwise it will go to the next one.
SCHULTZ: And, Dan?
GROSS: I want to point out -- I don`t think public opinion needs to
be changed. It needs to be voiced to our elected representative.
SCHULTZ: And you think there has been a reluctance for that?
GROSS: No, I think there has been a disconnect. That`s why we have
come out with this notion and this Web site of wearebetterthanthis.org, you
know, so the American public can stand up as one under a common theme, and
say as a nation we are better than a nation that loses 32 people to gun
murders every day. We`re better than a nation where we can`t send our kids
to school without a terrible tragedy like this happening, without fearing
for their safety.
And when it all comes together and coalesces, the public support is
out there. Seventy-four percent of NRA members support criminal background
checks. You know, that consensus is out there. We just have to make that
felt in the halls of Congress.
NADLER: But the important political consensus is of the organization,
the NRA that can mobilize numbers of voters who will vote on that issue
only. And the NRA leadership has been the enablers of the mass murders.
And they`ve got to be called on it. They`ve got to be called on it by the
president and the leaders of Congress to confront the NRA leadership.
As Bob said, NRA members, they`re OK with reasonable gun controls.
The NRA leadership has been fanatic and frankly functions as enablers to
mass murder, and they`ve got to be stopped on that.
GROSS: And we have to face the value of some of the rhetoric.
Lindsey Graham was on TV the other night saying, you know, in response to
talking about sensible gun laws that, no, I believe in the Second
Amendment. I like to hunt.
You know, that is not contrary to the sensible gun laws that anybody
is advocating. You know, when you talk about something like criminal
background checks, that has nothing to do with a hunter who wants to hunt,
or a target shooter who wants to target shoot.
SCHULTZ: It`s been reported that the shooter had some issues
mentally. That`s has been reported. How do we keep firearms away from
those who have challenges?
NADLER: You require background checks for sale of guns to anyone.
You get rid of the gun show loophole where someone at a gun show can sell
it to anybody, can sell it to people on the terrorists list, can sell it to
convicted pedophiles, can sell to it felons, and to mentally unstable
people. There are ways of the doing that.
You know, other countries do it. We`re about the only country that
doesn`t. Industrialized countries in the Western world, Germany, Canada,
have 150, 170 people killed a year by guns. We have over 9,000. And the
only difference is they have intelligent gun laws and we don`t.
GROSS: And here is one very important basic fact -- 40 percent of all
gun sales in America don`t require a background check, which means through
40 percent of gun sales, a convicted felon, a terrorist, somebody
dangerously mentally ill can get a gun without any questions asked.
SCHULTZ: Well, in this situation, the mother purchased the firearm.
GROSS: And it`s also important when we react to tragedies like this
not to strive to prevent every possible tragedy. You know, maybe this one,
maybe some others would actually still slip through the cracks.
But the bottom line is you talked about the fact that there are 34
murders that happen every day in our country. To the extent that those
murder are committed by people who could have prevented from buying guns
like without background checks, then that`s the kind of thing we should be
NADLER: Or even prevented from buying high -- not high caliber, a
high number of magazines so that you can`t get a clip that shoots 30
bullets. What hunter needs a clip that shoots 30 bullets with one pull of
SCHULTZ: All right. Congressman Jerrold Nadler and Dan Gross, great
to have you with us tonight. I appreciate your time.
We`ll have more on today`s tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Stay with us. We`re right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW for our continuing coverage of
the shooting in Connecticut. Let`s turn now to Lieutenant George Sinko of
the Newtown Police Department. Lieutenant, thank you for your time
tonight. I know that this is not an easy time for you.
I don`t know how you train for something like this. You`re human too.
You`re not men of steel. You have hearts. You have souls. And this must
have been a horrific day for all of your people there at the crime scene.
What is the status of the investigation, lieutenant? What can you tell us
LT. GEORGE SINKO, NEWTOWN, CONNECTICUT, POLICE DEPT.: Well, the scene
is still ongoing. Newtown detectives as well as major crime from the
Connecticut State Police are currently processing the scene. We also have
investigators from the state medical examiner`s office on scene.
SCHULTZ: And has the identification of all of the victims been made,
SINKO: No, it has not. As you know, it`s a very sensitive matter.
And we need to make sure that we`re right on that. We have a lot of
families that are hurting right now. And we`re doing our best to move
quickly with that, but it`s a very long process. And so we want to make
sure we`re right.
SCHULTZ: Lieutenant, are authorities convinced that the shooter acted
alone, without an accomplice?
SINKO: Yes. At this time, we have no indication that anyone else was
involved, other than the shooter.
SCHULTZ: Were there any eyewitnesses that have helped out with the
investigation at this point?
SINKO: Well, certainly there`s many witnesses, people in the school
as well as around it who have contacted us. We`re going to follow every
lead, every bit of evidence that we can. This is like a puzzle. And we
have to put all the pieces together. And we`re going to explore every
avenue we can to come to a conclusion here.
SCHULTZ: And lieutenant, how long will it take to put this together?
How long will this be considered a crime scene?
SINKO: Well, it`s difficult to say. Certainly throughout the night
we`re going to be there. We`re going to be there the better part of this
weekend. The evidence is really going to take us where we need to go with
this one. But certainly through the weekend we`re probably going to be
SCHULTZ: How much -- was there much cooperation from the shooter`s
brother? I understand that there was -- he had -- the shooter had his
brother`s I.D. on him, and there was some confusion. Was his brother
SINKO: We`re not going to comment on any of the individuals that
we`re working with regarding the investigation at this time. We are early
into the investigation. And we have many leads that we`re going to follow
up. And certainly any witnesses or leads will be followed up.
SCHULTZ: How is the police force, lieutenant, dealing with the
survivors in the community tonight? If you can put into words exactly what
the scene is there, and what it`s like for the community this evening.
SINKO: This is a very close-knit community. People try to help each
other out here. They`re hurting. The officers, this is a scene that most
officers never have to deal with. I was very proud of the way our officers
handled the scene. I`m sure a lot of them are going to be hurting after
this. It`s going to take a long time for everyone involved.
But our efforts are going towards helping the family right now.
They`re the ones who are in our thoughts and prayers. And we`re working as
quickly as we can to try to give them the answers they deserve.
SCHULTZ: And lieutenant, I would venture to say that some of your
colleagues haven`t been through anything like this before. We`re talking
about the murder of children. How are they holding up?
SINKO: Well, right now, you know, they`re working off their training
and instinct. I`m sure tomorrow, when they`ve had some time to think about
it, it may hit some of them harder than others. We`re prepared, you know,
to work with any of those officers that may need it. Counseling is
available if they need it.
But we have a strong group, and they`re holding out pretty well.
SCHULTZ: Lieutenant George Sinko of the Newtown Police Department, I
appreciate your time tonight here on THE ED SHOW. Thanks so much for
: Still to come, more on today`s tragic events. I`ll talk with MSNBC
political analyst Michael Eric Dyson and Congressman Keith Ellison of
Minnesota when we return. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to continuing coverage of the tragedy in
Newtown, Connecticut. People have packed churches in Newtown, Connecticut
tonight in memory of the children and the adults killed at Sandy Hook
Elementary School. We continue to follow late-breaking developments here
Police and FBI agents are still on the scene at this hour. The gunman
shot 20 children and seven adults in Newtown before 10:00 this morning.
School is supposed to be a safe place. The massacre at Columbine High
School should have been a wake-up call. But shootings on school campuses
have increased over the last 13 years. This February, a teenager fired
into a cafeteria in Chadron (ph), Ohio. Three students died. Two others
This morning`s shooting is one of many horrible tragedies. These are
the worst in our history. And all of them have happened since Columbine.
A man gunned down 32 students at Virginia Tech back in 2007. A teen took a
gun to school and killed nine people in Minnesota.
Teens died at the school shooting in Michigan. And five children were
gunned down at an Amish School in Pennsylvania. But here is the most
stunning number of them all. There have been 181 major school shootings in
the United States since the Columbine Massacre; 181 shootings where
students were either wounded or killed.
Many of the school shootings involved teenagers. In Los Angeles last
year, a teenager snuck a loaded Beretta into class. The gun went off and
wounded two other students.
But young children are victims too. In Houston last year, a six-year-
old took a loaded handgun to school. The gun went off. Three kids were
Many in this country say enough is enough. I`m joined tonight by
Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota and MSNBC political analyst and
Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson.
Gentlemen, thank you for your time tonight. I`ll have an open
question to both of you. Professor, we`ll go with you first. We talk
about change in society. What does it take for us to change what we are
seeing unfold before our eyes?
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Well, Ed, our hearts go
out to all the victims of this most recent crime and tragedy. The reality
is we`ve got to face the fact that we are addicted to violence in this
culture, that at every level, we reinforce the notion that violence is an
apt resolution of conflict.
And beyond that, we`ve got to deal with the fact that the ready
accessibility of guns has led to devastating consequences for untold
Americans. Because it`s not only the immediate event that induces trauma.
It`s the psychic trauma that is endured by those who look at this event and
have to relive it time and time again, because they were there, or because
they look upon it from afar and realize that they are similarly vulnerable.
Unless we change the gun laws in this country, where people have ready
access to guns like this that end up, you know, wreaking havoc and
devastation upon our culture, we`re not going to be able to do anything.
And to defend the Second Amendment as if that`s the be all and end all,
without seeing that there are, as you have already pointed out in this
program, layers to that. There are conditions to that. There are
contingencies to that.
We don`t have to have an either. We have radical freedom on the one
hand to accept the Second Amendment, or on the other hand, we curtail the
law in order to defer to our common sense. I think we can have both. And
we need to do that right now, or else this will be repeated.
SCHULTZ: Congressman, what does it take to get change in this country
to address what we are seeing, the gun violence in America?
REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: Well, it only takes us to make up
our mind that change is going to have to happen now. I mean, this is such
a horrific incident, such a tragic incident. Not even children, 20 kids
are safe in their classroom, that it must stir the heart of the nation.
But I got to tell you, Ed, I remember my friend Gabby Gifford was shot
down and her constituents were killed. We thought that would stir the
nation. Apparently we haven`t seen any real action in Congress since then.
There are heroes, though, Ed. I don`t want you to get the impression
that nobody in Congress is fighting for change.
SCHULTZ: Oh, I know. There is just not enough of them.
ELLISON: Carol McCarthy. That`s right. But I`m going to tell you
this, though. We`re not afraid of the NRA. We`re ready to confront them.
And we have legislation that we want to see taken up that would ban high
capacity clips, stop the gun show loophole, and have mandatory background
These are reasonable things. And we need the American people to
insist, from the White House on down, that we take these pieces of
legislation up immediately, and that we pass them, and that we confront
anyone, these Second Amendment extremists who think that any kind of a
sane, sensible gun legislation is going to take guns away, which is
SCHULTZ: And gentlemen, I need to point out, Mothers Against Drunk
Driving made it uncool to drive drunk.
SCHULTZ: And smoking, of course, is now ruled as uncool in society.
But what is it going to take to change the gun culture in America? Dr.
Dyson, in black communities in this country, in poor neighborhoods in this
country, we are seeing the penetration of guns and ruining lives. And now
we`re at elementary schools.
DYSON: You`re right.
SCHULTZ: What do we have to do? This is a culture now of violence.
DYSON: Yes. But you see, drinking and smoking didn`t have attached
to them the immediacy of a Constitutional amendment that would support
their ostensible advocates. When you have got this gun lobby, it`s so deep
and so profound. I thank Congressman Ellison for reminding us that there
are those who are heroic in Congress who will stand up.
But the reality is that that gun lobby is so deep, their pockets are
so profound, and they have the ability to bully people, that we have to
stand up to them and say look, this is enough. It happens at every level,
in white communities, in black communities, in brown communities, in Latino
communities, in Asian communities. We have to deal with it in America,
because it`s an American problem.
SCHULTZ: Seven NFL players -- I just want to point out to you,
congressman, that seven NFL players surrendered their weapons this week in
the wake of the Kansas City Chiefs murder/suicide.
ELLISON: Congratulations to them.
SCHULTZ: Well, your response to that. This was, of course, before
the shooting that took place this morning. I mean, is it going to take
that kind of leadership to wake this country up?
ELLISON: Yes, it is going to take that kind of leadership. It`s
going to take Congressional leadership, White House leadership, but also
citizen leadership. Like you said, you can change culture. We`ve changed
culture in this nation. And when NFL football players are saying, you know
what? I really don`t need this gun around. And I`m giving it up, that is
the kind of symbolic gesture that might provoke others to do the same
You know, and there are folks out there, Americans who are sick and
tired of this just promiscuous violence. You pointed out a great
statistic, which is over 180 school shooting incidents since Columbine.
But, I mean, there have been over 61 multiple homicide incidents as well
that don`t involve schools and go beyond schools.
This is a culture. We`ve got to change it.
SCHULTZ: All right, Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota and
Michael Eric Dyson, great to have you with us tonight.
ELLISON: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: I appreciate it so much. More on today`s tragic events out
of Newtown, Connecticut when we return. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back. Today`s horrific school shooting shocked the
small, quiet, middle class borough of Newtown, Connecticut. Earlier today,
Kate Snow of NBC News met with some community leaders to see how they are
coping with this tragedy.
KATE SNOW, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is what was
supposed to be happening at the Sandy Hook Firehouse tonight, a Christmas
tree sale. Instead, firefighters, stressed to the limit, all volunteers
from the village of Sandy Hook. So many of those who rushed to the scene
this morning know the children in that school, know the families they`re
SINKO: This is most definitely the worst thing that we`ve had
experienced here in town.
SNOW: Sandy Hook is a quaint New England borough. The Putatuk (ph)
River runs past the main intersection.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is never any crime here. Everybody is
happy. It`s a family-oriented community.
SNOW: In fact, the local paper says the area was once voted the
safest place to live in America.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a phenomenal town to bring your children
up in. Very quiet, very family-oriented. It`s a phenomenal place to live.
Things like this shouldn`t happen here.
SNOW: At this local Methodist church on the main street of town, they
opened the sanctuary this afternoon. The Red Cross is setting up shop in
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just want people to know this is a place to
come and be with God and try to make some sense of this.
SNOW: All over town, signs ask for prayers for their friends and
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I have friends who work in that school. I know
family who go there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If it affects one person, it affects everybody.
Whether it`s, you know, God forbid, your own kid or not, it`s like it`s
SNOW: Marcy Benitez (ph) runs a clothing store and haircut salon for
kids. Like everyone in town, she is heart sick, desperately trying to
understand what has happened.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As heartbreaking as it is for something to
happen, but so close to the holidays, where everybody is supposed to be
happy and presents.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You got to little Christmas dresses right behind
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It breaks your heart.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To even think about it, it does. It breaks your
SNOW: Walking through town, we saw state police guiding shell shocked
families to their cars, their grief unspoken, but plain to see. What this
community has been through today is unthinkable.
LT. PAUL VANCE, CONNECTICUT STATE POLICE: Everyone is coming
together, supporting everyone, working together, try to answer all the
questions as to how and why this occurred, and trying to lend support to
all the people involved, including the victims.
SCHULTZ: Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this
tragedy in that community tonight.
Coming up, what affect will today`s shooting have on the future of our
country`s gun laws? That discussion is next. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. DANNEL MALLOY (D), CONNECTICUT: What has happened and what has
transpired at that school building will leave a mark on this community and
every family impacted. I only ask that all of our fellow citizens here in
the United States and around the world who have already offered their
assistance, remember all of the victims in their prayers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: In the wake of the tragic Connecticut school shooting, there
is no doubt the debate over gun control will heat up in the coming days and
months. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been front and center in
the national discussion over gun control recently. In 2006, Mayor
Bloomberg co-founded the group Mayors Against Illegal Guns.
This group of mayors is dedicated to keeping illegal guns away from
criminals. Since 2006, the group has grown to over 700 mayors. And now
after today`s shooting, Mayors Against Illegal Guns is calling for action
to improve national gun control laws.
I`m joined tonight by Mark Glaze, who is the director of Mayors
Against Illegal Guns. Mark, good to have you with us tonight. I
appreciate your time on this horrific evening. What is your initial
reaction to today`s shooting, in light of the fact that we are collectively
getting leaders in this country that are trying to forge change?
MARK GLAZE, DIRECTOR, MAYORS AGAINST ILLEGAL GUNS: Well, your first
thoughts always go out to the families. We work with hundreds of survivors
of gunshot victims around the country. And they really never get over it.
And the fact that some of them move on by working with us to change the
laws is really awe-inspiring to me.
But the second thought is that, you know, time after time, when we
have the seemingly endless series of mass shootings, we have elected
leaders go out on the television and say, you know, it`s not the right
time. I was astonished when I heard Jay Carney at the White House go out
to that podium and say now is not the time to talk about our gun laws.
SCHULTZ: When is the time?
GLAZE: I wondered if he knew that he was parroting the NRA`s talking
points. The time is now. The president`s words were much better. He went
out and said exactly the right things and said we had to place politics
aside and do the right thing. But the truth is I was moved by his words,
but he is not just the consoler in chief. He is also the commander in
chief. This is one of those areas where he has just fallen short. And now
is the time for him to get it together.
SCHULTZ: What do you hear from mayors around the country? Obviously,
they`re signed on to this and a part of this organization, but how adamant
are they for change?
GLAZE: Mayors are the ones who deal with this every day. And they
know how to do it in a way that is consistent with the Second Amendment,
but gets guns out of the wrong hands, because they do it every day. When a
cop is shot on the beat, they get the call. They`re held responsible. The
president doesn`t get those calls. Members of Congress don`t get those
So it`s mayors who think about this pragmatically. Many of them are
gun owners. Many of them are NRA members. But they understand that if you
give everybody a background check, if you had a federal trafficking
statute, if there were an ATF director to give that agency the juice it
needs to really get the job done, you could do a lot to keep illegal guns
out of the wrong hands without doing anything to keep me or you from having
all the guns we`d like.
SCHULTZ: Mark Glaze, I appreciate your time tonight. This may be a
moment of change in American history when it comes to firearms. We shall
see. Appreciate your work. Thank you.
We as Americans will go to sleep tonight with a heavy heart. None of
the words we used today seem to describe the heartbreak, the hurt and
anger, and the range of emotions all of us have felt. Our prayers are with
the families and relatives of the victims. Tonight is a night for
understanding. I think we can all understand that. And it`s night that we
need to cope with.
But I do believe it`s also a time we as a people come to grips with a
changing society. We need to be the Founding Fathers on how to deal with
the sickness in our country called gun violence. Hiding behind the Second
Amendment doesn`t cut it anymore. Hiding behind the Second Amendment can
no longer be the shield for access.
The people who wrote that document owned slaves, oppressed women, and
were short on tolerance. I say to you tonight that times change. People`s
attitudes change. And it`s time our lawmakers realize that society has
And despite the pressures of lobbyists, we need to move forward on gun
violence in this country. And as a sportsman, I feel like I can speak with
some freedom, that I have owned firearms for over 40 years in my life. I
know we can change. I know I have changed.
We need to have this discussion now.
That`s THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts
right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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