updated 6/22/2015 9:52:58 AM ET 2015-06-22T13:52:58

Date: June 19, 2015
Guest: Paul Butler, Jerry Markon, Abigail Darlington, Francesca Chambers,
Jonathan Allen

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: The murder weapon.

And this is HARDBALL.

Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in San Francisco.

We`ll get to the latest from Charleston in a moment. But first, the
president delivered a powerful statement late today to the U.S. Conference
of Mayors here in San Francisco. He said it`s not enough to grieve after
gun massacres like this, that the public needs to resolve to do something
about them.

And here he is.


makes it less likely that we see any sort of serious gun safety
legislation. I remarked that it was very unlikely that this Congress would
act, and some reporters, I think, took this as resignation. I want to be
clear. I`m not resigned. I have faith we will eventually do the right


OBAMA: Every country has violent, hateful or mentally unstable
people. What`s different is not every country is awash with easily
accessible guns. And so I refuse to act as if this is the new normal or to
pretend that it`s simply sufficient to grieve and that any mention of us
doing something to stop it is somehow politicizing the problem.


MATTHEWS: Well, that was dead right.

Anyway, this evening, the people of Charleston have come together for
a vigil honoring the nine victims of Wednesday night`s massacre at the
Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

It comes on the same day that the shooter was in court for the first
time. Dylann Roof appeared via video for a bond hearing. And in that
hearing, with Roof listening, we heard very emotional statements from
several of the victims` families.


you. You took something very precious away from me. I will never talk to
her ever again! I will never be able to hold her again! But I forgive
you! You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people. But God forgive you. And I
forgive you!

Wednesday night in our bible study with open arms. You have killed some of
the most prayerfulest people that I know. Every fiber in my body hurts!
And I`ll never be the same.

I`m a work in progress, and I acknowledge that I am very angry. But one
thing Depayne has always joined in in our family with, is that she taught
me that we are the family that love built! We have no room for hate. So
we have to forgive.


MATTHEWS: Well, they`re Christian people, of course, then as all
Christians know, practicing the best of our religion.

Sources told NBC News that Roof, the killer, confessed to the police
that he was the killer. He`s confessed now. We`re also getting a first
look at what happens -- what appears to be the video taken from inside the
church Wednesday night just before the shooting.

If you look at the picture, the man on the right with light hair
appears to be Dylann Roof himself. NBC News has not independently verified
the video that the Web site Mashable got from one of the victims` friends.

Well, according to court documents released today, police say Roof
spent an hour at that bible study group before standing up and opening fire
on those people. All the victims were shot multiple times, we now know.
According to a police affidavit, before leaving, Roof stood over a witness
actually and uttered a racially inflammatory statement.

MSNBC`s Adam Reiss join us now from Charleston. Adam, thank you for
this, for more grim details. Certainly was an emotional day for the family
and the community down there, black and white together.

ADAM REISS, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Certainly. It was an emotional and
unusual hearing, as you just heard a little bit, one family after -- one
family member after another coming forward saying, We forgive you, we
forgive you. You heard that woman say, We just invited you into our bible
study, and look at what you did. Every bone in my body, every fiber is
hurting today. You killed the most beautiful people I know. May God have
mercy on you.

I want to, Chris, read to you a statement we just got from the Roof
family. It reads, in part, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the families
and friends of those killed this week. We have all been touched by the
moving words from the victims` families offering God`s forgiveness and love
in the face of such horrible suffering."

After the hearing, the prosecutor came out. She talked about the
investigation, how it will go parallel with the Department of Justice
investigation, their hate crimes investigation. They will do it behind the
scenes. They want to make sure this prosecution goes smoothly.

I also want to mention, Chris, one other item that we learned today.
Pastor Pinckney`s wife and youngest daughter were in the church behind me,
in an office, under a table, cowering, calling 911. Just the horror of it
all -- Chris.

MATTHEWS: Let me -- do you know much about this story that`s come out
that the killer, Roof, apparently had said to the police that he was at one
moment hesitant because the people were so nice to him in the church,
hesitant about his decision to go ahead and kill them all?

REISS: Yes. After the arrest up in Shelby, North Carolina, he,
obviously -- according to officials, he confessed, and then he said he went
in there with a plan to kill them, but they were so nice to him that he had
second thoughts. He almost got cold feet. But then he had to go ahead
with his mission, Chris.

MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Adam Reiss, for the grim details.
They keep coming.

This morning, South Carolina governor Nikki Haley told the "TODAY"
show she thought the death penalty was the appropriate punishment here.
Let`s watch.


GOV. NIKKI HALEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: This is a state that is hurt by
the fact that nine people innocently (ph) were killed. We absolutely will
want him to have the death penalty. This is the worst hate that I`ve seen
and that the country has seen in a long time.


MATTHEWS: NBC`s Craig Melvin asked Charleston mayor Joseph Riley
about the death penalty.


MAYOR JOSEPH RILEY (D), CHARLESTON: That`s the law in South Carolina,
so it no doubt will be. I personally am not a proponent of the death

CRAIG MELVIN, NBC CORRESPONDENT: Even in a case like this?

RILEY: Well, I don`t -- I think if you`re going to have a death
penalty, then certainly, this case would merit it. I`m of the belief that
-- that the death penalty is upholded (ph) in terms of -- I think it,
collectively over time, adds to violence. I think people who commit
serious crimes should lose their freedom forever. But that`s the law in
South Carolina, and no doubt it will be sought.


MATTHEWS: Well, I`m joined right now by Georgetown law professor Paul
Butler. Professor, thanks for joining us. You were a former federal
prosecutor. Let`s with the state level. Is there anything that would
stand in the way of a jury hearing this case and hearing prosecutors
calling for the death penalty? Is that what you`d expect here at the state

degree premeditated murder of nine people -- nine counts. It`s a case
where the prosecution almost has to seek the death penalty, politically.

Two things to watch for, Chris. First is whether the prosecutor will
consult the families. Many African-Americans are opposed to the death
penalty, especially those in the faith community. The second thing is
whether this prosecutor would accept a plea agreement, which would be life
without parole. The defense would actually consider that a win.

MATTHEWS: Yes, I wonder how this guy would fare in prison. What do
you think? Not exactly a safe place to be.

Anyway, let me ask you about domestic terrorism at the federal level.
Once you`ve got a capital crime and a very, you know, available case for
the state prosecutors, what would be the relevance of having a federal
prosecution on either hate crimes or terrorism charges?

BUTLER: There`s really no incentive for hate crimes in this case
because, normally, you`d bring those to get a tougher sentence. He`s
already looking at either death or life without parole.

Domestic terrorism, on the other hand, is defined as someone who
commits a crime with the intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian
population. I think that fits what this terrorist did. He didn`t just
injure nine -- the nine people he killed, although obviously, they suffered
the most severe injuries. He injured every African-American person in this
country, and that is what his intent was.

You know, we charged the Boston Marathon bomber with domestic
terrorism. We charged Timothy McVeigh with domestic terrorism.


BUTLER: This terrorist is as much a terrorist as they were.

MATTHEWS: What do you make of -- terrorism -- obviously, we talk
about it all the time. It`s in an attempt to move public opinion, to
terrify people, to make them scared to go to the movies, scared to live.

How do you scare the African-American community from going to church?
I mean, the -- I guess I`m asking the insane question about the insanity of
this whole murder. I mean, what are you trying to do to people, saying the
best of a community or a church studying the Bible, probably the same
religion as this killer, and what we want to do is teach them not to go to
church, (INAUDIBLE) teach them to get on a boat and leave the country?

What is he trying to terrorize them into doing, the black community in
Charleston or anywhere else? What -- you know, terrorism has a purpose.
What`s this guy`s?

BUTLER: You know, I don`t even know if it`s worth trying to get into
the mind of this racist lunatic. I think that what he deserves is his day
in court. He deserves the justice, the full justice of American criminal

MATTHEWS: Thanks so much, Professor Paul Butler of Georgetown.

Anyway, "Washington Post" opinion writer, my friend, Jonathan
Capehart, is here. He`s, of course, a valued MSNBC contributor.

What did you make of today, Jonathan? And your perspective. I value
it a lot. What do you think of what we all saw, heard and I think felt
down there today?

it comes to the statements from the victims` families, I mean, I haven`t
seen anything like it in all my years of reporting, in all our years of
watching, you know, horrible event after horrible event. And so that, just
as an event, was extraordinary.

But also, the overwhelming -- that deep well of forgiveness from those
victims` families was something that, whether you were Christian or not,
had to have hit you in the heart, people who suffered tragic losses 48
hours ago looking at the person who killed their loved ones and resting on
their faith and saying to him before the world, We forgive you. You`ve
done this to us, but we forgive you. It`s an extraordinary thing for all
of us to see, and I`m glad we were able to see it.

MATTHEWS: You know, I want you to do a little diagnosis here. The
anger people feel towards authority when it`s abused, when a police officer
is seen using his gun and his authority and his position to shoot somebody,
perhaps in cold blood, whatever, without any justification, obviously.

And then to have an attitude towards this kid, this 21-year-old -- it
just seems there`s an emotional difference that`s very rational. You would
blame society and its authority figures for abusing their authority, where
in this case, he looks like just some sort of vessel of hatred that somehow
found himself into human form. Like, who is this being?

But he does represent, it seems to me, part of our culture, and we
know it and we don`t like it.


MATTHEWS: You know what I mean? How do you see it?

CAPEHART: Yes, he`s a 21-year-old kid, but he`s a 21-year-old kid who
at some point turned evil, who at some point decided that he wanted to
terrorize a group of people, who, according to reports I saw, said he
wanted to start a race war. He was telling these things to his friends,
that he thought that the races should be separated.

He reportedly said during the incident that, you know, You rape our
women, and it`s time for -- time -- time for you to go. I mean, this is
somebody who at a very young age harbored age-old resentments, age-old
hatred. And unlike a whole lot of other people out there who hold those
same bigoted, awful views, he put it into action, into murderous action.

And so yes, he may be a 21-year-old kid. He could be someone who is
too young to know maybe what he`s doing. But from everything we`ve seen
and everything that we`ve read, even the statements from his friends, this
was somebody who had a mission. This is somebody who wanted to terrorize

And you know, the Department of Homeland Security warned the American
people in a report in April 2009 that the white supremacist lone wolf,
because of their autonomy and because, you know...


CAPEHART: ... they -- they are alone, they`re probably the most
dangerous domestic terrorists this country has to -- has to face. Well,
the face of that report now, the face of that warning is Dylann Roof.

MATTHEWS: Well, outside the courtroom today, the emotion was
palpable. In fact, during the hearing, the bond hearing, members of the
community, as we said, gathered at the Emanuel church itself and sang.

MSNBC`s Thomas Roberts was there on the scene.


THOMAS ROBERTS, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: It`s kind of heart-breaking.
They`re singing. And a whole flood of people showed up at the same time
this arraignment was taking place. So you`re hearing from the family, and
then this whole group of people showed up.


MATTHEWS: Here`s a young bad guy, an evil one, as you mention,
pushing for total segregation. And yet, Jonathan, among the horrors in
this, there are some ironies. He goes to the most segregated place in
America, church. Isn`t that something?

CAPEHART: It`s incredible. But you know, Chris, one of the reasons
why I think Thomas choked up on air, and a lot of people did, is because
this person was trying to divide us, was trying to divide the nation, and
right there again in front -- on television, people came from all corners
of Charleston to go to Mother Emanuel and show solidarity. This is the
flip side of evil.

MATTHEWS: Well, that`s what it took to integrate our church.
Horribly sad, but it`s true. And by the way, among the people emotional
about this, who I really do take seriously, was the governor down there,
Nikki Haley. And I thought she was as emotional as Thomas Roberts was.
It`s good to see humanity on television.

Coming up -- let`s get inside this shooter`s head, if we dare.
Sources told NBC News he confessed to shooting the nine people. He`s done
that today. He said he wanted to start a race war. This was his motive.
And that`s next.

And later, the incredible emotion from the family members of the
victims as they express forgiveness to the gunman, incredibly so, the one
who killed their loved ones.

Our coverage continues after this.


MATTHEWS: At today`s bond hearing for Charleston shooter Dylann Roof,
the judge made a personal statement about the importance of reaching out to
the victims of Wednesday`s crime, and he said that included relatives of


victims, nine of them. But we also have victims on the other side. There
are victims on this young man`s side of the family. Nobody would have ever
thrown them into the whirlwind of events that they have been thrown into.
We must find it in our heart at some point in time not only to help those
that are victims but to also help his family, as well.


MATTHEWS: And he`s not one of those victims.

Our coverage continues after this.



GOSNELL: What is your age?


GOSNELL: You`re 21 years old. Are you employed?

ROOF: No, sir.

GOSNELL: You`re unemployed at this time?

ROOF: Yes, sir.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

That appearance in court today is all we have heard publicly from the
killer, Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old who sources tell NBC News confessed
today to murdering nine people at the historic black Mother Emanuel Church
on Wednesday night during a Bible study night.

In the wake of today`s confession and dramatic court appearance, we`re
getting into insights into this murderous mind. According to "The
Washington Post," Roof was -- quote -- "unrepentant" during a confession to
police. He wanted his actions known. They also report this chilling
detail about the attack.

"As he methodically fired and reloaded several times, Roof called out,
`You all are taking over our country. You all want something to pray for?
I will give you something to pray for.`"

NBC`s Craig Melvin reports that Roof told police he almost didn`t go
through with the killings because everyone in the Bible study was so nice
to him. But he then decided he had to -- quote -- "go through with his

In court today, Roof showed very little emotion. You`re looking now
at CCTV footage of Roof`s reaction as he was being confronted in court by
victims of the family members he murdered.

Carolyn Murray is an anchor and reporter at NBC`s affiliate WCBD in
Charleston. And Jerry Markon is a national reporter covering this story
for "The Washington Post."

Thank you, Carolyn, for joining us tonight.

And give us an update. People are tuning into this program, as they
are all night, trying to figure out what they can about the killer. He`s
now a killer. He`s confessed, and we`re able to say so. What kind of
picture can you draw, having reported on this?

CAROLYN MURRAY, WCBD REPORTER: Well, certainly, we saw a very
different Dylann Roof, someone who went into that church Wednesday night
and terrorized people, as we all across this country know.

Dylann Roof is in isolation now here in the North Charleston detention
center, but certainly what he did to those families and to this entire
community is something that we will never forget. But what he saw in court
today, he had an opportunity to not only hear from the victims` families,
but to once again experience the same kind of compassion and kindness that
was heaped upon him when he walked into the church behind me.

He saw that again from the families in the -- in that bond court
today. So, Dylann Roof once again experienced something very differently,
though that is not what he says black people have experienced or black
people have done to white people in this country.

MATTHEWS: What do we make of the fact that he has told police he
wanted to start a race war? He wanted reaction. He wanted reaction from
both sides, apparently.

MURRAY: Well, I don`t think that he got it, certainly not from the
people in that church. And who -- what can we say about someone like that?
Dylann Roof was isolated from society. He apparently had dropped out of

We know that he wasn`t in school. He wasn`t working. We know very
little about him. We haven`t heard very much from his family. We know
that his father and his uncle turned him in. And we have heard very little
from him, from his family. They did issue a statement today, and they
thanked the family members of the victims for being so kind to them and for
forgiving the family and for forgiving Dylann, but other than that, we have
heard very little from the Roof family.

MATTHEWS: Jerry Markon, thanks for joining us as well.


MATTHEWS: And stay with us, Carolyn.


MATTHEWS: Jerry, it seems to me the newspapers, the ones I got my
hands on today, are full of sidebars, as we call them, lots of attempt to
try to put it in context, to try to take this story of yet another horror
involving race and gun violence...

MARKON: Right.

MATTHEWS: .. and all together here, all put together here, and trying
to figure it out.

What have you been able to pull together here about what it all means
and what you have learned from it?

MARKON: Yes, we have learned some more details in the last few hours
about Roof`s last six months and what is being described to us as sort of a
rootless kind of existence.

He was apparently living in a mobile home, but here or there, only
with some of his high school friends. He slept past noon. He had a job as
a landscaper at one point, but he got laid off. He apparently drank a lot.

And what we`re hearing is more than just a blatant white supremacist
bigot. We`re hearing more of a portrait of just sort of a troubled young
man who was just sort of troubled in general. His friends are telling us -
- now, maybe they have an agenda because they`re friends, but they`re
telling us, well, he didn`t talk explicitly about killing black people, but
he did talk about violence. He did talk about maybe going and shooting up
a school.

And he also -- this could be significant too -- he also did not get
along with his parents. And, as your other reporter said, he dropped out
when he was 14.

So, there`s a lot of things we don`t know about him, but, at a
minimum, he was a very troubled young man with some views that appear to be
pretty racist.

MATTHEWS: The question I have is historic. How does a guy of his
age, 21, just 21, even know about Rhodesia? Rhodesia ceased to exist as a
country, a while-ruled country, in 1980, in the Lancaster House.

MURRAY: Right.

MATTHEWS: I was all involved in that. In fact, I hitchhiked through
that country in the Peace Corps. It`s all gone. How does he even know
about it, Rhodesia and Ian Smith all that stuff?


MURRAY: You have perhaps somebody just grappling for something,
perhaps someone just trying to find something to connect to and looking for
a reason to act out violently...


MURRAY: ... someone looking for a reason to hurt people.

You know, this is someone who is looking for a reason, their 15
minutes of fame, someone who wants to die, and at the hands of police and
make a name for themselves perhaps. I mean, this is all speculative at
this point, and we don`t know. And perhaps we will never know.

And I had an opportunity to speak with the woman who pretended to be
dead here at Mother Emanuel Church. And, you know, you have to think of
the pain, the horror, the stress that these people will live with for many
years to come. This is what Dylann Roof perhaps wanted to inflict.

He did on them and on our entire community. We don`t know why. But
what we do now understand is that this is what happens when someone perhaps
is someone who has perhaps some kind of mental disorder or some kind of
stress goes untreated and...

MARKON: Chris, if I could add one thing here.

MURRAY: ... is left to fend for themselves.


MARKON: If I could add one thing here, Chris, that`s a good question
about -- good question about Rhodesia.

And that could imply some sort of a group or an organized group, maybe
a white supremacist group that he could have been involved in. We just
haven`t found any evidence of that.



MARKON: So, it`s kind of mysterious how a 21-year-old would have a
Rhodesian flag in his Facebook profile. That`s a really good point.

MATTHEWS: Carolyn, I think you`re more than informed when it comes to
speculation here, because, as you and I know, as reporters, the fact is, he
did talk to police about how he intended to go down shooting and he wanted
to get killed. It`s all part of this martyr role he may have had in his

Thank you so much, Carolyn Murray, for joining us tonight from WCBD
down there, and, of course, Jerry Markon from "The Post," "The Washington

Up next: remembering the nine victims of the church massacre down in
Charleston. We will get to know these people who died in church believing
and praying, doing Christian work. And, in fact that purpose in their life
has been carried on by their relatives, don`t you see, as Charleston comes
together tonight for a prayer vigil.

Our coverage continues after this.


MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL.

They were in the church and prayed together, but evil sat in their
midst. After the shooting ended, nine were dead. And there was the
honorable Reverend Clementa Pinckney of Emanuel WME -- AME, rather -- he
was 41.

Tywanza Sanders was a 26-year-old recent grad of Allen University. he
was known as a quiet leader. Cynthia Hurd was a 54-year-old who worked at
the Charleston County Public Library for 31 years. The Depayne Middleton-
Doctor was passionate about education. She was an admissions coordinator
for Southern Wesleyan University`s Learning Center in Charleston.

Sharonda Singleton was speech therapist and girls track and field
coach, wife and mother. Here are her beautiful children.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We forgive. That`s one thing we`re going to do.
We forgive right now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For everything that`s happened. She`s the best
mom I could ever could even ask for. And, honestly, it`s going to be
tough, but I know we will get through it as a family.


MATTHEWS: Unbelievable people.

And 74-year-old Daniel Simmons was a regular at the Wednesday night
Bible study sessions. He survived being shot, but later died during
surgery. He was the ninth to die. Susie Jackson was the oldest victim.
The 87-year-old sang in the church choir. Myra Thompson was 59. Friends
say she loved the lord and she was teaching Bible study when she was shot
and killed.

And joining me right now to talk about the ninth victim of the
shooting, 70-year-old Ethel Lance, is Abigail Darlington, a reporter for
"The Post and Courier."

Abigail, you profiled a remarkable woman here. Tell us about her.


Ethel Lance was a woman of great strength and had so much life and
love and energy. She was widowed in 1988 and had five children, whom she
raised, you know, with as much, you know, love and vigor for life as she
had. And it`s been really a privilege to, you know, speak with these
families. It`s a shame that it`s in these circumstances.

But I`m very privileged that they have shared their memories and
experiences with me. And just a wonderful family, and it`s just tragic
that this had to happen to such a wonderful woman. I mean, if you see the
pictures of her, it`s almost like you can see in her eyes the life that she

She was a custodian since the Gaillard Auditorium opened. And the
Gaillard is just a few blocks east. And she was very dedicated to what she
did there. I mean, she took huge pride in keeping the place in order, and
her co-workers have all talked to me about her and how she would get very,
you know, almost territorial about what she did, because she wanted to do
it the best. And they could always count on her.

And she retired in 2002 after, I think, 34 years of working there.
And she continued to work as a custodian for the church behind me, and she
was very dedicated to that, too. She liked being a caretaker of places and
of people, and I think that her spirit will be greatly missed here in the
low country.

MATTHEWS: Abigail, at the bond hearing for Dylann Roof today, a
daughter of Ethel Lance was one of the family representatives who gave an
emotional statement in the courtroom. Here she is.


ever again. I will never be able to hold her again. But I forgive you and
have mercy on your soul.

You have hurt me.


MATTHEWS: Well, she taught her family her religion, didn`t she? They
are -- they are the truest Christians I have ever come across, I think, in
this business. They are totally turn-the-other-cheek people. They`re --
it`s astounding to me.

DARLINGTON: It is -- it is truly astounding. You know, I haven`t
heard that actual recording yet.

And after speaking to Nadine today, you know, I just -- my heart goes
out to them so much. They were all very religious people, faithful people,
and, you know, she told me that her mother was a peacemaker. She always
wanted everybody to get along. And that was her role in the family and in
the community, I think.

And I think that her children have demonstrated that as well, turn the
other cheek and forgive, and live the life that they had been shown to
live. And it`s just -- it -- I`m at a loss almost to even put it into
words, how astounding that is to hear.

MATTHEWS: Well, I think we have met the early Christians here.

Anyway, thank you, Abigail Darlington of "The Post and Courier" down

Up next: much more on the president`s speech today, his tough talk
today on the issue of guns and his growing frustration, if you will, over
Washington`s inability to do anything about guns.

You`re watching HARDBALL, the place for politics.


Here`s what`s happening.

Escaped convicts Richard Matt and David Sweat have been added to the
U.S. Marshals` most-wanted list. There`s still no sign of the pair nearly
two weeks after their escape.

And Comcast founder Ralph Roberts died last night at the age of 95.
His son and Comcast CEO, Brian Roberts, called his father "an inspiration
to us all."

Comcast is the parent company of MSNBC -- now back to HARDBALL.


in our country, from little children to church members, to movie theater
attendees, how many people do we need to see cut down before we act?


MATTHEWS: Before we act. Well said.

Welcome back to HARDBALL.

That was Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, of course,
reacting to the tragedy down in Charleston yesterday, during a speech in
Nevada today.

Earlier, yesterday, her old boss, President Obama, responded to the
shooting in Charleston which left nine dead, with a sense of frustration
over another gun-related massacre of innocent people.


people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had
no trouble getting their hands on a gun. At some point, we as a country
will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not
happen in other advanced countries, and it is in our power to do something
about it. I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot
of those avenues right now.


MATTHEWS: He moved ahead on that one today, and corrected in any
impression he said that he was sort of accepting the fact he can`t do
something about gun violence.

Anyway, South Carolina`s governor, Nikki Haley, was asked by the
"Today Show`s" Savannah Guthrie today what she thought of what the
president said yesterday.


GOV. NIKKI HALEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Any time there`s a traumatic
situation, people want something to blame, they always want something to go
after. There`s one person to blame here, a person filled with hate, a
person that does not define South Carolina. And we are going to focus on
that one person.

You know, I know that President Obama had, you know, his job to do
when he made those statements, but my job is to now get this state to heal.


MATTHEWS: Joining the roundtable tonight: Jonathan Capehart, opinion
writer, of course, for "The Washington Post." He rejoins us now.
Francesca Chambers is White House correspondent for "The Daily Mail". And
Jonathan Allen is chief political correspondent for Vox.

Let me start with Jonathan Capehart.

I want to hear from everybody on this. Your personal, professional,
journalistic reaction to the charge that we shouldn`t talk about gun
control after there`s been an incident of gun violence, that`s when we
shouldn`t talk about gun control after there`s been a period or episode of
gun violence. Your thoughts about that, Jonathan Capehart?

When the president went into the briefing room and said, you know, he`s
been there far too many times talking about these things because it seems
like throughout his presidency, he`s had to console the nation after one
shooting incident after another because someone was able to get their hands
on a gun and wreak havoc on a community, tear families apart and hurt

You know, the president in his remarks at the Conference of Mayors
earlier today, you know, he talked about galvanizing the American people
because when the American people rise up, Congress has no choice but to

But you know what? After Newton, the American people rose up over the
slaughter of 20 children in a school, 90 percent of the American people
supported background checks and yet Congress did nothing. The American
people need to be galvanized to push Congress but they also have to be
galvanized to push those special interests, the National Rifle Association,
to get them to back off so that more families from Charleston to Aurora to
other places don`t have to suffer the horror that these people in
Charleston are suffering today.

MATTHEWS: Francesca.

FRANCESCA CHAMBERS, THE DAILY MAIL: I think there`s a fine line
between coming off as a political opportunist and not, therefore, also
taking the opportunity when a tragedy like this occurs if you are the
president and you do believe there should be more restrictions on gun
sales, to use this -- to push for that so that more of these sorts of
senseless tragedies don`t happen.

Because, you know, as Jonathan points out, right after these sorts of
shootings, that`s when there is sort of the political appetite, a media
appetite and an appetite with the American public to have these sorts of
discussions. If you look at polls, a year after the shooting at Sandy
Hook, the appetite sort of starts waning, both in the media but again both
with the public as well, to have this conversation.

So, when is a good time to have this sort of conversation?

JONATHAN ALLEN, VOX: It`s absolutely insane, Chris --

MATTHEWS: Jonathan Allen, yes.

ALLEN: Absolutely insane to not have this conversation. This is not
a random thing that happened. This is happening all over the country time
after time after time, and the one link is that guns are able to kill a lot
of people in a short period of time and they`re defenseless against them.
If somebody had murdered nine people with a paper clip, you wouldn`t talk
about taking paper clips away, but it`s guns every time.

And I think, absolutely, there needs to be a conversation about it.
Not just a conversation but action on this.

CHAMBERS: But the president also I think struck, Chris, a good
balance when he talked about it yesterday. He did not make a legislative
push, per se. He didn`t call on Congress to act immediately. He didn`t
make any demands. He just suggested that there be a national conversation
about this.

And he also stated that he knew this wasn`t going to happen at this
time because of the politics in Washington. So, I don`t think in my,
again, journalistic perspective that he went too far yesterday either.

MATTHEWS: Well, today, out here in San Francisco, speaking to the
mayors, he did go further. He doubled down on his remarks from yesterday,
a few minutes ago actually during a speech in San Francisco.

Let`s watch him.


OBAMA: I know today`s politics makes it less likely that we see any
sort of serious gun safety legislation. I remarked that it was very
unlikely that this Congress would act. And some reporters I think took
this as resignation.

I want to be clear. I`m not resigned. I was simply making the point
that we have to change public opinion.

It`s not enough simply to show sympathy. I refuse to act as if this
is the new normal or to pretend that it`s simply sufficient to grieve and
that any mention of us doing something to stop it is somehow politicizing
the problem.


MATTHEWS: Well, they can`t even get a highway built through Congress.
Obviously, they`re going to have trouble with gun control.

Right wing commentators said the president`s remarks, hmm -- anyway.
I can`t continue that thought. It`s off the prompter.

Anyway, I want the raise a point here with all you three and that is
this. The trouble is we care after Bobby Kennedy was shot, I wrote my
congressman. I mean, there are times you react personally and emotionally
to things and then it fades.

By two days before the election, who is thinking about gun control?
The 10 percent who are pro gun, the Second Amendment people. The 90
percent are thinking about the economy, war and peace and all kinds of
issues that grab their attention.

But the gun owners, all they think about is this issue and that`s why
they carry the day.

Jonathan Allen, respond to that. That`s our problem. It`s about
emotion and focus. And as long as the gun control people can`t keep
focused on an issue as much as the gun owners do, it`s not going to happen.

ALLEN: I think that`s right. It`s a high priority for a very small
number of people who have very influential lobbying organizations.
Interestingly, we`ve seen the number of people in the United States or the
percentage of people in the United States who want stricter gun controls
has actually ebbed. It was 78 percent in 1990, it`s below 50 percent now.

I think if Congress was ever going to act, I thought this would happen
in the wake of Gabby Giffords being shot in the head, a member of Congress.
You would thing that would move some of the members of Congress to see one
of their own almost slain and they did absolutely nothing about it. It`s
an amazing hold that the gun lobby has on our Congress and it`s an amazing
fact that such a small percentage has such a loud voice.

MATTHEWS: Look, just our history of assassinations outdoes any banana
republic, in terms of knocking off leaders, just the leaders we have lost
is incredibly.

We`ll be right with more from the roundtable after this.


MATTHEWS: We`re coming back to talk about why the 2016 Republican
presidential candidates are ignoring the race part of this story. They`re
not even talking about it.

We`ll be right back after this.



JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This was an evil act of
aggression. I don`t know what was on the mind or the heart of the man who
committed these atrocious crimes, but I do know, I do know what was in the
heart of the victims.


MATTHEWS: We`re back with Jonathan Capehart, Francesca Chambers and
Jonathan Allen.

And that was Jeb Bush at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference
where many candidates spoke today in Washington, D.C. We`ve heard of
climate change deniers. We now seem to have racism deniers, Jonathan
Capehart. The inability of these politicians to talk about guns -- well,
that`s historic. Now, they have an inability to talk about race. That`s
fairly new.

So, what did they talk about? What is the relevance of a Republican
presidential candidate if they`re unable to even admit that there`s a race
factor here or gun issue here? What do -- what role do they play in our
society? It`s hard to figure this thing out.

CAPEHART: Well, Chris, I don`t know. Clearly they are intent on
playing no role, which is a really bad thing to do. You know, race is an
issue in this country. It was there before President Obama was elected.
It will be there long after he has left the White House.

And until you have one or two of the political parties in this country
completely ignoring a huge problem in this country that effects millions of
Americans and not just people of color. It also affects white Americans.
Then, I don`t know why they`re even in the business of running for
president of the United States. There are a lot of people that want to
hear from the people that presume to be their leaders what they`re going to
do, or even what they think about it, and Republicans don`t want to say
what they think about it.

MATTHEWS: I know, because this guy is out there flying -- sporting, I
should say, the flag of Ian Smith and Rhodesia, and --


MATTHEWS: -- and -- what`s his name, P.W. Botha of South Africa, the
old apartheid leader, and we`re not to notice that it`s something to do
with race? Come on, Jeb. Come on.

Anyway, thank you, Jonathan Capehart, Francesca Chambers and Jonathan

I`ll be right back with a comment about gun control in a moment.
You`re watching HARDBALL.


MATTHEWS: Let me finish tonight with some insane proposals. Why
don`t we issue a gun to anyone when they reach a certain age, say 18 or 21,
that way Dylann Roof age 20 wouldn`t have had to use his birthday money?
Why don`t we give a gun to everyone that walks into a bar so that everyone
will be ready if they need to have one? Why don`t we mail people gun with
their acceptance package when they get into college? That way, they get to
campus, ready, armed and don`t have to go through the trouble of finding a
local gun seller.

Why don`t we have an action line that allows someone who`s really
angry about something, maybe a racial thing he`s got in his head to get a
gun quickly in his hands so the thought doesn`t leave him before he gets to
take action?

Now, stop for a minute and think about the insanity of each one of
these. Giving a gun to everyone regardless of temperament, mental
condition or criminal behavior. Giving a gun into everyone heading into
the alcohol fuelled atmosphere of a night club. Giving every college kid a
gun, again regardless of their level of maturity, knowledge of how to use a
gun, motive for having one, having a way with anyone with a grudge can
actually and quickly get a gun in their hands.

All of this would be insane except that, please think about this, how
is this any different from the crazed demands of the gun lobby right now?
Aren`t they demanding that the Second Amendment offers the right for anyone
of any condition any time for whatever reason to have their hands on a gun
and keep it there as long as they live, aren`t they?

The sad thing here is that we can have hate and live with it. We can
have guns and live with it. But when we have hate and guns, we are doomed
to what happened in Charleston.

The president as he often is, is right on this. Commonsense gun
control makes common sense.

That`s HARDBALL for now. Thanks for being with us.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.


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