Thomas Roberts   |  May 06, 2013

NRA convention ends with politically charged rhetoric by outgoing leaders

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Chief James Johnson react to the convention and how it will impact gun legislation going forward.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> so a changing of the guard at the nra today a day after the annual convention in houston. and that convention featuring rhetoric like this from wayne lapierre . they used tragedy to try to blame us, to shame us into compromising our freedom for their political agenda . the political leads who scorn us, we say let them be damned.

>> those comments coming on the same weekend that former congress woman gabby giffords met with the victims of the boston marathon bombing. it's good to have you here. senator, i want to start with you, your reaction. you were pretty strong. your first reaction to those words. what do you say now given the time you had to think about? is it still that that might help you reach people across the aisle?

>> when he says let them be damned he is talking about 90% of the american people . in fact, he is talking about 74% of his own members who favor criminal background checks for all people who purchase firearms. this common sense measure is what's denounced by the nra showing that they are really out of touch not only with mainstream americans but also with their own members and most responsible gun owners who actually want to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals, dangerously mentally ill people, domestic abusers. this kind of background check proposal will come back and i think that the nra really is galvanizing support for this measure through its fear mongering . after all they're counting on fear ruling the day. and americans simply will not allow that to happen.

>> when you talk about fear ruling the day obviously this next video, chief johnson, will illicit fear. we show dash camvideo. a man using an ak-47 to shoot 37 rounds at police officers after being pulled over for a simple stop. thankfully the police officers are okay. the shooter does not fare so well in this video. this is a blatant argument for keeping guns like this off the streets. isn't this exactly what you and other members of the police force are afraid of when you stop somebody for a simple running the stop sign that there is the potential someone can get out of the car.

>> these types of weapons and high capacity magazines and investigation will indicate how he acquired those weapons. and i report to your viewers that for the first time in 14 years in 2011 more police officers were killed by firearms violence than by any other means. we know a national background check could help prevent incidents like this.

>> senator blumenthal i want to show everybody these excerpts that the president wrote over the weekend concerning background checks saying for too long members of the congress -- a number of senators voted against basic background checks and those senators are discovering that the political landscape did change. do you agree with the vice president on that? do you think the senators could change their stance on background checks in light of recent blowback that certain senators have gotten because of the no vote?

>> the political landscape has changed as a result of newtown but also the growing realization that the nra is at the fringes of american public opinion . it fails to represent its own members or the mainstream american public. and second, obviously, my colleagues are hearing from both sides. and i'm hearing from both sides. but what is clearly and dramatically different now is that the supporters of responsible gun violence prevention measures are making their views known with the same that has come from the past. i think yes the vice president is absolutely right that the political landscape has changed seismically. and i think my colleagues put themselves at risk politicly if they say no to all responsible gun measures in the way the nra would like them to do.

>> earlier on the show we had our agenda panel here. one part of our conversation briefly touched on kids and guns. we are seeing a lot of marketing to kids in the manufacturing of guns. this is in the wake of a 2 year old shot by his 5-year-old brotherer last week. now we have the story of a 6 year old in florida fighting for her life after being accidently shot by her 13-year-old brother. since newtown we had 263 children shot. as we talkt about marketing of guns to children by color coding guns, what is your take and the sense within the police department community about the type of messaging being sent to our youth in the country.

>> it is clearly irresponsible. 90% of american society want background checks . these are responsible people. i'm a gun owner myself and i would never, ever have a child or allow a child access to these weapons. i point, as well, in addition to the 10 to 12,000 killed by gun violence homicide you have tens of thousands of others that rp accidently shot and juveniles who commit suicide by gun. responsible safe gun ownership safely and securing these weapons is what we need to do as american society . background check , high capacity magazine limit and a ban on assault weapons .

>> thank you so much for joining me this morning. many thanks to you both.