Thomas Roberts   |  September 17, 2013

Blumenthal: I hope shooting can be 'call to action'

One day after the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard that killed 12 people, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., talk with NBC's Craig Melvin about the renewed push in Washington, D.C. to enact stricter gun reform laws.

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

>> sure she is. [ ethereal music plays ] [ motorcycle revving ] getting you back on a brand-new bike. the hotel room in southwest d.c. alexis was staying at a residents inn. at this point we're told police have interviewed all but one of those contractors. even as it was unfolding, monday's mass shooting in d.c. was reigniting talk about guns. democratic senator richard lumenthal here. this is what your colleague dick durban said a few hours ago.

>> god forbid we go on with business as usual today and not understand what happened yesterday. the vast majority of americans think this is just common sense. we can protect the right of law abiding citizens to use guns in a responsible, legal way for sporting and hunting and self-defen self-defense, but we've got to do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of those that would misuse them.

>> senator, this happened less than three miles from where you are in newtown , we spoke after colorado as well. is there different this time?

>> it's the accumulation of horrific tragedies brought back many of the horrible memories when i went to the sandy hook are house and saw the people killed in this horrific tragedy. i hope it will elicit the feelings she had, janis orlowski, she was sick about it. she wanted her trauma center put out of business. we need to do something about this evil in society. shame on us if we don't. mental health has been part of the comprehensive part. i hope we can call this as a call to action on the anniversary of the newtown tragedy.

>> congresswoman, i understand you're planning a moment of silence in the house this afternoon.

>> when congress returns i'll ask for a moment of silence for the 12 federal employees whose lives were lost at this facility yesterday. these were federal employees at a military base . increasingly that's what our military bases are, old-fashioned federal employee buildings. you asked about newtown . we've seen that you can get guns into a school but we didn't expect you could get guns into one of the most secure facilities in the united states . those guns proliferate are bound to get where they don't need to get.

>> what more have you heard about access here?

>> i understand he did not have his own security badge. i hope that is the case, that it was the security badge of someone else. if he had his own security badge, then we have every reason to wonder how you'll ever know who enters a place should enter a place.

>> it's a bit reassuring to see people walk by here with their nationals jerseys on, ball caps on headed to the game this afternoon. it appears as if the city is starting to return to normal.

>> and the reason they are is that the sea systems command is a neighbor. it has helped reinvigorate this whole part of washington. it helped bring nationals ballpark here. we don't want it walled off, a wall historic but our neighbors, my constituents go in there in the evenings to use their banquet hall . that's the kind of relationship we want with a federal facility.

>> senator, you're there on the hill. your colleagues this morning, how is this affecting them. you said it's different this time. forgive my scepticism, sir. we've seen the polling. we know what an overwhelming majority of folks in this country want to see. are your cleex sounding any different than what we were after what we saw in newtown , what we saw in colorado.

>> a lot of my colleagues were shaken by the physical proximity and the randomness of this violence and also, i might add, the need, perhaps, for greater scrutiny and oversight over these employees of independent contractors not only in this area but also other areas of national security . so my hope is that this senseless killing will help us break through the gridlock that so obstructed us the last time. we lost that vote in april, but that was not the last vote. the majority leader has committed to bring back these bills. we need more fact before we draw conclusions about what kind of gun was used, how there was access to it. but clearly work is necessary on this problem.

>> congresswoman eleanor norton here next to me. big thanks to you. connecticut senator richard blumenthal , thanks to you as well. thanks to you for watching