The Ed Show for Monday, July 23, 2012

Guests: Jordan Ghawi, Jan Schakowsky, Ron Christie, Ari Melber, Kelli Goff

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GUEST HOST: Good evening, Americans. Welcome to
THE ED SHOW. I`m Michael Eric Dyson, in for Ed Schultz.

Today, we got our first look at an alleged killer. But we`re still
looking for politicians who will step up to cut down the violence.

This is THE ED SHOW -- and as Ed would say -- let`s get to work.


of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms because the president can`t get anybody
through Congress. We don`t have moneys to go and enforce the laws. The
states aren`t putting data into the database.

DYSON (voice-over): We are one nation under the gun and some
lawmakers are fighting back.

Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky says we need to do more, and
she`s here tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the governor of Massachusetts, you did sign a
legislation restricting or banning assault weapons. Did that work in
Massachusetts to your satisfaction?

DYSON: The Aurora shooting creeps into presidential politics. The
big panel weighs in.

And the fallout from Michele Bachmann`s unhinged attack against
Hillary Clinton`s top aid continues. Huma Abedin now requires police
protection as Rush Limbaugh decides to pile on.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: She`s doing her constitutional
duties. And now, the Democrats are in Minnesota seeing if Bachmann is
vulnerable because of what of McCain has done.


DYSON: Good evening. I`m Michael Eric Dyson in for Ed Schultz.

Today, the world got its first glimpse of the man accused of one of
the worst mass killings in American history. With his attorney at his
side, James Eagan Holmes sat in silence in a Colorado courtroom today.
Holmes with his hair dyed a reddish-orange appeared dazed at times and
showed little emotion as a judge informed him of his rights.

Holmes has been held in solitary confinement at a local detention
facility. His motives for killing 12 people, injuring 58 others at a
Colorado movie theater remain a mystery. Prosecutors are expected to file
formal charges next week.

The district attorney says she would get impact from the victims
before decided whether to seek the death penalty.


CAROL CHAMBERS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY: The victims will be impacted by
that decision in an enormous way for years, if the death penalty is sought.


DYSON: Investigators are now poring over evidence found in James
Holmes` apartment. It took police two days to safely disarm it,
discovering gallons of gas and body traps rigged to kill anyone who walked
through the door.

Holmes had been stockpiling weapons and thousands of rounds of
ammunition for months. No red flags were raised because it`s all perfectly
legal. There`s no system to track stockpiling fire power. No laws
regulating sales of ammunition across much of the scientists and no
oversight or regulation of Internet sales.

Holmes purchased ammo and tactical gear online. In fact, the only red
flag Holmes raised was through an online application to a local gun range.
The gun range`s owner grew suspicious of Holmes after trying to contact


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I called him, he didn`t give me -- he didn`t
answer. I ended up with his answering service that had a rather bizarre
message on it that started me wondering a little bit about it.


DYSON: An attorney for Holmes` family says she`s concerned for their
safety, but Holmes` parents are standing by their son.

Last night, a vigil was held in Aurora to remember the victims.
Twelve crosses were erected to honor the dead. Michael White (ph), a
survivor of Friday`s massacre, questioning what motivated Holmes to inflict
so much pain. >


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why? I mean, what`s going on in your life to the
point you want to hurt other people?


DYSON: The president flew to Colorado yesterday to meet with the
families of the dead. Mr. Obama said the focus should not be on Holmes but
on the victims.


opportunity to visit with families who have lost their loved ones, as I
described to them, I come to them not so much as president as I do as a
father and as a husband. And I think that the reason stories like this
have such an impact on us is because we can all understand what it would be
to have somebody that we love taken from us in this fashion. I confess to
them that words are always inadequate in these kinds of situations.


DYSON: The president also visited with those who survived the deadly
rampage. But has no plans to pursue tighter regulation and oversight of
existing gun laws. Mitt Romney agrees.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m a firm believer in the
Second Amendment, and I also believe that this is -- with emotions so high
right now, this is really not a time to be talking about the politics
associated with what happened in Aurora.


DYSON: In sharp contrast, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is
criticizing both men for their lack of leadership on this issue.


BLOOMBERG: How anybody can run for the highest office in the country
where 48,000 people are going to get killed in the next four years and not
have a plan? People say, well, you shouldn`t address it now pause we`re in
a time of crisis and mourning. Yes, well 18 months since Arizona, and we
did nothing. If not now, when are you going to do this?


DYSON: Tonight, James Holmes remains in solitary confinement in the
county jail.

I`m joined by NBC News Mike Taibbi who is outside the courthouse in
Centennial, Colorado.

Good evening, my friend.

are you?

DYSON: I`m doing fine.

Look, where does the investigation stand right now?

TAIBBI: Well, right now, as you can guess, and this is always the
case in instances like this, they`re trying to build a water tight case in
an instance where everything seems pretty obvious. There`s no question who
the identity was of the shooter, but he still is the alleged shooter. He`s
not even the accused suspect yet. He`s just a suspect. He won`t be
formally accused until next Monday.

But they`re trying to cover all of the bases in the investigation
itself. Forensic examination of the two locations, the theater and the
suspect`s apartment, has been completed at this point. They`re now trying
to compile records from the University of Colorado where he was a grad
student before dropping out mid-June, to try to find out a couple things.
Did he use his status as a graduate student to use a campus address for the
delivery and acceptance of delivery for hundreds of -- at least 50
deliveries of 150 pounds of ammunition, 6,000 rounds?

You made reference to it yourself, while it`s legal, while online
sales of ammunition are not regulated in any verifiable way, the question
is whether or not somebody along the way would have noticed, should have
noticed, had an opportunity to notice something was amiss with this young
man -- a young man who, by the way, was changing his appearance, changing
his demeanor in front of people, too.

One of the companion pieces of stories like this, Professor, is always
who might have known. Were there signals ahead of time? Could anybody
have heated it off? Did anybody by inaction perhaps serve in some
complicit way in allowing this horror to happen last Thursday night?

DYSON: You`re raising compelling and poignant question there, my
friend. So, what about a motive? How close are investigators to
establishing one?

TAIBBI: They may never know. Jared Loughner has been in jail, still
judged to be incompetent, not able to assist in his own defense in Arizona
for the shooting which you just referred to before. He`s never made a
specific comment to explain why he did that horror and visit that horror on
the city of Tucson and the whole country as well.

It`s possible, and look at his demeanor, his affect or lack there of,
he may have transitions to some level of pathology changing into psychosis.
We don`t know that. Where he truly is insane? That`s the test that`s
going to have to be done. He`ll be judged to be competent or not

And to be judged to be not competent at this point, he sit down to the
state hospital in Boulder where he could be forced to take psychotropic
drugs, to see if he could be restored to competent so he can stand trial.
But there`s no certainty that that`s going to happen. There`s no certainty
he is sane enough to do it.

I mean, one defense attorney who specialized in insanity defenses told
us today, you know, you can`t fake it. You can`t fake insanity. For
months on it, they will find out in these hospital settings. But if he
truly is insane, that does become that`s what the lawyers call an NGO, not
guilty by -- NGI, not guilty by reason of insanity. We`ll know about and
whether that`s going to be the plea at the arraignment and that could be
months from now.

DYSON: Well, given the swirling vortex of information that is sucking
all of us in, and being obsessed with this young man, have we learned
anything else about him?

TAIBBI: Well, I have a theory about it, probably not enough time in
the program to talk about it, but this is a guy who in some ways may have
peaked in high school. A lot of us know people or may have been someone
when they were 16 years old, were academic stars, athletic stars and
thought it would be that way.

But you get to the next level and somehow it`s tougher. The glory
that you had in high school, that feeling of being on top of the world
isn`t going to get you there. And if this gentleman who wasn`t doing well
in grad school, he was in a five to seven year doctoral school, and had
taken his preliminary examination evaluation and may perhaps was told he
would not be permitted on the basis of that evaluation to take his first
year comprehensive exam, he might have been that the story went out for
him. He might have known that several months ago, because it was in May
when he started stockpiling -- allegedly stockpiling his ammunition and
bought the first of his four weapons.

So, that might have all happened at that point. That`s when he dyed
his hair. That`s when things changed. That`s when neighbors described him
as sullen and unresponsive, somebody who acknowledged (INAUDIBLE) in the
building where he lived.

Things changed for him. He tried to sign up for a couple dating
services but never followed up. He tried to join that gun club, never
followed up. It was all falling apart for him. And maybe at that point,
the pathology of acknowledging that you`re not going to do what you thought
what you always want to be, he called himself an aspiring scientist on of
these Web site dating service applications, the online applications.

Maybe he realized it wasn`t going to happen and the only way to be
special, to go back to that feeling you have of being on the top of the
hill, what you had in high school, is to do something so horrific, so
horrific, that it would be unforgettable.

That`s a theory. In this program, we`re allowed to talk about that,
but it makes sense to me.

DYSON: The always eloquent Mike Taibbi, thank you so much.

Obviously, this has been a very difficult time for the families of the
victims. Joining me now is Jordan Ghawi, his sister Jessica was killed in
Friday`s shooting in Aurora, Colorado.

Jordan, thank you so much for joining us. I`m so incredibly sorry for
your incredible loss.

rest of the victims.

DYSON: Look, you got a phone call from your mother on Friday morning
telling you about the shooting. Tell us what was going through your head
when you first heard that news.

GHAWI: I immediately flipped into the mode I was trained for and
remain calm and try to obtain more information and see what I could do for
my mother and check on the status of my sister.

DYSON: Well, how are your mother and sister, by the way?

GHAWI: My mother and father are devastated, as am I. This is about
her right now.

DYSON: Right. And I`m sorry, I meant your mother and your father.

So how is your family been coping with this the last few days?
Obviously, it`s been an incredible whirlwind of information coming out,
yet, you have had to cope in the midst of all that with your grief. How
are they doing?

GHAWI: We`re coping by sharing her story and celebrating her life.
They`re surrounded by family and friends as am I over here. And as long as
we`re talking about my sister and the other victims and celebrating their
lives, we can remember them.

DYSON: Sure. You met with President Obama yesterday. Did he have
anything inspiring or hopeful to tell you? What did he tell you?

GHAWI: He came in knowing about my sister as he did with the other
victims and he sat down with us as a group and as individuals and we made
sure that he knew more about each and every one of the victims when he

DYSON: Sure.

Do you think that there should be a push for tighter gun laws given
the horror that you just endured and how it has impacted you personally, do
you feel compelled to push for tighter gun laws?

GHAWI: Here`s the thing, we can try to politicize this and make a
polarizing debate and make this a tenet of the election, but that`s not
what we`re here to do right now. We`re here to celebrate the lives of the
victims who were lost.

If somebody wants to do harm to somebody, they`re going to find a way
to do it, whether it be with a weapon such as a rifle or whether it`d be
with any sort of means. We should actually start to think about why people
are doing this.

And the reason they`re doing this is because they want their names out
there. You look at Breivik -- he killed 77 people in Oslo so that he could
get his manifesto out there. He wanted those pages read by the world. And
what we`re doing now by talking about the shooter rather than talking about
the family, is providing them with a platform -- a platform that they`re
using to get their names and their stories out there.

DYSON: Why don`t we talk about the platform you have to tell us about
your sister? Tell us about her story and what makes her life so compelling
to us.

GHAWI: It`s not just my sister. It`s the other families. I mean,
you look inside of this and amidst chaos, three people arose as heroes.
You had John, Alex, and Matt who all died to protect the ones that they
loved. And this is a chaotic scene.

These people had dreams, these people had promise, these people had so
much more to live for and they were cut short. Now, it`s about getting
their stories out there. Not just my sister. My sister`s story has been

I want the rest of the victims to come out there and explain their
stories to you and the rest of the world and get this coward`s name and
this coward`s image off the national media circuit.

DYSON: Certainly a humanistic impulse in the midst of incredible
grief and agony. We thank you so much, Jordan Ghawi, for joining us here

GHAWI: Thank you.

DYSON: Coming up on THE ED SHOW, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky sees
the value in gun control legislation, but she`s almost totally alone? Why?
The congresswoman joins me next.


DYSON: Coming up, the president`s press secretary said there won`t be
a push for new gun control laws in the wake of the tragedy in Colorado.
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky joins me with reaction, next.

Another Republican speaks out against Congresswoman Michele Bachmann`s
witch hunt. We`ll have the details.

And later, remembering the 12 victims of Friday`s shooting in
Colorado. Hear their stories from their family and friends.

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook and on Twitter using the
#EdShow. We`ll be right back.


DYSON: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

The Aurora shooting will not bring about any new discussion from
President Obama about gun control. Of course, the president did the right
thing by going to Aurora yesterday and meeting with families of the lost
and survivors. But his press secretary said there would be no new push on
gun control.

Quote, "The president believes we need to take steps that protect the
Second Amendment rights of the people but that insure that we are not
allowing weapons into the hands of individuals who should not by existing
law obtain those weapons. The president`s view is we can take steps to
keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them under
existing law. And that`s his focus right now."

When asks about an assault weapons ban, Carney said, "As you know,
there`s been opposition to that since it expired within Congress. So the
president is focused on doing the things we can do that protect Second
Amendment rights, which he thinks is important, but also to make it harder
for individuals who should not under existing law have weapons to obtain

And just a little FYI, the Aurora mass shooting is not an anomaly in
America. Here`s a map showing 36 mass murders across America in the past
30 years compiled by "Mother Jones". And in each case, the shootings
happen during a single incident in a public place and the shooter took the
lives of at least four people.

Let`s bring Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois.

Welcome to the show.

REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: Thank you, Professor.

DYSON: Congresswoman, are you disappointed that President Obama won`t
get behind some form of gun control?

SCHAKOWSKY: I think that the president is correct in thinking that
it`s unlikely, impossible, I would say right now, for any kind of
substantial legislation to pass the House of Representatives and probably
the Senate as well. But I think it is time to have that conversation.

Look, the National Rifle Association and others say, well, it`s not
time to be political. But it`s they, the National Rifle Association and
their kin that are making a public safety issue a political issue. They
don`t want to see any kind of legislation that would not only keep guns out
of the hands of crazy individuals.

But why does any individual need an automatic weapon? Why do they
need to buy 6,000 bullets? Why do they need to have a high capacity
magazine, the ability to shoot off 100 bullets in just a few seconds and
kill so many people?

I think that most Americans, even those, I imagine, that are part of
the National Rifle Association, think that there are some limits that are
reasonable and still protect Second Amendment rights.

DYSON: Sure. You know what strikes me here, of course, is that when
you hear the epithets being hurled on either side about politicization of
the issue, we know if that kind of amassing and stockpiling of that kind,
you know, of potential to hurt people through that, you know, through
though bullets and those guns and gases and the bombs and the like -- if
this had been stockpiled by a person who was more likely to look reasonably
offensive, a Muslim, another minority, do you think the red flag would have
gone up sooner than with this seemingly innocent young white man who under
cover and protection of appearing normal was out to do some heinous deeds?

SCHAKOWSKY: You know, maybe, although given the lack of regulation of
purchasing ammunition on the Internet, given the lax gun laws and so many
places, I`m not so sure that we could have stopped anybody, particularly
one with this kind of intention.

DYSON: But do you think the FedEx man would have noticed if he`s
taking something to an address constantly and the FedEx person is seeing
this, maybe a pattern is being established. I mean, no red flag at all

SCHAKOWSKY: Well, it could be. You know, one of the gun ranges
actually turned him down because there was this odd message that was on his
machine. There may be signals, and you`re right, it may be if he had a
different profile or looked different, that he might have been discovered.

But the point is -- the point I think for the country is how many
instances like this is it going to take --

DYSON: Right.

SCHAKOWSKY: -- before we say, enough is enough?

You know, one of my colleagues nearly dying, but several people dying
in the meantime near her including a 9-year-old child, a 6-year-old on
Friday. At what point are we going to say, let`s take a look at the
proliferation of guns? Do we really want to be afraid to go to the movies?

In Chicago, people are afraid to walk certain streets. It`s time for
us to look carefully and have a rational conversation. But the NRA won`t
tolerate such a conversation.

DYSON: But why is it even in your own party, however, it -- your
pleas for some kind of rational process here falls on deaf ears even in,
you know, in those in your own party?

SCHAKOWSKY: Well, it`s very clear that the National Rifle Association
is a very powerful political force. When they say that they`re going to
score a member of Congress, that is rate him according to his votes, the
most ridiculous pieces of legislation pass automatically.

There was an amendment passed in the House with over 300 votes that is
in the case of bankruptcy, individuals may keep $3,000 worth of guns
protected from any creditor. I mean, really, guns become the priority of
the National Rifle Association.

And they scare the bejesus out of members of Congress and threaten
them with primary elections and with defeating them, with ads. They have
spent over $7 million on elections in the last cycle. And they`re prepared
to do it again.

I think most Americans, if you ask the question, aren`t there some
reasonable gun safety legislation that you would support? I think they
would say yes.

DYSON: Right. Well, the accuracy of your account there is more
chilling than most horror movies.

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, thank you so much for joining us.

SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you.

DYSON: Up next, the secret support for gun control. Find out what
the vast majority of Americans really think and why the NRA is not going to
like it. Senator John McCain shows some leadership against Michele
Bachmann`s ridiculous witch hunt, and other Republicans step up to the
plate to do the right thing. Why can`t this happen more often?

Stay with us.


DYSON: Welcome back.

Do you think Americans want tougher gun control laws or not? The real
answer might surprise you. The latest Pew Research Poll shows most
Americans value gun rights over restrictions. It`s not a wide margin, 49
percent say it`s more important to protect the right to own a gun.

But that hasn`t always been the case. Support for stricter gun laws
actually spiked right after the Columbine shootings in 1999. Pollsters
call it the Columbine bump.

But over the long haul, that support for stricter gun laws looks like
it`s dropped or has it? It depends on the question you ask. When
pollsters ask about specific gun restrictions, this is what they get
instead: 86 percent of Americans want background checks, 63 percent want a
ban on high capacity clips in magazines, 69 percent want to limit the
number of guns you can buy at a time, 66 percent want a national gun
registry, and a whopping 88 percent think people on the terror watch list
should not be able to buy a gun.

It turns out most Americans support common sense restrictions on guns,
but it`s unlikely any of those common sense measures will be passed any
time soon.

I`m joined by Ari Melber of "The Nation" magazine, Kelli Goff,
contributing editor for, and Republican strategist Ron Christie.

Ari Melber, let me go to you first. Why isn`t anyone offering common
sense restrictions in the wake of the shootings in Colorado? We wring our
hands time and time again when this occurs, but nothing moves the needle in
terms of legislation.

ARI MELBER, THE NATION: I think that`s the question. And it`s partly
because we have a systemic problem in the way we deal with these tragedies.

I would propose like a different set of ground rules. I would say you
have the right to treat this as a period of mourning, absent any policy
reform, and you have the right to respond to this tragedy by looking at
what we can do as a country to change the underlying policies.

The NRA has a right to get up and talk about how they don`t think
basically any rules should be added to the way we regulate guns. And they
do not have a right -- this is important -- they do not have a right to try
to shut the rest of us up when we look at this tragedy, which echoes so
many other tragedies and try to figure out ways that we can regulate in
this area.

And the last thing I`ll say on that is I grew up in a house where with
a gun. A lot of Americans have. The question here isn`t obviously whether
there should ever be any guns anywhere for hunting or self defense. The
question which President Clinton answered by signing the Assault Weapons
Ban, which has now expired -- the question is whether we think weapons that
are designed for mass murder have a place on the streets.

I think the answer is no. I think the NRA has a stranglehold over
both parties on the issue.

DYSON: Sure. Ms. Goff, let me ask you this then. Mitt Romney says
we don`t need stricter gun legislation. But when he was governor of
Massachusetts, he signed an assault weapons ban into law. Because when you
go hunting, you don`t need an AK-47. Yogi Bear is not wearing a Kevlar
jacket. Here is how he explains the contradiction.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the governor of Massachusetts, you did sign
legislation restricting or banning assault weapons. Did that work in
Massachusetts to your satisfaction?

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, actually, the law that
we signed in Massachusetts was a combination of efforts both on the part of
those that were for additional gun rights and those that opposed gun
rights. And they came together and made some changes that provided, I
think, a better environment for both. And that`s why both sides came to
celebrate the signing of the bill.


DYSON: Ms. Goff, your response?

KELLI GOFF, LOOP21.COM: I`m just confused. Is this a segment where
I`m supposed to pretend that I`m surprised Mitt Romney was flip-flopping on
an issue. I didn`t know that that`s what we were here talk about, because
that`s a whole segment in and of itself. I mean, he was for it before he
was against it, just like abortion, just like universal health care.

It just adds to the list of things he doesn`t seem to have a committed
position on. What else is new? But to answer your initial question about
whether or not we`re going to get traction on this and why we can`t seem to
get traction on an issue that most Americans do support gun control. So
why don`t our legislators?

The answer is very simple, Professor Dyson. Apparently we have four
branches of government, not three: the executive, the judicial, the
legislative and the NRA. That seems to be the fourth branch of government
that`s running things in this country.

Neither party, including President Obama, seems to have the courage to
go toe to toe with them. It`s disappointing. And every American should
not only feel shame that we have members of Congress who can`t get an
assault weapons ban passed, but we should feel enraged that we`re -- their
tax dollars are paying their salary.

DYSON: Ron Christie, in light of all this, do you think it makes
sense, even for those who support the Second Amendment strongly, many who m
happen to be conservative, and many more who happen to be members of the
NRA -- does it make sense to say, look, this is a common sense approach
here. We support the Second Amendment, but there have got to be limits
imposed and legislation has to be the facilitator of that.

Do you think that there`s some limit here and that incidents like this
spark not only outrage but the determination to do something legislatively.

just -- I grieve. I have to be honest with you. I`m still deeply upset by
what happened in Aurora. I`m deeply upset that we still haven`t had the
burials for these poor, innocent victims. We still haven`t had to time to
reflect upon the shattered lives of those who were injured and those who
have lost a loved one. And we`re already talking about the NRA as if the
NRA had anything to do with this.

GOFF: They did.

CHRISTIE: The National Rifle Association had nothing to do with this.
This is -- Kelli, I didn`t interrupt you.

GOFF: I`m sorry. You know I love you. I just disagree with you on

CHRISTIE: This is a deranged individual, an individual who acted
apparently with premeditation to take the lives of innocent people. Let`s
grieve. Let`s have the process work that we can have time to reflect. If
you look back in 2011, President Obama and the members of Congress didn`t
press for an assault weapons ban or gun control after Gabby Giffords`
tragic shooting.

You didn`t see that in 2004 when the expiration of the 10 year assault
weapons ban took place.


DYSON: We didn`t have any bush pack, isn`t that the point?

CHRISTIE: My point here is that you have Harry Reid, who is now the
Senate Majority Leader, who didn`t favor extending that assault weapons
ban. You had Dianne Feinstein yesterday on television saying this is not
the time for Congress to be debating these issues.

DYSON: But bipartisan complicity in silence doesn`t mean it`s right
on either side.

CHRISTIE: I`m not saying it`s bipartisan complicity, doc. What I`m
saying is right now, it`s less than three days after this tragic shooting.
Let`s reflect. Let`s honor the memory of the people who were lost. Let`s
help those who --

DYSON: Let me let brother Melber jump in.

MELBER: I think Ron is expressing something heartfelt and has every
right to. That`s kind of what I was getting at. He has the right to focus
on mourning, if he thinks that`s what is appropriate right now. But other
people in America have the right to try to look at the tragedy and think
about solutions.

And to the second substantive point you raised, Ron, you are
absolutely correct. You and I both know and many people should know that,
to the extent anyone cares about gun control, whether it`s the assault
weapons ban or regulating sales of ammunition on the Internet or other
things that are fairly common sense, that do help the police, I think, in
these issues, those things have been stymied by the leadership in both

I think that`s a huge problem. Anyone who is watching this segment
and thinks that this is about Romney versus Obama would just be missing not
only the tone but also the facts. The Democratic party has stood by and
let the assault weapons ban expire, and has not moved on this issue. But I
am not going to apologize to anyone for raising this as a policy matter at
a time when the country I think does look here and figure -- and wants to
figure out how these weapons are so available.

That is one appropriate -- not the only, but one appropriate response
when we see these tragedies.

DYSON: Ms. Goff, let me throw this in terms of the facts and then you
respond. Investigators say that Holmes legally brought the four guns, the
tear gas, the body armor, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Should
these purchases be legal? The fact that they`re legal has opened the door
to the extensive carnage that we have seen here.

GOFF: No. And every poll shows that the majority of Americans do
support having a limit on the amount of ammunition and fire arms that
someone can buy in any given sitting. What I want to say is again, Ron,
apologies for interrupting you. I know I`m going to get in trouble from
mom who is watching at home for that. But I have to say that I feel really
passionate about this issue. One of the things I got frustrated about is
people on both sides of the aisle -- this is not a Democrat or Republican
issue -- are counting on people saying exactly what you said, which is this
is not the right time to talk about it.

Because that`s what they said after the Arizona shooting; it`s not the
right time to talk about. And they`re counting on the fact that we keep
waiting and waiting and waiting. And then the public who cares about this
issue, is engaged in this issue because it`s in the front of their minds
right, will forget about the issue. And then it goes away until 18 months
later another shooting like this happens again. And then the cycle starts
all over again.

When are we allowed to talk about it if not now? When are we allowed
to talk about it?

DYSON: All right, we`re going to talk about it after this break. Ari
Melber, Kelli Goff and Ron Christie stay with us.

There`s a lot more coming up in the next half hour on THE ED SHOW.
Stay tuned.


REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), WISCONSIN: There`s also parallax tracks of
influence from the Muslim Brotherhood in the highest levels of the federal


DYSON: Grover Norquist calls the Republican attack on Hillary
Clinton`s top aid, quote, "completely indefensible." The Muslim
Brotherhood says they can`t even penetrate the Egyptian leadership. The
big panel weighs in on the good things that can happen when Republican
leadership calls out the crazies.

And the man behind the Colorado massacre has stolen enough headlines.
Later, we`ll pay homage to the victims with the words from their families.


DYSON: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. It`s a sad state of affairs when
a scurrilous allegation by Congresswoman Michele Bachmann leads to this.
Huma Abedin, a top aid to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is now under
police protection because of a death threat from a New Jersey man,
according to the "New York Post."

Congresswoman Bachmann and four other House Republicans have sent
letters to top intelligence and security officials suggesting Abedin has
ties to Islamic extremists. But last week`s major leadership moment by
Senator John McCain changed the picture.

McCain denounced the accusations against Abedin, and then others
Republicans called out Bachmann as well. The latest riveting instance
comes from conservative Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner -- love his name --
who defended Abedin at a town hall meeting.


REP. JIM SENSENBRENNER (R), WISCONSIN: Let me say that I do know Huma
Abedin. And I think that the comments that were made about her in that
letter, whether or not they were taken out of context, were the wrong thing
to do.


DYSON: But when the constituent pushed back, so did Congressman


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that there`s a political ideology that`s
a concern in Islam, that is concerning. And that should be looked at. And
that people should -- we should know that this person is not --

SENSENBRENNER: Heidi, the First Amendment prohibits the government
from making a distinction between what is good religion and what is bad
religion. That`s none of the government`s business.

I just quoted two sections of the Constitution, ma`am. You know, one,
it is in the original Constitution that says no religious tests. So the
fact that Huma Abedin is a Muslim, whether or not she practices it, is none
of the government`s business, or for that matter, any of the rest of ours


DYSON: To coin a phrase, that`s what I`m talking about. I`m joined
again by Ari Melber, Kelli Goff, and Ron Christie. Still more Republicans
taking the truly principled stand in the face of the outrageous attack on
Huma Abedin. Does all this put a stop to the witch hunt by Congresswoman
Michele Bachmann, Ari?

MELBER: I think it stops it in its tracks. We talk on this show and
a lot of people about some of the really rough sides of the right wing.
And I think this is an important time for us to go on record and really
say, although it is -- to me, it is quite obvious that you should hold
these positions and they are old and they are in the Constitution, it is
also to time to say good for Mr. Sensenbrenner. Good for John Boehner and
John McCain, who really led this charge.

This is something that comes up at different times in American
history. The McCarthy hearings, in large part, related to a long list that
was never actually released, but a long list that was used to smear and out
innuendoes about supposed communists at the State Department. Well here we
are in 2012. Instead of supposed communists, it`s supposed Muslims or
practicing Muslims, or as Sensenbrenner said it so well, none of our darn

So I do think that they have hit the nail on the head, that it will
stop some of this. That`s important because we can`t just put this aside
and say we shouldn`t be talking about it. Once a member of Congress lodges
these kind of serious allegations that are based on smears, that are based
on bigotry or racism, it has to be stopped. I`m glad to see that.

DYSON: McCarthyism 2.0, to be sure. Kelli Goff, Grover Norquist`s
wife is a Muslim. He responded to the Abedin allegations saying "it`s
completely indefensible. There`s nothing else to say."

Does it, frankly, help when people have a personal experience with
prejudice or themselves have been on the receiving end of a witch hunt,
that they are much more empathetic? We know this as people of color and as
other minorities in this country who struggle against the mainstream lack
of a kind of kind of a personal story and narrative here. Does this help?

GOFF: Absolutely. Look, there have been stories about for instance,
elected officials even here in the state of New York who switched their
vote on gay marriage because they had gay neighbors, and saw that their
kids were being raised in a house full of love. And that changed their

And we have all seen this personally when it comes to people who had
one position on international couples until they had a half-black, half-
white grand kid. And then they changed their position on that issue too.

So absolutely. But it`s really refreshing for once to see our
politics united against hate for a change, as opposed to united in hate.
And I have to say, usually Congresswoman Bachmann is sort of on my list
with Alan Keyes and a bunch of other for being among my most entertaining
sort of wacky individuals in politics. And she`s really crossed the line
here from eccentric wacky aunt to someone her own former campaign manager
said has crossed over into evil territory.

She`s rapidly losing her entertainment value.

DYSON: Dr. Evil certainly would have a whack hat to hit her with.
Ron Christie, why don`t we see more leadership moments like this on issues
like gun control or taxes or the deficit from Republicans who dare to speak
out against certain extreme lock step positions in their own party, like
Grover Norquist insisting that people sign a pledge not to raise taxes?

CHRISTIE: Well, I think you have seen a remarkable amount of
Republican leadership on the issue of taxes and budget reform. The Senate
hasn`t passed a budget in three years. The Republics have passed a budget.
The Senate refuses to negotiate on that particular issue.

But let me go back to Michele Bachmann, because I think this is very,
very important. And it pains me to have this conversation with you. I`m a
big fan of hers. I`m an unapologetic fan of Michele Bachmann. But I think
that as --

DYSON: Perhaps an apology tonight?

CHRISTIE: No, but as a member of the House Intelligence Committee and
certainly someone who is a lawyer, if she has the facts, Professor Dyson,
she`s got to put them out there. You can`t have a senior member of
Congress come out with these sorts of allegations against a private citizen
and then now find that person in the situation where they have death
threats lodged against them. You have a great responsibility and a great
amount of power.

And I think Grover Norquist was right. Her comments were
indefensible. They were wrong. If she doesn`t have the proof and she
can`t tick tock through it and say here are the exact connections, I think
it`s irresponsible for her to have said what she said.

DYSON: One final point on the allegations against Abedin. Even the
Muslim Brotherhood responded, saying, quote, "the Muslim Brotherhood can`t
even penetrate the Egyptian government," in reference to how hard it has
been for newly elected presidents to take power. And regarding America,
one representative said "I haven`t heard these rumors, but they strike me
as ridiculous. Surely the United States government selects its employees
very carefully."

I mean, what do you make of that here? Here is the Muslim Brotherhood
saying we can`t even get on in the home team. What are we going to do with
foreign agents of our particular ideology in politics?

MELBER: It`s funny because, on the one hand, you sort of see that
they`re actually using the question -- what a lot of politicians do is to
get to their own issues, which is the concern there that the Egyptian
military has retained more of the key legislative powers in Egypt. That`s
more what they care about than our own scuffles.

But the other part of it is the serious part, which is, again to Mr.
Christie`s point, that Congresswoman Bachmann`s statements here, while
wrong for all of the reasons we have covered on the domestic front and thus
out of order period, also have the concomitant unintended consequence of
muddying up discussions we may or may not be having with other political
parties and governments around the world.

Again, not the role you want to play as a member of Congress.

DYSON: All right, concomitant, a centrally intense word that means at
the same time. Ari Melber, Kelli Goff and Ron Christie, thank you so very

CHRISTIE: Thank you.

DYSON: Coming up, Mitt Romney`s trouble with the truth. He misquotes
a foreign minister, maligns the American economy, and makes international
news in the process. That story is next.


DYSON: Welcome back. Mitt Romney`s trip overseas isn`t until later
this week, but he`s already causing some tension with one of America`s
closest allies. Romney met privately with Australian Foreign Minister Bob
Carr on Sunday. Later, Romney told hundreds of donors that Carr and other
foreign leaders think America is in decline.

Romney said, "and this idea of America being in decline, it was
interesting, Carr said that. He led the talk of America being in decline."

Romney said business won`t invest in America because of this decline.
But here`s the problem, Carr never said America is in decline. The foreign
minister had to release a statement saying Romney`s interpretation is
simply not correct. President Obama had this response.


tell you that our greatness has passed, that America is in decline, you
tell them this: just like the 20th century, the 21st century is going to be
another great American century. For we are Americans, blessed with the
greatest form of government ever devised by man, a democracy dedicated to
freedom and committed to the ideals that still light the world.

We will never apologize for our way of life. We will never waver in
its defense. We are a nation that freed millions and turned adversaries
into allies. We`re the Americans who defended the peace and turned back
aggression. We are Americans who welcome our global responsibilities and
our global leadership.

The United States has been and will remain the one indispensable
nation in world affairs.


DYSON: All this madness about where Obama stands, and is he really
American and truly a defender of the nation? That`s a president speaking
in defense of his country.

Coming up, we`re going to remember the 12 lives that were lost in
Friday`s shooting. Stay tuned.


DYSON: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. In memoriam tonight, we remember
the 12 people`s lives that were tragically cut short in Friday`s Colorado


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He really was a Renaissance man at 18 years old.
He played viola. He played on the baseball team. He had more friends than
anybody I have ever known.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fifty one-year-old Gordon Cowden (ph), a loving
father, outdoors men and small business owner. His two teenage daughters
escaped unharmed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She was passionate. She was curious. She was
boisterous. She was well loved.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want people to remember that heart and remember
the good things that she has done. Remember that smile and what her
possibilities -- what her perspective, what she could have done in the

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twenty seven-year-old Matt McQuinn (ph) of
Butler Township, Montgomery County, was one of those killed yesterday. He
moved to Colorado this past November with his girlfriend, Samantha.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they were just -- they`re just really
devoted to each other and very much in love. They had a very, very sparkle
of love in their eyes when they looked at each other.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twenty three year old Micayla Medek (ph), or
Kayla to friends and family, attended Aurora Community College.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She loved the Batman movies. She loved the
adventure. This was like a thing she was looking forward to going to, this

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My great niece was the six-year-old that was
killed in the accident, in the shooting, Veronica. Just a vibrant six-
year-old, excited, just learned how to swim. And you know, just a great
little girl. Excited about life. We should be at six years old.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Friday was Alex Sullivan`s (ph) 27th birthday.
Survived by his parents, wife, and his sister, his family says Alex was
smart, funny, and above all, loved by his family.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was a wonderful nephew. He was a wonderful
person. Loving, caring, intelligent. The world were filled with people
like him, we would have no problems. He always put everybody ahead of

OBAMA: Staff Sergeant Jesse Childress, an Air Force Reservist, 29
years old, a cyber specialist who loved sports, the kind of guy, said a
friend, who would help anyone.

Petty Officer Third Class John Larimer, 27 years old, who like his
father and grandfather before him joined the Navy and who is remembered as
an outstanding shipmate.

Rebecca Wingo, 32 years old, a veteran of the Air Force, fluent in
Chinese, who served as a translator, a mother whose life will be an
inspiration to her two little girls.

And Jonathan Blunk, from Reno, just 26 years old, but a veteran of
three Navy tours, whose family and friends will always know that in that
theater, he gave his own life to save another.


DYSON: The tragic losses of a senseless tragedy. Our thoughts and
prayers are with the loved ones of those lost in the Colorado shooting.

That`s "THE ED SHOW." I`m Michael Eric Dyson, in for Ed Schultz.

Ezra Klein is filling in for Rachel Maddow tonight. Good evening,


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