THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
April 22, 2013
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
Guests: Edward Deveau, Ryan Grim, E.J. Dionne, Karen Finney
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: We have breaking news in the Boston bombing
investigation tonight. The suspect in custody is communicating with
investigators by nodding his head yes to some questions and shaking his
head no to others. He has told investigators that he and his brother acted
on their own.
ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC ANCHOR: After two days in the hospital, the 19-
year-old suspect is awake and being interrogated.
PETE WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: The charges have been unsealed against
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a terrorism charge, use of a weapon of mass destruction
and the other is malicious destruction of property resulting in death.
Two bombing charges that could carry the death penalty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These two gentlemen may have been radicalized, but
there`s no direct links to al Qaeda here.
WILLIAMS: New details here about the carjacking. One man, they say,
reached in, opens the door, points a gun at him, says, I`m quoting from the
court document, "Did you hear about the Boston explosion? I did that."
MICHAEL ISIKOFF, NBC NEWS: That boast, I did that, is one of the
compelling pieces of evidence in this complaint.
ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Boston and the nation are going to
pause for a moment of silence today.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To mark one week since the deadly marathon
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is an emotional day as you might imagine. Just
dozens of people pouring out of office buildings, out of their apartments
(MOMENT OF SILENCE)
O`DONNELL: NBC`s Pete Williams is reporting tonight that several
officials familiar with the initial interrogation of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
describe him as cooperative. The senior government official says the
suspect has told them by writing some answers and by nodding yes or shaking
his head no to others that he and his brother were not in touch with any
overseas terrorists or groups and that they conceived the bombing attack on
their own, motivated he told them by religious fervor.
According to these officials the suspect told them they got their
instructions on how to make bombs on the Internet.
In federal district court, federal prosecutors filed a criminal
complaint, quote, "charging Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of Cambridge, Massachusetts,
with using a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property at the
Boston marathon on April 15th, 2013, resulting in death."
Tsarnaev is in the custody of United States marshals at Boston`s Beth
Israel Hospital. He has gunshot wounds to the head, neck, legs, and hand.
And despite those injuries, the court was satisfied today that the
defendant was able to respond to the charges and investigators say he was
able to respond to their questions. He is likely to face other charges as
the evidence develops, including homicide charges in the murder of MIT
police officer Sean Collier, and attempted murder charges in the shooting
of transit authority police officer, Richard Donohue.
Today, one week after the marathon, that day today became a public
ritual when at 2:50 p.m., a moment of silence was observed in Boston, a
silence that was heard and observed as far away as the White House.
Here is President Obama at 2:50 p.m. today.
People across the state of Massachusetts, including at the police
station in Watertown, where the second suspect was finally caught on Friday
night observed that moment of silence.
A SWAT team officer who made the arrest, actually made that arrest,
described the suspect`s condition when they found him in the boat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SWAT TEAM OFFICER: When we were moving up to the boat, he was
actually laying down on the side of the boat, one leg out, one hand out.
REPORTER: Did he say anything to you? Did he do anything to --
SWAT TEAM OFFICER: Well, I don`t think he had energy to say anything.
Once we got him on the ground, he was complying. He was going in and out
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The final pursuit of the suspect began shortly after
midnight Thursday night when police received reports of the murder of MIT
police officer Sean Collier, and the hijacking of a car in Cambridge. I
reached the victim of the carjacking this weekend, and he understandably
and politely declined to answer questions about his experience, but he did
tell me, "The police did a great job. They are very serious, they are
helpful. They saved my life."
The federal complaint tells the carjacking victim`s story this way.
"A man approached and tapped on his passenger side window. When the victim
rolled down the window, the man reached in, opened the door, and entered
the victim`s vehicle. The man pointed a firearm at the victim and stated,
`Did you hear about the Boston explosion?` And `I did that.`
The man removed the magazine from his gun and showed the victim it had
a bullet in it, and then reinserted the magazine. The man then stated, `I
am serious.` The man with the gun forced the victim to drive to another
location where they picked up a second man. The two men put something in
the trunk of the victim`s vehicle."
The complaint goes on to describe how they stopped at an ATM machine,
attempting to withdraw money from the victim`s account, and how they
stopped at a gas station convenience store where according to the
complaint, the two men got out of the car at which point the victim managed
The story of the rest of what happened that night was told to me
yesterday by the chief of the police department that stopped the Tsarnaev
brothers from getting away. It was not the big city police department at
the center of the investigation all week, the Boston Police Department,
with its heavily armed tactical forces, trained for encounters with
terrorists. It was the police force of 65, only 65, who serve and protect
Watertown, a little city of 32,000 people, bordering on the bigger city of
Cambridge and the much, much bigger city of Boston.
Chief Ed Deveau has been a Watertown police officer for 30 years. His
office located in a building that once was the elementary school that he
attended. When he looks out his office window, he can see the house he
grew up in. Ed Deveau and his officers thought they were trained and ready
to handle anything bad that could happen in Watertown.
But they had never prepared for something like this: two fleeing
murder suspects raining down bullets on them and throwing bombs at them.
It turned out to be something beyond their worst nightmare of what the
Watertown Police Department would ever have to face, but it turned out they
were ready. It was the Watertown P.D. that stopped the murderous rampage
CHIEF EDWARD DEVEAU, WATERTOWN, MA POLICE DEPARTMENT: Our officers
had learned that there was a shooting, you know, MIT police officer had
been killed over in Cambridge. Then, there was carjacking. Once the
carjacking took place, we were getting updates there was a cell phone in
the car that they were able to ping and it was coming to Watertown. So,
that was minutes before we discovered the crime.
We had just changed shifts. Two of our officers heard it, doubled
back, and were off duty, if you will, ended up in that gun fight. So, we
had six officers there. Other officers tied up doing other things.
The first officer made the sighting radioed in, told the station,
supervisor, directed him do not try to pull the car over until we get you
more backup, which is great training, great way to do it. Unfortunately,
the two bad guys stopped, got out of their cars, and immediately started
firing on my officer.
So, he was defenseless, if you will, in a car. He had just great guts
and glory to have the determination --
O`DONNELL: He was alone in that car?
DEVEAU: He was alone in the car, we have one man cars, we only one
man cars here in Watertown. But he had level headedness to be able to put
that car in reverse and create some distance as he took fire. He took a
position. Then the other officers were around the corner. We had two or
three officers pull in behind him and engage in this firefight.
O`DONNELL: So these people stopped being fleeing suspects, they
actually are ahead of the police car, and they decide to stop and get out
of the car.
DEVEAU: Right. They took the fight t us. We were ready to take them
on, but we wanted to plan a little bit more, but they brought the fight to
O`DONNELL: So describe this gun fight. They step out of the car, and
at first they`re firing on one officer. He gets some distance to protect
himself. Then, what happens?
DEVEAU: The other officers come in behind him, taking up different
positions. So within minutes, I have six officers, four on duty, two off
duty that are engaged in this gun fight, and it continues.
And the bad guys go back to one of the vehicles, open a trunk at some
point. And that`s when they heave something at our officers and there`s
huge explosion. That was the first bomb that went off. That was the one
that had the pressure cooker, the lid of it was embedded in a car down the
So, how the officers survived just that was remarkable. And gunfire
continues. It continues, four more explosives are thrown at the officers,
two detonated, two didn`t. And now people are coming in behind my
officers, but it`s my six guys who are front and center, and what they did
is just incredible.
Two hundred, 300 rounds at least went off down there. They`re still
battling. The gun fight continued. The older brother came out, and was
getting closer. That`s why he got taken down, he actually ran out of
ammunition as he took fire and we were able to tackle him, try to get
handcuffs on him.
But he was still bringing the fight to us right up until that point.
O`DONNELL: So, when you`re talking about hundreds, 300 rounds being
fired, you`re talking about hundreds of rounds coming at your men from
DEVEAU: Right. That`s what I think. You know, whatever our guys
returned, they shot at us probably over 200 times, is my early
understanding of this.
O`DONNELL: So when he goes down, what is the younger brother doing at
DEVEAU: Well, at some point he gets in the carjacked vehicle, SUV,
and comes roaring down the street. At the last minute, one of our officers
saw the vehicle. I think our officers because of so many explosions
couldn`t hear the vehicle, somebody saw it and they yelled get out of the
way. At least they could hear a little bit, they dove out of the way. The
brothers kept roaring down the street, went up through that area and
continued up the street. Literally ran over his brother.
He only went probably 300 yards down the street and bailed out of that
car, so he didn`t get very far, he knew he was trapped. At least he
couldn`t leave in that vehicle, thank God, and our responding brothers of
law enforcement were able to help us keep him in this area.
O`DONNELL: So, by the time he jumps out of the car, he is about 300
yards from your officers.
O`DONNELL: Who now have to make the decision about chasing him or
taking care of the officer down.
And what did your officers do at that point?
DEVEAU: Our officers giving a -- the transit officer, it was a two
man cruiser, we are giving aid, along with the other transit officer, we`re
trying to get an ambulance to get him to the hospital which we know he
needs desperately. So, our officers focus on that and other responding
officers tried to pursue the second brother.
O`DONNELL: I think people have been wondering, how did this guy
escape into the darkness? So what we know is he was about 300 yards away
from the officers at the time he jumps out of the car.
O`DONNELL: Then is off into the darkness.
O`DONNELL: And the people who are responding are not Watertown police
officers, the extra troops who were coming in are not from Watertown, do
not know the streets, and for them, there`s a struggle about exactly how to
coordinate the spot where he got out of the car and started running.
DEVEAU: Right. You can imagine what radio traffic is going on, just
trying to give a location, trying to set up perimeters and pin him in, all
the time as you say, them not knowing the streets here in Watertown,
they`re unfamiliar. We got a lot of help real quick, but some are
different parts of Watertown, they`re not even near where we need them to
be and we don`t have time to have somebody coordinate their efforts.
O`DONNELL: Were any of the officers confident that at least one of
their bullets had hit the suspect who was fleeing?
DEVEAU: We knew he was hit because there was blood in the vehicle
that he bailed out of. So we knew that immediately, right after daylight
when we started doing the grid searches, we found some blood behind a
house. So we knew again that he was hit. How bad, we didn`t know.
You know, knowing the blood was behind the house, but we cleared that
house and houses around it. We were hoping that he was still moving
outside and hadn`t got inside a house.
O`DONNELL: So then in daylight, the calculation becomes how far can
this 19-year-old was bleeding from gunshot wounds, how far can he get on
DEVEAU: That`s right.
O`DONNELL: It turns out that lifting the lockdown in Watertown turned
out to be way you found this guy.
DEVEAU: Yes. I would like to say, it was a brilliant decision on my
part but it wasn`t. Turned out what I was most concerned about was
nightfall, and he would have the ability to start moving again.
So, it was -- it turned out to be brilliant that it was lifting at
6:00 when it was still daylight, and the gentleman went in the backyard and
discovered him. He went out, he saw straps weren`t the way they should
have been, but he thought it was just windy out and he went to readjust the
straps, one thing led to another, he went and looked under the shrink wrap,
saw a little blood, still didn`t register with him right away, looked more,
saw more blood, and then he saw a body, a person laying down, crouched,
hidden around a corner. That`s when he called us.
O`DONNELL: And the suspect said nothing to him.
DEVEAU: He didn`t see movement. He came back.
O`DONNELL: And so, what was your reaction as soon as the 911 call
DEVEAU: Well, it made sense. That`s only a block and a half outside
of our perimeter. He got a little beyond what we thought he did. But that
should be our guy.
O`DONNELL: So you got the helicopter on top of him, showing that he
is in there. They then send this robotic vehicle down the driveway to lift
up the cover to convince themselves that he`s in there, and there was a
hostage negotiator in the house?
DEVEAU: We didn`t know if he was hearing us the whole time. There
was a 15, 20 minute period trying to negotiate with him, making -- telling
him to respond, do certain things, there was never response. There was
never a communication.
Finally, we said show your hands, stand up, lift up your shirt,
eventually he started to do some of those things. So -- but there was
never a conversation. It was always him responding after a long period of
time to demands of the negotiator.
O`DONNELL: And when did you get the word that he -- we believe he`s
coming out of that boat voluntarily?
DEVEAU: We were in the command post, and we were getting constant
updates that he started to get up. And then we heard, OK, we have him in
custody. There couldn`t have en a better feeling when we heard that.
When the word went out in Watertown, needless to say, people were so
relieved, they were -- we saw it in video, saw this appreciation for what
you and your department did here. What was that experience like?
DEVEAU: It was incredible. I went -- the whole department went 24
hours straight, kind of winding down, then to leave that scene (INAUDIBLE)
to the streets, see the residents with the flags was in credible. The
support we have gotten, the Bruins wearing Watertown police hats when they
went out for the game.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our sign of showing how much we appreciate them.
DEVEAU: For the Red Sox to put Watertown on the banner when they did
a video about the Boston marathon makes us all proud. The community room
was just filled with story after story of how people supported us.
They told me yesterday morning, chief, you have to come downstairs,
two people in the lobby want to meet you, talk to you.
I went downstairs, there was a gentleman about 25 with his fiance,
hands me a letter, and says, you know I trained for the marathon, I did 600
hours, I struggled, it was very painful, I did 16 miles and I got tired,
didn`t think I could make it to the finish line, I struggled, I got over
the finish line, the bombs went off, then I saw what your department went
through. I don`t deserve this medal, I am giving it to you.
And just -- that`s just one of thousands of stories of how people have
come to us. You know, that`s the medal for our guys, those six guys down
there, they deserve a trip to the White House or something. They deserve
the recognition that`s just beyond how they survived and how they took
these guys down and those bombs didn`t go somewhere else. I just can`t be
prouder of those guys.
You always say you get the gun and badge and know you get into danger,
we all accept that, but you don`t sign up for this. You don`t know this is
what`s going to happen. You see this in the movies and you see this in
war, you don`t expect it in the back streets of Watertown. We don`t train
for that, we don`t prepare for that.
So it`s been, you know, very tough. Just can`t believe when I signed
up 30 years ago this could possibly happen. Can`t believe it could
possibly happen here in Watertown and can`t possibly happen that we
O`DONNELL: Chief, everybody knows this town was lucky to have those
Watertown officers down there doing the job they did.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, more on the bombing investigation and why
American police officers like the Watertown police department have to
contend with hundreds of bullets being fired at them.
And in the "Rewrite," a look at the original intent of the words of
the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms.
O`DONNELL: I told the chief after that conversation that I thought
that Watertown was pretty lucky to have a lifelong Watertown guy like Chief
Deveau working there, too.
Four more survivors of the Boston bombings have gone home from
hospitals, leaving 48 patients in five hospitals around the city. Only two
are still in critical condition, including 7-year-old Jane Richard whose
brother Martin was killed in the blast last Monday. Today, just before the
moment of silence in Boston, the clock, the one that I showed you was
stopped last week at the time of the bombing, that clock was started again.
Life will continue in Dorchester.
Mayor Thomas Menino and Senator Elizabeth Warren were by the clock,
along with more than hundred others, no one spoke until after the bells of
the nearby church tolled for Martin.
Dorchester friends are helping to raise funds for the Richard family.
Go to richardfamilyfund.org if you would like to contribute.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He will not be treated as an
enemy combatant. We will prostitute this terrorist through our civilian
system of justice. Under U.S. law, United States citizens cannot be
trialed -- tried, rather, in military commissions. And it is important to
remember that since 9/11, we have used the federal court system to convict
and incarcerate hundreds of terrorists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNNELL: Joining me now, Roger Cressey, NBC News terrorism
Roger, I want you to listen to something the Boston police chief said
yesterday on CBS, listen do what Ed Davis said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ED DAVIS, BOSTON POLICE CHIEF: We have reason to believe based upon
the evidence found at that scene, the explosions, the explosive ordinance
that was unexploded and fire power that they had that they were going to
attack other individuals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And, Roger, just to read from the complaint filed in
federal court today specifically what they have in there, two unexploded
IEDs, as well as remnants of numerous exploded IEDs, also found in the
search of the current suspect`s, younger brother`s room, they found BBs,
they found some of the same -- pressure cooker, low grade, also find in the
search of the abandon car, intact, low grade explosive devices discovered.
What do you make of those discoveries in relation to what Commissioner
Davis said, do you see the potential of something else being planned?
ROGER CRESSEY, NBC COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Well, I think so,
Lawrence. Either they were playing to go for additional targets at a later
date, or once pictures were published by the FBI, and the news conference
on Wednesday decided to move quickly. I think there`s no doubt they were
going to use it for other purposes.
You combine that with the arsenal they put together, and you have to
conclude they had the intent of additional attacks. That`s going to be one
of the questions that hopefully we`ll get the answer from, from Tsarnaev
while he is in custody.
O`DONNELL: Roger, the behavior when they are, one would think, making
a get away, driving through Watertown, and they`re being pursued by exactly
one police car at that point with one police officer in it, they were in a
good position to continue to maintain a lead on that car and maybe pull
away, and they stop and they get out and they start walking toward the
This is completely inexplicable to any of the police officers I talked
to in Watertown, anywhere.
Does your terrorism expertise tell you anything about what that move
CRESSEY: Boy, I tell you, Lawrence, these two have a variety of
actions since the bombing that defy some of the typical patterns we have
seen from prior terrorist plots and terrorist incidents. They may have
made that split decision that all right, we`re going to either go out in a
blaze of glory or we`re going to confront the Watertown police, believing
they had sufficient fire power to do so.
But the tick-tock of what happened after the FBI published their
photos is going to be one of the most heavily scrutinized portions of the
investigation and questioning.
I`ll tell you -- the part of this whole narrative that`s the most
chilling is that they launched the attacks on Monday. They killed and
maimed in the most deliberate, pre-meditated way, and then he went back to
their lives. The younger Tsarnaev went back to UMass Dartmouth. He went
out with colleagues, with friends. Tamerlan went back to his house.
And you would not have known they had just conducted one of the most
significant terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.
So the psychological profile here is something that`s also going to
get a tremendous amount of attention.
O`DONNELL: Now, we have from Pete Williams the breaking news that he
is, the suspect they currently have is cooperating, saying they acted
alone, they did not have any foreign assistance, they didn`t seek any
foreign guidance. They got instructions for bomb making on the Internet.
Do the facts as you know them now sync with that?
CRESSEY: Yes. As -- from what we know I think that is all part and
parcel of the story, and I think also, we would have heard pre-Miranda
whether or not during the public safety exception if he had provided any
information about imminent threat, additional plans, additional co-
conspirators, anything like that. And because we haven`t heard from any
government sources on it, we should conclude there was nothing else in
terms of imminent threat.
So, the next step is to get all of the statements from Tsarnaev and
then corroborate them. To corroborate them through into good intelligence
work, through question and answering with Russian intelligence, going
through the computers, the phone records to see if what Tsarnaev has said
now in a hospital bed tracks with the other information we`re going to be
able to uncover.
O`DONNELL: Roger, how does it track with the fact that these guys
were so inadequately supported, that here they are doing a carjacking,
grabbing a guy, try to get him to go to the ATM, because whatever money
they`ve had has been spent on fire power and pressure cookers and they
don`t have enough money to get out of town.
CRESSEY: So what is also part of the narrative that really is
fascinating is the decision-making process that they went through, and the
split second choices they made that ultimately result in the death of the
older Tsarnaev brother, and now, the younger is in custody.
I think we`re going to be looking at the tick-tock of this past week
for a long time, Lawrence, because how it played out is so unusual. But as
you saw with Police Chief Deveau, just fantastic law enforcement work and
that`s one thing we should be incredibly thankful for.
O`DONNELL: Roger Cressey, thanks very much for joining us tonight.
CRESSEY: You bet, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, we don`t yet know exactly what kind of firearms
were used to rain down hundreds of bullets in the Watertown police last
week. E.J. Dionne will join me to discuss how what happened in Watertown
could effect how Washington looks at gun and ammunition safety legislation.
And in the Rewrite tonight, a truly shocking piece of video. I mean,
this is for real. It`s kind of disturbing. And I`m just warning you, but
it does vividly portray the original intent of the Second Amendment right
to bear arms.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
EDWARD DEVEAU, WATERTOWN POLICE CHIEF: Well, 200 to 300 rounds at
least went off down there. They`re still battling as the gun fight
continued. The older brother came out and was getting closer. That`s why
he got taken down. He actually ran out of ammunition as he took fire. And
we were able to tackle him and get handcuffs on him.
O`DONNELL: The older brother, as he`s approaching your officers,
eventually runs out of ammunition.
O`DONNELL: And that`s when you start to prevail over him because he`s
out of ammunition.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now, "the Washington Post`s" E.J. Dionne, and
the "Huffington Post`s" Ryan Grim. E.J., there w have it, another story of
hundreds of bullets, maybe 300 bullets. I have listened to the sound of
those bullets a number of times. It is uncountable, raining down on these
Watertown police officers. And we don`t know that high capacity magazines
were involved, but the ability to deliver hundreds of bullets quickly was
definitely something that the brothers were easily capable of doing.
E.J. DIONNE, "THE WASHINGTON POST": You know, this is a point you
made on this show over and over. And I hope you keep making it over and
over until we ban those big magazines. I mean, whatever else we know, we
know that the more bullets the bad guys can fire, the more damage is done.
And there`s this talk that this is relevant to the immigration bill. These
guys came over here as kids. It is relevant to immigration only if you say
we should just shut down all immigration, because one immigrant in 100,000
or one immigrant in a million is going to turn into, later in life, a
terrorist. It makes no sense.
What`s really relevant here is violence. Where did they get their
weapons? Where did they get the stuff to make the bombs? Why aren`t their
tags-ins in this gun powder so we can make it easier to trace them when we
were looking for them? I think those are relevant questions, which is how
do we make ourselves a less violent country? And how do we complicate it
for people who want to commit mayhem?
O`DONNELL: Yes. Ryan, we talked about it -- Ryan Grim, we talked
about it last week on this program, that we have the capacity -- the
technology capacity to trace gun powder with tag-ins. The NRA simply won`t
let us. The ATF has been wanting to do this for decades. They`ve been
stunned that the NRA has the power to inhibit their investigative tools
this way. But this is one of those things that the NRA dues are doing that
the membership doesn`t even know about.
RYAN GRIM, "THE HUFFINGTON POST: Sure, that`s right. You know, the
NRA blocks law enforcement from all sorts of tools that they could use.
It`s not just background checks, which are the famously 90 percent
approval, but also there`s no federal gun trafficking law, so you can move
guns across state borders. And anything else that would help law
enforcement track weapons immediately gets caught up in this torrent of
conspiracy nonsense. And people think if you do anything to follow a gun
from when it is produced to who buys it, the next thing you know, you`re
going to have a database of people. And the next thing you know, you`re
going to round them up.
O`DONNELL: E.J., when we hear scenes like this that we heard in
Watertown, and we will hear elsewhere, and as happened at Sandy Hook
Elementary, high capacity magazines just ripping into people, the vote in
the Senate on that item, the high capacity magazines, did not get a
majority. It went down 46 to 54. For me, that was the single most
important thing in all of the legislation, if we could just cut down on
this rain of bullets.
DIONNE: I mean, the whole episode was very depressing. It was very
depressing that something as mild as a watered down background check bill
could only get 54 votes. I mean, in a normal world, 54 is a majority, but
not in the U.S. Senate these days. And I agree that banning the high
capacity magazines seemed the obvious thing to do. But I think what`s
important here after this gun vote is not to give up.
I mean, we -- the NRA has been organized and has been able to tap into
a substantial amount, a minority, but a substantial amount of grassroots
support. This is the first time you really had the level of organization
you had on the side of gun safety. And look, a lot of reforms have been
defeated before they passed. And I think that`s how we`ve got to treat
This is the beginning, not the end of the line. Otherwise, we are
just handing victory to the NRA.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to Patricia Maisch, who was at the shooting
of Gabby Giffords, and how she and others helped stop -- stopped the
shooter, only because he ran out of ammunition and had to reload. Let`s
listen to her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICIA MAISCH, HELPED STOP TUCSON SHOOTER: He pulled out a magazine
from his left pocket, had it in his hand, but he dropped it on the
sidewalk. I was able to recover it before he could get it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Ryan Grim, it doesn`t seem complicated. It is about how
often do they have to reload.
GRIM: Right. And there`s nothing in the Second Amendment that says
you`re entitled to 50 bullets in a clip.
GRIM: Patricia is the same woman who yelled "shame on you" from the
O`DONNELL: A well earned right to heckle in the United States Senate.
GRIM: I interviewed her, along with a number of other journalists,
right afterwards. They were trying to escort her out of the building, but
journalists kind of formed a human shield around her because they all had
their microphones in front of her. And the Capitol police realized that
perhaps arresting a hero of Tucson right after the Senate had knocked down
this sensible gun bill wasn`t the best move. So they let her continue to
But right, these are just -- you know, 90 percent -- 90 percent of
people support this. There`s no Second Amendment right to 50 bullets. And
yet here we are.
O`DONNELL: E.J. Dionne and Ryan Grim, thank you both for joining me
DIONNE: Thank you, Lawrence.
GRIM: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: In tonight`s Rewrite, a disturbing new ad about gun
control that may just be the most effective ad we have seen on that
And finally, to the lighter side -- it is about time, isn`t it? Mark
Sanford`s problems with his own Republican party are growing and why
Elizabeth Colbert Busch now has a commanding lead in that Congressional
O`DONNELL: I want to show you a photograph that I took today in
Boston. Let`s put it up there. That is the Boston Public Library. It is
located at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. And credit for the
building of that library is engraved. You can see in the stone of the
library up there on the top where it says "founded through the munificence
and public spirit of citizens."
Well, that very same munificence and public spirit of citizens in
Boston has now raised more than 10 million dollars so far for the victims
of the marathon bombing in the -- and they`ve done it through the One Fund
Boston. Kenneth Feinberg will take over the supervision of that fund later
this week. If you would like to donate, go to OneFundBoston.org. The
Rewrite is next.
O`DONNELL: The founding document of our democracy was over two years
old when it was rewritten to include these words, "a well regulated militia
being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to
keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." The year was 1791. The
Founding Fathers had always assumed the possibility of a need for a
citizens militia of some sort from time to time. And since the easiest and
cheapest way to arm the men serving in such militia in those days would be
to allow them to use their own muskets, the Second Amendment was tagged
onto the Constitution.
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free
state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be
The Supreme Court has since then made what I think is the mistake of
interpreting that right to extend to all Americans, including those who
have no intention of ever serving in the militia, which we now call the
National Guard. Republicans like to pretend that their interpretations of
the Constitution are based on the original intent of the words. They
insist that what matters is what the authors of those words had in mind.
They think of themselves as mind readers of the Founding Fathers.
Well, this is what they had in mind when they wrote the Second
Amendment, a single shot firearm that takes a bit of work to reload, the
kind of thing that would make it impossible for someone to walk into his
workplace or his school or a movie theater or a shopping mall and kill 20
people, pump bullets into 20 children. If the Founding Fathers knew that
the kind of lethality we that have we now have existed or was going to
exist in the world, what would have happened to the wording of the Second
We`ll never know, of course. But we do know what the limits are on
firearms, the technical limits, the magazine capacity, if you will, what
they were in 1791, when the Second Amendment became the law of the land.
They knew that criminals or crazy people would only be able to fire one
bullet, without very much accuracy, in those days before beginning the very
cumbersome chore of reloading.
That point is made brilliantly in a public service announcement by the
States United to Prevent Gun Violence. I just want to warn you that some
of us at the office today found it kind of disturbing, to say the least, to
watch this video in the wake of the massacre of children and educators at
Sandy Hook Elementary School and after the torrent of gunfire that rained
down on Massachusetts police officers last week.
But if you do choose to watch this, please watch it through to the
end, because it shifts from disturbing to enlightening, and even kind of
funny. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuse me, hey, hey.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you want to add those in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That is the kind of massacre threat we would be living
under in this country today if our gun laws followed the original intent of
the authors of the Second Amendment.
O`DONNELL: One week after the associated press reported that Mark
Sanford`s ex-wife filed a legal complaint against Sanford accusing him of
trespassing, quote, "multiple times" at her home on Sullivan`s Island,
Sanford`s campaign paid for this full page ad Sunday in the "Charleston
Post and Courier." "By original accounts you would have thought I was
randomly sneaking around the house at Sullivans, when in fact I was
returning a son from a neighborhood Super Bowl party."
In court documents, Jenny Sanford said she found him at her house
using his cell phone as a flashlight. Today, "The Hill" reports that
Sanford canceled a Washington fundraiser hosted by South Carolina`s
Republican delegation because he needed to stay in Charleston, not because
Washington Republicans want nothing to do with him. According to "the
Hill," several members of the South Carolina delegation had been, quote,
"less than enthusiastic about helping Sanford," end quote.
The National Republican Congressional Committee also released a
statement saying it would not be backing his campaign. In a new poll from
Public Policy Polling, Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch leads Mark Sanford
by nine points, 50 to 41. And the Green Party candidate is getting three
At the end of March, Colbert Busch was leading Sanford by just two
points, 47 to 45 percent.
Joining me now, Karen Finney. Karen, it is kind of amazing what a
trespassing accusation can do to a Congressional campaign. Who knew that
would be a factor?
KAREN FINNEY, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, Mark Sanford had a tough
week last week, Lawrence. So he -- Mark felt like he had to explain to the
people what was going on. But can we just go back and remember that this
whole thing started when he was in the Appalachian Trail, not, and actually
in South America with his now fiance. It was Father`s Day. Remember that?
And the argument that he made about why he was trespassing was that he
didn`t think that his son should have to watch the Superbowl alone. Now,
trying to sound like a good father, maybe you should have thought about
that a few years ago, not to mention his kids. He did not introduce his
children to the love of his life. They met on the stage on the night of
Now if we`re talking about parenting and trying to make things right,
sounds like he still got some work to do with his own family.
O`DONNELL: So we do have some polling on what the trespassing charge
means. Apparently 51 percent of likely voters say yeah, the trespassing
accusations will effect my vote.
FINNEY: I would imagine that this could be one of those situations.
You know, usually in these midterm elections or elections like this,
turnout is an issue. I am just betting where this might be one where
people would be more than happy to go out and vote against such a fool. I
really think so.
O`DONNELL: So Elizabeth Colbert Busch opening up nine points, that`s
real. You see a Green Party candidate in there taking three that would go
to her surely if the Green Party candidate wasn`t there.
O`DONNELL: I am leaning toward calling this a commanding lead.
FINNEY: I think that is more than fair. And who knows? There`s
still plenty of time. Who knows what else Mark Sanford will do or what
other shenanigans he will pull? Lawrence, here is the thing about him,
just in all seriousness. The problem is he was trying to convince voters
in the district that he basically is a changed man, right, and that he has
changed his ways, made good with his family. For some reason he thought
his ex-wife would want to be his campaign manager. We`ll put that aside.
These kinds of activities don`t support that argument. So, of course --
O`DONNELL: And Karen, in this big written ad that he did yesterday,
he compared his campaign to the Alamo, to the siege of the Alamo. I`m not
sure he knows how that turned out at the Alamo.
FINNEY: He is probably the only person who wasn`t watching the paper
-- reading the paper or watching the news last week, actually.
O`DONNELL: Right. Karen Finney gets tonight`s LAST WORD. Thank you,
FINNEY: Take care.
O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.
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THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL