THE ED SHOW
September 16, 2013
Guest: Tom Perriello
ED SCHULTZ, HOST MSNBC: Good evening, friends. We begin tonight with
the news that everyone in the country is paying attention to. It all
unfolded at 8:20 this morning when a gunman opened fire on people at a
Washington Naval Yard. The shooting took place at building 197, home to
the Naval Sea Systems Command. At this hour, officials say 13 people, have
been confirmed dead, including the shooter. The gunman has been identified
as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis of Fort Worth, Texas. Official say he recently
began working as a civilian contractor. Alexis gained access to the
building using another worker`s security badge. He was reportedly carrying
an assault rifle, an AIR15, a double barrel shot gun which has been
reported, and also a hand gun. And many questions surround tonight, how
does a man get into a military facility that well-armed?
NBC News has confirmed Alexis was killed at the scene of the crime.
There is currently no known motive. One witness described the chaotic
scene, the NBC News affiliate WRC earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM JIRUS, COMMANDER, US NAVY: This morning by 8:30, we heard what it
sounded like a pop gun or gun shots going off in the building but like far
away, like it wasn`t very close to us. A couple of minutes later, somebody
was running through the hallways telling everybody to get out of the
building. A couple of minutes after that, they fire alarms, and the
building went off, which is the automatic way to evacuate the building. I
ended up on the backside of our building in an alley way. Evacuated a
bunch of people, push them in the right direction to get them out. And
there was individual who came from the building behind us, someone in this
building who came up and was talking to me basically she`s saying that,
"Hey, there`s the shooter in your building," and then I heard two more
shots, one of them hit him, he went down in front of me and then I took off
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guy you are with?
JIRUS: The guy I was talking to.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Got shot?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what was the situation after that? You just
moved or didn`t you try to assess him.
JIRUS: He was shot in the head and did not look like he made it, so I
ran from there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Police say there could potentially be one other gunman
involved who was currently unaccounted for. An active search is underway
for the other possible suspect. It`s important to point out there is no
hard evidence to indicate another shoot was involved. Police are airing on
the side of caution, multiple law enforcement agencies are responding to
this incident while the FBI is taking the lead in the investigation.
President Obama was briefed on the shooting multiple times throughout
the day. He spoke about the incident before planned remarks this
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are confronting yet
another mass shooting. And today, it happened on a military installation
in our nation`s capital. It`s a shooting that targeted our military and
civilian personnel, and these are men and women who are going to work,
doing their job, protecting all of us. They`re patriots. And they know
the dangers of serving abroad, but today, they face the unimaginable
violence that they wouldn`t have expected here at home.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: President Obama went on to say, there will be a thorough
investigation into today`s tragic shootings. For more, I want to bring in
MSNBC`s Craig Melvin.
Craig, what is the latest on the scene there? We`re now starting to
get some information about Aaron Alexis. He did spend two years in the
Navy Reserves. He came in to the Reserves attend in December 16th of 2009
and was separated from Navy Reserves in January of 2011 just over 24 months
in Navy Reserves. He is from Fort Worth, Texas. His home of record is New
York. He is 34 years old. He was killed at the scene. And this of course
has been a day of trying to piece information to gather, but I think we can
come to the conclusion that if he was in the Navy Reserves, officials do
know a lot more about this man than what they are saying. What are you
gathering at the scene tonight Craig?
CRAIG MELVIN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: We can also tell you that he was a
petty officer, third class. And he was never on active duty. He was
always in the Reserves. At this hour Ed, a number of law enforcement
agencies here in Washington DC are trying now to track his last known
movements and his last known communications. They are talking to anyone
who`s at any type of communication with Aaron Alexis over the past few
days. That`s what we know about the gunman.
We should also know that according to the police chief here in
Washington DC, he died as a result of a gun fight. There was a gun battle
that led up to his death and the officers who shot him said that they were
fairly confident, had they not, he would have continued shooting. I want
to step out of the way here in Southeast DC and show you the scene right
now in front of the Navy Yard where all of this went down shortly before
8:30 this morning. There`s this --the same scene that we`ve seen over the
past few hours. You can see just a mob of folks in front of the Navy Yard.
What you`re seeing right now are folks who worked at that massive
facility, they left, they`re being questioned. The number of folks are
being questioned. We know that because we`ve talked to folks as they leave
that scene and they walk up here. So investigators are there. They`re
talking to people who saw something, who may have heard something, who may
have any sort of connection to this gunman. They`re talking to them before
they release them.
Right now, as I talk here, I think we can pan to my left here and show
you another scene here. We can pan to my left and show another scene
that`s are quite familiar buses.
Metro police buses, excuse me, metro -- PD Metro Buses, it`s DC Metro
buses loaded with folks who also worked at the Navy Yard. On these buses
as well Ed, FBI agents. We`ve seen probably at this point about 20 or so
buses packed with people. And again, what happens is, once they`re
debriefed there in front of the Navy Yard, they`re giving them free
transportation back home in and around the DC Metro area.
We`re expecting another news conference here some time after the top
of the -- some time after the top of the 6:00 hour. May be 6:30 -- maybe
as late as 6:30 as well, we`re told, the FBI now the lead agency handling
the investigation. The death toll, 13. We don`t know whether that`s a
number that is going to rise. The number of injured at this point. We`ve
heard numbers anywhere between 10 and 17. So, again those also numbers are
going to continue to fluctuate throughout the course of the evening. But
this is a part of DC, Southeast D.C. that`s on lock down as they continue
to search for that gentleman that you mentioned earlier. Black male, 5`10,
about 180 pounds, and he`s 30s or 40s. At last check, they said he was
wearing drab clothing.
SCHULZ: Craig, a number of questions I have here. Do we know how he
got in the facility? He used someone else`s identification card. Does --
Do -- Are authorities there telling us how we got a hold of that?
MELVIN: What you just said is about all we know definitively at this
point, that he used an ID badge that was not his own. I talked to someone
who worked in that same facility and I asked him, in fact, I asked him on
air (ph) about two to two and a half hour ago. Are there metal detectors?
How do you get into that field? He said, "Oh, no, no, they`re not metal
detectors here. There`s a card swipe system that you use to get into that
portion of the building." And he also did indicate that there are, you
know, this is massive facility that we`re talking about. There are parts
of the building that do require card access. There are parts of the
building that did not require card access as -- but again, that`s something
that over the next few hours, next few days, we should find out a little
bit more about precisely how it was that he got into the building.
SCHULTZ: And it`s been reported that some 3,000 people work in this
facility and some areas are more secured than others. Is that how you
MELVIN: Absolutely. 3,000 folks, some of them civilian contractors,
some of them active military, some of them reservist, some of them wear
military clothing everyday, some of them wear civilian clothes everyday,
some of them have weapons on their person throughout the course of the day
as a function of their job, some of them don`t. So this is not a facility
where I`m seeing someone walking around and military personnel would be
unusual, it`s not a facility where someone carrying a weapon would be
terribly unusual as well.
SCHULTZ: All right. Craig Melvin in Washington DC on the scene.
Thanks so much. And of course, to alert our viewers tonight, we will bring
you up to date and take any of live updates or briefings that unfold in
Washington DC I want to bring in Medal of Honor recipient and MSNBC,
Military Analyst Col. Jack Jacobs. Colonel, good to have you with us
COL. JACK JACOBS, US ARMY, RET.: Good evening.
SCHULTZ: You`ve been to this facility numerous times.
JACOBS: Yeah. I used to teach the National War College in Fort
McNair which is just down the street.
SCHULTZ: OK. What kind of security is expected at a facility like
JACOBS: Not as much as you may expect. But, it`s -- there is some
level of security that you have to get through for one thing you can`t
drive on the facility unless you have a sticker identifying -- have with
the registration number of that vehicle registered on post, and you have to
have a military or civilian contract or I.D ...
SCHULTZ: So, he may have just had a card and gone through showing his
card and he is in. So, he goes in with an AIR15, a double barrel shotgun,
I`m curious as to how that was concealed or was it already on campus.
JACOBS: Well, you`re trying to -- I`m trying to think of that also
that he would have to get it -- he`s not going to carry and then as a
result if he walked in, he had to pre-plan and put the weapons in there
before. But if he drove on the vehicle he was in had to have been
registered on post. Now, my guess is, they don`t pay very much attention
to either one of those things. They check to see if there`s a sticker on
it. They don`t check to see whether or not you`re actually the guy on the
JACOBS: . or the card matches up with the owner of the vehicle that
you`re in. Because if he brought a vehicle in there and have the weapons
in the trunk and did not have a car or did not have a sticker, they would
search the vehicle before he got on the base.
SCHULTZ: Now, it hasn`t been reported. But, are we to assume that
the Navy knows exactly who this guy is? I mean, if he spent two years in
the Reserves which is unusual and I want to ask you about that. Wouldn`t
they know who this guy is and know everything about him to be in the Navy
Reserves for just a little over two years and then was separated from the
Navy Reserves which is rather unusual what about that?
JACOBS: Yes. Well, they should know all about him. The initial
enlistment I think is three years not two.
SCHULTZ: So there`s -- we can assume that he may have been
JACOBS: Yes. Oh, yes. Well.
SCHULTZ: There -- Would there be a record of his behavior?
JACOBS: There would be a record of his discharge, of his behavior,
the reasons for his discharge, whatever wraps he did may have inside the
Navy in the Reserves.
SCHULTZ: But you can say unequivocally, it`s unusual that someone
would be in Navy Reserves for two years?
JACOBS: For only two years? Yes.
SCHULTZ: OK. His job -- His occupation was a Navy Aviation`s
Electricians Mate focused on electrical systems aboard aircraft. He was in
training. I mean I think that we could make the assumption that being a
mate, he didn`t go there with the skills, he was being -- developing these
skills and .
JACOBS: I think he was a petty officer, third class, which is a
fairly low ranking in position.
SCHULTZ: OK. To get in the facility, are there people on the
facility that carry firearms?
JACOBS: Yes, but they`re -- typically in a facility like that it`s
not like an Army post where there`s an infantry division or where there a
bunch of these marine brigade or something like that -- a marine regimen.
Most of these are office people. So the only people who are actually
carrying weapons are probably only carrying side arms and those are the
guards on the gates who may in fact the civilian contractors themselves and
the guards in the buildings that are high security. And they may also be
civilian contractors not military people. And they`re usually only
carrying sidearm. Just so you don`t -- at -- so like a 3,000 people
running around with weapons.
SCHULTZ: So on Naval facilities, all military installations in this
country, I would imagine a military from the top down is going to be
reviewing all their security.
JACOBS: Oh, you could say.
SCHULTZ: And this is going to change -- would you say that this is
going to change things on military installations in America?
JACOBS: Yes. And it probably already had. I remember after 9/11,
every military installation was first locked down and then they started
letting people in. They would inspect your vehicle top and bottom, check
to see if there was anything down there underneath. They check everything.
And then as time went on, they got more and more lax. And you can bet
they`re going to start all over again now once the horses up the line.
SCHULTZ: Is this a product of lax security?
JACOBS: Yes. It`s at least partially a product of lax security.
But, you know, this -- everybody`s involved in security says the same
thing. If you`re -- If you have the high level of security all the time,
you`ll eventually get tired of it and you will start relaxing. I`ve seen
it at every military post since 9/11. It waxes in wanes and when it wanes
this is when trouble happens.
SCHULTZ: OK. What do they do with this facility? What is the Naval
Sea Command Standard is?
JACOBS: They support all Naval activities, a float and also some that
are on shore worldwide. It`s a -- I think it`s a four star command, three
high ranking guy but did not -- having said all that, almost all these
people work in offices.
SCHULTZ: OK. Colonel Jack Jacobs, great to have you with us tonight.
Thanks so much.
We`ll have more on the developing story out of the nation`s Capitol
after this. You`re watching the Ed Show on MSNBC.
SCHULTZ: And we continue to cover the horrific shooting that took
place today in Washington, DC. Welcome back to the Ed Show. Earlier
today, alleged shooter Aaron Alexis opened fire inside the Washington DC
Naval Yard killing at least 13 and wounding many more. Police were able to
corner Alexis who was confirmed dead.
The rampage began just after 8:00 a.m. this morning as employees began
arriving to work. Many were still getting their breakfast in the cafeteria
of Building 197 where shots rang out on workers.
Here are just a few of the eyewitness accounts of the horrific
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This morning about 8:20. I was in the cafeteria,
had just paid for my breakfast. I was waiting for my friend to pay for her
when we heard the gunshots.
JIRUS: I was in that alley behind Building 197.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We all just looked at each other first and she
said, "Let`s stay here in the cafeteria," and I said, "No, I`m getting
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People are definitely scared and so was I so I
just pretend to go on.
JIRUS: Somebody was running through the hallways telling everybody to
get out of the building.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She just told us to run, run, run.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I started calling the supervisor. I started
calling co-workers to see if they`re OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s three gunshots, straight in the row,
pak, pak, pak.
JIRUS: There was an individual who came from the building behind us
someone in this building came up and was talking to me basically saying
that, "Hey, there is a shooter in your building".
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Three seconds later it was papapapak so it`s
like about a total of seven gunshots and we just started running.
JIRUS: And then I heard two more shots. One of them hit him. He
went down in front of me and then I took off from there.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a nightmare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The motive of the shooter is still unclear and information
about those wounded is still developing as they receive medical treatment
at medical facilities in Washington, DC.
Joining me now is NBC analyst and former FBI profiler, Clint van
Zandt. Clint, again another massive shooting but this one so different in
detail and the fact that it was someone with military experience of two
years in the reserves. Collecting information on this man should not be
that tough, should it?
CLINT VAN ZANDT, NBC ANALYST: No, there shouldn`t be a challenge, Ed.
We`ll be able to figure out who is, realize his military service was all in
the reserves. I heard somebody referred to this guy as a decorated
military veteran. He got basically two medals which I got and other people
will get in the military if you keep breathing for six months or a year you
So this is -- this guy has got a record, two or three years ago he got
arrested in Texas for firing of firearm in public, so there`s going to be
enough public information about him who, his roommate described as a mild-
mannered Buddhist who, you and I know was -- is a kind of a way of life
that would not be consistent with this level of violence whatsoever. So
there`s a lot to be learned yet.
SCHULTZ: What we are told tonight from Joe Shannon Jr., Criminal
District Attorney at Tarrant County, Texas, Aaron Alexis was arrested on
September 4th, 2010 by Forth Worth Police on accusations that he recklessly
discharged the firearm inside the limits of a municipality, a class A
It was determined that Alexis was cleaning a gun in his apartment when
it accidentally went off a bullet entered in apartment upstairs. No one
was injured after viewing the facts presented by the police department, it
was determined that elements constituting recklessness under Texas law were
not present and a case was not filed.
So definitely it`s -- some of the insight into his past, very unusual
that someone would be in Navy Reserves for just a couple of years. What
brings someone to this kind of action to possess several firearms and to go
into a workplace to take the lives of many and who knows how many he would
have taken had he had not been stopped?
VAN ZANDT: Well, what we don`t know yet, Ed, is does he have any raw
history where he heard him referred to as a contractor or told he wasn`t a
assigned to this facility for a long period of time and yet somehow he was
able to walk in, drive in, go over the wall, or just use another person`s
badge that he either found or stole to get a AR15, a double barrel shotgun,
and we`re told a semiautomatic pistol. Now, whether that was his or
whether he took it from one of the officers he shot, but he wound up with
three weapons, at least two long guns that he had in that building. And
how did he get that get in? Well, we`re told there`s no metal detectors.
Again, are you going to screen 3,000 people with a metal detector to
let a man on what appears to be relatively secure facility? Ed, just like
we thought Fort Hood was a relatively secure facility. And in this case,
just like that one, the wrong person has got a gun in their hand and
commits this terrible act of murder and mayhem.
SCHULTZ: Clint van Zandt, we have heard numerous accounts from eye
witnesses. Tell us about law enforcement entering an environment like this
in a very unusual situation on a military facility. What does that do?
Does it change anything procedurally for law enforcement?
VAN ZANDT: Well, it shouldn`t because these agencies Metropolitan
Police, FBI, the local security that is civilian security armed that is
assigned to that facility, they all probably trained in the past, Ed, on a
shooting situation and realized we learned that terrible lesson on
Columbine that if there`s an act of shooter inside of a building cranking
of rounds, you got to go for him. You can`t take your time, you can`t
close off the building, you can`t very methodically clear one floor at a
time. You got to get to the shooter, isolate him as quick as you can, stop
him from shooting, evacuate the building. Those are the terrible lessons
that we`ve learned and realized in the last two or three years in the
United States we`ve averaged almost one mass shooting every month in this
SCHULTZ: Workplace protection is now almost a science. In the wake
of situations like this I would assume that a lot of companies and
workplaces around the country revisit this and rethink their security
measures. Your thoughts on that?
VAN ZANDT: Well, I do this with a number of companies. I travel
around the country and I talk to them about workplace violence. And the
question always comes up Ed is if you and I were in that building, what do
you do if somebody comes in and starts shooting?
And basically you have at least three options. Number one, the best
option is to get out of that building as quick as you can. Go out of the
door, go out on the window. Tell other people to go with you but don`t
wait for them. Get out the building yourself. Number two is to honker
down in place. Close your door, lock it, put a piece of furniture in front
of it, turn off the lights, turn off the ringer on your cellphone, get
under a desk, and wait for law enforcement to come and get you. And, Ed,
number three is just those brave men and women on that plane in 9/11 that
went down on Pennsylvania. If you got no other choice, you look around,
you find what`s a weapon. And I realize, you know, bringing a knife to a
gunfight or bringing a lamp or anything else to a gunfight but if it`s your
life or these guys, you make a decision because your life, one way or the
other, is going to be based on that decision.
SCHULTZ: All right. Clint van Zandt, thank you for joining us on the
Ed Show tonight. Appreciate it so much. We`ll keep you up to that on the
latest news on the Washington, DC throughout the show. Stay tuned. We`ll
be right back.
SCHULTZ: And we`re following the latest on the deadly shooting at the
Navy Yard in Washington, DC. We`ll have an update from the scene and more
information as it comes in. Stay with us. You`re watching the Ed Show on
SCHULTZ: And welcome back to the Ed Show. We continue to cover the
horrific shooting that unfolded starting at 8:20 this morning of the Navy
Yard in Washington D. which has left 13 people dead and many injured.
Numerous reports and conflicting reports throughout the day from different
news agencies and we are nailing it down here on the Ed Show tonight.
And one comment that came at us at a press briefing, not long ago,
about an hour ago, officials at MedStar Washington Hospital Center held a
press conference to provide an update on the victims brought into that
facility today after the shooting. And Chief Medical doctor Janis
Orlowski, took a moment to reflect on this tragedy in today`s events.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANIS ORLOWSKI, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER: There`s something evil in our
society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate. I have to
say, I may see this everyday, I may, you know, be the Chief Medical Officer
for a very large trauma center but there is something wrong here when we
have these multiple shootings, these multiple entries. There`s something
The only thing that I can say is we have to work together to get rid
of it. I do like you to put my trauma center out of business. I really
would. I would like to not be an expert on gunshots and not to be an
expert on this -- we are, we do it well. Very experienced (ph) surgeons
quite frankly I`d rather they were -- during a surgery on other things and
it`s a great city, it`s a great country, and we have to work together to
get rid of this because we just cannot have no one more shooting with, you
know, so many people killed. We`ve got to figure this out. We`ve got to
be able to help each other.
We`re dealing right now with three innocent people, but my prayers or
my thoughts go out to those people who have died as a result of today and,
you know, their families and what they`re going to have to go through.
So I have to say, you know, it`s a challenge to all of us. Let`s get
rid of this. This is not America. This is not Washington DC. This is not
good. So we`ve got work to get rid of this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That was Dr. Janis Orlowski, who is the Medical Director at
that facility in Washington D.C.
Joining me now is EJ Dionne of the Washington Post and former
Congress, Congressman Thomas Perriello, who is now the President and CEO of
the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Gentlemen, thank you for
joining us tonight.
I want your reaction to this. My reaction to that is that, you know,
the folks who provide all the care under a tremendous duress. It takes a
toll on them as well and I thought that it was almost therapy for that
doctor to step up and to be able to say that in front of the microphones
tonight and whether our lawmakers are going to make any changes or not
remains to be seen but the fact is, it`s a workplace violence in this
country is going to be under a microscope and behavior of people with the
firearms is always going to be under a microscope. EJ, what did you make
of that doctor making that statement in the heat of all of it.
E.J. DIONNE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I say, God bless Dr. Orlowski, I mean
that -- I hope everybody in the country sees that. "Let`s get rid of
this," she said. And it`s just very strange when stuff like this happens.
We focus for a day, a week, sometimes longer after New Town. And then the
debate gets all ideological, and if you want to just do this small thing or
that`s small thing to make gun violence a little less likely. It becomes a
huge deal like you`re trying to fundamentally take away people`s rights.
The most fundamental right is the right to be safe and not to be
subject to this. And I have to say, Ed, that my sister was in the Navy and
then worked as a civilian for the Navy, and when her command was in
Building 197, and when she was in DC that`s where she would go. And so, I
have her reel (ph) there before the grace of God go, I`m feeling today for
all the folks who have suffered down there.
SCHULTZ: According to a study released in February, the United States
has had an average rate of one mass shooting per month since 2009. And,
Tom, considering the statement from the doctor of making a direct plea to
lawmakers and saying that we have to do this together.
We all know that after Sandy Hook, there have been no gun legislation
passed whatsoever, and I don`t anticipate anything will change after this
But what does it say about our society when we continually now have a
consistent statistic to put up monthly about on horrific event like this.
TOM PERRIELLO, FMR. CONGRESSMAN (D) VIRGINIA: Well, the statistics on
mass shootings are terrible. On average, 33 Americans are killed everyday
with gun violence. We know that the states that have loose gun laws, have
twice the gun violence rates of those with more strict laws. But we also
see that DC can`t do this alone because of what -- the laws in neighboring
states et cetera. And the vast majority of Americans think that keeping
dangerous guns out of the hands of the most dangerous people is something
that make sense.
I come from a family of pediatricians that see -- that have seen way
too many kids killed or injured by gun shots, whether, that`s mistakes
around the house, or through gun violence. So I think doctors speak to
this from a scientific perspective where they`re used to seeing a problem,
diagnosing it, and wanting to have a prescription, and getting very
frustrated with the political system that doesn`t act the same way. Sees a
problem, tries to come up with a prescription, and applies it, and I think
it`s time for our elected officials to do that.
SCHULTZ: That shooter is 33 -- 34-year-old, Aaron Alexis, who was
killed at the scene in a gun battle. He was released from the Navy
Reserves after two years which is unusual according to Col. Jack Jacobs who
was with us earlier tonight, and he was released because of misconduct
Now, I don`t know if that would`ve disqualified him to being a gun
owner in America or I`m not quite sure if a background check would`ve
changed anything that had unfolded today.
EJ, your thoughts on all of this. I`m sure the military knows a lot
about this person.
DIONNE: Yes, and I suspect we will learn a lot about him. And one of
the problems we have in the gun debate is we don`t know all the specifics
today, and I am sure there will be facts here where folks who don`t want
any sort of gun regulations, whether, it`s background checks or limits on
the big magazines might be able to take some of those facts, and say,
"Well, that particular law would not have prevented this shooting."
DIONNE: But that`s not the way to look at this. I thought the doctor
laid it out well which is we`re never going to make or create a perfect
society, we`re not going to get rid of all violence, alas human beings are
human beings. But we can take steps that make incidents like this a little
less likely, or maybe significantly less likely.
And so I hope that we look at this whole in the context of all the
other events, and say, "How do we follow that .
DIONNE: . doctor`s prescription?"
SCHULTZ: Well, and Tom, it would seem to me that there maybe some
lawmakers who would ask the question, "What is the military`s
responsibility to protect a facility of 3,000 people? I mean, how does a
guy with an AR15, a double barrel shotgun, and a handgun walk into a
facility and start taking the lives of people in the military not
protecting their facilities?"
I mean, I would suspect that there`s going to be some lawmakers that
are going to want to question that.
PERRIELLO: Well, sure. I think everyone`s asking that question, but
people also want to breathe and try to gather the facts on this. There`s
so much we don`t know about who this person is, or was, and what happened
in this case. And those are all appropriate questions to ask as EJ noted.
There are things that will .
SCHULTZ: What would seem to me at the facility that has been
described which is a heavy a part of Naval operations and oversight of
systems of Naval operations. This is pretty lack of security. Would you
admit to that, or not agree with me on that?
PERRIELLO: I just don`t know enough, Ed. I would want to know more
about how he accessed the facility, and what happened, and what access.
Certainly the facts you`re laying out there are compelling. How would
anyone get so heavily armed into this facility, but I .
PERRIELLO: . would want to know a lot more before I looked into that,
and I`m sure the Navy itself is asking those questions that has been all
SCHULTZ: You live in Washington, you`re on the Hill, you worked on
the Hill, you were in Congress, do you think this will move lawmakers now
that it happened in their backyard?
PERRIELLO: You know, I think we`ve already had so many tragedies in
this country that should have been enough to move folks. You saw that with
the mansion, too many legislation that had a very simple purpose which is
to close loopholes that allow criminals and others to obtain weapons.
This is a fairly simple issue. We`ve seen the winds on this change
across the country with people who consider themselves Democrats,
Independents, and Republicans, and yet that wasn`t enough to get it through
PERRIELLO: But unfortunately, the problem doesn`t go away. So I
think we`ll continue the conversation and both the cultural aspect and the
policy aspect of this, but we also have a lot of families that are grieving
today. We have a lot of first responders who remind us that as much as we
demonize government officials, these are folks risking their lives everyday
whether it`s the teacher in Georgia or the first responders today.
SCHULTZ: No question about it.
E.J Dionne, does this change the dynamic at all saying that it
happened in Washington?
DIONNE: I hope it does. I hope it has some effect. I agree totally
with Tom, you can`t jump to all kinds of judgments in our hearts today. It
should be first with the grieving families. But we`ve had this happened
over and over and over again, and I think what that doctor said resonates
in a way maybe might an -- even have resonated a couple of years ago after
New Town where I think that people who want a real conversation on steps
you actually can take that are practical here. They shouldn`t give up.
They`ve got to keep pushing. We cannot resign ourselves which we seem to
have done as a society to doing nothing after something like this happens .
DIONNE: . and I hope Congress really does take a good look at this
and say, "Maybe we should revisit these issues again, and maybe the result
can be different."
SCHULTZ: All right. E.J Dionne and Tom Perriello, great to have you
with us here on the Ed Show tonight, thank you so much.
You`re watching the Ed Show on MSNBC. We`ll have more coverage of
today`s deadly shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington DC right after this.
SCHULTZ: Welcome to the Ed Show. The DC Naval Yard shooting has
bumped a few other major news events of the day off the radar. United
Nations inspectors released findings which showed clear and convincing
evidence chemical weapons were used in Syria last month. The report
stopped short of assigning blame for the use of sarin.
Also the report comes on the Hill of an agreement with Secretary of
State John Kerry reached with Russian counterparts to remove all chemical
weapons out of Syria by mid-2014. President Obama addressed the agreement
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Now, in recent weeks much of our attentions been focused on
the events in Syria and the horrible use of chemical weapons on innocent
people including children and the need for a firm response from the
international community and over the weekend, we took an important step in
that direction towards moving Syria`s chemical weapons under international
controls so that they can be destroyed.
And we`re not there yet but if properly implemented, this agreement
could end the threat these weapons post not only to the Syrian people but
to the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And in other news, Bill de Blasio will be the Democratic
nominee for mayor of New York City. Candidate Bill Thompson conceded the
race this morning avoiding an October 1st run off election.
And finally, former Director of the National Economic Council Larry
Summers has removed his name from consideration as the next Chairman of the
Federal Reserve. Liberals and some Democrats in Congress had been
pressuring the White House not to nominate Summers due to his deep ties to
Next, we`ll have an update from Washington DC on today`s deadly
shooting that left 13 people dead at the Naval Yard in DC. Stay tuned,
we`ll be right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show, the shooting in Washington DC
today has captured the country attention. No question about it and it has
grown reaction from many on Capitol Hill including House Speaker John
Boehner who put out a statement today saying, "This has been a dark day,
and we know more of them lie ahead for the families of the victims. Hoping
that they find comfort and answers is at the top of our minds." President
Obama also addressed the shooting earlier today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We are confronting and yet another mass shooting. And today
it happened on the military installation in our nation`s capital. It`s a
shooting that targeted our military and civilian personnel and these are
men and women who were going to work doing their job protecting all of us.
They`re patriots, and they know the dangers of serving abroad but today
they face the unimaginable violence that they wouldn`t have expected here
SCHULTZ: For more, let`s bring in NBC news White House correspondent
Peter Alexander. Peter the latest from the White House tonight. Very
unusual day to day for the White House, I`m sure.
PETER ALEXANDER, NBC NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Ed that
certainly the case within the last five or so minutes. The President
ordered for the flags here at the White House to be lowered to half staff
where they will remain until this Friday at sunset and the image is so
striking when you consider that as the flags here now do fly at half staff.
This time it`s because of a mass shooting that took place within a
matter of miles from here. We have also heard from the President just a
short time ago. White House officials telling us the President did speak
earlier today with the Secretary, the Navy Ray Mabus expressing his
condolences as well as commending the bravery of so many of the Navy
personnel and the first responders involved in what took place and really
what is only three and a half miles away from where we are right now.
The President has been brief at over the course of this day by his
Homeland Security and counter terrorism adviser, Lisa Monaco, and he has
asked for those grieving to continue.
One of the note that I should let you know within the last five or so
minutes, we`re also hearing for the first time about this tragedy from the
former representative from Arizona Gabby Giffords and her husband Captain
Mark Kelly who are behind the organization Americans for Responsible
Solution. I just reached out to them and they have put out a statement a
matter of moments go. Remember Kelly is a former navy combat pilot as well
as NASA astronaut. The statement reads, and I`ll just read a brief part of
"As proud members of the Navy family we take note of the tragic fact
that this terrible attack on men and women who dedicate themselves to
keeping America safe did not occur in a war overseas, but in a mass
shooting here at home." Ed.
SCHULTZ: Peter, tomorrow is another work day. Is there any
conversation at the White House tonight about increase security of military
ALEXANDER: It`s a good question. There are certainly been shifts and
in terms of the way that the White House has gone about its events of this
day while they kept that economic speech on as planned earlier, the White
House has counsel better put postponed a Latin Music Festival Event that
was supposed to take place with stars like Gloria Estefan and Ricky Martin
coming here to the White House tonight. Obviously, it just didn`t fit with
the day, wouldn`t be appropriate and they have decided to postponed that
event in terms of security and military installations around the country.
We just wait for more word.
SCHULTZ: Obviously comforting the victim`s families as paramount in
the situation but again, there`s a quick conversation about where we go
from here when it comes to any kind of measures of security. Any of that
conversation about gun control in answering the question how does a guy
walk in to a facility like that with an AIR15, a double barrel shotgun, and
handgun and go unnoticed.
ALEXANDER: Well, the question remains. Does this change ultimately
where the decisions are made which is the votes on Capitol Hill. The White
House obviously would like to see that all changed, the circumstances
changed. Where they`ve borne (ph) witness too many times to mass shootings
where nothing was impacted as a result. The President with those remarks
said, "We will do everything we can to try to prevent them, but in many
ways the White House has done all that it can at this point."
SCHULTZ: OK. Peter Alexander at the White House. Thank you for your
time tonight, Peter.
Now, let`s bring back EJ Dionne of the Washington Post and former
Congressman Tom Perriello. Tom, what is the next move by lawmakers on
this? Tomorrow is another day, and it -- will this be brought forward you
think by some lawmakers that we have to go back to the same conversation we
had post Sandy Hook?
PERIELLO: Well, again, unfortunately we know of dozens even thousands
of incidents beyond this one and there are lawmakers committed to this. I
think you see activists around the country who stay quiet for a long time
saying that`s not acceptable, they are going to push for more votes, for
people to be on the record. If there`s one thing you learn in Congress,
it`s the best votes are the ones you don`t have to take. And I think those
who want our communities to be safe are sick and tired of those votes not
I`m someone who is supportive about the NRA but I believe in common
sense. This is just common sense stuff when you`re talking about close and
loopholes on background checks in particular. So obviously, we need more
about the specifics of this .
PERIELLO: . but I imagine it will continue to public debate but also
a time for gathering facts and for mourning.
SCHULTZ: We stated earlier in this broadcast the number of mass
shootings that have taken place in this country since 2009. EJ Dionne,
whether or not any lawmakers step forward to -- come forward with a new
proposal or not, this will be in the mix for 2014, will it not, this
DIONNE: I think it will and I do think you`re going to have people
like Senator Manchin coming forward again. You know, I was -- I`ve been
listening to the broadcast. We will have a rational and constructive
conversation about security at military facilities. We will have a
rational and constructive conversation about mental health issues and how
we can prevent terrible events like this. Why can`t we have a rational and
constructive conversation about firearms policy? We should be able to talk
about all these things together and not have this perverse kind of
political correctness that says, "If it`s guns, we can`t do anything."
SCHULTZ: Well, what about that, Tom?
PERIELLO: Well, I think for those on the other side of this debate
who`ve been saying we just need more weapons and more security, keep in
mind this was on a military base.
PERIELLO: And I think you see the weakness of those arguments. We do
need to have this serious conversation. We need to have it in communities
across the country. You talked about 2014. It would be interesting to see
whether this might even have implications in 2013 where you see some House
of delegate traces in Virginia as well as other things where this could be
a big issue in Northern Virginia.
SCHULTZ: How could this not be a political issue at any moment
because we`ve had so many mass shootings and, Tom, you`ve mentioned the
number of American lives that we lose everyday in this country to gun
violence. And of course another mass shooting would push forward the
conversation of what can we do. It`s a constant review in our country as
to what is happening to society and what can we do to correct it all. And
we have to come to the start reality that at this point, maybe nothing
DIONNE: I hope not. I hope people will listen to that doctor you put
on the show earlier. She was a great witness.
SCHULTZ: No doubt. EJ Dionne, Tom Perriello, great to have you on
the Ed Show tonight. Thank you for your time. And that is the Ed Show.
I`m Ed Schultz. Politics Nation with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right
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