Opponents gearing up for gun control fight
How best to prevent more acts of mass violence?
- Duration 13:06
- Date Jan 13, 2013
How best to prevent more acts of mass violence?
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Then in the wake of a new -- school shootings Washington is getting ready for a battle over how to prevent more acts of -- violence.
Joining me now are two people of the center of what is likely to be one of the first big political issues this year.
Larry Pratt executive director for gun -- -- of America.
And near Tampa and president of the Center for American Progress.
And welcome to both of you to Fox's son -- it.
-- Vice President Biden as we said is expected to send the president his plan to prevent more massacre is on Tuesday but I wanna put up some.
Some remarkable numbers that I saw this week take a law.
The NR -- contributed twenty million dollars to federal campaigns last year twenty million.
While gun control groups gave 4000.
Dollars and 50% of the members of the new progress in fact more than half.
Have an a rating from the NR right.
This -- given all of that how do you and other groups that feel as you do.
Hope to take on the gun lobby in practical terms how do you match their money.
And their clout on Capitol -- Well let the NRA spent a lot of money and the elections last -- and and they didn't have -- -- -- for -- if especially if you look at the -- so.
A lot of their candidates last day at a very aware if we're looking at return an investment they -- a very little return on investment but of course.
The NRA -- -- -- drying lobby I think the issue here is who's going to represent the voices of the American people in this debate we're talking about things that seem like common sense to the American people.
-- understand -- need to protect people's right to own a gun in their own home and protect themselves.
But there is something tragically wrong when there's mass slaughter so we have to solve this problem.
And -- better you can argue that -- let's say -- kind of campaign I mean there's talk about it.
Raising money big grassroots effort organizational.
Absolutely and I think the issue here really is bringing his voice event so.
That believe me that leadership of the president I expect the president had to play a strong leadership role.
That progressive organizations will be.
Working to work in the states -- sure that we have that voice and really have the American people and even gun owners to support these.
Proposals their voices at the table as well.
-- would I think we had a great the national wave of horror over the slaughter of those twenties small children and new town last month.
Do you see any sign that -- tendon and her allies can change.
The national conversation and get members of congress to pass the first top gun controls since 1994.
We don't think that there's much likelihood that the congress is going to move on making.
Gun control laws worse than they are in fact already there are a couple of bills that have been put in one by representative Steve Stockman outside of Houston.
That would remove the gun free zones that have been so much like a magnet to invite mass murderers.
In two zones where they know nobody else will be able to shoot back.
And that I think is where the debate is likely to shift they are we really better off when we say no defense is a good defense.
I want to put up -- now that gun control advocates have started running against.
Democratic senator new democratic senator Heidi -- camp of North Dakota after she is sad that some of the president's ideas about gun control.
Our extreme mister -- you -- that out there.
Will that work hand ms.
-- and and and now her allies and they have suggested that they can drive a wedge.
Between people like you between people like the head of -- -- heads of the NR right.
And some of their members who may not be as hard line -- you guys are.
On gun controls.
Well I think this senator from North Dakota is reflecting the views of the people that sent her to Washington.
So I don't think there's much room to drive anyways I think she's representing them rather faithfully and I think it's noteworthy that a Democrat.
Who would be under a lot of pressure within their caucus to.
Take a gun control.
Point of view is not having anything just -- That's not true -- I can't has said Nancy's what is heard from -- ball from both sides of this issue.
And she's now said that -- is open -- discussion of these issues and I think the challenge here.
For a millimeter -- an error and the leadership of the day and then -- meant to etc.
is that 74%.
Of an -- members over 80% and then owners.
-- had -- -- a challenge in the background check system they want an inclusive background check system.
They want to keep.
These -- out of the hands at people who are dangerous this is just common sense send mothers fathers parents in the United States.
We had to pull out this -- that over 75% of parents think we need to take much stronger action to strengthen our got a -- says.
I I think the issue here is really not.
You know one extreme vs another it's that -- middle rising at and saying.
You know what we can do something that afternoon town the -- -- that we do nothing.
Is -- tragedy.
Let's look at some of the ideas and he's been pretty open about them that Vice President Biden is adjusting and probably Wilson -- -- the president on Tuesday.
New limits on assault weapons new limits on high capacity magazines that hold.
Thirty rounds maybe even a hundred rounds universal background tracks and a crack down on gun trafficking.
This Tenet which of those that I specifically mention -- do you think would do the most good in terms of solving the problem and which of those do you think is most likely to get through congress.
Well the universal background checks is really important -- now 40% of guns and sold in the United States don't have any check system that's.
That's more than Swiss cheese it's full of home -- you know say we really need to address.
That challenge I think that and then -- are areas where again and gun and errors support -- conference of gun and and check system.
So I think that's an area where hopefully there can be some bipartisan support some of these issues are going to be -- But I think once the president engages in a conversation and the American people he has shown time and time again that when the American people getting -- that's how you change Washington.
Well this -- let's pick up on that it EU and the NR IAA and other gun rights groups say the problem isn't the weapon.
As the person who is firing the weapon so let's talk about universal background checks because I was surprised to find out as in this -- and suggest.
That -- 40%.
Of the sales there is no such -- on the person buying the gone.
What's wrong with universal background checks.
Well I think it's a full security to think that somehow we're going to spot.
Problems when there's really no way to spot these problems some of the most horrendous of the mass murders that have occurred recently.
Including the one in new town would not have been stopped by a background check the gun is stolen.
The person has no prior criminal record.
And so to assume that this is going to be our.
Firewall against -- as a murder I don't think anybody saying it's a firewall but what's wrong with the idea if you're gonna get a gun -- you buy it from our registered dealer or whether you buy at a private sale.
That you'd have to go through some background check.
Just in case I find out whether somebody's got one or whether somebody it has a -- health problem we're wasting our time and going in that direction we should be talking about.
Doing away with a gun for reasons which have been so.
Convenience such a magnet to those who would come and slaughter lots of people.
Knowing that there's nobody that's going to be legally able to defend themselves in these zones.
That's where we're really making our -- -- inevitably -- pick up on that this tandem because.
Even Barbara Boxer and I say even -- is a very liberal pro gun control senator from California even she is talking about.
Fifty million dollars for federal funding of putting more police more armed security in schools.
Let go we've had situations where people are armed we've had situations when.
Colonize other places where there armed guards and hasn't protected -- -- and that is saying here's the issue that they.
Aren't you doing the same thing that mr.
-- quickly let me -- -- Mr.
practice that well it would have helped in this case maybe it -- -- -- and column bond but you might help and.
And where you're absolutely right so I'm willing to consider those actions and I -- that Larry Pratt as the Higgins there.
Having -- simple thing that police officers line.
Lag it -- -- live for us aren't as a background check system set.
I think the challenge of the -- Hutchison -- -- absolutely wrong that this hasn't mattered and it wouldn't matter -- -- look at the Virginia Tech shooting.
That is because it a faulty background check system that that person wasn't cut he -- that he should not have had again.
Because the -- of you know it's people would be protected today people would be alive today if we had these kinds of things in place.
Joseph Biden has indicated that in addition to this legislative action that he's gonna suggest to the president.
That the president could also take executive action but not on the big things not on things like banning guns -- universal back project what kinds of things do you believe the president can do.
On an executive action basis unilateral basis that could make a difference.
Well he can just start by ensuring that the federal government.
People within the federal government turn over their records also into the -- in -- -- so.
You know the Defense Department needs to do that others mainly seems that -- relationship more information sharing within that Iraq.
I will probably back kind of executive action.
Again I think we're -- we're just avoiding the reality that we have been moving in the direction that somehow self defense is.
Not valid that we can somehow protect ourselves by this.
-- background check idea and and in fact.
Background checks would have stopped -- from most of the last of these.
Mass murders that have occurred.
The gun gets stolen the person has no background that would have popped up.
-- so we've got to face the reality that we've got to empower average people including teachers and other people in schools to be able defend them -- Well I wanna get into one last issue that is a bigger issue this practice say one of -- that -- the basic problem here.
Is that president Obama's disdain for the constitutional right to bear arms and in fact you have compared him.
To George the third the British monarch during the American revolution he learned from his example yes but win.
This the Supreme Court.
Ruled on the Second Amendment in the 2008 case the Heller case here in DC I wanna put up what Justice Scalia -- let's put it up on the -- There seems did us no doubt on the basis of text an immediate history that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to bear arms.
Of course the right was not on limit it in fact in his decision Scalia talked about restrictions on what kinds of goals that heavy guns can be sold who can.
Biden and where they can be carried -- a -- yes sees that there's a Second Amendment individual right but he didn't say it's without limits.
Well that was unfortunate because the amendment does provided some degree of scrutiny it -- shall it be infringed.
And we know that at least one justice mr.
Takes that point of view and this is not something where the government is supposed to be free to tell we the people the government's boss.
How much how far we can go.
With the Second Amendment the Second Amendment is there to constrain the governor -- you think that's Scalia was wrong when he said that that Wright is not on lament.
He was not speaking it from a constitutional perspective and and -- understand and.
Part of pardon that was a Supreme Court just what you disagree with Supreme Court justices all the time.
I I do but Adams sobriety and that means he's disagreement does is currently and that -- Internet.
It let me ask you know -- you talked at the very beginning about presidential leadership and you work in the Obama White House for years so this president has to deal with the debt ceiling and -- he wants did.
Pass major immigration reform unless it is something about climate change.
Have they told -- as he told you how much political capital he is willing to spend -- what's going to be a very tough.
Yeah I think that the president has demonstrated tremendous leadership on this if you I think in bed.
That country rallied around him and his leadership after -- -- because he really was a voice for those parents who last attracted national -- on the hunt and I heat from his actions that we hear from the White House and -- we hear from the vice president.
-- that they're going to they're going that lay down political capital on the -- and I think the one thing I would say that is people.
But Larry and others -- say we can't do anything about these issues as that.
Whether it's comes from the background checks or are dealing with high capacity magazines which is.
Was issue any chance we can take action and to say that we should do nothing really doesn't respond to those parents and you tan last children and that's horrible tragic.
And this candidate mr.
-- we want to thank you -- so much for coming in today and we will stay on top.
Of what is likely to be one of the first tough contentious issues in this new congress thank you both -- mine rescue crews are back.