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And hello again from Fox News in Washington.
President Obama travels to Minneapolis tomorrow to continue his push for new gun control.
And Saturday the White House released this picture of the president's speech shooting at Camp David.
Which he says he does all the time.
Meanwhile the National Rifle Association is fighting any new limits on -- It's the first big legislative battle this year and today we will cover -- in depth.
We'll talk with Wayne Lapierre head of the NR -- in a moment.
But first mark Allen retired astronaut and navy captain.
And a husband a former congresswoman Gabby Giffords who was shot two years ago he and his wife have now launched a new group.
Americans for responsible solutions.
Captain let's start when your wife's dramatic testimony before a senate committee this way.
Be -- Be courageous.
-- county on the U.
How is -- do.
She's doing great Chris -- you know she enjoyed being there in front of the senate.
It was a little bit of her having her former.
Job back in in in a sense being on Capitol Hill.
Let's get it did to this debate here because your wife's shooting raises some of the -- -- questions at the core of the gun control controversy.
Had been suspended from college because of concerns that he.
Posed a danger to others and yet he was able to go to a store in Tucson.
Pass a background shack and buy the gun he used to shoot your wife so the question is what good does it make.
Does -- do to make more people go through these background checks when Loughner with his problems was able to pass a background -- Well that's a good question Chris he was clearly mentally ill the school knew it.
His parents knew it he was expelled from pima community college because of his mental illness.
If if his condition.
Was entered into the system into the criminal background check system.
And he went to do that background check I would assume that.
He would have been rejected.
In the case of Jared Loughner if Arizona would have entered a 121000.
Records that they had not entered into the system if his record was one of those.
-- he probably would have been rejected as.
Just like it since 19991.
Point seven million criminals and the mentally ill have been rejected when trying to -- -- weapon.
Now the thing -- The other point we need to make is there's a gun show loop all.
So in the case of the rejection from that at the gun store.
He could have easily gone to a gun -- or private seller in -- gun so this is you know this is a a problem but we can solve it.
Let me let me ask you about another part of the issue of the debate.
Loughner shot your wife and all the others at that shopping center -- morning.
-- A gun with a a magazine that held 33 rounds.
There were a limit on the number of rounds the president wants it to be ten rounds what difference loaded at night.
Well I think you would have made a big difference.
As he tried to re load 133 round magazine for another 33 magazine round magazine.
He dropped the magazine and that gave time for a woman named Patricia -- to grab it and it gave time for a couple people to restrain him.
If let's say for a second that that was a ten round magazine and the same thing it happened.
You would have had a lot less people shop a lot less people murdered even at nine year old Christina Taylor green was born on 9/11.
-- did not live to see her tenth birthday.
She likely would be alive today because she was shot with a bullet after round number thirteen.
As you know captain.
Wayne Lapierre is -- to be on -- the next segment and I want to deal with some of the arguments that that he makes he says.
We have an assault weapons ban for ten year is it didn't work.
Well I mean I don't know -- if it worked or not.
I mean I haven't looked.
At all the statistics.
Common sense tells me.
That -- it is much more difficult.
For criminals and the mentally ill to get assault weapons and high capacity magazines and guns in general.
That we will save lives.
I served in the military for 25 years I mean I know the value of having -- -- an assault weapon a gun that can kill many people many quickly.
I personally don't believe that we should have.
You know that the average person on the street including criminals mentally ill and terrorists should have easy access to those weapons.
In cases of mass shootings when an assault weapon has been used we know.
That typically twice as many people are shot and that means more people -- And are severely injured.
All right the NRA says there are already.
Federal gun laws on the books the problem is the government doesn't enforce them.
Yeah I agree with mr.
Lapierre you know on that point there are a lot of gun laws on the books that aren't enforced in -- specifically with regards -- background checks.
I mean there have been a one point seven million people that failed the criminal background checks since 1999.
And not enough of them are prosecuted they should be prosecuted and there should be stiff penalties.
But at the same time.
We can't give those people a second option as to where to go get it done.
And right now that's the gun show or the private seller if we were to close those loopholes.
It would be much more difficult for criminals and the mentally -- to get a gun.
You know Gabby and I know this is going to be a hard problem to solve.
Mean she was somebody in congress to work for her cup Republicans and worked across the -- and that's what we're gonna need to do here today.
You know these are difficult problems.
But in the United States America we solve difficult problems mean we set men into the -- We built an International Space Station we cure diseases we can fix this.
The basic question the basic argument the -- -- makes as they say and the Supreme Court has upheld that there is a constitutional.
To bear arms and they say government doesn't have the right to say what kind of -- how big a magazine.
According to the NRA that's -- and it.
Well I don't agree you know I do agree.
That every American has the right to own -- -- to protect himself to protective Stanley to protect his property.
Gabby and I -- both gun owners I don't think you'll find a person that's.
A stronger supporter of the Second Amendment that -- you know I defended the Second Amendment vote with my life over Iraq and Kuwait.
You know it but this isn't about the Second Amendment anymore this is about public safety.
We had 21.
Graders die in their classrooms.
Because we don't have sufficient gun violence legislation in this country.
We ban automatic weapons.
You know I would argue that the that the semiautomatic assault weapon with a high capacity magazine is just too dangerous to be on the street.
-- criminals terrorists and the mentally ill can easily get them.
Let's -- some political reality here because as we mentioned you and your wife for starting a political -- -- president obviously is making a push Mayor Bloomberg and a number of other mayors are making a -- let's talk political.
Reality I don't have to tell you the NR right.
As a lot of clout.
On Capitol Hill in the last elections cycle.
They contributed twenty million dollars to federal campaigns just last year 50% of the members of the new congress have an eight rating.
From the and our right realistically.
Why do you think you can actually get through congress this year.
Well certainly -- sitting in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
He knocks on both sides of the -- that.
Members of the senate of that committee really feel that we need to do something.
Now sometimes you know it wasn't clear that everybody agrees on exactly what needs to be done but I certainly saw.
That -- there there are there is certainly a feeling.
That a criminal background check is a necessity to keep criminals the mentally ill and terrorists from getting weapons.
And I think that's that's very possible to get that done I mean Gabby and -- are gonna work.
You know it's hard as we can to do whatever we can to get common sense solutions I think the first thing.
I mean along with some some.
You know help for the mentally ill and addressing this mental illness problem is a universal criminal background -- Well I want to ask you because you did not mention the assault weapons then -- Vice President Biden said something.
Quite interest in this like I wanna put it up on the screenings and I'm much less concerned quite frankly about what you call an assault weapon.
But I am about magazines in the number of rounds that can be held in a magazine.
Has your side already given up on the idea I did not what do you think it's right or wrong but whether it.
Politically practical realistic have you given up on the idea of banning assault weapons this here.
Well first at all first of all -- and I don't have a side.
I mean our organization.
Is that supports gun owners responsible gun owners like -- -- people that are strong supporters of the Second Amendment.
I mean I think that is really a priority here but another priority is to protect Americans.
And there are some common sense things we can do to.
To -- to make this country a lot safer a universal criminal background check identifying the -- -- and getting those records into the system.
The high capacity magazine issue needs to be addressed it saves lives and assault weapons I mean it -- Look like I said Chris I mean I spent 25 years in the military I know the value of having an assault weapons and it's to kill a lot of people very quickly.
And I think they're way too readily available.
And I think in time we will be able -- address those issues.
And finally we have less than a minute left -- as you know Wayne Lapierre.
Is going to be on right after the break in the next segment man -- man.
What do you want to say to him.
Well -- -- certainly he's gonna say that background checks don't work.
But that is not true I mean he's gonna tell you that a couple minutes since 19991.
Point seven million people.
Were prevented from getting a firearm because they had a criminal record or history of mental illness we stop those people from getting -- -- Now we've got to make sure they don't have a second option to get the gun and that's getting a gun from a private seller of the gun show loop -- With out.
Having a background check we need to close that loophole so I hope mr.
-- can couldn't think about what what his members want you know 74%.
NRA members think it is a very reasonable thing to do.
To have a background check before buying a gun so what I would tell mr.
-- -- is you know I I hope we would listen to his membership.
Because the members of the NRA tend to be very reasonable on this issue.
-- -- -- Thank you thank you for joining us and we wish you and your wife the very best there.
You're very welcome Chris thanks for having me on -- show.
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