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All in less than a half hour President Obama is expected to -- -- the White House for Connecticut.
He will get a speech and gun control as we hear the senate may still not have the votes to pass the bill the president wants you will appear about an hour's drive.
From Newtown Connecticut the site of the sandy hook school shooting in December.
And when the president heads back to Washington some new town families we are told will be with him on Air Force One.
Many of these families have been outspoken in their calls for a nationwide ban on the kind of weapons used in the -- new -- massacre.
David Wheeler who lost his own six year old son Ben in an emotional appeal on sixty minutes last night.
We have an obligation to our children to do this for them.
It's going to happen again it is going to happen again and every time you know it's somebody else -- school it's somebody else's town it's somebody else's community until one day.
You wake up.
And it's not.
A while united in their grief the new -- families are not unanimous when it comes to the push for new gun control laws.
-- -- yelling whose son James would have turned seven last month believes more gun laws are not the answer.
And he says the focus needs to be on something else.
Are ready Ellie is here with me now live in the studio mark thank you so much for being here thank you.
In watching those families less than sixty minutes it was incredible to see their strengths and their ability to even dysfunction.
In this world for months after their children were so suddenly and terribly killed.
Let's just start with that how or how are you managing to function in this world right now.
Jeff has stated.
-- -- -- You know each week that goes by.
Not as -- is here.
I am compelled to participate in this debate because I'm not hearing a voice that's.
Agreeing with me I believe there are tens of millions of people out there who agree that gun control -- -- in the solution.
Perhaps it's a way to avoid some of the sadness to participate in the debate -- -- know -- And and you are right because so many of the -- -- families have joined in the push for gun control.
And certainly you respect them in their opinions and their beliefs about what needs to happen out of this tragedy.
You do feel get very differently why why do you feel that gun control and the that the push for it would anyone of these bills we're seeing right now.
Is not the way to go.
Well you know perhaps he views -- you've heard the term before but I feel it's a false premise gun control works for people who abide by the laws.
Criminals who conduct most of the gun crime don't care about the law they won't.
Look up the Connecticut -- to see how many guns how many bullets have to be in the magazine but they're supposed to register with the state police at some.
Point in the future once they come up with.
Blueprint for how to administer that.
And and yet some of the parents made the point to sixty minutes that still they could be.
Slow down the law could slow.
Future killers down by limiting the magazine clips available to them.
And perhaps that could have made a difference in new town talking about.
You know how he had to re load and how eleven kids managed to escape the classroom when the killer there.
We loaded and why wouldn't we limit magazines on the federal level.
In the wake of that knowledge right so again false premise -- That they're not talking about confiscating those magazines so magazines are out there if we're starting at.
Point and there were no guns and no magazines find perhaps we could talk about that but there are millions tens of millions of these out there.
And criminals aren't going to hand them back from so why should I be -- -- in protecting myself.
When someone is could come to my home.
And -- me should I feel safer because New York criminals will only be -- seven bullets in their fifteen round magazine I don't think so.
What do you believe he's lawmakers need to be focused on well you know the lawmakers they write laws and you know after hammer.
Every problem looks like -- -- that's what they do I didn't have much.
Optimism about what they were gonna bring through after what they did with the Cheshire home invasion only did those.
Repeal the death penalty is no accountability for your actions.
I believe accountability.
Enforcement of existing laws to you I've talked to the US attorney -- -- -- for Connecticut and he you know I said.
Increased mandatory minimum sentences on gun related crime.
That does it you don't need a new law what you need to enforce the laws that you have.
I know you've spoken among other topics about.
Parental responsibility and how important that is and I want to ask you specifically.
-- is is that a reference to Nancy Lanza and do you hold her responsible accountable in any way for this crime.
You know it's been four months and for -- that time I've been quite charitable toward her have and I didn't give how does the why and and how much you know we all knew the who what when and where.
I do hold her accountable -- massive failure in parenting.
And and and things could have gone so much better if if she.
Had been held responsible parent and I think.
In light of this tragedy there's so much that can be shared about parenting I'm learning more and I I think.
That should be spread across the country just focus on your kids there's no more important job.
Nurturing loving being present and positive force in their lives and the mental health system.
Which you feel has been all but ignored in the wake of -- right there's so much that it -- they're missing the boat here and I fear that the political forces are focused and gun control and major failing and mental health initiative so in Connecticut the governor's.
Talking about we need mental health they're proposing this task force and yet he's slashing the budget.
Hospitals by 550 million dollars so they're they're the ones who treat mental illness they diagnose -- they treated how are they supposed to do that.
When these dollars are taken out of their system -- it's makes no sense.
Many of the new -- families seem to suggest that.
Days and will be heard and seem to be implying that if this if this doesn't get done at the federal level.
It will be an affront to the new -- families and they will continue to push for it.
I mean if if you could speak to these lawmakers directly who -- -- a look at this federal bill this week what would you say.
Two things really wanted to be I -- in this situation have a seat at the table I've been in the room and they are approaching -- in a very incremental way they will take what they can get and take and take and take and so I would caution legislators.
Be wary of that second I feel like in Connecticut when you watched the hearings.
Legislative session there.
In this group think is taking place they're suspending reason and critical analysis.
When those are what we need for of these legislators to make.
Reasoned decisions about the Second Amendment and other you know things that affect our liberties here that.
It's just it's unbelievable.
It's very hard when you look at these grieving parents including yourself.
Who are asking you to do something.
-- not do it you know it I think most of us are instinct is anything anybody can do to ease your grief or their grief and anyway -- in favor of but there is a split on on what that outcome should be I want to take you back if I can just briefly.
To December 14.
Of last year some of the the parents speaking to Scott tally of sixty minutes talked about that day.
Which we cover here in America -- it was happening and talked about how.
They were looking for their kids they were searching for their kids and I haven't heard you discuss that but I I just want the viewers to hear what some of the parents had to say and and get your reaction here willing -- him.
And then I got a text from -- I have Isiah.
I don't have -- -- So I was chatting with my friend back this and -- -- and I just kept texting doing every ten or fifteen seconds.
On the question mark and then on the X.
The mission point because we haven't -- I didn't understand why we -- -- I just kept looking thinking when I can see -- When I can see the soda or when -- -- what am I missing any of the kids from his classroom.
Then everything's just going home -- -- You just don't know what East -- to do.
-- who'd you talk to because no one had all -- information.
And then them.
And just started to be fewer and fewer parents and kids in the room and then they asked everyone who was left to come.
It's one of the back rooms.
And -- American attendance and I don't wanna don't have that's true.
I -- -- and in -- fruit because I know what the bathroom man.
In my heart as a mother I know with the fact -- -- -- Did you go -- that background.
What happened back and mark.
-- -- similarly have arrived I was able to find my daughter and it's called mayhem and others.
People all over the place trying to find their kids and teachers trying to keep the kids come in the background.
That was sort of okay.
They've already found the parents for the kids here and there.
Let's go put your name on the list -- Wait and see what comes it was a very surreal.
There are moments from that experience burned in my brain.
-- people's faces in the room and and so forth.
Not much more I can say about.
In the days after that I know you've done a lot of self examination about.
How what is your.
Global responsibility now -- how do you make.
Your life matter your son's life matter how do you make this world.
A better place you know there this is this is the enormity of this loss is just starting to reveal itself.
And Easter -- time.
Trip to the dentist.
-- I had a plan.
For how to make this -- better.
And so the big part apple.
-- -- -- Mark thank you so much for being here.
All the gets to you and your beautiful little boy.
We'll be right back.
-- still recovering here in the studio from that emotional interview with that beautiful man.
That I want to tell our viewers we we agree with mark manually that he would come on he told us he come on about six weeks ago but he wanted to wait for a significant.
News -- news events and and the president's final push for gun control.
He and we believed.
Met that criterion.
Also want to mention the website that that mark wanted to promote which is my sandy hook family fund dot com.
And that -- -- -- go to help not just -- family but all of the Newtown Connecticut families while they are divided.
On the issue of gun control they are united.
In their grief and could certainly use your help.
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