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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  January 9, 2016 12:30am-1:01am EST

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way, we're ready to make sure what happens is done in the right way. >> so that the poor and working class can continue to call the neighborhood home. kristin saloomey, al jazeera, the bronx. >> quick reminder, you can always get up to date with all the latest news at our website, >> on "america tonight": behind the scenes of the national gun debate. >> we can create reasonable legislation to accomplish both objectives here. reduce crimes of violence while still not eroding the second amendment. >> a police chief advising the president speaks exclusively with "america tonight." good evening and thanks for being
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it may seem like consensus on this issue is nearly impossible but one man is working to change that. in this "america tonight" exclusive, the police chief advising president obama takes us behind the scenes. >> hold on, wane gets paid to sell guns, jim johnson gets paid to protect. what was that like? >> very, very challenging. >> jim johnson not only takes on the national rifle association, he oversees the 18th largest police department in north america, baltimore county in maryland. >> you advised the president on this issue? >> i've had the opportunity to sit with the president several times along with the vice president. >> johnson was a key advisor to
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president obama, during white house meetings. on how to tackle gun violence and change gun laws. >> take me behind the scenes if you would a little bit. prior to the president's announcement, earlier this week, what involvement did you have and other law enforcement officials? >> for years we've been meeting with federal administration, looking at reasonable legislation that could be passed to help address this issue. adam i'm the hunter. i'm a target shooter. i only several weapons and i certainly am a champion and believe strongly in the second amendment. but i do think, as many do, that we can create reasonable legislation to accomplish both objectives here. reduce crimes of violence while still not eroding the second amendment. >> johnson chairs the national law enforcement partnership to
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prevent gun violence, speaking on behalf of ten of the largest police organization he from across america. >> does this large group have a position on gun safety laws in this country. >> we have stayed the course through many, many years. demanding a national background check for all gun sales. we know that across america, nearly 40% of all guns are bought, sold, traded, through gun shows, internet sales which have grown dramatically. >> how does that affect public safety? >> the gun that was used to kill one of my police officers within the last two years was acquired without going through a background check. >> johnson was on the phone with administration officials just hours before the president issued his executive order. expanding background checks, increasing the number of federal agents who investigate and trace gun crimes. and calling on congress to increase funding for mental
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health. chief johnson was also in the room at the white house when the president was overcome by emotion, recalling incidents of gun violence. >> every time i think about those kids it gets me mad. and by the way, it happens on the streets of chicago every day. >> i think passion is real. he's the one that goes to these communities after tragedy, and lifns listens carefully day after day, ponders and considers and debates the different opinions on this topic. >> what's your reaction to how people have expressed their outrage over the president's actions? >> i've heard at the dinner table sunday, i've lost some friends over this topic. guys won't talk to me anymore. my own son. so it creates a very energetic debate. >> according to a new poll from cnn most americans support the president's actions but
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one-third are in opposition. annette wachter is one of them. a competitive shooter from seattle, washington she believes expanding background checks is a slippery slope. in 2014, voters in that state overwhelmingly approved a referendum closing the so-called gun show and internet loophole. >> this was the first step of other forms of gun control. now that this has passed they are starting to write bills for storage -- gun storage, for magazine capacity, semi auto ban altogether. >> hayes is a gun show operator in montana. he's been fighting efforts to expand background checks there. believing the government already has the tools to stop gun violence. >> enforce the laws they've got in america between the federal government and states, there's already 20,000 gun laws on the books. >> what do you say to the
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argument though that you need to get a license to drive a car? why not get a license to -- >> you don't need a license to drive a car, to drive a car on a public road that's one thing. that's what our society says. but cars are not a part of the bill of rights. firearms are the second amendment of the united states constitution. our forefathers, a mere 250 years ago, realized our freedom was no better than our ability to protect our freedom and sometimes you have to protect yourself from your own government. >> many foaps folk folks think e gun-grab. what's the next step? you have to assure them that there's no intent to good out and seize all the handguns from lawful owners of these weapons. i think many think, though, that this is just a first step. >> this is where we examine
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firearms. and rounds recovered from crime scenes. >> johnson says the problem of illegally obtained guns is very real. this lab is full of guns. purchased without a background check. which were used in crime. and this is another room inside baltimore county police headquarters. it's full of weapons that have been seized and many of the guns were used to end a life. and this is just one county in one state in america. >> you hear their stories. you talk and you hold the hand of a wheelchair-bound young woman who was shot and seriously injured who is now confined to a wheelchair the rest of her life. and you begin to understand how the gun was acquired, what could have been done to stop it? what measures could be taken that are reasonable but again, don't infringe upon the second amendment.
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so i think we've got it right. again, i believe the american public has it right. >> you believe the momentum is swinging in the direction now? >> i do, i do. in fact no matter who acquires the president's role as we go into the future i think they'll come to realize that this was the will of the american public and this will, in fact, help save lives in the united states. >> up next: gun shows and loopholes. "america tonight's" christof putzel on just how easy it is to purchase weapons in texas with no questions asked. and later, a mother's pain and her fight to keep the peace on the violent streets of chicago . and hot on "america tonight's" website now, what we have learned after 500 cop cushions and three years of college football? explore more at
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>> at 9:30 - "america tonight" - top investigative reporting, uncovering new perspectives. >> everything that's happening here is illegal. >> then at 10:00 - it's "reports from around the world". >> let's take a closer look. >> antonio mora gives you a global view. >> this is a human rights crisis. >> and at 11:00 - "news wrap-up". clear... concise... complete.
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and welcome back. president obama announced this week that he plans to use executive action to close the so-called gun show loopholes. this is a move that once again has sparked a huge debate on gun control. these loopholes currently allow gun dealers to sell guns without background checks. "america tonight's" christof putzel takes us inside a texas gun show to expose just how easy
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it is to buy a gun. >> reporter: the gun shows have a strict no-filming policy so rick and i were outfitted with hidden cameras. the licensed dealers at the gun show are required by law to conduct background checks before selling guns and most of them to. but the law allows unlicenses individuals to sell assault weapons from private collections right alongside the licensed dealers. these unlicensed individuals are not required to run a background check or fill out any paperwork. >> no tax no title no license. >> no need for any documentation or anything like that? >> with him you do with me you don't. i'm a private individual. >> you guys don't do a background check? >> tbriefprivate sales. >> after we told him that we probably would not pass a background check, the private
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seller sold rick two ar-15 assault rifles. over the course of the next 30 minutes, rick purchased one high powered assault rifle after another without being asked for i.d. or filling out any paperwork that would allow the guns to be traced back to him. as we were preparing to leave the gun show we were approached by two men speaking spanish and driving a car with mexican license plates. >> what are you doing? seen a 7.16. >> for sale? >> the men offered to buy all of our guns on the so the with cash. >> perfect, no dialect, spanish or mexican. >> back at his house rick unloaded the weapons he bought at the gun show. enough fire power to arm a small gang. >> 7.16, all of the native
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soldiers use them. another bushmaster. with scope. looks like it's pretty much unused. real popular with drug runners in mexico. these are the types of weapons that they see and 40 minutes would be stretching it. you know, really, the time that it took to go in there and purchase these weapons probably totaled about 30 minutes. >> and it was all perfectly legal. >> it was all perfectly legal. >> why did you want to show me all of this? >> truthfully what i want to do is i want to wake america up. i want to wake america up to the fact that people are dying and whether in mexico, needlessly, i want to show them some compassion. we can't stand by and let 45, 50,000 people get killed, 75, 25, 30 people at one time just because we don't want to close off our gun laws. >> joining us tonight is
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"america tonight's" christof putzel with this eye opening report. you hear from gun supporters that the gun show loophole doesn't exist or kind of a red herring and doesn't exist. i can't believe what you walked out with. >> it does exist. we walked out with seven high powered rifles, we weren't asked for i.d., we didn't fill out tonight paperwork. for someone to say it doesn't exist, that's proof that it exists. what the question is, is this actually going to make any difference whatsoever with what obama is trying to take place. >> you're talking about president obama's new executive order. will that stop these types of purchases if someone wanted to buy these types of weapons? >> not really. all it's really going to do is, more narrow the loophole than really close it. because he can't really enforce closing it completely without congress. and so what's going to happen is he's just putting in more stricter rules to make sure that
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people abide by the law that's already there. so somebody who is licensed as a licensed dealer does this for profit will really have to make sure they are really following rules. they're not going and saying, this is from my private collection, you can buy this without filling out paperwork. there are stricter penalties for that. that's what you saw is still going to be able to take place. >> do you believe that is actually taking place? are there people unlike you who can walk into these gun shows and walk away with these weapons today, tomorrow? >> absolutely. i mean you can walk right in and you can see the things you can buy. a lot of things are there wanting to get a small handgun or something like that but you saw in 30 minutes i could walk out with what essentially is a smart arsenal. it exists, it happens and unfortunately even with this new executive order it's probably going to continue happening. >> all right, "america tonight's" christof putzel, thanks. coming up, the place
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they call chiraq. a mother praying, her son will not be the next victim of gun
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>> our american story is written everyday. it's not always pretty, but it's real... and we show you like no-one else can. this is our american story. this is america tonight.
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>> sex, violence and disease. it's the seedy underbelly of the united nations effort in haiti. nearly six years after an earthquake rocked the country, i'm ali velshi, welcome to a special edition of "on target," haiti on shaky ground. the united nations can be a blessing and occurs but for latte, the western hemisphere's poorest country it's been both. six years ago haiti was devastated by a massive earthquake. its worst natural disaster in more than two centuries. millions of