tv America Tonight Al Jazeera January 10, 2016 12:30am-1:01am EST
for the fourth awakened-- the force awakened. it has already earned more than 1.5 billion dollars in cinemas around the world. more on our website, the address is on your screen right there, aljazeera.com on "america tonight" behind debate. >> we need reasonable legislation to reduce crimes while still not eroding the second amendment tonight." >> good evening, thanks for joining us, i'm adam may stitting in for joie chen. it's been a politically charged week. the gun debate is back center stage after president obama took
executive action to strengthen gun laws. a poll shows he has the support of most americans, but opposition sits at one-third. that include the republican party. so it may seem like consensus is nearly impossible. one man is working to change that. in this "america tonight" excomplusive. the police chief advise aring president obama takes us behind the scenes. . >> he is paid to sell guns, this protect. >> what was that hearing like? >> it was challenging. >> reporter: jim johnson takes on the national rifle association, but oversees the 18th largest police department in america. baltimore county in marylands. >> there's a picture of you in the president. issue. >> i had the opportunity to sit president.
>> johnson was a key advisor with president obama during white house meetings, on how to tackle gun violence and change the laws. >> take me behind the scenes if you would a little bit. >> prior to the president's announcements, what involved did you have in other law enforcement officials. >> for years, we have been meeting with federal administration, looking at reasonable legislation that issue. >> i'm a hunter. i own several weapons, and i certainly am a champion and believe strongly in the second amendment. i think, as many do, that we can create reasonable legislation to accomplish, you know, both objectives here. reduced crimes of violence, while not eroding amendment. >> johnson chairs the enforcement.
speaking on behalf of 10, of the largest police organization. does this large group have a position on safety laws country. >> we have stayed the course through many, many years. demanding a national background check for sales. we know that across america. 40% of all guns are brought, sold, traded through gun shows. dramatically. safety. >> a gun used to kill a police officer was acquired without going through a background . >> johnson was on the phone with administration officials hours before the president issued his executive order. expanding background checks, increasing the numbers of federal agents who investigate and face gun crimes, and calling
on increased funding. the chief johnson was in the room at the white house when the president was overcome by emotion, recalling incidents of gun violence. every time i think about it, it gets me mad. and by the way, it happens on the streets of chicago every day. >> the passion is real. he goes to the communities after tragedy, listening, ponders, considers and debates the opinions on this topic. >> what is your reaction to how people expressed their outrage. >> i heard it at the dinner table. i lost friends. guys will not talk to me. my own son. it creates a debate. >> according to a poll, most americans support the actions, a
third are in opposition, and that this is one of them. a competitive shooter from seattle washington, she believers expanding background checks is a slippery slope. in 2014, voters in that state overwhelmingly approved a referendum, closing the gun show and internet loophole. >> it's the first step of other forms of gun control. now that this has passed, they are starting to write bills for gun storage, for magazine capacity, altogether. >> this is a gun show operator in montana, and he has been fighting efforts to expand background checks there. believing the government has the tools to stop gun violence. >> enforce the laws in america between the federal government and state authority, 20,000 gun laws on the book.
>> what do you say that you need to get a licence to drive a car. >> you don't need a licence to drive a car. to drive a car on a public road, that's one thing, that's what society says. cars are not part of the bill of rights. firearms are the second amendment of the united states constitution. our forefathers, 250 years ago realized our freedom was no better than our ability to protect our freedom. sometimes you have to protect government. >> many think this is a gun grab. you know, this is - what's the next step. you try to assure them that there's no intent to go out and seize the handguns from lawful owners of these weapons. i think many think that this is just a first step. >> this is where we examine
firearms and rounds recovered from crime scenes. >> reporter: johnson says the problems of illegally obtained guns is very real. the 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 one county. and one state in america. >> you hear their stories, you talk, and you hold the hand of a wheelchair-bound young woman shot and seriously injured, who is now confined to a wheelchair are the rest of her life, and acquired. what could have been done to stop it. what measures could be taken that are
reasonable but don't infringe upon the second i think the american public has it right. >> do you believe the momentum is swinging? >> i do. no matter who acquires it, as we go into the future, i think they'll come to realise that this was the american public, that this will in fact help save lives in the united states up next - work place accidents. waiting to happen. "america tonight" lori jane gliha exposes the lack of government inspectors, and the amazing story of a work place survivor. and later left behind and fighting for a right to vote. christopher putzel follows a woman's journey to reclaim her civil rights. >> at 9:30 - "america tonight" - top investigative reporting, uncovering new perspectives.
welcome back, it may seem like a relic from our industrial past, but work place injuries are a problem. more than a dozen die every day, and millions suffer work-related illnesses. "america tonight"s lori jane gliha discovered the government does not have nearly enough superiors to check the work place, and she has the story of a survivor, who says this accident was a speak. i want to warn you that some of the images seen in the report are graphic.
>> i have never been hurt before or had restriction. it's all gone. >> reporter: before his accident, john had only worked two months as a cooker and cleaner at his father-in-law's animal rendering plant in utah. >> you are shelling guts, moving dead animals with a backhoe, unclog equipment. >> reporter: for the 32-year-old, it was a temporary gig while he waited for drilling work in the oil fields, buts in a split second on the job... >> his legs are cut off. >> his life permanently changed. >> my brain never registered the pain. instantly, another click in my brain is how am i going to live, i don't want to die. >> so my right foot is being
sucked into it. literally i see my right foot sucked around, broken and smashed, and then it rips my leg off and significantly all i want to do is call ashley. off. >> ashley is john's wife. the mother of two was at home, six months pregnant with two more on the way. john believes ashley is the reason he is still alive. >> my stitches look good? >> reporter: on, who had been working alone but a belt around his leg, dragged himself 15 fight, considered giving up and kept moving. >> i called her, told her i loved her, in case i died. >> reporter: tell me what is the hardest part about this for you? >> watching john try to get back to normal. just because there's only so
much i can help him with. he has to kind of accept this on his own. it's his body, his life. >> reporter: john is one of millions of workers injured on the job in recent years, and according to federal statistics. 13 workers die every day, due to prevented. >> we have enough inspectors to do a work police once every 1,000 year. >> this man works for ocia. >> we try to get to the high hazard work places, but we can't geteverywhere, we don't have the resources. >> reporter: they announced a partnership with the department of justice, those that sue others that don't obey the rules.
john says he knows no one intended for him to get hurt. his father-in-law, who owns the business, did not responds to our calls. the state office is now investigating. it previously funded the village, more than 12,000, for an unrelied, but serious infraction involving a worker operating a forklift without proper training. how much training did you have to no and operate the equipment. >> there wasn't much training, it was a family business. a lot of stuff in the work place doesn't get addressed unless an accident happens. >> reporter: john says in retrospect he shouldn't have been working alone and the blades that destroyed his legs should not have been exposed. >> what do you think needs to be put in place to make the work place safer? >> everyone needs to step back. the whole world is
something 10 minutes faster. i wouldn't care if i had been 3 minutes longer, but had legs. i bet my father-in-law wouldn't care if i took three more hours and still have legs. >> let me just be. >> you follow me. >> don't yell at me if i accidentally catch you. you sure you don't want me to catch you. >> i am sure i don't want you to catch me. >> reporter: for john, life is about relearning what was once second nature. strength. like i said. i don't stop for you. >> reporter: john has the will of a warrior, and with a set of twins on the way, he and his wife have plans to get him back on a new pair of feet. >> don't make faces at me, i'll fall
welcome back. florida leads the county in restricting the voting rights of felons, disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of people sentences. we are talking about 10% of floridians, and one quarter of its fern american population denied the right to vote. the lose of voting rights has sweeping indications not just on
individual lives, but the outcomes of elections, we have the story of a woman left behind, and a journey to have civil rights restored. . >> with the state of administratored and the government, they can take away your rights if you get in trouble. it was a moment when the fate of the nation was hanging in the balance. florida, following the 2004 presidential elections, a few hundred votes separate al gore and george w. bush. a narrow margin. in florida, anyone with a felon akcked is stripped of the right to vote. a million and a half people in the state are disenfranchised. nearly 10% of the population, and a quarter of african-americans.
. >> when you take those rights, you convict them for the rest of their life. >> nora is nearly at the end of fights. >> it's a short drive. it's taken her 15 years to get to this point. in 1997 she served 6 months in gaol followed by assault. despite a clean record and a job caring for hospital patients, florida. >> i stayed beside a traffic ticket or suspended licence. being in trouble with the law. being arrested. no, i have not done that. slate. >> it's pretty much a model citizen. >> that has not helped you get more voting rights restored. >> no. >> ham tomorrow has four sons, ranging from 25-7. it's the youngest she looks
forward to bringing with her. vote? >> all the kids are aware she can't vote. >> i settle down. i made a mistake in my life. >> everybody makes mistakes, you learn from your mistakes. with the state of florida, and trouble. >> they can take your rights. >> have you ever voted before? >> never voted. >> if you get your rights restored, this will be the first in. >> mm-hmm. >> how will you feel if your voting rights are restored? >> i will dance with praise. >> on the morning of the hearing, it's a few blocks to the capital building. hampton doesn't like to talk about the physical confrontation that landed her in gaol. there's no avoiding the past
when facing governor rick scott and the clemency board. >> the board is called to order. moth states bar felons from voting while in prison. the florida constitution goes further, and strips felon of the right to vote. and the ban is permanent unless reversed by the board. >> this is a court of mercy. if you walk up and say i deserve something, it's nout works. we'll -- it's not how it works. my reputation is don't walk up and say i deserve this, because i have done something right. it's very difficult. if there's no remorse shown, clemency. >> that sounds like the statement of a king, not a governor jeff is a democratic state senator whose district covers palm beach epicentre.
it's not his job to decide who does and doesn't receive mercy. these are basic human rights that we have established in this country as being part of the fabric of who we are, the right to vote. >> the previous governor streamlined the clemency procedure. and allowed 150,000 nonviolent rights. >> since 2011, the number has dropped from 1500. this is part of a select group, one of 42 floridians granted a hearing in december. thousands more are like chris pool, caught in ha seemingly endless cycle of waiting. >> what is the process like trying to get your reinstated? >> it's a brick wall. no one cares to talk to you about it, period. >> how many times have you talked about it. >> 10-12 times. >> same answer.
they are working on it, they are working on it. >> we'll get in touch with you. we'll get in touch with you. never had a that. >> pool served four years on a drug charge. having completed his sentence in 1992, 23 years ago. he said he should have been given his rights back. >> i broke the law and accepted responsibility for that. i didn't think i would be, for the rest of my life. i have to stay this way for the rest of my life. you do the crime, you do the some time. >> i d the time. i'm sting doing the time. i've been incarcerated since 1987. that's what it feels like. that's what it feels like, sure. >> you can't vote, you can't be a part of the society, because you can't vote. >> for someone that committed a mistake in her youth, 15-20 years ago, should
not be denied basic lives, nothing less than criminal that a million and a half can't execute a constitutional right to vote. it's a fairness issue, an american issue senator clements is proposing an amendment to the state constitution to automatically restore the voting rights of felons. his resolution has failed to gain traction in the senate. >> what would happen in the state of florida politically if all of a sudden everyone with a felony conviction regained the right to vote. >> the thought process is that most former felons tend to vote democratic. the statistics are there that 90% of african-americans tend to vote democratic. i think someone like governor scott sees that and is fearful of allowing people to exercise their rights to vote. it would mean that we elect democrats in the state of florida.
we asked to speak to governor scott, the attorney-general and the two other members of the clemency board. but their representatives said the officials did not have time to stop for our cameras. at the hearing, many had powerful stories of struggle. >> after 31 years, i can only hope you see. youthful mistakes and batted choices. i caused things that could never be undone. in the end half of the 42 applicants regained the rights. >> i heard you grant rights. >> the rest famed. >> many at the recommendation of state investigators. >> i think more time needs to pass. registrations. >> after several hours of testimony. >> elnora ham tonne is here. >> it was elnora's turn. a moment 15 years in the making. >> good morning.
>> good morning, how are you doing. i have a paper to read. i can only speak from the heart. i learnt from mine mistakes and from that day forward i turned my life around. i had opportunity to get patient care system in 2003 and have been working there since. i go to work every day, save lab. >> you did this. is there any question... >> yes, sir, i was wrong. >> how old are your kids? >> i have a 25-year-old, 24-year-old, soon to be 22-year-old and a 7-year-old. i had to explain to them why i can't vote. and it's a hurtful process. but it's a hurtful process. and i'm sorry. >> you have done a good job.
i move to grant a restriction of rights. >> you got it. >> yes. >> okay. >> you've been waiting for this for a while. >> yes, i have. >> what is going through your head? >> i'm going home and tell them mum has a right to vote. and, you know i am sure they'll be ready for this. it's a long road for elnora. the right to vote had become more than a civil duty, it was a blessing the right to vote so powerful. that's it for us at "america tonight," tell us what
you think at al jazeera. coming up at the top of the hour. after six months on the run. the drug king known as melissa chan is behind bars. >> 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. >> previously on hard earned. >> happy birthday! and here's your whistle for when you've fallen and you can't get up. >> bitch. >> i was sad. >> we didn't get the loan. >> we even put it on our calendar, a little picture of a house. >> today was another terrible day at walgreens. just happy to get home and get to my little ones.