tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 18, 2013 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT
and then click share and send by e-mail, facebook, twitter or google+. searchable, easy and free. created by the cable tv industry and funded by your local cable or satellite provider. >> taking you live to the national press club in washington, d.c. for discussion on the second amendment and with paul helmke, former president of the brady campaign to prevent gun violence. he will deliver remarks here. he is addressing the political debate surrounding and legislation. he is currently professor at indiana university's school of public and environmental affairs, crazy served as mayor of fort wayne, indiana. this is live coverage here on c-span2. >> before we proceed with his introduction would like to thank mr. richard heller who is responsible for our getting him you. they don't see eye to eye.
mr. heller -- [applause] it was his lawsuit that overthrew the d.c. gun control law which was a landmark decision. anyhow, thank you and by way of him, we have mr. helmke here today. paul is a former mayor of fort wayne, indiana. he's the former president of the brady foundation, and is now a professor at the university of indiana. he attended the university of indiana and yale law school. where he was a classmate of two people called the bill clinton and hillary rodham. and it took a few years off several years ago to think things over, and has joined the faculty. he is speaking today on common ground with the national rifle association. paul.
[applause] >> i obviously was inspired by the fact that the federal government was able to reopen, and folks came back together to at least find common ground for a few months on the debt ceiling and on the budget. and that gave me hope that perhaps those of us who are concerned about gun violence from the gun control perspective can find some common ground with those on the gun rights and are a side of things but at least i hope so. and part of the reasons that i wanted to do this talk today was i've got a different perspective perhaps being back in indiana. i was head of the brady center to prevent gun violence for five years. it was an eventful five years. it was during the time the supreme court issued its ruling in heller versus d.c. case and mcdonald v. chicago case. we had the tragic shootings at
virginia tech and in tucson as close a number of other shootings during that period of time. we did see one go pass congress after virginia tech where the anarchy and the gun control side came together to back a bill of region submitted by carolyn mccarthy from new york to strengthen the background check system by it encouraging states to get more records of those particularly who are mentally dangerous into the background check system. so that was something positive that came out during that period of time. it was an eventful time. since january of this i've been back in indiana, my home state. i teach at the school of public and environmental affairs at indiana university. i've been teaching classes on urban problems and solutions, law and public affairs. and now directing a new program for freshmen at indiana dealing
with civic leadership. happy to have 10 of the students here with me today and i've got another 20 better touring the capital and might be joining us later on. being back in indiana talking to the hoosier students, midwestern students, professors, grad students and others, elected officials, i see the challenges that the issue of gun violence presents us in this country and how hard it is to solve that issue, particularly i know living in the beltway for five, six years you do develop a bit of about my mentality ethic is all about fighting here and you don't realize there are a lot of opportunities, should be a lot of opportunities to find common ground on many issues, including the issue of gun violence. that's the perspective i'm coming from. talk to gun owners, talk to friends and others in the state, and hopefully have a few ideas that might be interesting today. i want to announce quickly, my old friend, the former mayor of
albuquerque, t good to see you, marty. as well as my former public information director, caroline. good to see. we have a couple representatives for moms demand action for common sense -- i can't remember the official title now, but moms demand action to end gun violence in this country, so thank you. actually when i started this semester with my students, i had shannon who founded them on -- moms group come speak. not s so much to push my point f view orders but to talk about how people can try to push for changes in social media and internet connecting. i had a young man who worked for me at brady is now at mayors against illegal guns who told his personal story having been shot four times at virginia tech. i'm glad to see dick heller here. we never did get to do a we want to do but hopefully we can make
that up sometime too, dick. i've been on panels and discussions with dick and some others over the years. want to make a few points. point number one is that we still have a problem with gun violence in this country. some people argue that there's less gun homicides today than the might of been in the early '90s. they might argue that violent crime has gone down. that's all true but we still have a problem with gun violence in this country. even if the numbers are decreasing, which i'm having about, we still have a problem with gun violence in this country. the tragic shootings at newtown where 20, first graders were massacred, was just 10 months ago. the shooting at the navy yard was just one month ago. and we have it in anything as a country to address these issues. and these are crucial issues for us to address.
even come and hear from so many people, why the focus on mass shooting so much? mass shootings are very rare tracks that's true but oftentimes that's the only time that the media and the public and our elected officials will focus on issues when there's a mass shooting. and so i always said it's not that i think anything different today than i said last week for the month before or the year before. i keep saying the same thing. it's only occasional does the media focus on issue and that's when we see tragedies like virginia tech, like tucson, like newtown occurred. but in this country we still have 32 people murdered everyday with the guns. that's something that we shouldn't tolerate in this country. in addition to those 32 that are killed with guns, murdered with guns every day, we have a number of suicides i guns and accidents with guns that brings the total of guns death on the total basis
of 80 gun deaths per day. the death by canceling the tip of the iceberg. the people are injured every day increases that number significantly, for every gun death there's another three or four get an increase in this country everyday. a lot of times when we focus just on gun homicides, we ignore the fact that our emergency rooms and surgical care doctors have gotten a lot better at dealing with gunshot injuries. part of it is the expense from iraq and afghanistan, but we have a lot better system in dealing with those gun injuries than we did in the '90s. a lot more people survive these gun injuries. when i talk to the folks who work in emergency rooms and a talk to the folks that are the doctors and nurses, they oftentimes in a large city will talk about they are still saying as much gun violence today as they saw 10 years ago, as they saw 20 years ago. i look back at indiana in the midwest, chicago i've been having a horrible year in terms of gun injuries.
my home city of fort wayne, i think the number of homicides is now on one of its ties for the last 20 years or so, with the gangs and guns and drugs. so point number one, we have a problem with gun violence in this country and as a nation we are not doing anything to try to solve that, to try to fix it, to try to make it better. point number two, when we have tried to fix it, we generally run into roadblocks. we all know that congress has a tough time doing anything, if they have a tough time passing the budget or raising the debt ceiling how can we expect them to handle something like gun control, like gun violence in the country? as i mentioned after virginia tech, all sides work together basically to help get a bill that got more records and background checks. but since newtown we at least had to vote for the first time in the u.s. senate, but all the policy proposals from both
sides, from all sides of the a basically were blocked. there weren't enough votes to get a universal background check bill that was a compromise bill supported by senator manchin from west virginia and senator toomey from pennsylvania. that was my hope that bringing together a conservative republican, former head, and a moderate conservative democrat joe mentioned who had been both a rated by the nra. mansion showing somebody shooting i think the book of regulations or a lot of health care regulation. obviously, people that have a lot of gun owners and gun enthusiasts in their states, and, among their constituency. so when senators to me and mention were able to come together, i had hoped we could get something done not that bill five or six votes short of getting the super majority are now required to get anything passed in the u.s.a. on the other side there was a bill to push basically national reciprocity for concealed carry
permits. this is a bill had come up as a stand-alone bill about four years ago proposed by senator thune. the so-called in a minute. when that came up a few years back it fell short of the 60 votes also. this time it actually got less than that. i think it got 53 votes. both sides pushing for their ideas on what to do with guns, what to do with gun violence were blocked in the senate from getting anything done. of course, even if we passed anything in the u.s. senate from the perspective of more background checks, restrictions on semiautomatic weapons are high-capacity ammunition, who knows what would've happened in the house? is very difficult to get it through the senate can't even cover sometimes to get it through the house. speaker boehner, until the boat the other night has been operating on meeting a majority of the majority in order to bring something to the floor. those sorts of bills probably would not have made it to the floor without a lot of pressure from the public. this is the situation we have.
what i see, i see a lot of good grassroots efforts from people like moms demand action for gun sense in america and mayors against illegal guns and brady and from other groups on one site i see a lot of action from a lot of groups, the nra is the major one but other groups that are pushing the gun rights agenda. with that come and again all sides i don't see it as a long-term solution doing enough grassroots organizing change the people get elected when the people change, they get elected, then we will build a get something done. but that takes a long time. even if there's a backlash against the republicans for the way they handled the debt ceiling and even the government -- even the government open, you probably not get the sort of people in the congress quickly that are going to change these things. we're still going to have enough votes on one side the block national concealed carry. there will still be enough votes on the other side to block background checks.
we're all back to square one where 32 people keep getting killed every day with guns and we as a country do nothing about. there's some action of the state level. i was pleased some states took some action after newtown to strengthen some of their laws. there were other states that responded the other way after newtown to in effect loosen their laws or make it easier to carry or have different restrictions. we saw states like colorado where what i consider to be good laws were passed, and then there was a recall election and to other people recall election and two of the people who pushed that got removed from office by the law still stands. we have this back and forth, and as a look back on it we've been having this back and forth fight since at least 1993-1994. after the brady background check bill in the first so-called assault weapons ban was passed. so what do we do now? we've got a problem and we have a political system they can't seem to move these things. what can we do? this is were i think we need to
all of us, we need to find a way to find common ground between the other eight and the gun rights side, and people like brady and moms demand action for gun sense in america and mayors against illegal guns and those are our concerns about the gun violence in the country. there should be a lot of common ground. when i look at other issues that face us as a country, guns really is one where, particularly since the heller v. d.c. case, we should be able to find common ground. before the heller case, there was a series argument about what the second amendment to the constitution meant, and you can argue the history and you can argue the language, you could even argue the intent and argue what the miller case that in 1938. there were tons of reasons but once the supreme court ruled in june of 2008 that there was an individual right to have a gun for self-defense purposes, at least in your home, that battle is done.
in one of the points i made after that ruling, i was on a tv show, on chris matthews hardball with wayne loftier that night. in fact, i said congratulations, wayne come you got what you wanted. now let's figure out where we can find common ground. let's figure out what we can do. because the decision and justice scalia, justice clean it very clear and anything in section three of the opinion that this right, the. >> host: write is like other rights, is not unlimited. he said that you could have restrictions on who gets a gun, on how the gun is sold, how the gun is stored, how the can is carried and even what kind of gun it is. you can still argue within all those categories exactly where you can draw the line and if it steps over the line constitutional. but basically justice scalia outlines in areas where i think we can start to a discussion and where we need to have a discussion. and where it's crucial for the future of our country and the
health of our communities to have this discussion. i wanted to suggest a few things today what i think we can possibly find common ground. first one is still background checks. this is one people should agree on. we all agreed that people that we are per share are going to be dangerous, better changes now and are likely to be dangerous shouldn't easily be able to get a gun. that's sort of the starting point. someone who's been a danger -- dangerous felon. someone is dangerously mentally ill. someone who is a clear drug abuser. a number of the other categories. folks generally agree on the. even wayne lapierre i know was on one of the national talk shows after the navy yard shooting and said that he wanted to fix the background check system. he said with a broken background check system. he wants to fix that system and no one is sitting down and talking with them. i'm saying now we need to sit down with wayne lapierre and
find how we can find agreement to see if we can find agreement with him to fix the broken background check system but if he is bluffing at least let's find out. if you going to work, let's get that work done. because the background check system is broken, but just because it's broken doesn't mean we walk away from. one senator wrote me and said he wouldn't support them mention-to me bill because the background check system is broken. the fixe fixes can be confident. where to look at the definitions of who we consider a dangerous perch in -- person to make there will be better ways to find these people. we can look at other records get in the system. even if you've got a great definition of dangerousness if the states are making the records in the background check system it doesn't anybody could. we need to find better ways to do that. and we need to look at how my sales are allowed without doing a background check. right now only other licensees are required to do background checks at that leaves a large
loophole often exploit a gun show that can be exploited other times through private sales are that something that can be fixed, too. the manchin-toomey a minute proposal tried to fix that. some folks felt that went too far. let's try figure out what folks thought they went too far. if it's because you live in a row community and then displays deposit a background check is far away, made with and draw some of the procedures to deal with the compete in terms of timing or in terms of how you can do the background check. but let's fix the background check system. visible we should all agree upon. the fact that wayne lapierre on television and in a column short after that said he wants to sit down and fixed the background check system is something those and the gun-control movement and the gun violence prevention movement should take up right away. i think that's one where the rest of us, whether dick heller or paul helmke over martin chavez, interested people event in politics, being in the gun
issue for years 10 push them to get to the table. like any other compromise there's a little gift, a little take, that let's get something done that fixes this broken background check system that makes it harder for dangerous people to get guns. that's point number one. point number two is i think we have some potential to do things on the weapons that we consider perhaps too dangerous to have easily, readily available to everyone. this gets in to the whole issue of a so-called assault weapons, semi automatic. it gets to the issue of a high-capacity magazine. we should build it on someone's. why do you want to hold it at 10? my standard issu issues 12 are y standard issues 15 bullets. i'm willing to get involved in those kind discussions. where we draw the line on 10, 12, 15 or whatever number of bullets. right now the limit is infinity. there is no limit on the number
of votes and you see people like the aurora shooter bring in one of these guns that has over 100 bullets. again you can make a strong argument that the reason that the tucson shooter was stopped was the fact that 32 round magazine that he had emptied, and in the time he was trying to get the other magazine in, he was tackled. somebody who's good and ginger root quickly but when you're shooting people and people are screaming and dying and there'se blood on the ground, that's a lot harder to do. so the size of the clip, the size of the magazine does make a difference. newtown, one of the art which was 11 children got away when the shooter went to change the magazine clip. so the art advantages to having a restriction on a magazine clip. what the number is is not as crucial as the fact that we need to have some limits because right now there are no limits. as the technology changes we're seeing more and more guns that are having, holding more and more bullets, fire more quickly
at a high rate of speed and cost more demonstrate a lot of folks say that's the stuff you never get. he will never get another assault weapon ban. how do you define things? the one thing i point out is we have restrictions on machine guns, fully automatic guns since 1934. we don't ban them. it's not the machine gun ban but we have have restrictions on machine guns, fully automatic weapons and is been on the books for some time. modified summit in the 80s, but these restrictions have worked. for the most part. you to see machine guns and fully automatic she is in bank robberies today like we did in the '20s and '30s. partly because it becomes expensive and you pay a high tax and because you have to do some registration and licensing and other things with fully automatic. so they are available but they're not available readily available to most people. this is another category of web we talk online. let's figure out how technology
has changed to make them more deadly in terms again the velocity by which the boats are released, the number of bowls you can shoot, how could a issues in and see if there's a way to draw the line. maybe not have the alternative be abandoned have the alternative be some sort of have your standard of regulars like we do with fully automatic. i'm sure a lot of the folks on the other side will oppose that immediately but most of them support the machine gun restrictions. not all do but most people generally, including the nra has supported the machine gun restrictions in the past. if they supported the restrictions in the past there should be some possibility to support some restrictions going forward. the last point i wanted to make deals with who carries the guns, we are to carry the guns and how we figure out who should be allowed. i think this is the one where there might be some potential, maybe the most controversy from the gun violence prevention side. as i said, one of the big things we though fought a fierce but wt
the so-called thune amendment. that was one of the amendments that was proposed in april again, and i oppose tibet and others opposed it for a number of good reasons. we opposed it because some states have such low requirements for getting a concealed carry permit that basically virginia, one of the people who shot at virginia tech i know she's able to get a concealed permit carry on my without ever having touched a gun in her life. but she was able to do it online. some states like utah, it's fairly easy still to get a. you fill out a form, mail and check, you get a concealed carry license. other states have tougher requirements. there's a whole variety. stage have to renew the permit on a regular basis. some like india once you get it is a lifetime permit. he have an obligation to tell the stated intent if you, you have gotten in trouble during her lifetime, they might take the permit away but you've got a
lifetime permit for your gun. not for your driver's license but for your gun. different states have different criteria. one of the things we should look at, because in order to get the other eight and the gun rights group to the table we have to find something that they've been pushing and are interested in that hadn't been able to get. i think that deals with some of the reciprocity issues. one of the areas for potential and i think it's an area that the gun violence prevention side should be willing to discuss is happening some national recognition for concealed carry is our minimum standards met for concealed carry in the states, either a national standard or a national minimum standard that states have to follow. i know a few years ago when i look at texas has one of the higher levels, highest levels of standards. if we could find a state where it's worked and it's worked well and where legitimate gun owners who feel they need is for protection meet the criteria,
let's have those sort of criteria adopted elsewhere. i think that's something that should be put on the table. i think if we do that, i think we also grabbed get into some of the other issues with background checks and with weapons. one of the things that's applied with concealed carry permit is the id of the license. it's been interesting to me i know one of the books i read early on on guns was david hemming and please book about private gun and public health. excellent book. his conclusion as to what might be the best thing on range for dealing with gun violence was he proposed a system of licensing and registration. the analogy that we hear all the time is that if you get a driver's license you register your car. the state is involved when you sell your car, in getting a new registration. again, i'm not arguing that message would go with the way we handle drives -- cars and drivers but the concept is one
we should look at the we register those machine guns. we license those concealed carry permit holders. we do a background check before we allow people to buy. if we combine those concepts into a system that looks at the individual and then gives some sort of license or permit them when you look at some of the weapons and look at some that need to be registered and others that don't, i think we can come up with a workable system hopefully that perhaps advance the interests of folks on different sides of this issue and help us move forward. i think about the dick heller v. d.c. case a lot. the remedy in that case, the last line in justice scalia's decision was basically telling the district of columbia that they were ordered to give dick heller the license he had applied for. during the argument, the lawyer for mr. heller basically conceded that he thought that was the appropriate remedy. sell licenses shouldn't be
considered something that's unconstitutional. it was part of the remedy in the leading case come in the field on this topic. people always say if we did that there will be a list that the federal government could use to confiscate the weapons. the heller case idea and made it clear that the government cannot legally constitutionally confiscate weapons. you do have an individual right to these things. one of the argument i made after the heller case was that the whole issue of licensing and registration really is a moot point because the courts have said you can't have confiscations of the weapon. it's another thing we should look at. the other thing, it's kind of become more clear to me as i've been backing indiana is that the most enthusiastic gun owners that i deal with and the most aggressive gun owners that are usually argue with are those that have gotten their concealed carry permit or want to get a concealed carry permit. getting a permit, the government knows who they are.
so these are the most aggressive to most active, most articulate,'s argumentative folks, there's a list there, not to mention the fact that people list and profile all other sorts of things. i think the fact that the heller case sent it out with a charge for d.c. to get a license to dick heller, i think the fact that trend for permit holders knows there's a list to prevent holders, i think the fact that we have looked at registration for machine guns for years means there's some capability to take those concepts and combine them with some sort of national reciprocity that would take care of the argument i hear from the nra and from others on the gun rights side that why should i write the difference in one state and not in another state. that's a big concession from a lot of people probably on the gun-control side. if only something i did arguments from with a lot of people i deal with. but again we've got a problem in this country. our political system is not in a position to deal with this problem but it's probably not going to be in a position to do
with the politically for some time. the only way that we are going to be able to get something through congress in the foreseeable future is iffy and a and others on the gun rights side are willing to join in the conversation, sit down at the table and try to work something out. i think again if we focus on that background checks and who should be prohibited when we focus on which weapons should be treated more like machine guns, and when we focus on this idea of licensing permitting a national reciprocity, my hope is we can find common ground. i don't want to see another tragedy. i want to see another mass shooting. i do want to see my home city of fort wayne or cities in this country continue to see the death and the blood and the mayhem they have. guns isn't the only part of the issue. you have to do with the mental-health system, to break the families, with the economy. but any discussion that ignores the guns is also closing its eyes. we have to do with the issue of guns, and hope we as a country are willing to do that. i salute president obama and
vice president biden and some in the administration for dealing with the asian talk about the issue after newtown but we have to find a way to try to break through the other side to let folks know there is room for common ground and it will help the communities as a whole. thank you for listening. [applause] >> we will now entertain questions. least stand when you ask your questions and identify your organization. if you're not with an organization, that's fine. let's begin. >> my name is maria garcia. do you think that there's an opportunity -- [inaudible] the present recommend just to the congress to take care of the issue? >> i think now they have reopened the government and raise the distant i think we do have an opportunity. we are getting close to the election season.
election season goes on full-time it seems like. really i don't think we'll see the full focus of the elections until next year. i think there's an opportunity now that we've got the government shutdown behind us to deal with issues like gun violence, immigration. some of the other things that have been talked about for some time. it's again something we need to do. so i'm hopeful. i might just mention, there are other parts to this issue that might have some common ground that i failed to mention. one is the gun trafficking. against going from our country to mexico is an investment. -- our guns going from our country to mexico is an embarrassment. that our traffic laws that i think all sides should agree on that would make it harder for have these sales that quickly go to the games take her down to mexico. that's something that deals with law enforcement but it needs to do with law in the books and hopefully that's another one of the areas where we can find some common agreement.
>> you mentioned statistics about the numbers of deaths and injuries. do you have any ideas how many of those deaths and injuries fall within the parameters were some -- underlying source such as mental illness and drug ridden neighborhoods? how many are there? how would you answer that question also, to people who say they're going to find it anyway? >> couple points. one is, the mental-health issues with one of the crucial ones. i know after newtown and after so many shootings, a lot of people say it's these mentally ill, deranged, dangerous people and sometimes the descriptions get even wilder and wilder in terms of describing the type of person. i heard a research and academic talked the other day about the issue of mental health. he felt mental-health india contribute factor but is only
like 4% of gun violence that you could attribute to someone who have mental health issues. his conclusion was the most dangerous combination was mental-health combined with drug abuse or with alcohol. so those are things i think we can focus on and perhaps focus on better, that right now the only category of mental health aspirated is someone who a court has found, or a court like body is found to be a danger to themselves or others. if we look at this definition perhaps differently, if we look at combining that with drug abuse, alcohol abuse, we might even come up with a better predictor than who is dangerous for this reason the a lot of violence ties to drug sales and gangs that are selling drugs, and a lot of that, the urban violence that we are seeing. whenever someone says though that they're going to get the guns anyway, i keep thinking, do they have gun manufacturing
plants in south chicago or the bad part of, and the poor part of fort wayne? i don't think so. you might be up to grow marijuana in your home and you might be able to do some other things with methamphetamines on your property, but not many people produce guns. the guns come from someplace. this is the one thing we're starts out as a legal product and equipment into the illegal use. we need to figure out how it gets there. one of the ways it gets there? are from folks who can but a lot of guns in both without a background check. the classic example i gave is the fellow who went to the gun show in dayton, ohio, bar 81 of the bar 81 of same make and model, semiautomatic pistol, and is anyone surprised that someone who buys 81 of the same make and models what he does with the? it's not for his personal, not for hunting. he will sell it out of the trunk of his car all through the midwest and northeast which is what he did and a police officer
ended up getting killed and other people ended up getting killed. so the way you deal with that is to require the background check when he sells it, requires a background check when he buys it and cause a background check when he sells it. look at a trafficking statute that looks for both purchases like that to make it harder for him to do that sort of thing. some people say with law the bad guys are going to get guns. that gives an issue, what is the function of a law? one of the functions of a law is to prevent something bad from happening. when our current background check system and stopped over to milly silva purchases from people buying guns, that's good. a lot of people say how, they haven't all been prosecuted? that's an issue that needs be dealt with but least they were stopped from getting began in the first place. it also means once they have committed the crime and have not felt a lot he gives palestinian attribute charging authority, the police officer another reason to charge him with.
giving them another thing to charge him with, it means they can have a stricter punishment because they've had a gun charge entered into the system but sometimes having a law is meant to prevent, sometimes it makes it easier to find a penalty. the other thing with a lot it helps what we consider to be suicidal thoughts. i think the societal norms should be while you have the right as defined in the heller case and the mcdonald case, you also have a responsibility. the rights are not unlimited and you need to point out the people that we want a society where where you don't make it easy for days people to easily get dangerous weapons. >> i'm from california. would you like to comment on the attempt by this fellow that proclaimed the one year anniversary of the shooting of 26 people as a guns save lives
they? >> i think that's -- i do want to say much. i debated him a number of times, and he comes from his own perspective and pushes his own issues. i think one of the things he likes to get publicity for the points of view that he likes to argue, and they think is looking for publicity. i think tying it to the anniversary of the tragedy is, you know, it's not -- it does upset me. that's not the approach we should be taking. there are other ways to get those issues at the. i would be willing to sit down with alan and negotiate in of these things. i don't consider the people on the other side evil, but i think that sort of strategy is not appropriate. >> i'm christina with the "huffington post."
the nra has shown it's more than willing can't express in recent years to raise alarms and to raise money over threat, hypothetical threats that are not real and appointed the arms trade treaty, an idea that the u.n. is going to come and confiscate your weapon. so what is the nra has its own interest and its members want to hear perhaps a certain thing and it needs to raise money. how t do we get the conversation with a group like nra doctor reality and how do we meet them at the table if the table is constantly shifting? >> it's not going to be easy i admit. they are a large organization to they like to raise money. large organizations of any sort need to raise money to keep going. they raise money based on fear. they raise money based on fear that you are going to get, somebody will breaking him in the middle of the night and to all sorts of horrible things so you need your gun.
they raise money on fear that if obama is elected or if obama is reelected he will come and take your gun away. they raised money based on if you make this one change in the current law, it's a slippery slope that will lead to everything that will take it away. i think folks need to wake up and realize playing on fear is not reality. that's where i want to take wayne lapierre at his words -- at his word when he says was to fix the background check system. i think there's a possibility because he also needs to deal with the real world and realize is that if he says one thing and isn't willing to least sit down and talk about it he's come back on. i know after tha the tucson shootings when the justice department started a review of gun laws, the nra's reaction was why should we need with someone like the attorney general holder who wants to take our guns away. by nasa and gun shootings at the president called for, at least they went to those meetings.
i think it is a continual pressure and the pressure needs to come from their members, and it needs to come from the elected so supportive and. when they started from their members and elected, look, background checks is something getting 85, 95, whatever percent, support. you know the details better than we do is sit down and work it out. that's where the precious going to have to come from. i haven't thought -- followed all the details as close as it should but when it eliminates and changes last year, the nra did sit down at the table and try to work things out on figuring out how they redid some the things we their firearm holders identification card, a dot concealed carry in the state. i think there've been times when they were willing to sit down. after the virginia tech shooting we were able to work indirectly with them through the senators that supported their positions
to get this, the instant check system amendment passed. i think there's some potential -- its equity come from someone like me calling for are suggesting it's going to come from again their members and others pushing into it but again we've got those other issues and the government off the table. let's do with the gun issue. it's not going to work unless we get the other eight to do. if they see something that they promise their members or push for their members like national reciprocity and concealed carry i think it might be enough of a kerry to bring them to the tab table. >> i recall a statistic indicating that between 2005-2010, some millions of guns were stolen in home break-ins and issues like that. so i'm wondering how would, how
do you see the country addressing that particular i guess you might say the poll in background checks? >> that's a serious issue, too. when folks are interviewed in prison and you never know how much you can but from what they're saying and what they got the gun, but again, stolen guns is one of the areas where people sometimes to get the gun. i point out all the time when i talk to friends of mine that are gun owners or who are thinking about becoming a gun owner. i said i'm not anti-gun, i have no problem with you become a gun owner as long as you recognize not only the right but the responsibilities and the risks that come with owning a gun. some of the risks are different studies have shown different percentages of how often the gun is likely to be used against you or a family member. some of the studies say up to 21 more times. whether it's that number or a smaller number, there is the risk is going to be used against
you. part of it is somebody gets drunk, angry, depressed, somebody shoot the brother-in-law when they think it's an intruder, although sorts of things. the other risk is it's going to be stolen. so indicate if you begun, make sure you know where it is and it's secured from the kids in the house or the neighbors in house and it is secured from the burglar. the things that burglars generally look for, based on some police officers i talked to, they look for something they can carry quicker, jewelry, small it took tronics and guns. so if you're in the standard -- i've got in my best in every night, that's probably the burglar is good look for. i put it under the matches. the burglars know that. not the smartest places to keep the gun or keep them open when you're not there. >> i just want to know how much can we learn from other countries?
specifically countries like canada or australia with respect to things like the laws, ownership of the number of deaths and injuries from guns? >> we have learned i don't think anything from other countries yet. we are unique in the level of gun violence in this country. i'm not up on the let's statistic necessary by someone like you could take the next 20 and socialist countries in the world and ours is 25 times larger than them combined. it's amazing. other countries have taken steps. the other countries don't have the second amendment. our second amendment pursuant to the held decision and then the conversation does allow some regulation on guns. even with that sort of an opening from scalia and alito we have been willing to do any regulation yet. other countries have figured out some ways to do. sometimes it's been basically buying back weapons they considered too dangerous to be in civilian hands. sometimes it's just having a restriction on those weapons.
sometimes it's encouraging a lot of gun ownership like in switzerland but having tight regulations that are tied in effect with swenson's militia even regulating affect the number of bullets somebody has. again, i'm not saying any of those are the solution for this country. it's a bigger country, a lot more guns, a history that is different than somebody do think we can learn from other countries. there are ways you can protect yourself. to our ways we can live with guns without making it as dangerous as we make it for ourselves. >> i want to ask some of the myths that are circulating among the public and among officials in washington that keep us from being able to make progress on gun violence prevention. prevention. >> i've talked before i think there are myths that keep some of our elected officials to rethink. one is the myth i usually hear from republicans that say we can't do anything about gun
violence. we can't even argue about background checks or restrictions because the second amendment. what i need to do is point out to them, have you read the heller case? have you read section three of the heller case? when it says these rights like other rights are not unlimited. these list of presumptively illegal restrictions are not come this is a list that is not exhaustive. you can go too far but there are things you can do. even this last april when the senate debates begin, half the time when republicans are speaking, they were saying second a minute, second amendment. when the proposal they were talking about really didn't infringe on the second amendment at least as defined by justice scalia. i think that's one of the myths. the second amendment does allow that the there are restrictions, first and then it sounds pretty absolute, congress shall make no law. but then, of course, you can't libel somebody.
you can't slander somebody. you can't have pornography in public places. there are restrictions on first amendment laws. law spirit or restrictions on the other amendments. there are restrictions that our constitution with regard to second amendment. it is not absolute and that's what the courts said. the of the myths that i usually deal with is the one that the democrats used to say, which is gun control is so politically radioactive we don't want to talk about it. i think that was one of the reasons perhaps the president and the vice president didn't talk about the issue until after the election even though it was after newtown. i keep arguing if they've done something after tucson it might have laid the groundwork to do something after newtown because it takes a while to build up public support for issues. we did this come from that it is politically radioactive? a lot of the democrats will say newt gingrich and the republican congress again in 1994. that was because of gun control.
then when we argue health care debate they say they came in because health care. all a point out is i was a republican from indiana involved in politics during the 94 election, precedes. none of them flipped because of gun control. it might've been issue one race here, one race there but very few races. then i hear al gore lost in 2000 because of gun control. i point out that during that came -- campaign, george w. bush was more supportive of gun control than al gore. george w. bush during the debates supported the assault weapon ban, supported trigger locks, and it's part of what that tells me is the political calculation that he made and karl rove made were that these were things that were popular. particularly popular with independents, moderates and with the no voters and with the suburban voter. that was part of his compassion goes but maybe didn't much about
winning he was elected but when he was campaigning he realized that was crucial. i just had a friend of mine used to be a mayor of knoxville, tennessee, speaking to my civic leaders group, and i was talking to him afterwards, maybe during the presentation, he was saying if al gore had made only one visit to tennessee he might have carried his home state. tennessee didn't vote against him because of gun control. he was basically treat him like he didn't know them anymore. he needed to get back to them. so politically you've got those things. what's happened, and when i filed close in races in '06, '08 and 10 and 12, i don't know any races were someone running on a pro-gun control platform lost because of that issue. they might have lost because of other issues but i don't recall any that lost because that issue. there were a lot that talked about the issue that one. i think it was the one cycle
where there's a big issue in senator boxer reelect campaign in california but it was an issue in governor quinn's campaign in illinois. e1. it was an issue in gary conroy's congressional race just outside of d.c. and virginia, and he won. here's a senate race, governor's race and the congressional race west coast, east coast and midwest where the person who was in a tight race won advocating gun control type things. so again i think it points out, the bottom want to meet this is gun control were so controversial started after the brady bill, the assault weapon ban, how did bill clinton get reelected so easily? he's the one who put jim and sarah brady on the platform at the convention. it will be an issue in some races, controversial in some races but when i see polls, 95% american people support an expanded background checks system and couldn't 85% of gun owners and 75% of inner a number
of. i think we have an opportunity to get something done. the last thing, some people say gun control doesn't work. my response is, how do we know? we haven't tried it. in this country all we've got our background check system that does need a lot of fixing. better definition of the danger, more records in the system, more checks going forward. that's basically all we've got. we have the assault weapon ban that expired. we've got the definition of prohibited purchasers and with the requirement that federally licensed dealers to a background check. that's all we do in this country. that's not really trying can control. that's the first step towards it and we haven't taken any other steps. in other countries it has been successful. there are things we can do that this country can do. >> very good presentation, palm. >> thank you. >> i was very pleased to see you
using the fbi figures for the number of homicides per day. that number a day is very sobering. i can assure you. one of the things, and i make my questions brief and we can discuss them at a later date may be in indiana somewhere, one thing that really struck me was that the number of firearms owners that we have in this country, there are about 40 a day in every state of citizens that belief that they say their own life because they have a firearm. that comes to basically 40 times 50 is about 2000 people and they believe they save their lives as compared to 32 people -- 32 homicides. switch really i think more of a human nature issue then again issue. i have a couple more points of
many. but the one thing that's important to me is that when anyone has their home in beta, who is the first responder there? it's not the police. it's the homeowner, it's the citizen who has just had the door or the window kicking. and if police can have body armor and everything up to but not including machine guns, we as citizens as the first responder, that's what we should be having. we should have what we give our second responders. and number three, in australia, once again it goes back to human nature to address your point. what i did is a look at aac, australian institute of criminology. i bet you have been there. and whether that after their gun confiscation or turn in our voluntary turbine, whatever they called it, what surprised me was that the homicide level only
went down 10%. in other words, 10 years later the homicide level was 90% of what it was when everyone that wanted to was armed. await a minute, there's no guns. what is wrong with this picture? that's what i think happens when you have a total gun ban or confiscation or whatever you want to call it. and then, the shocking point is i kept looking at the charts and what i found out, the 10% homicide that went down from guns then went back up additional homicides with knives and brutal weapons. it was a real wakeup call for me. and last point, i thought your kind of unfair to utah, full disclosure, i'm a utah concealed carry holder and they require eight hours of safety training and a normal nic background check. you sort of glossed over that. thank you. >> just a couple responses. on numbers in terms of protected uses a versus homicide.
one of the things i learned as a mayor is any sort of crime statistical crime related statistic is tough to keep just because people don't report rapes or people overestimate things, fast ago -- just a reporting. the one statistic that is generally the most solid and the most comparable jurisdiction is homicide. just because everything else -- [inaudible] >> it's a lot easier to track a dead body than someone who didn't report getting shot or raped or burglarized. you can get different statistic. some people believe a gun protects them when it was the noise in the backyard, it was an animal wrestling. i'm not saying that was every case. there are good defensive uses of guns. i'm not anti-gun and the supreme court in your case did indicate the homeowner does have that right. but again my point is the homeowner needs to realize the
risks and the response was becca with it. too many don't do that. and tensions of the guns they use, most police, their agenda coming in with a semi automatic pistol they've got. kind of kind of come in with a swat team. you can't have a swat team respond. most burglars don't want to do a home invasion with somebody there. the main thing they're looking for isn't easy in and out. but again you've got, the court made it clear the homeowner does have a right and that's the law of the land and that's not being question. i think we'll look at other countries can't be will always going to be fun. violence existed in all of our history. people will always do bad things. people will kill each other. we have made it easier and easier year after year to do that. even guns today are different than guns that were around 20, 30 years ago. utah police officer and what they're seeing, the saturday night specials that my father saw whe but he was prosecuting attorney in the '60s were cheap throwaway guns that could kill but oftentimes didn't even
work. what you see now with a higher philosophy and larger bullet size and number of rounds they can hold is significantly different. we need to look at that. to defend yourself and your home basically you don't need that sort of weapon. you might feel you need a weapon but you can do that with the gun you're not allowed to in d.c. with a shotgun that mr. macdonald had before as well as a pistol. i still think we can find common ground on strengthening these issues, on making it harder for these people to get dangerous weapon and get some common sense. we haven't done anything different from basically the early '90s. >> my name is carol. i don't think i need to stand up to my husband and i are survivors of an in person home invasion and we are vehement gun control advocates.
it wouldn't have helped us in that situation. but my question is, how do we as individual citizens get the nra and the gun lobby to sit down with you and the brady commission to talk about the issue of background checks? what do we do to promote that? >> the crucial thing is to keep the issue on the front pages as much as we can. talk about in your committee to get your friends to talk about it. tell your story. about the home invasion. if you have friends that are gun owners, talk to them about it. again, a lot of the issues that we argue that in this country really, people did go to extremes for a lot of reasons a lot of times it's hard to find middle ground. abortion is an issue. guns are here to there is a constitutional right of a gun in the home for self-defense. ..
and it got past. okay? we didn't want a sequester. we want a budget. the fiasco is abominable. okay. we had a vote several months ago on putting minimum things of the gun control in and got voted against it with 85% of the district that were for this. and you sound like you're hopeful that we can do something about this? i just don't see that this could happen. how can you be helpful? >> i guess it's part of you've got to keep trying. things take time. i've been discouraged when i heard the news about newtown i was depressed because it shouldn't have happened.
you can't stop all evil but it shouldn't have had to be this bad the situation. you've got to keep pushing. i believe that people do come to their senses and you can make a difference. if i didn't believe that i'm not sure that i could keep getting up in the morning and do things. i'm teaching freshmen. i'm hopeful gayle we had a speaker for a fellow here in d.c. who has been in public office and he was meeting with some of them and basically said, you know, this government shut down and everything you're probably so discouraged do any of you even consider going into politics and a lot of them said yes they do consider politics and want to go into government and get involved in their communities because we have screwed it up so much they want to get in there and fix it. and i think that is the attitude that young people have today. even if we can't make a difference now in our generation
with the folks we have elected let's hope that the younger folks coming up are going to help push those. demographics is one of the issues that the gun right side might be facing which is i know when i was growing up i never went hunting with my dad that a lot of my friends did. now there's suburbs and subdivisions and malls and you are seeing less and less of that happening. i think you're seeing some of the other things that interest young people today. hunting and gun ownership is part of it and so i think that there is a a sort of automatic constituency for the nra than they used to have and that might give some political balance. just one last point and i meant to say this on another point. i read something recently how someone was upset that congress had encouraged a regulation about cars have in the rear view camera so that you could see when you are backing up you don't want to run over somebody.
and there had been something like 230 deaths last year from the rearview back up. they were so upset that the camera hadn't been a adopted yet because there were to hundred 30 deaths. that only takes us, you know, a week basically in this country to have 230 gun homicides. we need to start talking about them and how to solve it. if to hundred 30 is enough to worry about them look at the cameras and rear views. another point. >> i ran into some of my elective officials from indiana last month and are two u.s. senators and i complement of the one for voting for the background check and i criticized the other one when i saw him for voting against the background check amendment that supported the bill and some of those efforts in the early 90's. the comment from both of them was -- the one that voted
supporting the background check i told him i sent him a note and he said it was to become must have been one out of 100 or one out of 1,000 because he got so many more criticizing him. it's a similar comment from the other senator. the point is for the folks that want to have changed the elected officials are the ones that make the change. they need to hear from us with criticism. sometimes we forget think the ones that support us and we don't need to give up on the ones that voted the wrong way. we need to let them know that, too. i am hopeful that we can find common ground. i'm always willing to talk to people like keller and meet with people. i think if we get folks together we can make a difference. as a major you work with everybody and learn to try to make things work in your community. that's what i want to see in the community, too. >> thank you. [applause]
if you missed any of this conversation from the national press club on the second amendment, you can find it on line. we will have it posted at c-span.org to be and we will also have it later on the network program schedule. a look now at the capitol today where the flags are flying at half staff to honor the former house speaker tom c-span.org. the democrat served 30 years in the house. his last five as speaker. house democratic leader nancy pelosi bill least a statement saying tom foley was a leader whose authenticity, dedication and diplomacy
note who have been in the game for a long time, we already know there are land mines out there. that you have to be careful about how you manage your way through these things. issues that deal with the abortion issue in the united states and i've lived in other countries and they have their own red lines the have to be aware of and by the guests could get away with it in some francisco might be different than in parts of alabama. >> i think that there are few conservatives in journalism, period and that is reflected among the cartoonists as well. it is just generally not a conservative think. so journalism tends to draw i would think to be fair to say people are more liberal. >> they say that bad news is kind of good for cartoonists because it gives us a lot of
fodder. but i would rather work harder and have less bad news until we are going in the right direction. i think that we are not going in the right direction now. so i feel very -- i feel like it is a calling for me to get my opinions out there. over the years when you've looked back at the books that have an impact on the president, what did you find?
and an impact on us as people. >> that is one of my inspiration for writing this book i was curious if they had an impact and one of the most famous stories was the other america in the early 1960's about poverty especially in west virginia. kennedy is supposed to have read that book that led to the war on poverty. it's not quite that simple. what he read was a book review by dwight macdonald, the famous new yorker article in part because the reading of it and that inspire kennedy to tell walter heller who is his chairman of the council of economic advisers to look into policies that could be used to alleviate poverty and he tragically died in november 1963 but johnson then heard that the program and said that's my kind of program and he pursued.
>> good morning everyone. welcome to the second day of the annual leadership conference. delighted to have you all here. i am extremely impressed that all of the iranians are here on time. rarely happens but it shows that there's been significant improvement in the culture of the american community in the last couple of years. we are delighted to have here with us today some of the most thoughtful, knowledgeable and people with in depth analysis of the situation but in the united states and iran. in fact i would say that we have done plenty of conferences and panels on this very issue. never before has there been a panel that we could say that the atmosphere has been as optimistic as it seems to be. today we will be joined first to
my far right is a former undersecretary of the united nations and has spent a tremendous amount time dealing not only with diplomacy but specifically with iran. i would say that he is one of the individuals, probably the individual in this country that has more successful negotiations with the iranian government since the 1980's but there is from the time of mediating the end of the iran iraq war to releasing hostages in lebanon. he is now the president of the gdp is as yet and is based in new york. to my right we have the executive director of the center for strategic and diplomatic studies and the professor of politics at the university of south florida. you cannot have paid any attention to the relations without coming across his excellent analysis, the latest
on being published by the foreign affairs. he's published more than 60 publications on the issue and has probably interviewed every one that matters within the armenian political system. delighted to have you with us as well. also on the phone deutsch to one small complication, we have the former england deputy assistant secretary at georgetown university. those that follow the politics are here, circuit were on this time know that colin has one of the loudest and most respected voices on the relations in washington, d.c. and served in the obama administration until a year or a year-and-a-half ago and is now back in his own job as the professor in a georgetown university but continues to be very active and published several publications a month on this very topic. are you here with us?
>> if i were to start and put it like this, never before has there been so much optimism, the flip side of that is that this may also be the last best chance to actually get something result. is it the last best chance to resolve this nuclear issue? >> good morning to all of you. i want to thank you for inviting me didn't and express what you have been doing for the community. so, thank you for the wonderful job that you have done and keep up the great work. the former secretary of defense once said that you go to war with the army that you have, not with the army that you want to have. you negotiate with a government that you have, not with the government that you would like to have.
it is the best possible government that the islamic republic of iran can produce and of the government cannot deal with this kind of government come i am afraid that it cannot be with any other government as long as the current leadership that is as long as it is in power so i am cautiously optimistic but i also understand that there are incredible obstacles both for president obama in this country and for mr. rhouanni. we've hostilities between iran and the united states. the two countries have been at war against one another and therefore one cannot expect that relationship to be proven quickly. we should understand that it is
going to take a long time for the relationship to reach a level before we can see that it has become new. however, when we think about the u.s. iran relationship, we should make the distinction between the nuclear negotiations between iran and the u.s. and the growth of the five plus one and the relationship with iran and the united states. we have a better chance of resolving the issue with them of improving the relationship between the two countries to be in iran there are people that were for the globalization and the revolutionary guards at least important elements of the revolutionary guard. there are people who are ideologically against any kind of approach meant. but most importantly, there are people who have benefited financially in the past 30 years from the sanctions loom.
we have the current war approaching. we have the congress of the united states and of course a lot of people who still remember the hostage crisis and i feel very uncomfortable about having that relationship and that the regional level we have very concerned about possible the but much more important than the state of israel in my judgment is saudi arabia which is very much of a kind of extreme iran and the united states. islamic this is the best possible government that they would produce and they cannot work it all. but at the same time you could turn that around to see the obama administration is the best possible administration the united states can produce when it comes to something.
and in dealing with the obama administration -- i'm sorry. i cannot reveal the secret. i think it's important to contribute to answer your question buy perhaps recalling that is even known. i would like to mention the to practical fact. everybody mentioned fact. i like to remember in this conversation that in the last 31 years does that make the public of iran and most of the u.s.
involved in the negotiation of least 12 times, to all different kind of negotiations? i know because i only referred to the negotiation that was mainly involved marginally involved in the negotiations with the factors reforming on what they've done. the tough negotiations involved with success nobody seems to remember this. this task from the beginning there were successful negotiations. in my view in my judgment the greatest successful negotiation between iran and the state of course was done not by me but by iran and was at the end of 2001 which was a negotiation to reinvent afghanistan as we all know. the bond agreement between the u.s. and iran for afghanistan
was the great disagreement between the two countries. there had been others of course and then divided since it was rather involved in so many of them and they were also successful with a slight variation after. i'm very fond of the negotiation first of all because they were so significant that we could hardly devonish -- diminished in the formula that was in line with times we don't know if something happened in 1992 where the number of variables in the negotiation increased of a sudden and the modus operandi had to change and those that do
not change do not succeed. the african negotiations were relevant because they show that though there were six powers, at some played as you know in the very simple way, [inaudible] successful negotiation. the other thing i would like to mention here is that paradoxically if you choose a subject and i can justify not because i read the book because i was there in these negotiations i had a good fortune of dealing with a man that has been involved in the negotiation. you will not have had the freedom despite the agreement made.
there will not have been other successful negotiations. and i think this not just because he has been a friend for a long time, but because of another reason. you do not negotiate with a country committee you negotiate with the person that is in front of you. you do not negotiate on the fury of the negotiation. my other question the first time in lebanon locked in a car usually that makes you think to that i hope it doesn't happen to you every day. and when that happened, you ask yourself who can teach you how to negotiate when you are blindfolded in the middle of the
night, and then you realize, if you haven't before which i thought i had, that if you think that you can negotiate and teach how the world can negotiate with iran or russia or sweden, you will never be get -- make it. you negotiate with the individual in front of you. the first time he spoke to me in those conditions he said i got only information from the intelligence that you are different. he said right you are. i said you want to know where i was born? my place of birth is the eastern alps and am i tried is as mortal as they come and growing up on the very physical border that is
how my narrative develops with the person in front of you so relevant that they were right the kgb did a tremendous job in that regard with the soviet union at that time. unfortunately, the soviet union was collecting so much of the individuals and the system could not benefit on that. anyway. what i'm saying -- and i come to the point i wanted to make a point here about negotiating with individuals whom we have a greater opportunity not only in front of us but we are all here intelligent enough that it's gone. it doesn't apply. the way that we negotiated in the 90's is gone office because the region has changed.
it's when assyrian affairs started and i had the emphasis to say let's forget about calling this a syrian war. this is a chess game. that is what the entire architecture from lebanon to the hindu established 100 years ago after world war i and we have to operate in a world different than ten years ago. and if we don't look in the eyes of the person that we negotiate with and we don't know why and we keep saying we have to negotiate, how do you negotiate with iran by realizing you haven't done anything with iran. if you negotiated first you would know that you could not negotiate in the same way. there were differences. negotiating with american
hostages was done on the basis of really back-and-forth. the freedom was a totally different affair because each man is different and so the story makes me laugh. you negotiate with a person. >> if we take it from the point that you're making that this is about the value to negotiate and in this specific case in geneva tomorrow the man that will be hitting the negotiations is the very first person you have negotiated with the if i can bring, and into this on the pyrenean side there will be a very experienced negotiator who has a narrative. there's also a person on the u.s. side collin that could match that narrative and his name is secretary john kerry. he will not be the negotiator,
however. are we to make anything of that. is that relevant or a minor plant that they are sending the foreign minister and the united states is not sending its secretary of state? >> i don't think so. i think this meeting was always scheduled to be at the director political level. i think that he decided that he wanted to attend so that he could put his stamp on the negotiations. my understanding is he will make a presentation, stay for a few hours and then he will depart leading it to his deputy to continue the conversation with the p5+1. if they come back with a serious offer and there's every indication that they are thinking about doing that, then i would not be surprised if there is a very fast follower of meeting. i don't have direct information for that president obama and
secretary carry seem to be interested in the uranium have to say. but i suspect they are not going to invest a considerable amount of additional capital at the highest level until they hear what the iranian team actually does present to the p5+1 in geneva. i wouldn't make too much of it. it wouldn't just have to be john kerry. it could be the ministerial level across the representatives just u.s. and iran. i would also say that, you know it's a good news according to your reports that the a iranian team and american team will be separate which hasn't happened in a number of years. so that's all good. just a couple of points based on dhaka previous speakers i would agree that we are at a diplomatic inflection point. i think things could either go really well or things could deteriorated. we probably have a greater opportunity to make diplomatic
progress for all the reasons that have been mentioned. there is a team that is both talented but i think also committed to try to find some in way to reach an accommodation on the file to the you have an administration in washington that is open to diplomacy although about the requirement for success but there's another thing driving urgency which is a technological sector. that is sometime in the next year or so, the nuclear program if it stays on its current course could start to hit some milestones that could be problematic from the u.s. perspective and i think from the perspective of many in the international community to be a while they are not likely to develop a nuclear weapon any time in the next year or so, they may hit a threshold in the next 12 to 18 months where they would have the ability to move
rapidly towards the suppose of material for nuclear weapons that they could not be detected and it's sad that so called breakout point that i think decisions related to when diplomacy comes to an end may have to be reached. so there's a technological urgency. we have a real opportunity. but if the diplomacy given all of these factors if the diplomacy in the current environment stalls or collapses in and concern whether it is the hard liners in t-bond who will use any diplomacy or whether that be in washington who take the failure of diplomacy as a sign that the window is closed and it's time to move in a different direction. that may be to go in on sanctions for the purpose of regime change which is the goal
of some kid and i'm hopeful, cautiously hopeful but i'm also concerned that if there's not real progress things could go badly. the last point i would make that is not an argument for washington to sign up to a bad deal. there is a deal the would put restraints on the iran's enrichment activities and its, you know, is substantially expanded international exception, reduce the stock pile of the enriched uranium, to a number of other steps that would prevent the breakout. it's a good deal and we should go for a deal like that but we shouldn't go for one that doesn't put meaningful limits on its program. i will stop there. >> i want to go back to the contours of the deal in a minute that while i have want to ask another question. you've been involved in the negotiations.
in the government preparing. as a result you may be a good person to answer this. we ask ourselves legitimately perhaps too often can they deliver and we are looking at the power structure and wondering if he is powerful enough to be able to strike a deal with hardliners will prevent, etc.. are we not being sufficiently self reflected because we are right now in the middle of the u.s. government shut down. part of the reason everyone was on time today is because there was no traffic in washington right now. in my that is the ultimate manifestation of the government not functioning. how will that affect the negotiation? how will the united states be able to deliver on the type of sanctions relief etc. that i am sure you would agree would be necessary to get to the deal but we are going to talk about in a while if the u.s. government simply is a function and there is nothing short of a war going
on between the president and powerful elements in congress. >> it's hard to communicate across a whole range of issues because apparently washington can't function. the good news is at least for the initial stages you wouldn't require congressional action. i think the president and the administration as a whole has enough discretion as it relates to suspending and waiting some of the sanctions if they come forward with a real and meaningful deal that for some period of time the administration has enough discretion to do something on the sanctions without congress. the challenge is not in the immediate term. the challenge is if, you know if a series of confidence-building steps is implemented then they would have to make the case for
the sanctions relief and that would be a very tough sell and hadn't to the cut in part for the reasons that you mentioned there's a group of individuals in congress who will oppose the president of everything and its opposite so it wouldn't matter what the substance is that that they oppose the administration. there are others who will be skeptical of whatever deal comes out so i don't think it is insurmountable and the way that you overcome it is by having a broad framework with a road map about where we are going to go and some concrete verifiable steps that are actually implemented on the side and if you can show that they are not only negotiating in good faith but actually changing their behavior that i think that you could afford a bipartisan consensus on the hill but it will be tough and will require the had demonstration to invest
a lot of political capital but i still think that is several months down the road. >> on that specific point out you think that the iranians are viewing this? >> from the american side the argument is that they have to put forward a serious proposal. the iranian said to be serious. to tehran and the government and washington they are serious right now. even if he wants to be serious is it capable? if not what are the implications of not? >> one other point to the iran. i think that mr. rhouanni said something interesting. which means that the understand the difficulties the president will have to reaffirm what i understand in a 50 minute conversation between the two
presidents, obama told rouhani i understand you have tough these and years ahead of you. please understand that i have a tough days and years ahead of me. so there are obstacles in this but when we speak of the deal, we have seen the u.s. and iran whether iran can deliver. to be honest with you, i'm thinking this is not a very intelligent question to ask. it depends on what kind of a deal. if we follow that benjamin netanyahu has said the that no activities or no nuclear programs. this isn't going to happen. no regime can accept that. if we are talking about enrichment as right of the islamic republic of iran and then we expect interest of
inspections by the international atomic energy agency, and then perhaps the berlin closed down but then we are talking. as you correctly said, the days when rouhani negotiated with germany and the u.k. and france, those days are gone. iran had 186 or 187 centrifuges. today iran has over 18,000i believe have developed the kaput the infrastructure for the bomb that they decide to do it. it's going to be tough but i think there are more or less with a wanted to be all along. it wouldn't be talking about negotiations. you have to be realistic.
the reality of the middle east as you said has changed. but the reality of iran has also changed. after eight or nine years of sanctions come devastating sanctions they have heard people but they haven't changed the republic of iran. when the sanctions started they had few centrifuges and now they have over 18,000 of them. so you have to be realistic about what iran can deliver. he is playing a very clever game. if you know this when we had that famous telephone call, the president supreme leader said that while he embraces the diplomatic initiative by
rouhani, at the same time he said i'm very critical of some aspects of what he was doing. and then a day after the commander of the revolutionary guard explosively said iran made a tactical mistake by talking to president obama at that stage which takes me back. he is on record for saying this diplomatic initiative. he's also on the record for saying that he does not trust america as a reliable partner. he believes america is going to get what it wants and then they are going to go to the business of overthrowing the islamic republic of iran. now, if these negotiations succeed, he can come out and say look i told you. if on the other hand, they do
not give the kind of concession that iran believes it should receive and the negotiations fail, then ayatollah khomeini will come back and say i told you that this was going to fail. the only reason why i accepted it is because the iranian people, 51% of you spoke. the democracy, therefore this is not going to go anywhere. i am -- i believe iran today is a much better position to deliver than the u.s. because we have an authoritarian regime in iraq and when the heads of the system decide that the deal is the deal, he can deliver. we have a democracy in this
country. and i am not really sure if the major centers of power have reached a conclusion that the deal must be stocked. >> when these types of then passes are taking place a very common line of thinking in washington is to believe that there needs to be more of a threat of force on the irony inside, which is all about in washington. but you negotiated the hostages' release and in your book is called a man without a gun which is coming in complete contrast with the fundamental premise in washington which is that they constantly have to be a military in order to get a deal. in the case of iran with a military threat of some people are doing or the threat of more
sanctions be helpful or hurtful for the diplomatic based on your experience? >> i knew the answer to the question i wouldn't be here. i would be signing more books two things to i appreciate the doctor mentioned earlier about the state of affairs we do not mention or we do not recall the negotiations between with the west is actually produced itself. we actually seem not to remember -- i have a bad habit of keeping notes. we have cried wolf and general and i say in general because [inaudible] we have been crying wolf about the nuclear weapon in iran to be
specific since 199116 times. we have been told that in two years iran -- if i said something like this to my children 16 times in 20 years, they would have told me dad, can you please think before talking? so in a way, this dimension together with the den mengin of what has actually been achieved doesn't seem to be featured the point going back to the question about how to negotiate with iran allow me to repeat we do not negotiate, period. we are negotiating possibly with the islamic republic of iran in 2013 after what has happened and what the present time sprigg
about. the negotiation at this point the prior year as we sit here is to have a clear cut in view of who is on the other side of the table. and requires one to understand the narrative in the mind of people. does anybody know by using what was referred to the negotiation with vietnam? i don't think many would. that is what actually happened to get and do we know who evoked the kissinger formula in that particular case? the president of iran. so these are the facts i see. it's very interesting but it doesn't bring anybody home.
the question is there is the generosity in this case. there are no generalities' talking about human life of any kind at least not in my look. so at this moment in time, what we have a is we have to try to understand better who was in front of us in. they've been gone with multilateral skilling with conflicts down to the multilateralism i think now we should accept with or without the bilateral was some. it's a feeling solution since 1992. unilateral doesn't seem to work well either if you ask me. so i would focus on using the five plus one but in reality
what is said over and over again that we go for bilateral. that is the way to do it. that is a great movement that has an implication for going inside and i think that it's thinking about not more than we think about what it means because there is a tremendous step forward in. we are not negotiating with iran in general. we have to go deep and understand what the narrative is to lead you couldn't have negotiated with your knowledge of humor. you would not but he wouldn't have negotiated if you had never been there couldn't to the cup. this is what happened.
you'd be wrong. it was reflected to my family. so you see the basic things for how does my mind work, my mind works in my ellen way. on top of that, my god, and we don't seem to talk about that i want to scare you now to understand what we have to take into account, the reality of the underground. does anybody realize the importance of 1534? i'm sure everybody knows it by now. it's a very important point.
it was part of the change of the world five centuries ago which we now change but we change it backed. this country changes it back. and iranian official a few years ago said we don't know how to spray because it brought that 1534. in 1534 it was [inaudible] the first and it began the rule on the sunnis. why don't we apply in 1946? would it be as complete and whole as it is today? these things are helpful i think not to show that we know things
that they play on to the narrative. i am the stand -- understand. >> it says that isn't important because congress is about the sanction. how do you deal with that reality that in the midst of these negotiations, there are bills introduced and passed three days before rouhani is inaugurated, the congress has in the house new sanctions will go to the senate in a few weeks. what will that do in the us pacific environment based on the narrative of the individual that you know on the other side for the prospect of getting a deal. >> i'm sure this question can better be answered and he knows better than i do in.
>> what would happen if that takes place? >> it's going to complicate the negotiation process significantly and i think those in the leadership in iran who are suspicious are going to become even more suspicious of american intentions. i think right now the best thing the two countries can do is to give each other a month or two to see what they can do in bilateral and multilateral negotiations. if they can produce a tangible agreement about the course they need to take that i think any kind of sanction imposed by the u.s. in my judgment would be an attempt to derails the
negotiation process. i think the people who keep pushing for more and more ultimately answer the following question. are we imposing sanctions for the sake of sanctions? you probably are going to tosk what can the iranian american community do? in this country one of the things they can do is to show the humanitarian disaster. they haven't heard the government. they haven't hurt the revolutionary guard. therefore the sanctions are not helpful. compared china to cuba. they have imposed sanctions in cuba. since fidel castro took back over in 61 and his family is
still rolling with the cuban economy has been devastated. when president nixon had them open up china to the world and allow freedom and private sector to gradually grow in china now look at china. it used to be an enemy of the united states. right now it has become a partner of the united states. why did this transformation take place? it took place because china was forced to open its borders on the international investment. this is what we have to do in iran. this is why the sanction are not only in human rights issue, but more importantly they do not contribute to the promotion of democracy to the private sector
hand-in-hand with the democracy. if you impose sanctions on the country what do you think happens? you would allow only the most powerful government to have access to the limited resources and before you undermine the private sector. so my short answer to the question is i would say any kind of sanction at this time when the two countries are testing each other would be i think harmful to the peaceful negotiation towards the resolution of the nuclear and has. >> i think a lot of people would agree with you that if i can play the devil's advocate for a second and point out that in the case of china no sanctions, private trade come all these different things occur but not human rights, not democracy. how do you make sure that if you
do resolve this issue you have a listing of sanctions and iran doesn't turn into a china that becomes economically prosperous that extends the human rights agenda is even further down and even fewer people care about. >> you make it part of the agenda. what is the top priority right now? this country isn't going to go to war met with iran if they continue to violate human rights. this country can go to war if they become a nuclear power. that is the difference. so i would say make human rights an important component of the negotiation. but to do that first you have to resolve or come to an agreement of the nuclear issue and second, most importantly, and i think this is the point he had 32
years of mistrust. it's the guy iranian negotiating team doesn't trust the american sanction or if america does not accept the negotiation i would say human rights must come when there is a agreement about the contour of the negotiation and i think the focus. >> we will talk about it in more detail in one of the panels in the afternoon. you mentioned the sanctions would be something that would complicate and others to view an even stronger word saying undermining diplomacy at this point. there's also another way of undermining it and that is to set the bar for the negotiations so high same feeling good deal that can be had is essentially impossible to achieve a to have
a forthcoming conversation about what is the best viable, feasible, achievable deal that can be had? what are the contours of a very minimum? i want to first go to colin since you brought this up what would a good deal like that is achievable, not the best idealistic deal but in this universe, in this current situation. colin. >> let me say one quick thing on the sanctions front. i would agree that additional sanctions at this moment if the negotiations go well would be counterproductive there is clear evidence that they are motivating the leadership to negotiate in good faith.
they are increasingly concerned about the economic situation. i think that rouhani believes that is one of the reasons he was elected overwhelmingly is to ease the pressure. so the challenge for people making the argument we shouldn't have more sanctions i don't think it is persuasive in washington to make the point that sanctions have not been helpful in getting the iranians to the table to negotiate. we can talk about whether that is true or not. i happen to think it's true that even if it's not you're never going to win that argument in washington. you have to make the argument sanctions have been helpful in powering the negotiations that going further at this point would be counterproductive. that's the argument that is better to make in washington. as it relates to the deal we know the broad contours of the