tv Rifle Assoc. CSPAN May 5, 2013 5:30am-6:01am EDT
challenge bad information? interesting question. i will take one more from this side of the room. yes? >> hi. i guess this question is for pat and lieutenant vance. i was wondering where you briefed the families individually. how did you communicate with the families and keep them informed ahead of the press? >> i think both of us can respond to that. we come to this from different respective's. first of all, i think it was a stroke of genius to assign a police officer to each of the families. not only did it provide rejection from any potential
onslaught of media, since their names were being revealed, but it provided us with an opportunity to communicate with the families. that is what my office did. we used that as a vehicle to get information directly to the families. we would communicate either with lieutenant vance or someone knowing that the information would get to the families, clearly, consistent. it would be fair. it would be communicated in the appropriate fashion. that is how we used to that position. >> as i alluded before, but the most difficult things we had to do from the criminal investigative point of view was to inform the families, and there was always a way to do it. -- no easy way to do it. we had to do it as quickly as we possibly could. understand as i said before, children do not have identification in their pocket. we have to have a positive
identification. we cannot go in and say, i think little johnny is deceased. we had to be able to say, yes, we have located your son or daughter and tragically the child has lost their life. in that time, and that was hard to do, we were able to say to be 26 families who lost loved ones that we believe your loved one is deceased. we got things done, which i will much quicker than normal. we had to bring this terrible news to the families. >> the governor -- the governor was the one who made that first announcements to all of the folks in the back room. the other vehicle i used, by the way, to correspond with the families was a robo call. that practice began months ago,
years ago with the horrific weather events that we had. it is common in my community to use that as a vehicle to get a message to all of the residence -- residents in our community. almost everyone has signed on to the robo call service with their landline and their cell phone. that is a method that i use. >> we will take a question from this side of the room. anyone? somebody? a room full of journalists? >> i have a little bit of a sore throat. this is for both of you, but also for anybody. the size of your town, the community made a difference to the response for the community
and the response for the media. because i am thinking of what happened in boston and what you are describing as so different. i am just wondering, boston being a big city, did that make a difference? >> from my perspective, yes. it was overwhelming to have that much media in our town. and the president spoke so-- the presence felt so intrusive sometimes. residents would be calling my office saying, can't you make them leave? can't you make them go home? it is overwhelming to be in every newspaper every day. it was wearing us down. so much so that i was worried about the spirit of our community. i think at some point we had as much media as we do
residents. there are 28,000 residents. they felt that they could not turn a corner. they would be in the retail area. they were obviously at the memorials. again, trying to be very respectful. i do agree with lieutenant vance that the media really got it with the exception of a very few. but it is hard to be a journalist looking for a story without being intrusive. you want to talk to people. you want to take photographs. you want to ask hard questions. we want to be respect all that the journalist cap editors that -- that journalists have editorsthat are saying to go get that story. but it is overwhelming for us. we are a small town and a close- knit community as well. >> just to dovetail on that, when we were giving out information relative to the investigation, the last press conference we had, we talked about how are we going to get the media to go home? i mean that.
they were based in the community and the community was overwhelmed. i have got to tell you. i will say it again. they got it. they went home. they knew there was no other information coming out from these lips. everything would be done electronically. they packed up their stuff and a majority went home. they went home. again, i think it was mutual respect. one thing i can say about the community -- the community was phenomenal. phenomenal. there were people who would walk up to troopers doing their duty because they felt they were underfed or undercoffeed. the community came together like nothing i have ever seen in my life. >> you are the community journalist. this is your community, naomi.
how do you understand your station's role, how you are being appreciated? how did folks relate to you? -- you were breaking this in and dealing with it over time? >> there were a couple comments respectful we were with the -- how respectful we were with the coverage. and we were able to find a source, because there would be someone who lives next to someone. you just have those immediate ways to get people to talk to you about the news. we got compliments from our listeners about our coverage. >> let's leave it there. i want to thank all of our panels for beginning our conversation today by taking us back to a place i know they probably would rather not go back to. it took some courage to be having this honest conversation
today. so, lieutenant, naomi, brad, pat thank you. let's take a 10 minute break. there is a women's room immediately to your left as you go out. halfway down the hall there is a unisex restroom. there is an authorized men's room all the way down in the basement. thank you, folks. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> next, the national rifle --ociation's annual
we will speak to linda feldman and peter baker of the "new york times," followed by an update on the civil war in syria. then, peter sigel joins us to talk about the new pbs series he is hosting on the u.s. constitution and what it means in the 21st century. "washington journal," live with your tweets, calls, and e-mails at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. the national rifle association is holding its annual meeting this weekend in houston. here's a portion of the event on saturday that featured keynote addresses from some of the nra 's chief officers, including wayne maki eric, president david keene, and chief lobbyist chris cox. this is about an hour and 20 minutes.
>> today i want to thank you for what you do to support our second amendment rights and for being here at this incredibly important meeting. by your very presence you are sending a message to the president, to joe biden, diane feinstein, and michael bloomberg. and to all their friends in the media who have been claiming for months that you and american gun owners simply don't count. we've all been under attack since the connecticut tragedy by those who would exploit the victims of a madman to second-- advance their own agenda. we've been under attack because they realized to win they'd have to take down the n.r.a., demonize gun owners and convince the american citizens that is we
are the problem rather than mass shooters and criminals the federal government refuses to prosecute. within hours of the shootings in connecticut they swung into action. new york's mayor announced he would spend as much as it might take to support the gun banners and wrote checks immediately. media figures denounced the n.r.a. it is as important today to destroy the n.r.a. as it was during world war ii to defeat the nazis. it was quite a performance. but support for the president's agenda began to weaken as elected officials and ordinary citizens looked deeper into what was being proposed. and second amendment supporters like you began showing up by the hundreds of thousands at rallies
around this country. observers quickly realized that the belief in our traditional rights and freedoms is as alive today as it was when the bill of rights was drafted so long ago. in the end -- [applause] in the end the fact that our opponents live in a different world or perhaps on a different planet than most americans doomed their efforts which i remember watching pbs as the president delivered his anti- second amendment diatribe and hearing a savvy commentator, assure public broadcast viewers that a new day had dawned that most n.r.a. members agreed with the president and they were abandoning the national rifle association in droves.
those assurances may have comforted his audience but ignored the fact that that very day while the president was speaking and right after wards 58,000 americans troubled by president obama's proposals and fearing for the future of the second amendment picked up their phones and joined the national rifle association. [applause] in the end united states senators realized that their constituents actually do count. just because a president wants something doesn't mean they should salute and give it to him. they realized that because of you and millions of others made it clear that you're as prepared as ever to stand and fight for our freedoms.
[applause] by the time it was over, we had a million new members. and we had turned the tide. [applause] i stand here today to thank you and to let you know that those of us you've honored by trusting us represent and speak for you during these challenging times are grateful for what you helped accomplish. as your president, you can tell -- i can tell you that we've been blessed to have wayne as our commander in chief during this phase of struggle to protect our constitutional rights. [applause] today's n.r.a. exists in large part because of wayne. and our opponents knew that to destroy it and the second amendment, their going to have to go through wayne.
they tried. they launched every personal attack you can imagine and they failed. [applause] wayne's steadfast leadership and willingness and ability to put together a team of strategists and activists that can out think and outfight our opponents was tested as never before. and as always, wayne was up to the challenge. ,e assessed our strengths analyzed our weaknesses and knew what we could do on our own and what we needed outside help isaccomplish.asa hutchinson a former u.s. attorney and congressman who headed the drug enforcement administration and he was under secretary of homeland security. he was just the man we needed to
lead an initiative to draw up a plan to protect our children in the wake of the kind of tragedy that took place in newtown connecticut. wayne went to him and he responded. that took dedication and courage on both sides. he took on the job because he know that is we are serious and that we would back him up. and he did a great job. chris cox at the institute for legislative action proved that with a small staff and your support he could outdual the president and senate liberals who have vowed again and again to gut the second amendment by dividing us or fooling us with attractive sounding proposals that mask their true intentions. with chris and wayne providing the leadership and with our members and our supporters behind them, we overcame the doubts of those sunshine
soldiers who thought they could buy peace by making deals with our opponents and handed president obama is first major legislative defeat of his presidency. [applause] that, my friend, is quite an accomplishment. an accomplishment that few of us would have predicted back in january. but let's not fool ourselves. it doesn't mean the war is over. we must never confuse winning a battle with winning a war. we all know -- [applause] that as we meet here our opponents are regrouping and we know that they'll be back. they are as dedicated today as they have ever been to consigning you and me and all
those who believe in the freedoms guaranteed us by this nation's founders to the outer darkness. it was the inability of some senators who should frankly have known better to distinguish between a battle and a war that led them to agree to what they thought was a peace treaty but was in reality a short term arm -- armisticethat would have helped new york senator chuck schumerweaken us as they launch their next offensive. this is a mistake we will never make. \[applause] we know the stakes. we know what you expect of us and of your n.r.a. we will never fail you. think for a minute about the talent we have at our disposal. wayne is the face of the national rifle association and you hear from chris and from
your officers. but i'd like to take just a minute to pay tribute to the directors you elect who develop the policies we follow and who provide all of us with the strategic advice we rely on as we do battle on your behalf. some of those who serve are household names. while others are drawn from the ranks of those who serve or have served an elected office, former governors or senators and congressmen. there are others though that you don't hear about as often but who are as vital a part of your n.r.a. leadership team. j.d. williams of oklahoma, washington, d.c. and now texas
is one such director. j.d. has been a mentor to wayne, me and the n.r.a. itself for decades. as a successful attorney and perhaps the most respected lobbyist of his generation, the j.d. williams has been instrumental in every second amendment battle waged in washington since the 1960's. he has been and continues to be a valued advisor to democrats and republicans alike. he was crucial to the formation of the institution for action and has been an unfailing wise counselor to wayne and every n.r.a. president with whom he has served. and would if we were a baseball team rather than a board be a most valuable player. i remember riding back after a day of shooting on the
chesapeake. he said he hadn't hunted ducks and geese until after he moved to washington. but remembered coming back after his first hunt and said this j.d. is why god put you on this earth. j.d. williams is rarely wrong but he was wrong that day. god put him on this earth to play a key role in the defense of freedom and the rights passed down to us by our founders. although god really didn't mind if he took a day off here and there to shoot a few ducks and geese on the side. i like j.d. williams and the rest of our board to stand because they represent you and they are the backbone of this association. thank you j.d. and thank you to the entire board of directors of the national rifle association. [applause]
everyone here, every member of the national rifle association, and every second amendment supporter in this country has benefited from your service j.d. and from the service of your fellow directors. thank you all. [applause] fellow members of the n.r.a. family, it is an honor for me now to introduce another director of the national rifle association. please welcome lieutenant colonel oliver north. [applause]
>> thank you, my fellow n.r.a. members. it has been my great blessing to have spent most of my life in the company of heroes. those of you who have read my books or seen my reports from the battlefields around the world know the classical definition of a hero is a person who puts himself or herself at risk for the benefit of others. they are the kind of people who stand in harm's way and do not wither in the heat of battle. such is the character of the person i was asked to introduce to you today. years from now when the honest history of the national rifle association is written, the chronicle will have to describe this as a time of extraordinary
duress for this great civil liberties organization and our nation. the historians will have to report how a vicious assault was waged by politicians, by the media, by the entertainment industry and well financed progressives with one purpose, to destroy the n.r.a. that record will also have to reflect how the leaders of the n.r.a. responded to protect not just the membership of our organization but the precious liberties of all americans. over the past quarter year, the primary tar get of this venomous attack has worn the slings and arrows of the left yet never once flinched. he didn't cut and run, he didn't complain. -- didn't moan the malicious
bemoan the malicious lies being spread about his character, the threats to his family or the spiteful intrusions into his privacy. instead he decided to stand and fight. he led the way. [applause] he led the way all great leaders lead, by example, with integrity and courage and tireless energy that are the virtues of real leaders. he more than anyone else has led our great organization through a fire storm of conflict. he's endured the assaults as personal and as cruel as cold hearted as anything i've ever seen. i do know a little bit about that kind of treatment. and the toll it takes on our families. yet negotiate he nor his wife--
yet he nor his wife ever lost their good will, their charity, their desire to do the right thing for our nation. imagine four months of waking up to a new attack on the front page of your morning paper. consider what it's like to see yourself demonized every time you turn on the television. every word twisted and stripped of context. they thought they could force him off stage like they've done to so many before him. instead he punched back harder than they imagined. he's rallied all across our country and testifying before the united states senate, something else i know a little something about.[laughter] so he's remained true to the principles that have guided him.
he stood up to the well financed obama-bloomberg-biden media attack machine. everyone in this room, every member of our organization, every american who believes in the principles of freedom ought to be proud and thankful for his leadership, tenacity and courage. >> i came here to stand for what i believe is true. how have our nation's priorities gotten so far out of order? we care about our money so we protect our banks with armed guards. we care about our president so we protect him with armed agent agents. yet when it comes to our children, we leave them utterly defenseless. that must change now. when it comes to keeping our kids in this country safe,
nothing else matters. >> i have people all over the country saying i went to bed feeling safer last night because i have a firearm. >> they have to face a threat most children do not have to face. >> we will not be duped. we will not be demonized and we will not be divided. >> words do have meaning mr. president and those meanings are absolute especially when it comes to our bill of rights in this country. let me hold up a mirror to the national news media and white house. why doesn't nbc news start with shocking news on chicago? why doesn't the press corp when they are sitting with jay carney why don't they say why is chicago dead last in enforcing
crimes with guns? there are drugs and cocaine being sold. gangs are trafficking 13-year- old girls which gun owners know the truth. >> have they lost their minds mr.r at the white house? president we will stand and fight throughout this country as americans for our freedoms. we promise you that. when it comes to that, sir, you keep your advice, we'll keep our guns. the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. >> ladies and gentlemen, members of the national rifle association please welcome my friend, my fellow virginian, wayne lapierre.[applause]
>> thank you. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. thank you, you are kind which we do it all together one by one and people like you all over this country. [applause] >> thank you. thank you very much. thank you houston and good morning. colonel north, i really appreciate your kind words. you are a genuine american hero and for your service to god, to our country and to your n.r.a., we all salute you colonel and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. [applause]