tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 18, 2013 5:00pm-6:01pm EDT
structural work is being done, all that to try to put a lid on excessive expression of whatever the various groups are trying to gain. in other words, the lack of violence, trying to perceive it as functional. that makes me think of the second factor, the factor of the other side of the positive piece, the positive peace, and that is addressing the underlying causes and conditions of the conflict, whether they be long, historical type or something more recent. and track two terms, scholarly terms, that addresses more work relationship work as opposed to reconstruction or structural factors such as the
constitution. i am interested in how your group or the syrians or the u.s. governments, other governments, might address that, those two factors, and to try to make the transition and beyond the day after, as you say, less troublesome. >> thank you. well, i think on the first question, the first part of the question, i personally attended a seminar in sarajevo about the bosnian conflict and lessons for syria. and i think -- i remember you raised the point that many bosnians warned us of not going through any peace arrangements without having a vision. they said they made that mistake and dayton was imposed on them and there was the constitution which created a paralyzed political institution, the presidency.
i think it is a well-taken point, and that is why you always feel we have to think about -- and that is only the general objectives of democracy, but what kind of democracy, what kind of system, all those details. we have given those issues a lot of thought. syria is different from bosnia in the sense that in bosnia there were these three communities, in a way, and they had to create the kind of system that may be close to what happened in iraq, into divided societies. in syria we have the question of minorities, and there is a clear sense of a majority in syria. if you take the divided syria in terms of the ethnic divide, the only question we have is arabs versus the kurds.
most of them are part of the opposition, and they would find a solution to their issue within a unified syria, which is good. that is helpful. the other divide is the sectarian divide. religious and sectarian. we have 5% christians, 11% alouite. both communities are arab, and they have more in common in terms of their cultural identity. i do not think you -- maybe solutions like federalism are very viable in syria, that maybe a decentralized system would address the local concerts of these communities. what prevents syria from having a paralyzed political system is that it creates a state based on citizenship, rule of law, you create equal opportunity. those are all missing from the authoritarian, oppressive regime of the assads.
they have a clear idea, everything but the assad regime, and in that sense, the composition of syria, it is easier to avoid the problems you find in bosnia. in syria, the essence of this conflict is that people rose up demanding their basic freedom and freedoms and rights. they were deprived for decades, but we were talking early on, there is an idea we should go back to the 1950 constitution, because syria had a viable democratic experience. there was that historical memory, the idea that we can live together, and we should. and so to avoid the negative peace and addressing -- moving to a more positive peace is to create the political system which is responsive, gives
everyone their rights, gives everyone their sense again that they have a place, a stake in it, and you avoid dealing with the symptoms of file its and trying to find solutions to the fighting. i do not know if i addressed the second one. >> the second one is the more difficult one -- >> thank you, i would like to follow up on sasha's question. >> this woman -- you wanted to ask a question? if you will go to the mike. i need you at the microphone. at the mike. >> back here? thank you. on the two previous questions, sasha asked did we miss an opening with bashir, the one of the things that struck me, if he
had wanted to, the power structure he inherited from his father had no stake in opening up, and the issue of negative peace. that power structure will remain in place, the security apparatus, even if assad -- your demand is that he has to depart. the power structure will remain. how will you deal with that, and what needs to be done? i presume in whatever negotiation, whatever agreement you achieve, how do you dismantle that power structure which is antithetical to democracy? >> i wanted to follow up on the idea that syria could establish rule of law, regular courts that would not be corrupt, a
constitution, a democratic state, rule of law, meaning everybody abides or is brought in, sentenced. i do not see how that is possible. i would be interested in your thoughts. for us, we had a thousand years of british history and the development of a parliament chipping away at the king's powers and balancing with the monarch. do you have any thoughts on that? >> both questions are about what the realistic possibilities are. >> i also had a follow-up. it is related to maybe the first question.
most people when they think of a peace conference a think of the two sides have been fighting. assad on one side and the other side the rebels. i am asking about your concept of this geneva conference. if assad is not there, who should be on that side of the table? i wonder specifically, if assad is there, if no one from the coalition will go. >> ok. the first question about the structure that exists today. i think, no, we believe that these institutions of repression, particularly the intelligence agencies, must be reformed drastically. this could take time. i think we had in the day after project the whole section on
security sector reform, in which we envisioned, like all normal countries, having two maybe intelligence agencies instead of the 16 that exist under assad today. we envision the role for the police, which is very important and should be charged to carry out domestic order. and the same for the armed forces that need to be reformed in a way that unfortunately -- over the years, and i think part of the reason why we have the situation we have today is that since this goes back to the french mandate, when the french first came to the country and created the first troops to carry out order in the country, they recruited heavily from minorities. this was a divide-and-rule policy.
after independence, the country continued with that. many of the mainstream majority would avoid serving in the army, and that explained the overrepresentation of certain minorities in the army. you need to correct that. second, you need to create a truly professional army in the sense that it protects the country, not connected to a regime or a family or a person. that is a problem in syria. if you look at the fighting force that is doing most of the fighting with assad, it comes from the elite force that enjoys privileges that has been equipped, trained the most, while the rest of the armed forces is almost dismantled. it is not functional. in order to move toward, again, democratic order, you have to
reform the structure. for the security agencies and for the armed forces, and we looked in the experience of many countries and we have good recommendations there. the second question about the question of being skeptical about syria moving for democracy. like any country, there are forces favorable and forces that are unfavorable for democracy. in today's world, the thing we learn from each other, we are not going to go through 200 years in order to become democratic. what is happening in the world today, you look at the arab countries, and i teach about the transitions in the arab countries, and you look at different models of transition. some of them have been much more successful than others, like tunisia and egypt. in tunisia they created a model that worked for them and created a coalition in parliament from the three major parties that is leading tunisia forward. in egypt, the prioritization
the polarization between islamic factors and others, led to a step accords. today we could learn, we do not need to go to the same time to achieve democracy. i can assure you, people who lived under authoritarian rule and suffered from that, they yearn for those basic rights and freedoms we take for granted. once they are giving the opportunity and create the right structure -- and i believe there is an element of luck in doing this. you look at the american experience and the french experience. in this country, the second time we had it right. in france, they had it more than five times. with people now provided at high cost to achieve that democratic system, i'm optimistic about that. especially if you neutralize those external influences in the case of syria, the influence of
iran, hezbollah, and if russia becomes a much more responsible country that finally decides to act responsibly, that could help as well. if syrians get to the other, they can find solutions to their problems. geneva -- geneva has built a process of mutual consent that we could veto somebody from the other side and they could veto somebody from our side. our main criteria is people who committed crimes against humanity should not be part of that delegation. we do not want a very notorious head of the air force intelligence agency to be present at the table. the regime, they leaked through russia some names that would be acceptable. the point is they have to be able to go back and will be reporting to some of those guides, who have blood on their
hand. there can be creative ideas to reconcile. we believe the coalition should lead the opposition delegation, but we are open to include others. those who are not necessarily included in the coalition, but share our goals of the revolution. >> let's take one last question. >> thank you very much. could you speak on the difficulties of the aide unit in providing for councils and what the isc doing to facilitate that? >> the acu and the local councils, they see they are one of the first organizations coordinated by the coalition. it has been doing decently, a good job, but there have been some issues of coordination. at the local councils, the
challenge with them, those are not councils that have been democratically selected, elected. in many cases the activists in this area who have been active were able to do it. in some cases like aleppo, they managed to have an election. they brought in people from the different neighborhoods, towns, and they selected the council. part of the work that has been done with the local councils is to train them to improve, to reach out, and, number two, to improve the quality of that outreach. the more some of them were able to do it, they became more representative. some of these local councils are challenged by other groups. in the coalition we are open to the idea of making these councils or responsive, more representative, and then it would be easier to provide through these individuals.
the experience has been mixed. some areas have been better than others. we want to always -- we believe it is one of the sources of becoming more legitimate, to be able to provide and rule through these councils. >> let me conclude by noting that i studied arabic in damascus in 2008. i have never been in a place that seemed riper for change in a democratic direction. ordinary people would tell you very bluntly that they wanted more freedom. i think it is very sad to get it they have had to go through what they have gone through. at the same time, i think the people i remember in damascus would be very proud to have you, najib, representing them here in the united states, and we are
very pleased that you took the time with us to explicate the coalition. thank you very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> 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 to do with the abortion issue in the united states, and tons, race, arab-
israeli relations, and other countries. they have their red lines they have to be aware of, and what it part to nist could get away with in sampras kisco to be different cartoonist in san francisco could get away with in is different than in algoma. i asked they say bad news is good for cartoonists, because it gives us a lot of fodder. i would rather work harder and have less bad news and know where we were going, in a right direction, and we are not going in a right direction. i feel very -- like it is a real calling for me to get my opinions out there. it is not alld,
fun and games for cartoonists. herar why. james and thesse infant ms. -- infamous james younger gang. on c-span3, four decades after watergate, a look at nixon and the saturday night massacre, sunday afternoon at 1:00. next, ways to reduce gun violence. he is the former president of the campaign to prevent gun violence, and he spoke about the debate and areas where advocates could find, and ground. this is a little more than an hour. >> i believe we can begin. ashby could today is the former .ayor of fort wayne, indiana
before we proceed, we would like , whoank mr. richard heller is responsible for are getting him here. they do not see eye to eye. name is famous because it was his lawsuit that overturned the d.c. gun law. mayor the former of fort wayne, indiana, the former president of the brady foundation, and he a professor at the university of indiana. he attended the university of indiana and yield law school -- yale law school, where he was a classmate of the clintons. he took a few years off several
years ago to think things over, and he is speaking today on common ground with the national rifle association. puaaul? >> thank you. [applause] fact thatired by the the federal government was able to reopen and folks came back together to find common ground for a few months on that debt ceiling and on the budget. that gave me hope that perhaps those of us concerned about gun violence from the gun control's perspective can find common ground with those on the gun rights and are a side of things. i hope so. art of the reason that i wanted to do this talk today was -- part of the reason i wanted to do this talk today, a different perspective in indiana.
i was the president of the center for five years, and eventful five years, during the ruling court issued its in thae heller case. we had the tragic shootings in virginia tech and tucson. we saw one will pass congress where the nra and gun control side came together to back a bill submitted by maccarthy from new york to strengthen the background check system by to get morestates records of those who are mentally dangerous into the background check system. that was something positive that came out during that time. it was an eventful time. since january, i have been in indiana, my home state. i teach at the school of public
and environmental affairs at indiana, and teaching classes on urban problems, law and public affairs, and now directing a new program for freshmen, dealing with civic leadership. i'm happy to have 10 of those students today here, and i am others -- i have others that are touring the capital. in indiana, talking to hoosier students, midwestern students, professors, 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 the issue, particularly and i know living in the beltway you develop a beltway mentality and think it is all about fighting here, and you do not realize there are a lot of opportunities, should be a lot of opportunities to find common ground on many issues, including gun violence. that is perspective -- that is
the perspective i'm coming with here. i have talked to friends and others in the state and had a few ideas that might be interesting today. i want to acknowledge my old the formerin chavez, mayor of albuquerque, as well as my former public information director, caroline brewer. we have a couple carolines in the back. thank you. actually, when i started this semester, i had shannon watts who founded a mom's group, not so much to push my point of view come up but to talk about how people can try do push for change using social media and internet connectivity. i had a young man named colin
who told his personal story having been shot four times averaging attack. i am glad to see it hell are here.- dick heller i have been on panels and discussions with dick over the years. weant to make a point, that still have a problem with gun violence in this country. some people will argue that there is less gun homicides today than there might have been in the early 1990's, that violent crime has gone down, that is all true, but we still have a problem with gun violence in this country. even if the numbers are decreasing, which i'm happy about, we still have a problem with gun violence in this country. the tragic shootings at newtown as 10 months ago.
the shooting at the navy yard was just a month ago. we have not done anything as a country to address these issues, and these are crucial issues for us to address. even when we -- and i hear from so many people, why do you focus on mass shootings? mass shootings are very rare, few people killed in the context of things. that is true. oftentimes that is the only time that the media and the public and our elected officials will focus on these issues. i always said it is not that i'm saying anything different today than last week or the month or year before, it is only occasionally does the media focus on the issue, and that is when we see a tragedy like virginia tech, like tucson, like newtown occurring. in this country we still have 32 people murdered every day with guns. that we shouldng
not tolerate. in addition to those 32 people killed, every day, we have a .umber of suicides by guns the deaths by guns are the tip of the iceberg. the people injured with guns every day increases that number significantly. there aregun death three or four more gun injuries every day. when we focus on homicide, ignore the fact that emergency rooms and surgical care doctors have gotten better in dealing with gunshot injuries. part of it is the experience from iraq and afghanistan. a lot more people survive these gun injuries. when i talk to the folks who work the emergency rooms, the dock yours, nurses, -- that
doctors, nurses, they still talk about seeing they are seeing as much gun violence today as they did 20 years ago. in indiana, in the midwest, chicago has been having a horrible year. fort wayne, the number of homicides is now on one of its highs for the last 20 years. point number one, we have a problem with gun violence in this country. as a nation, we are not doing anything to try to solve that, try to fix it, try to make it better. point number two, when we have tried to fix it, we have run into red blood -- roadblocks. congress has a tough time passing the budget or raising the debt ceiling, how can we expect them to handle something like gun control? we came, as i mentioned, after virginia tech, all sides work
together to help get a bill that got more records into background checks systems. as afternoon time, we at least had a vote in the senate, but at that vote, all the policy or puzzles from both sides, all sides of the aisle, basically were blocked. there were not enough votes to get a universal background check bill that was a compromise bill supported by senator menanchin. that was my hope, bringing together republicans and ,oderate democrats, joe machin who had run for office showing somebody shooting a book of regulations. obviously, people that have a lot of gun owners and enthusiasts in their states and among their constituencies. --n senators to me and
camey and manchin together, i had hoped. on the other side, there was a bill to push a sickly national reciprocity for concealed carry permits. this is a bill that came up as a standalone bill, proposed by senator thune, and when that came up, a few years back, it fell short of the 60 votes. it got 58. this time it got less than that. 53 votes. both sides wishing for their ideas on what to do with guns, what to do with gun violence were blocked with the senate. even if we had passed anything in the senate, and the perspective of more background checks or restrictions on semi automatic weapons or high- capacity and diminishing, who knows what would've happened in the house. it was difficult to get any of these things to the senate or the house, and boehner, until
the vote the other night, has using the role of the majority of the majority to bring it to the floor. this is the situation we have got. is a lot of good grassroots efforts from people like moms demand action and the u.s. conference of mayors, from brady, and from other groups on the one side, and i see action nra,a lot of groups on the the major one, but other groups that are pushing the gun rights agenda. sides i know see that as a long-term's assertion -- solution. getsthe people change who elected, then we will get something done. that takes a long time. even if there is a backlash against the republicans for the way they handled the at ceiling ceiling andebt
keeping government opened, you will not get the sort of people into congress quickly that will change these things. we are going to have enough votes on the one side the block national concealed carry, still going to be enough votes on the other side the black -- to block background checks. back to square one, where people get killed every day with guns and we do nothing about it. there is action at the state level. i was pleased some states took some action after newtown district and some of their laws, and there were other states that responded the other way after newtown, to in effect loosen their laws are make it easier to carry or have different restrictions. lawsll colorado where good were passed, and there was a recall election and two of the people who push that got removed. you have this back and forth. as i look back on that, we have been having this fight since at least 1993, 1994. after the brady background check
bill in the first so-called assault weapons ban was passed. what do we do now? we have a problem, and we got a political system that cannot seem to move these things, what can we do? this is where we need all of us, to find a way to find common ground between the nra and gun right side and people like brady and moms demand action and mayors against illegal guns, and those are concerned about the gun violence in the country. or should be and a lot of common ground here. and i look at other issues that face us as a country, guns is one where particularly, since case, weer vs. d.c. should be able to find common ground. before, there was an argument about what the second amendment meant and argued the history and the language and argued the intent, and you can argue what the miller case said in 1938, a
lot of these things. were tons of reasons. what's the supreme court ruled in june of 2008 that there was an individual right to have a gun for self defense or mrs., at least in your home, that battle is done. one of the points i made after a showing -- i was on a tv with wayne lapierre that night, i said, congratulations, you got what you want it, now let's figure out where we can find common ground, what we can do here. because the decision and justice in themade it clear opinion in section three of the opinion that this right, the second amendment right, is like other rights not unlimited. he said you could have restrictions on who gets a gun, on how the gun is sold, how the gun is stored, how the gun is carried, and even what kind of gun it is. you can argue with and all those
categories exactly where you control the line and if it steps over the line constitutionally. justice scalia outlined areas where i think we can start to have a discussion and where we need to have a discussion. and where it is crucial for the future of our country and the health of our communities to have this discussion. i want to suggest some things today where i think we can possibly find common ground. the first is still on background checks. this is the one that people should agree on. aregree that people we pretty sure are going to be dangerous, that our dangers now and likely to be dangerous, should not eat easily able to get a gun. that is the starting point, someone who has been a dangerous --on, eight age are asleep someone who is dangerously mentally ill, a drug abuser, a number of the other categories. wayne lapierre was on one of the national talk shows after the navy yard shooting, and said he
wanted to fix the background checks system. he said we have a broken system. he wants to fix that akram check system, -- he wants to fix that akram check system. we need to see if we can find agreement with him to fix the broken background checks system. -- if he isng waffling, let's find that out. the background check system is broken. that does not mean we met walked away from it. my reaction is fix it, do something to fix it. that is what we need to do it. the fixes can be complicated. we need to look at who we consider a dangerous person, and maybe there can be better ways to define these people. how thelook at records get into the system. if you have a great addition of dangerousness that the states
are not getting the records into the system, it will not do any good. we need to look at how many sales are allowed without doing a background checks. right now only federally licensed dealers are required to do background checks. that leaves a large loophole that is often exploited at gun shows, but at other times also through private sales, and that is something that can be fixed. the amendment proposal try to fix that. some folks felt that went too far. let's try to figure out where folks start date -- folks thought they went too far. maybe we can draw some other procedures and deal with that, either in terms of timing or how you can do it but let's fix the background check system. this is something we should agree on. the fact that lapierre on television and in a column shortly after that said he wants to sit down and fix the background check system is something that those in the gun
control movement and gun violence prevention movement should take up right away. that is one where the rest of heller, martink chevette is, who have been in politics for years canst that by and percent in the table. there is give, take, but let's get something done that fixes this row can background check system that makes it harder for dangerous people to get guns. that is point number one. point number two is i think we have some potential to do things on the weapons that we consider too dangerous to have easily available to everybody. ofs gets into the issue assault weapons, semi- automatics, the high-capacity magazine. again, we should be able to draw some lines. some people say why do you want to ban a magazine clip that -- why do you want to hold it at 10
bullets? to have those discussions, and where we draw the line on the number of bullets. right now the limit is unfinished -- is infinity. you see these people bring in the drums that have over a hundred bullets. you can make an argument that the reason that the tucson shooter was stopped was the fact -- 32-round-- round magazine he had emptied and in the time he was trying to get the other magazine in he was tackled. they are shooting at people are screaming and dying and there is blood, that is harder to do. does make athe clip difference. newtown, one of the arguments is 11 of the children got away when the shooter there went to chase each -- change the cut. there are damages to having restrictions on the magazine
clips and what the number is not as crucial as a fact we need to have limits because right now there are no limits and as the technology changes, we see more guns that are having more and more bullets that are being able to fire more quickly and cause more damage. a lot of folks say that is the stuff you're never going to get, never get another assault weapon and, you will find always ways around it. we have had restrictions on machine guns and fully automatic gun since 1934. we do not make them. it is not a machine gun ban, but we have every restrictions on machine guns and automatic buttons and has been on the books for some time, was modified in the 1980's, but these researches have worked for the most part. you do not see machine guns and fully automatic used in bank robberies like we did in the 1920's. you do not see them in, street crimes, partly because it becomes expensive and you pay a high tax and you have to do some
registration and licensing and other things. not are available, but available to most people. this is another that a court of where do we draw the line. let's figure out how technology has changed to make guns were deadly in terms of of the velocity by which the bullets are relates, how quickly it shoots, and figure out is their a way we can draw the line, and maybe not have the alternative a band, but have it be some heavier standard of regulation just two automatics. i'm sure the folks on the other side will oppose that. host of them support the machine gun restrictions. people do, but most generally do, including the nra, have supported the machine gun restrictions in the past. if 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, and how we figure out who should be allowed. there might be some potential, maybe the most controversy, from the prevention side. thoughthe big things we a few years back was that food amendment that had states recognize other states'carry license. that was opposed. i oppose that and other 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 -- in virginia, one of the people that shot at virginia tech, she was able to get a permit online, without ever having touched a gun in her life. she was able to do it online. some states like you'd see -- utah, you fill out a form, said in a check, you get alliances. some states you have to renew
the permit on a regular basis. you get a lifetime permit. you have an obligation to tell the people in indiana if you get in trouble, and they might take that permit away, but you have a lifetime permit for the gun. difference dates have different criteria. one of the things we should look at, because in order to get the nra and gun rights goods to the table, we have to find something they have been pushing and are interested in that have not been able to get. that heals with some of the reciprocity issues. one of the areas for potential, an area that the gun violence prevention site should be willing to discuss is having some national recognition for a concealed carry if there are minimum standards met for concealed carry in the states, either setting a standard or a minimum standard that states have to follow. a few years ago in texas, it has one of the higher levels of
standards for getting a concealed carry permit. if we could find the state where it has worked well, and were legitimate gun owners who feel they need this for protection, meet the criteria, that have those criteria adopted elsewhere. that is something that should be put on the table. if we do that, i think we perhaps get into some of the other issues with background checks and with weapons, because one of the things that is implied with concealed carry preventinghe idea of , of the license, and it has been interesting to me. one of the books i read early on on guns was the hemingway book about private guns, public health, and his conclusion in the book as to what might do the best thing long range for dealing with violence is he proposed a system of licensing and registration. the analogy we hear all the time is that you get a drivers
license, you register your car, the state is involved when you sell your car, and getting a nutritious ray. isnot arguing that the way we handle covers license fully, but the thing is one we should look at. we register those machine guns. holders.e those permit we do a background check. if we combine those concepts into a system that looks at the individual and gives some license or permit, when we look at the weapons and look at some that need to be registered and others that do not, you can come up with a system, that could perhaps advance the interests of folks on different sides of this issue and help us move forward. dick hellerut that case, and the remedy in that case, the last line in the decision, was 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. should not be considered something that is unconstitutionally as part of the remedy in the leading case in the field on this topic. we didalways say if that, there would be a list someplace. that the government could use to confiscate weapons. clearller case made it that the government cannot legally constitutionally confiscate weapons. you have an individual right to these things. one of the arguments i made after the heller case was that the whole issue of licensing and registration really is a moot point now, because the courts say you cannot have confiscation of the weapons. it is another thing we should look at. the other thing that has been more clear in indiana is the most anti-siesta gun owners that
i -- most enthusiastic gun owners i know are those who want to get their infield carry permit. getting a permit. the government knows who they are. if these are the most aggressive, but act dave, most argumentative folks, there is a list there. not to mention the fact that are listed in profiles and other things. the heller case ended up with a charge for d.c. to get the license to heller. the fact that permit holders know there is a list, the fact that we have looked at registration for machine guns for years aims there some capability to take those concepts and combine them with some national reciprocity i would take care the argument i hear from the nra and others on the gun rights side that why should i write be different in one state and another state? that is a big concession from
people on the gun-control side, and probably something i could get arguments from people that i deal with. we have got a problem in this country. our political system is not in a position that it is dealing with the problem. it is probably not going to be in a position to do with that politically for some time. the only way that we will be able to get something through congress in the foreseeable future is if the nra and others on the right side are willing to join in the conversation, sit down at the table, and try to work something out. the background checks and who should be prohibited, when we focus on which weapons should be treated more like machine guns, on the permitting,nsing, national reciprocity, my hope is we can find common ground. i do not want to see another tragedy, another mass shooting, i do not want to see fort wayne or the cities in this country continue to see that death and the blood and the mayhem they have. guns is not the only part of the issue. you have to deal with the mental
health system, the breakup of families, the economy, but any discussion that ignores guns is also closing its eyes. i hope we as a country are willing to do that. i salute president obama and vice president biden and some of the administration for dealing with the issue and talking about the issue after newtown, but we have to find a way to break through to the other side to let folks know there is room for common ground here and it will benefit the community as a whole. thank you for listening to me. [applause] >> we will now entertain questions. please then when you ask a question, and identify the organization you are with. with ane not organization, that is fine, too. ma'am? >> thank you. that there is a window of opportunity, the president
recommends to the congress to take care of the issue? >> that they have raised the debt ceiling, i think we have an opportunity. we are getting close to election season. it goes on full-time. we will not be seeing a lot of the full focus of the elections until next year. there is an opportunity this fall, now that we have the government shutdown behind us, to do with issues like immigration, and some of the other things that happened talked about for some time. it is something we need to do. i am hopeful. i might mention, and there are other parts to this issue that might have some common ground that i failed to mention. one is the gun trafficking. guns going from our country to mexico is an embarrassment. there are trafficking laws that could be written that i think all sides should able to agree on that would make it harder to have these folks -- these guns
that go to the gangs and go down to mexico. that is something that deals with law enforcement, but needs to deal with the law on the books and hopefully that is another area where we can find agreement. you mentioned the numbers of deaths and injuries. you have any idea how many of those deaths and injuries fall within the property where some consider it as an underlying source of mental illness and drug-written neighborhoods and how would you answer that question also of two people who say we are going to find it anyway? >> a couple points. one is the mental health issue is one of the crucial ones here, and i know after the town and after so many shootings, a lot of people say it is these mentally ill, deranged, dangerous people, and sometimes the descriptions get even wilder
and wilder in terms of describing the type of person. researcher talk the other day about the issue of mental health, and he felt that it will health can be a contributor inspector, but it was only four percent of gun violence that you could attribute to someone who had mental health issues. his conclusion was the most dangerous combination of -- was mental health, and with drug abuse or alcohol abuse. focus on things we can and perhaps focus on better, that right now the only category of mental health that is prohibited is someone who a court has found to be a danger to themselves or others. if we looked at this definition, perhaps differently, combining that with the drug abuse, alcohol abuse, sorts of categories, we become up with better vectors as to who is made dangerous for those reasons. a lot of the violence ties to drug sales, gangs who are
selling drugs, and a lot of that is the urban violence we are seeing. whenever someone says that they will get the guns anyway, i keep thinking, do they have gotten manufacturing plants in south chicago or in the bad part of -- the poor part of fort wayne? i do not think so. you might be able to grow marijuana in your home or 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 where it starts out as a legal arctic and moves into -- as a legal product and moves into illegal use. folks who can buy a lot of guns in bulk without background checks. the classic example i give is the fellow who went to a gun show in dayton, bought 81 of the same make and model, a semi automatic pistol, and is anyone surprised that someone who buys
81 of these guns, what he does with it is not for his protection, 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 and officers -- and police officers ended up getting killed. that way you'd deal with that is require the check when you -- when he sells a, when he buys it, when he sells it, look at the trafficking statute that looks at the purchases like that, to make it harder for him to do that sort of thing. some people also say with law that the bad guys will get it anyway. that gets into the issue of 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 is stopped -- has stopped over 2 million illegal for justice, that is 2 million people who have been stopped. ?ow can they not be prosecuted
at least they were stopped from getting a gun the first place. it means once they have committed a crime, and have a -- it gives the attorney the charging party, the police officer another thing to charge them with. giving them another thing to charge them with, a violation of the gun law aims they can have a stricter punishment because they have had that gun charge entered. sometimes having a law is meant to prevent, sometimes it makes it easier to find a penalty for it. the other thing is it helps set what we consider to be societal norms. the societal norm should be while you have a right as defined in the heller case you also have a responsibility. rights are not unlimited. you to point out to people that we want a society where you do not make it easy for dangerous people to easily get dangerous weapons. cartmell, california. armel, california.
would you like to comment on this guy to proclaim that the one-year shooting of 26 people is a guns save lives they? -- day? >> i think that is disgusting. i have debated him a number of times. he comes from his perspective. he likes to get publicity from the point of view he likes to argue. i think he is looking for publicity. tying it to the anniversary of it's -- itdy is -- does discuss me. that is not the pressure we should take. there are other ways we can get that issue out there. i would be willing to negotiate on these things. i do not consider the people on the other side evil. but i think that's sort of a strategy is not appropriate.
[indiscernible] i am with the huffington post. the nra has shown that it is more than willing, especially in recent years, to raise alarm and raise money over threats, hypothetical threats, that are not real, and i point to the u n and the idea that the u.n. well confiscate your weapons. own interestss and its members want to hear a certain thing and it needs to keep raising money. how do we get the conversation with a group like the nra back to reality, and how do we meet them at the table if their table is constantly shifting? >> it is not going to be easy, i admit it. are a large organization. they like to raise money. large organizations need to raise money to keep going.
they raise money based on fair. thatse money based on fear you are going to get someone break in your home and they would all sorts of harvard things, you need to read. -- of horrible things, you need your gun. if obama is elected, he will take your getaway. a raise money based on if you make this one change in the current law, it is a slippery slope that will lead to everything i get away. i think folks need to realize that playing on fear is not reality. want to take i wayne lapierre at his word when he says he wants to talk about fixing the background check system and and call him on it, and if he will not do it, he will not do it. i think there's the possibility because he also needs to deal with the real world and realizes if he says one thing and is not willing to at least sit down and talk about it, he has gone back on it. shootings, when
the justice department started a review of gun laws, the nra's reaction was why should we meet with somebody like attorney general holder who wants to take their guns away. after the new time -- new down shootings, at least they went to those meetings. the pressure needs to come from their members and from the electeds that have supported them. when they hear from their members and elected, that akram checks is something that is getting 85%, 95% support, figure out a way to work it out. you know the details better than we do, but sit down and work it out. that is for the pressure will have to come from. illinois, they made their changes last year, the nra set them at the table and try to work things out on figuring out how they did some of the things with their firearm owners, identification card, and
adopting concealed carry in the state. there have been times when they have been willing to sit down. after the virginia tech shooting, we were able to work indirectly with them through their -- to the senators that supported their positions to get the instant check system amendments act passed. it's not going to come just from like me calling for it or suggesting it, it's going to ore from their members others pushing them to it but we've got those other issues in the government off the table, let's deal with this gun issue. if the n.r.a. sees something they've pushed for their reciprocityional and conceal carry, that might be enough of a carrot to bring them the table. >> who else has questions here? >>