tv Democracy Now LINKTV November 6, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PST
peace report. i'm amy goodman. ofcontinue our coverage sunday's mass shooting at the first baptist church in sutherland springs, a tiny community east of san antonio, texas. the governor said it is the worst shooting in texas history. 26 people dead, 20 more wounded, including children, elderly, a pregnant woman, the suspect them in catterick kelly -- devin patrick kelley. he was jeffrey year for assaulting his wife in 2012, still able to legally purchase a military style assault rifle. our guests are in austin, texas, ed scruggs, vice chair and spokesperson for texas gun sense. philadelphia, we're joined by george ciccariello-maher, political science professor at drexel university and the author -- he was banned from campus after questioning why mass shootings in the united states are almost always carried out by white men. and we are joined by sarah tofte is research director at everytown for gun safety. ed scruggs, your response to the
shootings and what is allowed in texas. >> well, thank you for having me today. of course, it is a tragic time here in texas. this quite a bit of shock throughout the state, especially in small communities that the crime of this magnitude could occur. of course, our thoughts are with those families and the victims at this time. but part of what our organization is here to do is to remind folks that there are steps we can take and the discussion we need to have about ways to eliminate this type of violence and that no one is immune to this violence, whether l. rura in the s state of texas or any other state. here in texas, w what is allowed ---- it is rather r wide open in terms of gun ownership.
in recent years, our state leadership has taken to loosening gun laws and basically any way they can. a few years ago, they legalized tampa scary. also legalized open carry of firearms. it has always been legal to carry long guns onon the strtre, or ading a shotgun salt-type weapon like an ar-15. a few years ago, there was a groundswell o of some extreme grassroots activists ththat begn workg for open carry in locking down the street ofof our cacapital cicity here inin austn carrying their ar-15's and having parades, etc. our legislature is f free much inflfluenced b by what i would l anan extremist movement that bebelieves in n no gun ownership restrictions whatsoever. and they do have pull the legislature and with our
governor. it is pretty manning and shocking to see, but our toanization is working hard have a conversation in the other direction. and we realize what we're up against year, but we are having a conversation.. we are getting in the doors of the legislature and talking with folks. progress is measuredand we rea'p against year, but we here. we are forcing them to have the conversation. so that is where we stand. amy: trump in february s signed off on legislation that would make it easier for people who are mentally ill to purchase guns. can you talk about what is the history of dealing with mental illness around guns in this issue we have been talking with sarah tofte about people who have abused their family
members, being able to get guns like this man in texas who was jailed for a year for assaulting his wife and child? -- we are less than one day away from this, but that is the big story to come out of this. how did this man with this record of established violent acts, not only does people, but animals, who served a year in jail, then discharged from the military, how was he able to go out and buy regularly one of the most powerful weapons available and commit this crime? it is shocking. i think it should be eye-opening to people who may think, oh, everyone has a background check or background checks weapons out of the hands of these people, that we have safeguards against the mentally ill. that is not really true first al.
there are some and in runs around the background check system. the system that we do have is .ot strict enough it does not go deep enough into personal histories. and that was one element of the rule that trump rescinded this year, was an attempt by the obama administration to get a real handle on the mental health issue by accessing social security records for those people who are receiviving disability due to mental health. that that would be in the system to where that would flag on a background check. that is all it was. but of course, gun rights advocates really did not like that at all. that was touching g a third rail for them invading their privacy or something to o that e effect. and so one of his first acts as president was to rescind that rule. so when the president goes on
international television, as he time,te last night our and say "this is a menental heah issue," you have to question, are you committed to doing something about the mental health issue? actually, i think, , just to lal this as a mental health isissues somewhat misleading because under current law, someone convicted of domestic violence is not qualified as mentally ill. they would not be judged incompetent in a court to handle their own affairs. and that is how you would keep someone from purchasing a weapon -- although, federal law does if you're convicted of domestic violence, you should not be able to purchase. it is not as if this suspect, from what we know now would have been classified as a mentally ill person unable to take c care of their own affairs. if something comes out of this that wakes of f the population, perhrhaps it will be that our background system -- our
background check system is not adequate. we do not have adequate recording. we are going to find out how he was able to obtain these weapons, and i think it will be alarming to some people. amy: what is intereresting is president trump, from japan where he was pushing and boasasting about them buy more u.s. military weapons from the united states, sasaid this isn't the time to talk about gun control after this chilllling massacre in texas. of course, last week when thehe massacre took place here in new york with a truck, he said we have to cut down on immigration immediately after the killingss had taken plplace. helso want to clarify, rescinded a rule, so it wasn't exactly signing off on legislation, around making it easier for the mentally ill to get guns. but i wanted to bring george ciccariello-maher into this conversation of drexel university. you wrote immediately after the
las vegas massacre where the 64-year-old white man named paddock had opened fire on concertgoers below, killing 59 of them. , you are banned from the drexel campus after questioning why masass shootings in the u.s. almost always carried out by white men? is that right? >> yes. to be clear, when i began to write about what had happened in las vegas, i was really writing about this broad question. i think this is a question we all need to grapple with when you see these shocking mass brutalities. what is it that makes white men so prone to this kind of behavior and what might be going on today in our country in which people are stoking a sort of victim complex among white men? what might be happening today to encourage this behavior to
radicalize these kind of actions? i was in the daily subject to torrents of abuse and threats from right-wing media outlets. we're talking about breitbart, these types of websites. it was on the basis of those and the purported threat that they represented that i was excluded from campus. my classes were initially canceled. despite the fact that in my classes, we've had cononversatis about this. despite the fact my students were very knowledgeable and intuitively grasped what is going on in the world around them and were open having conversations about these difficult things. amy: so your response to what happened on sunday? think we are seeing these kinds of atrocities occurring and we need to be asking come and not only what can we do? i think these are important questions, what kind of immediate institutional reforms whether it is targeted gun control for domestic violence might be effective, but we also can't lose sightht of the broadr questions and ask, what is going on in our societety today? what is happening with regard
only to wake people, that white men in particular, with regards to race and gender as they function together? in this case, we don't know all of the facts or the details, but we're talking about institutions that also serve as breeding grounds for violent behavior. we are talking about not only sexual assault in the military, but domestic abuse of those surrounding it and those outside of it. we're talking about other institutions as well that you can bring in, like policing, which domestic violence is rife in very difficult to keep weapons out of the hands of those domestic abusers. we need to think deeply about the structural role of what is going inside. a broad selling weapons. in this case, we have someone that was trained to engage in violence abroad. yet we act surprised when these people have breaks, when they fall into some kind of crisis, when they find maybe feelings of entitlement -- frustrated that they then turn to violence.
we're talking about a structure institutionally that trains people in violence and encourages them to feel as though they are the losing side of history. trump makes hay out of the fact that white men in particular feel as though they are the victims of society, despite being in absolute control of it. this is something that is powerfully dangerous. that is why we're not seeing only the rise in attacks more generally in the far right seriouss, but also incidents of mass violence as well. amy: yesterday, hour after hour after this horror on television, it came out that there was t ths mass killing in taxes and they said the worst church massacre in u.s. history and they said the worst texas massacre. no one was saying anything about the killer. hour after hour. but clearly, people had seen him, some had survived, people outside, the police. he was dead, whether it was
self-inflicted or someone shot him. they knew. they were talking about the tragedy and not saying anything. it only led us to believe it must be a white man who did this because we would have known, i think, right away if the person was a person of color were certainly muslim. when it is a case where someone is a muslim or person of color, that is what they say immediately. now it was just left hanging. so you knew that this would be the case. >> that is absolutely the case. whiteness is never seen as a cause in and of itself of these kinds of massacres, of other forms of violence, despite the fact that whiteness is a structured privilege and a structure when it feels threatened, it lashes out. so that is the kind of thing we need to think about. only why is it -- i think
there's a lot of attention to the fact we demonize often muslims or people of color when these attacks occur, the far right jones on any violence by people of color. and yet doesn't want to talk about the real deep structures of white supremacy in our country. not just the nazi movements, but what people are going through every day and what it is that is driving people to these kinds of situations where they feel so entitled to dominates that when that is quesestioned, they can explode in these very predictable ways. and on targets -- it is not a question of what's gross he playing a role since the because some of the starving people of color. you're talking about people having clear mental issues but the cause needs to be identified outside and beyond that and we need to think much harder about what is going on in society makes it so sick. amy: and to clarify,y, what is your status now at drexel l and explplain how other people have been treated in other situations. you cannot go on campus? thees him and that is
status at this point. ing online.ly teachu my students are moving danny reinstated. what you're seeing is a broad wave of aggressision againinst faculty. you seem dozens of cases whether it is tommy. texas a&m, princeton, trinity college. you're seeing far right websites faculty members who dare speak about racism. the is the common thread. are those threatened and having a lives strained over being willing to talk about what is going on in the country today. amy: george ciccariello-maher, thanks for being with us, political science professor at drexel. i want to ask ed scruggs about the plano, texas, mass shooting
that occurred in september and a lot of the blessing right now, what? the plano, texas, masculine where an estranged husband shot and killed eight people at a football party. describe what happened and the reaction. biggest missed stories of the year -- at least the last several months -- was this mass shooting which occurred in plano near dallas. a football watching party where an estranged husband accused of domestic abuse -- or at least heavily suspected did -- in the process of divorcing his wife were splitting up, she was holding a football watching party like they tend to do during the relationship. he did not like that. he showed up at the home in the middle of the party with an a or 15. they argued. he shot her. he enter the home and shot everyone in the home and it was by police and killed.
this received almost no national attention on the news. i believe there was something going on with the russia investigation during that time or something to that effect. but it received almost no coverage. i may have seen one small crawl on cnn, and that is it. not one interview or one report from the scene. what is troubling about that is, one, we have become so desensitized that now nine deaths doesn't qualify as news. but the domestic violence component. it is, as i think sarah mentioned earlier, it is a common link in many mass shootings. this almost was a textbook case where it evolved into a mass shooting. that was a direct connection. you can link it to this case of the church shooting, domestic
violence included. the first mass shooting in the united states and the modern history well-known to many company i can 66 ut tower shooting here in austin. that shooter, serious domestic violence against his wife. it is just a common thing. the media did not have its eye on the ball when the plano shooting occurred. it really stopped covering all of these smaller shootings of murder-suicides also the majority of those involved domestic violence. where perhaps a spouse is killed, a child, or another person. that is happening all across the state and this country. we have either become desensitized or not interested in covering that. people are shocked that this type of crime can happen in the church shooting in texas, but the truth is, it has been happening on a rather large scale, but people are just not
paying attention. that is very disturbing to me and i think to many other people. amy: you are referring to the sharpshooter who took rifles and weapons to the observation deck atop the main building tower at ththe universityty of tetexas a, opened fire for the next hour ,nd a half, killed 15 people ultimately he was shot dead. but again, began with domestic violence. i want to end -- that he would just say had a history of abuse himself with a very abusive father and surrounded by violence and surrounded by firearms at a very young age. i think that is something when you go into these cases and look at them, you will also find that with many of the shooters as well. one way to attack gun violence is to attack domestic violence. we have a tenure program to attack opioid addiction.
we have a war on drugs. held at a war against domestic violence and spousal abuse? you will not only cut that, for you will also cut violence. , you just camee out with a report for everytown the deepafety around connections between domestic violence and these mass killings. what is everytown for gun safety recommending? >> we have to address of users access to firearms. we can do that in so many ways, making sure they are prohibited from addressing firearms, make sure they turn in the ones they own. we have to understand more, the connections between domestic violence and firearm violence. we have to care more, not just for the victims, but for their families and for our entire community's. it is the way we will prevent mass shootings in this country and the way we can prevent every well isviolence as
domestic violence and we can do so much more. amy: sarah tofte speaking to us from atlanta. ed scruggs speaking to us from austin, texas. and george ciccariello-maher of drexel university speaking from philadelphia. when we come back, paradise papers. how to they implicate everyone from the current commerce secretary to the queenen of england? stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we end today's show with a slew of shocking revelations about how the world's richest men -- ridges people stash away billions of dollars in wealth in offshore tax havens. the revelations, known as the paradise papers, implicate multiple members of president trump's own administration. among them wilbur ross, who continueued to invest in a after rossmpany even became commerce secretary. the shipping company, navigator holdings, is also linked to a russian oligarch subject to u.s. sanctions. the papers also show president
trump's secretary of state rex tillerson was the director of a bermuda-incorporated oil and gas company, linked to exxon mobil, which ran a controversial scheme to export tens of millions of barrels of natural gas from the oilfields in w western yemen. trump's chief economic adviser, gary cohn, served as president or vice president of 22 separate companies based in bermuda betweeeen 2002 and 2006, while e was at goldman sachs. the registered addresses of all 22 bermuda-based companies were 85 broad street in manhattan -- then the headquarters of goldman sachs. even the trump administration's totop banking watchdog, randal quarles, vice-chaiairman for supervision at the federal reserve, was the officer of two separate firms based in the cayman islands. the 13.4 million leaked files also implicate trump's former treasury secretary steven mnuchin, jon huntsman, trump's new u.s. ambassasador to russia, and carl icahn, , trump's billionaire former adviser.
they also reveal how millions of pounds of the british queen's private estate were hidden in an offshore fund based in the cayman islands and have a senior advisor to the canadian prime minister justin trudeau helped funnel millions of dollars to offshore tax havens. the documents alalso take aim at the world's biggest companies showing how n nike and apple avd taxes now facebook and twitter received hundreds of lines of dollars linked to the russian state. the files obtained by reporters at the german newspaper mentioned with international consortium of investigative journalists, then analyze from more than three to 80 journalists from over 90 media organizations are crossed seven countries. for more we're joined by frederik obermaier, co-authohorf the "paradise papers." he is an i investigative reportr at germany's leading newspaper. he also worked on the "panama papers" investigation, and is co-author of the book "panama papers: the story of a worldwide revelation."
if you could start out by explainingng how these papers we released and then talk about some of the most outstanding examples with in it, who this is implicating. >> hello. we started the paradise papers investigation more than the year ago was that it was the result -- the first results were published yesterday at noon. that was u.s. east coast time. the paradise papers show exactly how the super rich and how corporate hide behind their money offshore. sometimes it is illegal, sometimes it is still legal but i think it is still illegitimate because hiding or avoiding taxes means there is money going away, ,oney that our countries neeeed our societies need, for example, to build streets, schools. i think this is a global problem. it is a problem in the u.s., but also the european union. is a globalhere
approach needed. amy: can you talk about some of the most stunning findings in this? what your most shocked by? >> i was really surprised of the huge expanse of how people being beinglose to donald trump involved in offshore dealings. i think the case from wilbur ross shock to me the most that thereall know were already questions in regards to how he invested. but nobody was aware of his connection to russia. i mean, he now claims the -- that he did not know the company they did business was putin'sia
son-in-law. fromnk i must admit that the secretary of commerce, i would expect to at least know this, to research it. i think it shows huge conflict of interest that in my opinion should be investigative. amy: explained because the commerce secretary one question said he was divesting from his holdings. so what does the paradise papers show? >> the paradise papers show he indeed did disinvest from most of his companies, but he kept even after becoming secretary of commerce, that he capped --kept interest in navigator holdings and that he did not disinvest from that one. and given the current debate in the u.s. about russia's influence in the u.s., i think it is very important to have a close look what went on there.
and that only media, but also authorities and investigators should have a look on that one. uncovered, for example, rex tillerson, the secretary of state. steve mnuchin. explain what you found. of steve mnuchin, it is interesting that his former bank, the cit bank, they they help the customers to set up structures when, for example, they bought airplanes to set up structures to avoid taxes. in this is things we've seen many cases. and we have already cnet millions of dollars of taxes are avoided with these structures. and given the fact that nearly every country in the world needs money, needs tax money to basically keep up infrastructure
, universities and schools running, i think this is something the public should be well aware of. that the trump administration, there are many people with offshore ties. this is something they should have a close look to. amy: and very quickly, the companies like apple and others, what role the paradise papers exposes them playing? show thatadise papers those multinational companies are looking to finind always a loopophole in the global tax system. so when one is closed, they try to find another loophole. they try to keep their taxes as low as possible. and it is countries like the taxeshat basically miss for some for example, if a company like nike says of a conflict it is structure and have taxes in the netherlands