tv News Nation MSNBC December 18, 2012 2:00pm-3:00pm EST
i'm tamron hall. the final good-byes for two more young victims as students around newtown return to school for the first time since friday's massacre. the june ral of 6-year-old jessica ricos began two hours ago. she loved horses, watching them on tv, reading and writing about them. jessica's parents refer to her as the little ceo because she said she liked to plan everything. family and friends of 6-year-old james matioli are saying final good-bye. james' family says he was energetic and woke up every morning ready to go to school. the parents call them their beloved prince and describe the 6-year-old as a numbers guy who was wise beyond his years. and wakes are held today for 6-year-old danielle barton, budding athlete.
he loved to swim and play soccer. charlotte bacon, 6 years old, remembered as a go getter. and for her strong personality. also, victoria soto, 27-year-old teacher who officials say died while protecting her students. and we're also getting new information this afternoon on the guns adam lanza used in the attack and when at least one of them was purchased. let's get the latest of nbc news justice correspondent pete williams. what can you tell us about the purchasing records uncovered? >> frankly, tamron, i didn't bring them with me. i didn't have the exact dates at the fingertips. we all have been reporting here that all these firearms were bought within the last two years. and i just don't remember the precise dates. i apologize. the state police say it's going to be probably months before their investigation report is finished given the number of victims and the complexity of the crime scene. in terms of, you know, the
latest on the investigation, i think it's fair to say that it's moving very slowly. they had hopes that they would get quick information from the house and the computer. they haven't given up on trying to get information off the hard drive that was damaged but that hasn't yielded any information so far. so what they're going to have to do is go backwards and try to look at billing records to see what sort of internet service providers used and come at it that way to see if adam lanza using specific websites or going in to chat rooms or doing something that would have left some sort of electronic footprints. that's going to take time, as well. so there's still no good answer of why or what was going through mind. i think we have to settle in for the possibility it's a long time before we know that answer if we ever do. >> and the information that we have regarding the weapons at least the glock handgun found on adam according to authorities
purchased january 2012. bushmaster purchased in 2010. pete, can you speak to the agencies that are involved? as you well know and to your point of this information and trying to keep it straight, and keep it accurate, there seems to be, obviously, the digging in of who adam is, psychological background, from high school and obviously on, as well as information on the guns which were legally purchased so there are many if you will avenues pursued. what agencies are involved? >> reporter: pretty standard there. the connecticut police are in charge, tamron. it's their crime scene. murder, even as heinous as this is still a state, not a federal crime so they have the lead investigation but they do ask for help from federal agencies. the but ro of alcohol, tobacco and firearms and explosives do the gun traces but the state police are involved in that, as well. they're asking the fbi for help with analyzing evidence like looking at that hard drive, for
example. and anything that involves work outside of the connecticut where they have to run down leads in other states. they'll ask for help with that from other agencies. >> thank you. a few republican lawmakers are slowly starting to react to calls for gun control laws following the shootings but for today our first read team notes, republican politicos have been mostly silent coming to guns and the role they played in connecticut. and when it comes to the nra, "the new york times" points this out. quote, leaders of the organization have declined interview requests since the shootings. the group's twitter account is silent and deactivated the facebook page. all of this despite protests right outside of the nra's headquarters in washington, d.c. yesterday. but with democrats including nra-backed lawmakers promising to push for reasonable bans on certain weapons, within the new year, at least one republican is blaming democrats for playing
politics. >> here we are a town which was controlled in the house by democrats in the senate by democrats and the white house by democrats for two years. and nothing took place for stricter gun control laws so for the partisans in our country to already start injecting politics in here, this saddens me further. >> president obama, meantime, made the first serious step toward new efforts to reduce gun violence meeting with members of the cabinet inside the white house just jed and led by vice president joe biden, beginning to look at a set of proposals that include reinstating that ban on assault rifles. joining me, john rosenthal, chairman of stop handgun violence founded in 1995. the son of former attorney general robert f. kennedy with us and contributor michael smerkonish. talk about the silence of the nra here. you have a couple of article
that is described this as the duck and cover noting that when we have seen past tragedies like this of mass killings that the nra will lay low and then fight legislation proposed. will that work this time around or will they be forced to come out and make a statement that goes beyond saying we are sorry for the loss of life in. >> you know, tamron, as i have expressed to you in the past i feel like i answer the telephone for a living. that's what i do 15 hours a week and i have therefore covered any number of these sort of instances in the last decade plus. this one is different than any i have talked to my audience about in the past. the depth of the feelings, the fact there were 20 first graders puts it on a new level. i might be proven incorrect but i think this time the memories longer than the nra hopes and coming february, march, people will be demanding changes. >> john, you were on with us yesterday. you're chairman of the stop handgun violence. in fact, you have put up a
number of billboards and other things to grab the attention and remind people of how many lives are lost to gun violence and you have told us yesterday you own a handgun. i want to play a couple of republican congressmen just today and a governor who were specifically asked about just a ban on assault weapons. these high-powered, high-magazine assault weapons and let me play what was said today. >> argument against an assault weapons ban other than, well, if you do that it's a slip ri slope? i have tried to understand that before. >> i'm a concealed carry permit holder. i have a handgun, a shotgun. i'm not part of the problem. we have got to make sure that those that have criminal backgrounds, that have a propensity for doing this, mental health issues. >> could you imagine ever supporting a ban that limited, say, the sale of assault rifles, limited the sale of clips to private citizens? >> i don't think that's the
first place that you look, chuck, because first of all we don't have all the facts. i think we need to look at school safety, mental health seems to be a big part of what happened here and then reasonable, prudent decisions. >> we know that the bushmaster purchased 2010. republican lawmakers trickling out if you will and who at least right now can't bring themselves to say that they would support a ban on assault weapons, what do you make of this? >> well, the last vote that the congress took on guns was whether or not people on suspected terrorist wash lists, people who are not allowed the fly in airplanes, whether they should be able to continue to fire firearms at gun stores and congress said, yes, this's perfectly fine. before that, the last vote to give immunity to the gun industry so you can't sue them and they can continue to sell guns directly to criminals unlike any other consumer product. look.
you're reporting this really beautifully. and it's really hard to see little baby coffins and this is a different time. these are like all of our kids. and our family members. and shame on congress. these republicans are lying to us. they take money from the nra and they don't even require a background check for gun sales. for them to say, oh, we have to enforce the laws, the laws are unrestricted access to all firearms including assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips and without an i.d. or background check. unless you buy it at a gun store but congress and the republicans have been pushing this. go to gun shows. go to the 33 states where no i.d. or background check or detection are required and that's why we have an epidemic of gun violence. we can reduce the majority of gun injuries and deaths with a ban on assault weapons and high
capacity ammunition clips and background check requirement for all gun sales. >> i want to quote "usa today." talking about the nra's tactic as described in the past. he says, quote, when there's a large-scale mass shooting like this, the nra are waiting for the storm to subside. they know that what happens until the political storm passes, and once that happens, then they resume standard procedures. they will work to defeat any proposed laws. john and michael, we know that they have millions behind it. political reports, 17.6 million in 2012 election cycle and lobbying congress and the white house. john, i pointed out your organization and if we can show some of these billboards and messages that you have put out reminding people, you say fortunately your vote does matter.
we need a federal assault weapons ban and a number of messages out. michael, let's talk about the money here. we talked about it. millions with nothing. is there enough a money to push back on the power if it still exists? mayor bloomberg disputes it. we know that they have the money. >> well, i think that there will be so much free media afforded those candidates that truly force this issue and confront the national rifle association. my own state is a great example of this. you know, ed rendell was a two-term governor. he fought the nra. he was a prosecuting district attorney in philadelphia but did not see eye to eye on w the nra. and in this a very pro-hunting state able to be elected for two terms. it can be done. it requires the ongoing focus of many of us who won't allow january to come and people's memories to fade. >> right. and john, just quickly, the
issue that the two republicans we've just played specifically the congressman saying that we need to address the issue of mental health in this country. and perhaps ignoring signs that are there. my question is, why is there a perception that you cannot do both at the same time? why can't there be legislative action immediately if there's the desire of the people and overwhelming numbers show 57% if not higher asking americans if they want stricter gun controls, that i say yes. why does it have to be one or the other, mental health or some type of reasonable or sensible common sense ban on certain weapons? >> m-o-n-e-y. the republican party gets 80% or 90% of the money the nra dolls out to buy them and as a result it's always everything except for the gun but the reality is and people are smarter than this, there's always been mental
illness. there's always been evil in our society. but what we now have is unrestricted access to military-style killing machines with bullets that were used to riddle the babies' bodies on friday. designed to maximize soft tissue damage. i mean, come on. and these members of congress look the other way and say it's everything but. they're just in the pocket of the nra and the democrats haven't been much better. we can get real substantive national gun laws that could save real people's lives and we can stop allowing congress to let a classroom full of kids be emptied every three days which is the case. eight kids every single day die from gun violence in this country. >> john rosenthal and michael smerkonish, i appreciate you joining us on this day. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. last couple of hours,
speaker boehner proposed the fiscal cliff plan "b" and the white house rejected it. >> the alternative here, if you think about it in the so-called plan "b" makes no sense. >> i don't have to tell you time is of the essence. if a deal is to be reached by december 31st. how can they resolve the final differences and how far is the gap? plus -- >> they kept us blindfolded, bound, we weren't physically beaten orp tortured. it was a lot of psychological torture. >> in the past 24 hours, nbc chief foreign correspondent richard engel and his team rescued after being held inside syria for five days. more of what richard and his team say happened in that war zone. join our conversation on twitter.
very sore looking kinda blistery. it was like a red rash... like somebody had set a bag of hot charcoal on my neck. i was a firefighter for 24 years. but, i have never encountered such a burning sensation until i had the shingles. i remember it well. i was in the back yard doing yard work. i had this irritation going on in my lower neck. i changed shirts because i thought there was something in the collar of the shirt irritating my neck. and i couldn't figure out what was going on. i had no idea it came from chickenpox. i always thought shingles was associated with people... a lot older than myself.
on capitol hill today, john boehner unveiled what house republicans call plan "b," a plan the white house rejected immediately saying it doesn't ask the rich to pay their fair share. >> the alternative here, if you think about it in the so-called plan "b" makes no sense. the proposal essentially to give another big tax cut to the wealthiest americans at a time when we cannot afford it. >> in the republican plan, the house would vote on a bill to extend the bush tax cuts for those making under $1 million. the house could vote as early as this week but the white house says it has no chance of passing the senate, the news one day after president obama put forth the newest proposal and he budged on the $250,000 threshold for increasing tax rates, raising that number to $400,000 in income or more. today speaker boehner said the plan "b" doesn't mean he'll stop
working with the white house for a bigger deal. molly, when's really happening behind the scenes here? our first read team seems only the that the exchange of numbers indicates they're dotting the "i"s and crossing the "ts" despite what it looks like on tv. >> absolutely. these negotiations are moving pretty quickly. we're seeing both movement on both sides. you know, we had the president budging on the tax rate issue for the first time yesterday. and boehner bringing that back to his caucus and counting with this and an echo of the so-called two-bill strategy that we have been hearing floated at various points in the negotiations where he could sort of give a political -- some political cover to system of his more conservative members while also passing a version through the house that would be acceptable to the senate so that eventually something gets to the white house that will be
palatable to the president. >> chris, some people expected that the white house might budge on the threshold number. we remember that nancy pelosi spoke of a million dollars or more. but at this point, $400,000. what do you make of that budget? might that go up to a million dollars? >> i don't think a million dollars is a starter with the white house. i think pretty clear in terms of where they i think want to end up in terms of the range. my guess is it's in the four, maybe $400,000 range and it's not just a political game. it's policy. you need revenue to deal with the reality of the fiscal problems and debt this country faces. it is really that simple. so, you know, this idea just simply passing tax cuts sounds nice. i know republicans are enamored with it but it doesn't deal with the fiscal reality. all that being said, i mean i think there's progress. privately i'm hearing the same
thing, there's progress. but, you know, when you hear i think speaker boehner come out and holding a vote, that may be just optics but it also may be kind of a way to basically say if this falls through i'm going to give cover to my people. >> our team pointed out how liberals and conservatives, chris, reporting. huffington post with a headline, raw deal, obama's latest fiscal cliff offer targets middle class and elderly and then on the other side of the equation the heritage action blasting boeh r boehner's offer to let the bush era tax cuts expire an saying if you have both sides complaining that means there's equal pain. >> well, i mean, the art of compromise is how much pain each side's willing to accept. it is really that simple. listen. there's not a deal that is possible that's going to make every democrat happy and there's not a deal possible to make every republican happy. >> which means a good deal,
right? >> that's the point. >> isn't that the point? >> yeah. that is the whole point. you have to come up with a deal that can actually pass and there's a political reality to this and right now i think they're moving in that direction and hopefully, wait to see the details before everyone erupts but moving in that direction. >> molly, quickly, the rank and file will get the numbers and that's the next i guess shoe to drop to see how they atervet to spin it or react to the numbers coming out. >> absolutely. and like chris said, chris exactly right here that you do need both sides to feel like the other side made significant concessions an hold hands and jump. everybody has to sort of give each other the cover that they're doing something that's difficult for them politically and that's when you truly have a compromise. >> molly, chris, thank you very much. we'll see what the next move is of both. did you hear this story? a major wall street player says it will get out of the gun manufacturing business after
what it calls a watershed event. this as major sporting goods stores near newtown temporarily pull all guns from the store. the backlash beyond a call for reasonable, sensible gun control. our nbc colleagues are rescued after being kidnapped in syria and held for five days. amber started north carolina-based footsteps clothing which had a booming christmas theme pajama line. they added other holidays and eventually expanded to products that celebrate family life. for more, watch "your business."
we have some good news to report today regarding the nbc colleagues. chief foreign correspondent richard engel and his team were freed from captors in syria this morning after being held hostage for five days. the three men were freed by rebels after firefight at a check point and are now safely out of the country. they appeared on the "today" show this morning describing the frightening ordeal. >> we were with some gunmen, some rebels who were escorted us. they executed one of them on the
spot. then they took us to a series of safehouses and interrogation places. and they kept us blindfolded, bound. we weren't physically beaten or tortured. it was a lot of psychological torture. threats of being killed. they made us choose who would be shot first and there were mock shootings. pretended to shoot gazi several times and when you were blindfolded and then fired a gun up in the air. it can be very traumatic experience. >> i'll be honest. they were long five hard days and a few moments of despair at least for me, about my family, my brother, my parents, my wife and i was feeling bad of what i've been putting them through because of my captivity but it helped a lot that we were together. and i must say, like, when we were freed yesterday, you know, rescued by the rebels, probably one of the happiest moments of my life. i must say that. >> we had talked about that
today. did you find a happy spot, what were you thinking? i for one found a very happy spot and i stayed there but during the ordeal, i made -- i made amends with my maker, i made good with myself. i was prepared to die many times. >> obviously, we are so happy they're safe. despite protests outside its headquarters, another day goes by without the nra commenting on the tragedy at sandy hook. plus the democratic senator that supported the nra in the past now coming out in support of change. >> i've had an nra rating of a "a." but, you know, enough is enough. >> politico's roger simon will join me and also talk with connecticut senator-elect chris murphy. even though connecticut has the
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two more funerals were held in the past several hours for young victims in newtown, james mattioli and jessica rekos. six of newtown's seven schools also reopened today, a you will of them except for sandy hook and may never reopen and we are getting new details about when the guns used in the massacre were obtained. law enforcement sauerses tell nbc news all of the weapons obtained legally by adam lanza's mother. one of them caught as recently as last january. and one private equityselling t company that makes the bushmaster. it says it will abandon the investment in freedom group says
it is apparent that the sandy hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debit on gun control to an unprecedented level. dick's sporting goods said we have removed all guns from sale and display in our store nearest to newtown. george zornic writes for "the nation." thank you for your time. >> thanks for having me. >> in you also in your piece walmart and they have released a statement saying they never sold the bushmaster online and they've not made any change to i guess their procedure and what weapons they choose to sell in their stores but let me ask you first about the wall street -- it was referred to a titan. deciding a watershed moment and don't want money from the sale of guns. >> absolutely. a lot of that came from a good investor pressure. a big teacher's pension fund in
california which was heavily invested with this private equity fund and threatened to reconsider quote/unquote their investment and that's something to see a lot of in coming days. and so the more that investors bring the pressure to bear, i think you will see more actions like the one taken today. >> a lot of people may not know the bushmaster runs between $800 and $900 depending on the model. sold at about 1,700 stores. dick's sporting goods saying -- we don't know if it's permanently. they said suspended. walmart says it's not taken any action. you and i both know that people wonder if they're pr moves in the case of those that temporarily stop selling the weapons or a larger statement by some of the retailers. >> sure. i mean, they themselves admit it's temporary. i think a lot of it so when there's coverage like this they
say we don't sell the guns or not selling them right now but i have little doubt that these things will return and walmart's move is interesting. they never sold it online but they sell it in about half of the stores nationwide, the biggest weapons seller in the country and for them to admit they're caring this rifle on their shelves next to cheap sweaters and toys and whatever else they sell, i think it's pretty disturbing. >> what do you make, though, again if the stores are bowing to public pressure, you will have some gun advocates who say or point to this as this is exactly what i'm talking about. they're trying to, you know, take away by right and through these, you know, liberals in the east or whatever the description is of someone that doesn't want an assault rifle sold as you said next to a sweater, this is seen as a cave-in and at the expense of those they believe it's a right to own such a weapon. >> sure. but i think that's a conversation that most gun
advocates, certainly the ones i've talked to are willing to have. walmart is afraid to not sell products it finds socially unacceptable. they wouldn't sell a kanye west cd two years ago and still will not sell any cd with that black and white parental advisory on the cover so they won't sell those things but they'll sell weapons including those like the one used in the connecticut shooting to fire up to a bullet per second so if there's a conversation about what is and is not appropriate to sell i think that's something if walmart will have it, gun advocates will have it, as well. >> thank you for your time and people should check out what you have written and educate themselves on what's going on. thank you so much. >> thanks. joining me now current congressman from connecticut, representative chris murphy. his district includes newtown. thank you so much, sir, for your time. >> sure. >> i know your heart is heavy. this is your community. this is your home. the nation, the world is
mourning but this is -- this is your home. i've got to ask you. off the top here about some of the conversations. senator manchin just released a statement following his phone call with the president. he said the president called him and at this point this is the quote. i believe that we must have a dialogue and bring parties from all sides to the table. i know my friends at the nra and those that support the 2nd amendment rights will participate because i know their hearts are aching for the families of newtown just like all americans. but we have not heard from the nra at this point about a conversation on reasonable and sensible gun control. >> well, i mean, listen. i think it's important first to say in newtown the conversation has not turned to gun control because we're still burying the victims of that horrible day. i was at the first of what will be essentially 27 funerals yesterday and the conversation will turn pretty quickly but
right now obviously newtown is still in crisis. listen. the fact is that there's no one easy answer as to why this happened and not going to be one easy solution. this is absolutely about getting assault weapons off the street. this is about making sure there's no stigma surrounding mental illness or barriers to treatment and seems to be a conversation about this culture of violence, this guy was reported to have been a pretty avid video gamer and clearly drew some inspiration or possibly drew some inspiration of some of the things on the computer so i'm glad that there are people out there like senator manchin and president obama who are starting this conversation on getting assault weapons off the street. for those of us in newtown, though, our focus is really on just helping people heal right now. >> i certainly understand that. and with all due respect, it is not for me or anyone to say what should happen next while you are in so much pain, but on the huffington post, you have a parent, father of an 8-year-old
son escaping the violence of sandy hook last week and written a message to the national rifle association. nearly 700 comments and in his statement, and this is a parent of a child who was in that school, he says i would offer nra return this country to the kids and he goes on to send a message to the nra. so this is one parent but still a parent whose child was in that school so ask you in your journey now to washington as a senator, would you support a ban on assault rifles like the one that was used in that school? >> of course. listen. this should be a no-brainer as far as i'm concerned. i'm not saying people in newtown, some people haven't made that turn. at a church sunday morning in newtown from the time of the shooting until yesterday when i left to come back to washington, people grabbed me and said make
sure this doesn't happen again. >> so they're calling for you to take action and be their voice. >> absolutely. absolutely. listen. my job as senator was fundamentally different. i thought i would talk about health care and jobs and the economy and now going there in january and be a leader on gun control. be a leader on mental health treatment and so my job changed. overnight, as well. so i've of course support getting assault weapons off the street and a lead tore do that getting the senate. >> let me ask you about a headline. there was an article and it said connecticut gun laws are so strict you can have a grenade launcher on your ar-15. it goes on to say that the state law which the brady campaigned to prevent gun violence the fifth strongest in the nation allows for the possession of a semiautomatic-style rifle with a grenade launcher. the mere mention of this as something that would be legal, what is your heart's reaction to
know that this -- this is -- considered the fifth strictest and this is something you could own in connecticut. >> well, listen. my heart starts with my family. i have a 4-year-old son who i dropped off at school on friday and i got to see at the end of the day. and in part because of our gun laws there are 20 parents in newtown that didn't get to see their kid at the end of the day. the fact is our assaults weapon ban in connecticut mirrors the expired assault weapons ban. the fact is that we have got to take a hard look at all of these military-style weapons. i don't think we should just go back and adopt the old weapons ban but a tougher, stronger one because the fact is that these gun manufacturers take the legislation and the statute and then they use their smart experts to find a way around it. we have to be tough on getting the assault weapons off the street. absolutely get these high-capacity clips, the 30-round clips to allow the guy
to walk in to the school and only change the ammunition twice. we have to get them off the street but that's the beginning of a much longer conversation about how we make sure it doesn't happen again. >> thank you so much for your time. greatly appreciate it. >> let's bring in roger simon. roger, thanks for hanging with us and coming to join me today. senator manchin, i got a portion of what he said happened with the conversation with the president. and he went on to say that he knows the friends at the nra and those that support the 2nd amendment rights will participate in what he hopes to be a productive dialogue. i don't want to say he's being too optimistic but from the actions we have seen, from the nra do you believe there's a possibility after this moment to have a productive conversation on these kinds of weapons? >> there's a moment to have productive conversation but it's not with the nra. the nra isn't going to fold up the tent and creep away in to the night. what we need is i'm afraid
public outrage. the grief that came from newtown has now been turned both in to outrage and grim determination and that's a good thing. we need people to keep pressure on. president obama made a wonderful speech from newtown. i was moved to tears by it. many were. we need to move beyond tears. we need to move to action. you know, all of the things we have heard on your show today are absolutely correct. we need better mental health but, you know, there are mentally ill people in other countries. they don't have the murder rate we do. video games, children in other countries watch the same video games. they don't have the murder rate. do we need better parenting? do we need a culture of less violence? yeah. we need all those things but we don't have to have -- but because we don't have everything it doesn't mean we can do nothing.
>> yeah. >> start simple. ban high magazines with ammunition. you don't need more than ten rounds. if you can't kill a deer with ten rounds of ammunition, take up a new sport. >> roger, real quick, what governor perry of my home state of texas said about guns in school. this is what he said. one of the things that i hope we don't see from our federal government is this knee-jerk reaction from washington, d.c. where there's an event that occurs that they come in and they think they know the answer. surely the most important thing we do for this country to make sure we can continue to keep texas as the place people know that freedom is still very valued. i have told my team this story. my mother lives in probably the reddest part of the state. there's an elementary school. across the street is a gunshot with classes and their mascot is a cartoon of yosemite sam with two guns side by side here.
literally across the street from the school. and we've talked about how guns are -- i guess glamourized in movies and maybe no big deal and even though they snap life out in an instant here but when you hear someone like rick perry and talked about succession and other things deemed by the critics as wacky, what do you think here? i mean, again, back to the productive conversation, maybe not the same tired old theme we have seen in the past. >> nobody's freedom in america gives them the right to kill our children. that's not what freedom is. and what governor perry calls a knee-jerk reaction i call it democracy. people call upon their legislators to do the right thing about guns. and there's one thing that president obama could do. bill clinton did it successfully. when you talk about guns, surround yourself on stage with
uniformed police officers. the number one gun proponents, gun control proponents in america are police officers. they know what guns do to people. they know what guns do to their fellow officers. they're the first responders. they're also people that kids look up to. we need to get those kind of people involved in massacre prevention. because that's what we're talking about here. >> roger, thank you so much for your time. i greatly appreciate it. >> thank you. coming up, first read team says on the verge of a deal y. they think that. mark murray will join us to explain. when you lost the thing you can't believe you lost. when what you just bought, just broke. or when you have a little trouble a long way from home... as an american express cardmember you can expect some help.
♪ you make me happy [ female announcer ] choose the same brand your mom trusted for you. children's tylenol, the #1 brand of pain and fever relief recommended by pediatricians and used by moms decade after decade. lawmakers today upped the stakes on the fiscal cliff negotiations. house speaker boehner revealing the plan "b" to extend the bush tax cuts, a plan that the white house quickly shot down.
our first read team says despite the ups and downs we are perhaps close to a deal. nbc news senior political editor mark murray joins us. jay carney today mentioned newtown and the negotiations. what's the latest on what's happening behind the scenes? >> it's a fluid day and as of yesterday afternoon when president obama offered his counter proposal, we had seen a lot of optimism that you had essentially a framework between the two sides. not that far apart with tax revenue. not all that far apart coming to spending cuts. but still, some differences to be made up. of course, earlier this morning, house speaker john boehner floated the plan "b" to have the house and others vote on extending all of the bush era tax cuts up until a million dollars in household income. democrats don't like that at all. that could be a ploy to get pressure on the white house. but there is a lot of back and forth on all the particulars, tamron. there's a lot of noise. i think we are closer to a deal
but we don't have a deal yet. that's a save play. >> thank you, mark. greatly appreciate. our gut check is next. should big box stores permanently stop selling assault weapons? concentrated broth in easy to use packets. mix it into skillet dishes, for an instant dose of... hell-o! [ female announcer ] get recipes at flavorboost.com.
there is a lot going on today. here are some things to know. in the wake of newtown school shooting, a record setting number of people signed a white house online petition urging action to prevent gun violence. petition had more than 175,000 signatures. and david letterman turned serious last night as he reflected on the newtown tragedy. >> you drop your kid off and you don't see them again? honestly, that's really life now? that's what it's going to be? i like to look to some people smarter and i thought president obama, talking about the situation and he said a couple of things. you know, no single law, no set
of laws can eliminate evil from the world and prevent every senseless act of society in our society but that's not an excuse for inaction. it can't be an excuse for inaction. that means he is committed, going on the record. >> and those are the things we just thought you should know. time now for the gut check. dick's sporting goods suspending the sale of guns and removing them from display cases around newtown as the community mourns friday's tragedy. the chain has also suspended the sale of modern sporting rifles across the country and not clear will the store will resume the normal sale of the weapons. what does your gut tell you, should they permanently stop selling assault weapons? go to facebook.com/newsnation. thank you so much for joining meme and my team. we'll see you tomorrow.
that's a big part of our retirement. oh, no, it's dividends, too. the rate on our dividends would more than double. but we depend on our dividends to help pay our bills. we worked hard to save. well, the president and congress have got to work together to stop this dividend tax hike. before it's too late. [ male announcer ] jill and her mouth have lived a great life. but she has some dental issues she's not happy about. so i introduced jill to crest pro-health for life. selected for people over 50. pro-health for life is a toothpaste that defends against tender, inflamed gums, sensitivity and weak enamel. conditions people over 50 experience. crest pro-health for life. so jill can keep living the good life. crest. life opens up when you do.
this afternoon, we'll go in depth on the three major issues developing from the horrific events of sandy hook elementary school in connecticut. we see them as guns, video games, tv and movies and how people treat people who have mental and developmental problems. we start with the gun debate which even "the wall street journal" says is changing because of what happened in newtown. but before we do that, let's go to newtown and msnbc's craig melvin as the town continues to mourn and remember the victims. craig, another two funerals today and wakes this evening. >> reporter: s.e. one of the more moving images today is one of those funerals for little james, in fact, after the casket was taken from the church to the funeral home, we saw the -- you know what? and as i'm speaking to you right now, you can hear the sirens in the