tv NBC10 Issue NBC October 11, 2015 11:30am-12:01pm EDT
another mass shooting in the u.s. some believe the solution is through the courts, but a law passed a decade ago severely restricts laws against gun makers. it's a law that denies victims and families their day in court or a necessary law that protects the firearm industry from bankruptcy? today we'll discuss both. plus, from housing to health care to job, one-stop shopping. we'll tell you when and where. welcome to "nbc4 @ issue." i'm keith jones. nine students shot and killed at a college in oregon. this latest mass shooting has gun control back in the headlines. but when it comes to a solution that will keep americans safe
from gun violence, both sides seem as polarized as ever. opponents of any gun restrictions like larry pratt, the executive of handgun owners of america, believes more students armed would save lives and is an answer to the mass shooting crisis. >> having people able to protect themselves with a gun is the answer. >> stuff happens. there's always a crisis. and the impulse is always to do something and it's not necessarily the right thing to do. >> that's jeb bush there. the other republican candidates are strongly against any new gun restrictions. on the other side of this, democratic presidential c candidate hillary clinton laid out her gun plan last week. she plans to close the loophole. >> we have got to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them, domestic abusers, people are serious mental health problems. there's got to be a better tracking and record keeping.
>> clinton also wants to repeal a controversial law called the protection of lawful commerce arms act, which shields gun makers when guns are used illegally opponents say it's out of line. lawsuits lead to improved safety. after the bill became law, the nra called it the most significant piece of pro-gun legislation in 20 years. joining me is executive director of cease-fire and also jonathan goldstein with a specialty in gun laws who represents the nra. thank you for joining us. my first question, i used polarizing to begin this segment. >> i think there are places where we disagree, certainly, but places we agree. no one wants to see mass shootings, no one wants to see mass shootings. i think we have to do a better
job in this country focusing on the mentally ill, getting them the services they need and keeping guns out of their hands. i suspect she would agree with that. >> i agree we need to do a much better job treating people with mental illnesses but the mentally ill are more mrikly victims of violent. some of the categories we use are under and over-inclusive. to pauk about mental health is a red herring and a deterrent. the country is very polarized right now. we stand at a moment when people feel like we can do things, we should do things just because we won't stop every bad guy, doesn't mean we shouldn't take steps to stop it. we've done it with other industries. we've done it to make it safer in other ways. we have small incidents where there's salmonella in a bag of spinach and we have a recall
across the country. >> there's a pivotal question to be asked here. take the shooting that happened in oregon at umpqua community college. is the answer having more guns on campus? would that have presented a shoot are or minimized a shooting? >> you have people in every state in this country who go out and get training. they go out and submit to a background check, usually a pretty extensive one, to obtain a license to carry a firearm. we ought to let those people carry guns. they're trained, they're background checked and they're decided to carry. why not have those people in the mix? we have countless examples all across the country of when mass shootings have been stopped by armed citizens. we ought to let them carry those on campus? >> not countless examples of that. some people are trained and can
carry. there were some trained veteran who is are also students at upcc this last weekend, decided, thought about, should i run in, should i do this? thought we might be putting ourselves in danger because police won't know who the shooter is. in tucson, gabby giffords was shot, someone took his gun out, about to fire and realized in the melee there were unarmed people who tackled the shooter, he didn't know who the shooter was. people think they can protect families and others, but an active shooter situation is very different from going to the range. and i do think when people like larry pratt or ben carson says, if i have been there, i would have done this. i think it's offenses ive to the people who are victims. i think it's offensive to the unarmed people who try to stop people. and i do think some people don't want to be in a place where there are people carrying guns all the time. >> what about that
counterargument? >> the fact you don't want to be in a place where people are carrying guns, i'm sorry. we have laws in these states, the legislature in these states have conceal carry, many of us are trained. to assume i know what i'm going to do -- god forbid, it's a total fallacy and not helpful thinking. i would say if i found myself in a place where someone started shooting the place up, i'd want to have a gun and i'd be awfully, awfully upset if it were in my car or in a gun box at home. >> i want to make comments and i appreciate jonathan saying we never know what happens, i do appreciate that very much. we do have rights in this country. and the supreme court has been very clear right now about what the second amendment rights are. right to have a gun in your home for self-protection. all the states have also allowed conceal carry outside of the home. many also allow open carry. there are places they've said, and the supreme court has said, there are sensitive areas you
can restrict the ability to carry. we have rights as well. and those things come into con dmrikt. those are the things jonathan and i and our supporters debate. >> each state they set it differently. in new jersey there's virtually no conceal carry. you have 1,000 in a densely populated state. in pennsylvania it's much more liberal. the only place you absolutely cannot carry is in a courthouse. it's up to each state to set those dials correctly. where you have trained people, people who are background checked, we owe it to let those folks be in the mix, god forbid something jumps off, let's have them around. >> you something through the process to lawfully obtain a gun, right, so why would you be against more restriction or more regulation? perhaps it's another one, two, three hurdles to pass through? >> well, can we just -- >> more regulation of what? >> let's start at the beginning. the process to get a gun in
pennsylvania is if you're going to a federally licensed dealer, you pass your background check, the three of us could walk out in ten minutes with whatever we want. jonathan f he has a rifle in the car, could sell one to me now without a background check. if he has a land gun, we have to get a background check. that's the process. there's no waiting period, no license or restriction, no training period. you run your background on most but not all sales. >> correct. our legislature has looked at this. they have proved to move bills to make those restrictions tighter and the legislature has rejected it. they don't think long guns are that much of a crime vector so they require background checks on handguns. it's stricter, tighter, than the federal law. so, we have struck a balance that works for the people of pennsylvania and we don't have any data that tells us we ought to disrupt that. >> let's talk about the law that restricts the ability for people
to file lawsuits against gun makers. >> to say that is really not accurate. it prevents frivolous lawsuits against them. if someone uses a gun and kills someone with it, you can't go back on the gun manufacturer and say, you made a detective product. our military requires it, sportsman, and others. what the anti-gun groups in this country wanted to do was bankrupt the domestic firearms industry. we have a memo recently unearthed by a memo named dave hardy that was from the prior clinton administration where we got an outline of what they were hoping to achieve through the courts and through the regulatory apparatus through this country they couldn't achieve through the legislatures. every industry in this country has bills that are passed for its purposes. nobody cares about the duration of a patent on a buy liologic d
except for the company that makes them. nobody cares about making sure they can lawfully transact a firearms business like a firearms manufacturer. we have a law that strikes that balance. there are six well-known exceptions to that lawsuit shield. those exceptions allow for defective firearms and other sorts of guns to be held against those manufacturers, but it stops the nuisance lawsuits. >> it's almost impabl to sue a gun manufacturer or gun dealer. those exceptions are shut down all the time. like if someone has voluntarily pulled the trigger even if there was a defect, that exception might go away. this was not about -- this is a law that exists for one industry. no other industry is protected. you can sue a toy gun manufacturer more easily, more readily, get damages than a gun manufacturer. this is what i want to talk about. special treatment of this industry all the time. and it's because they have a lot
of members who give a lot of money and a lot of gun manufacturers. so, they get treatment -- favorable treatment in the legislature because then when they don't get it, they try to go to the courts and jonathan will say i'm a sore loser because i want to go to the courts to strike down the legislature. we both go to the courts but the truth is, they do this all the time. the gun lobby tries to get special protections, special rights nobody else has, no other industry has, no other person has, no other type of law has. they just passed a law in pennsylvania last year to allow anybody who could lawfully own a gun in pennsylvania or any group of such people, i.e., the nra, to sue any time in pennsylvania that passed a law regulating firearms. nobody else can do that. they created special standing. jonathan knows as a lawyer, you lrn the first day of law school, you can't just saw. they got the legislature to pass a special law and they did if so quickly, and in such a hurry to get governor corbett to sign it
and we got it struck down. >> we're covering a lot of topics here. we are not the only industry that makes its voice heard. the supreme court has said, money is speech. money is speech. yeah, our members give a lot of money. we have 5 million -- more than 5 million paid members in the national rifle association. i do represent them in court. i'm not here in that capacity today. we have 5 million paid members. we want our voice heard. we make ourselves known to our legislatures. when this federal shield law passed congress, it passed by a veto-proof majority in the house and maybe a vote or two shy of a veto-proof majority in the senate. it was very well supported. lots of legislators got it behind it. they got behind it because of the sinister national rifle association and all its money went around and brainwashed these legislators or they looked at the facts, the law, and said, we want a domestic firearms industry and i think that's a
vastly more likely scenario. >> well, i -- >> we're getting the wrap up signal. we'll continue this right after the break. how are you doing? >> we're doing great. >> sounds good. thank you so much. we'll get to you guys right after the break and keep this conversation going. first, we have a question for you. how many school shootings have there been so far this year in the u.s.? is it 14? is the number of school shootings 45 or 63? we'll give you the answer as we continue our conversation of guns in america. stay with us.
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correct. that's the number of school shootings since january 1st of this year. we're back now with shira goodman of cease-fire pa and jonathan goldstein who represents the nra. thank you both for sticking around. shira, if you want to continue your point, i rudely interrupted you. >> jonathan was making a point of how our laws are passed. do they pass them because they look at them and say they're a good law or the nra gifdz them a lot of money. it's a combination. lobbying groups, we have a lobby arm, too. we do spend money and do work to educate the public and legislators. if people want to make a difference, if people are concerned about this on either side, they are the ones that have the power, at the voting booth, in calling their legislators, in d.c. and harrisburg, that's what makes a difference. people do sit there. it is people's jobs in our legislative offices in harrisburg in washington, d.c. to take records of phone calls,
to record eames. your voice does matter. i would encourage anyone who cares about this to weigh in. >> our members act in exactly that way. we have 200,000 more or less members in pennsylvania. they call. there isn't a legislator in this state -- we have a general assembly that's responsive to our needs. >> let's talk about this statistic i just said. 45 school shootings so far this year in the united states. the number is steep. what's the reason for it? we talked about it before the segment. >> it's horrifying, terrifying and terrible. nobody wants it. nobody on either side of this issue wants to see school shootings. why is it happening? way above my pay grade. what i can tell you is to the extent folks are involved in this that are mentally ill, and i think we'll find virtually all of them are, we have to dial the incentives in better to get these folks to come in and get treatment. right now in pennsylvania
because of a court case, if you are taken in for a mental health evaluation, a 302 evaluation where you're held in a hospital for 72 hours to just see if you have something wrong, you can never again as long as you live own a gun, okay? the foelgts who own guns, who are mentally ill, it's a small subset, but they're out there, they're aware of this. no way someone who has a mental hechlt issue is going to come in and seek streement. they know no more hunting, collecting, no more anything. we have to change that law and get the incentives dialed in. we have to get people into the system and get them treated and get them back out. >> when have you a government that says, we're going to start going after veterans that are disabled with ptsd and we're going to start going after people that are social security recipients that have other people managing their money, that's not the kind of program that allows people with mental
illness because they wouldn't get out of the mall again. >> that's the only solution? >> no. we do have to do better treatment 37 we have taken our mental health institutions, we've stigmatized it, we've put people on the streets that don't belong on the streets and some in jail that don't belong in jail. there are people who are impulsive crisis, impulsive homicide, impulsive suicide. they've never had a history, never had a problem. their family might recognize their in crisis but they have access to guns. they can buy one, because they didn't have a criminal record or been incapacitated or committed. and they might already have guns. santa barbara shooting a couple years ago, school shooting, the shooter's parents called police and said, there's something going on with our son. they did a check and couldn't do anything. he went on a rampage, shot all these people. they passed a law, gun violence restraining order, like a temporary restraining order to
protect him in an abuse case where the parents can go to court and say, there's something wrong. can you temporarily block my child from buying you know guns or having guns. it's not a lifetime ban, ex parte. >> we have to agree we need to do a better deal. the devil's in the detail. >> and the dialogue is vast as what we've been learning here today on "nbc4 @ issue." the xhond ground, safety and avoid shootings fd any kind. >> absolutely. >> thank you so much, shira and attorney jonathan goldstein. when we come back, it's a day to get it all done. one-stop shopping from everything from housing help to health care. and it's free. we'll explain next. hey, try some? mmm that is tasty. is it real? of course... are you? nope animated
community includes job readiness services, housing and shelter services, budget counseling and health screenings. joining me is rebecca worthington, market director at benchmark federal credit union and holly, executive director of act in faith of westchester. thank you for being here. really appreciate your time. >> thank you. >> the first question for you, for people watching at home, who should come to this? >> well, the event is geared towards providing services for the unand underemployed and all of chester county. so, it's folks who are struggling with either housing or need health care services, need to talk to social service providers. it's a one-stop, as you said, one-stop shop for folks to come and meet with a multitude of different providers in one day. >> what other services are provided there? i listed a ton of them. you just did, too. >> we are having free health screenings with cholesterol and blood pressure and flu shots, housing and shelter providers.
there will be employment and job coaching providers as well as the financial support that benchmark will be providing this year, which is the first time we've had anything to that degree of financial support so it's going to be an amazing opportunity. >> so it runs the gamut really. >> absolutely. >> we talked about financial literacy. if you can expound on that. >> we will be providing financial literacy such as financial budgeting, counseling. we'll be pulling credit reports and getting tips, and it will be a great event where our team of experts will be sitting at the table. individuals can walk up and they can get them to participate in one or all of the services. and with will actually pull their credit report on the spot, go through it with them, set financial goals. we can help savings and checking accounts as well and we can handle all their financial services at one shopping. >> we talk about this, completely free. >> yes, absolutely. absolutely free. >> why is this so essential? >> there's an amazing amount of
individuals that either just don't know about the services that are available because their situation is new to them, so they need to get plugged in wherever they can. >> so, this is the perfect outlet for them. >> absolutely. >> thank you for your time. i really appreciate this. >> thank you. >> forgive me for reaching across you. get it done day. it happens tomorrow from 1:00 to 6:00 at the charles a. melton sxarts education center on miner street and westchester. the services are all free. we'll be right back.
we want to mention there's still plenty of time to head out to the first annual delaware county fall festival. it runs until 4:00 today at rose tree park and media. it includes pumpkin carving, hay rack rides and best of all, it's free. that's it for this edition of "nbc4 @ issue." join me at 5:00 on nbc10.