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tv   The 11th hour  CNN  December 11, 2013 8:00pm-8:31pm PST

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once the research is done and it's giving answers, it pushes it's giving answers, it pushes back hope. -- captions by vitac -- it is 11:00 in the east. do you know where your news is? good evening, everyone. i'm don lemon. this is "the 11th hour." what you'll be talking about tomorrow. for almost a year now, people have been talking a lot about two things, about guns and about mental illness. so far it's pretty much just talk. but tonight, almost a year after newtown, we've got some unconventional wisdom from two fathers. one a pastor who says no one cares about urban kids who are victims of gun violence. the other a newtown father who says he's right. the unusual way they're coming together. also dr. sanjay gupta shows you what life is like for a
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family with a 14-year-old son who has severe mental illness. and the man who says the nra is wrong. more guns will not protect our kids. the death of a child is always a tragedy. and i can't even imagine the heart break and anger you feel if your child were gunned down. but are the killings of urban children and young people overshadowed by mass shootings like those in newtown? poppy harlow has one positive thing to come out of the tragedy. two fathers coming together. >> reporter: it's an unlikely friendship born of tragedies. >> when did this friendship start? >> i think it started way before we even knew it. i think that god had a divine plan that he would bring our forces together and respond to something great. >> reporter: two fathers determined to stop gun violence. >> i want to see an america that
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goes back to the america of our childhood, where kids could open up the door and go out and play in the street and have a certain innocence to them. >> it's about the soul and fabric of our country. >> reporter: monti frank lives in newtown which embodies loss and heart break after the mass shooting at sandy hook elementary school. pastor sam sailor's tragedy was just 50 miles away, where his son was murdered. >> he deserved a better chance. and to be gunned down in broad daylight, he deserved a better chance. >> reporter: it was here in hartford, connecticut where pastor saylor's son shane was shot and killed last year. he was just 20 years old. his death received no widespread media attention, no outpouring of support from across the country. his homicide was one of thousands of gun murders that happen every year in america.
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>> this is where he collapsed at right here. >> right here. >> yeah. and they took him from here to the hospital where he died. >> living here we're removed from what's happening in the inner cities. and i should have been thinking more about it, but i didn't. i didn't listen until newtown. and that's a regret that i have. and i feel very guilty about that. october 20th, the day sam's son died, i wasn't aware of that. i was oblivious to it. oblivious to agony like this. >> you don't know the pain that i go through. you don't know the suffering that i have. no one needs to feel this pain again. >> reporter: a father's despair echoed in the sound of gun fire in cities across america. >> i became the symbol of a lot of frustration of urban parents who said, look, no one's talking
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to me. no one's crying for me. >> reporter: no one, he says, crying for his son as a nation wept for newtown. his pain erupted at this rally against gun violence in hartford. >> i'm sick and tired of hearing about newtown. newtown this. newtown that. i don't want to hear about newtown. i want you to know about shane. the beauty of shane. >> what did you think, monty, when you heard that? >> i was scheduled to speak next. >> next. >> so there were 20 people who were on the program. and fate had it, i'm the next speaker. and i'm listening to sam who i had never met before talking about how he hates newtown. >> reporter: but then monty frank heard this. >> newtown! newtown! newtown! is our town! >> we are newtown. we deserve to live.
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we just can't succumb to this violence like this. >> my reaction was it's not about newtown that, we're all in to together. >> we're all newtown, we're all hartford, we're all bridgeport, we're all new haven. >> do you feel like this, monty? there have been deaths that have happened from gun shots are not being treated equally? >> i don't think they are and they should be. and that's part of our journey, to come to a place where america pays just as much attention to the loss of a child in an urban environment as they do in newtown and other suburban communities. >> reporter: together, saylor and frank lobby congress for tougher federal gun laws. at home they fight in their own way. monte frank rides with team 26 in honor of the lives lost that december day. >> pastor saylor preaches. >> my faith was hit hard.
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but also it wasn't lost. and because of my faith, i've been able to make >> it we're now on the same path. we're part of the same journey. >> this a lifelong friendship, do you think? >> i hope so. >> i as well. it's going to take that kind of journey. >> poppy harlow is here with us now. poppy, fascinating report. i wonder what made the pastor pastor saylor put his anger aside and want to work with the folks in newtown? >> how did he turn the corner? that was my big question. he said there was a meeting after the shooting in newtown a few months later. he ended up just by chance sitting next to a father who had lost a child at sandy hook elementary school. he sat and watched that father cry. he told me, i watched the tears stream down his face. i realized at that moment that we were brothers in this together, that we're from totally different walks of life and communities but that brought us together. and we weren't so different. and that really resonated with me. and that's why he's doing what he's doing now. >> isn't it amazing life how interesting life is?
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you never know who's going to be your partner, ally, friend? you just never know. can we talk about this new cnn poll? it shows a year after sandy hook, support for gun control is fading. 49% of americans say they support stricter gun control laws. that's down six points from last january which is right after the shooting with 50%. and 50% are opposed. >> right. so that's what we're seeing. i asked sam saylor and monte frank about that. they both said they are both hopeful. they are both fighting for stricter, stronger federal gun laws. but they also don point out they say we're not against second amendment rights. we're not against guns. we're against gun violence. they're in d.c. together right now, today and then tomorrow, for this vigil at the national cathedral for victims of gun vi violence. >> do they think they can make a difference? they're fighting an uphill battle. >> they see the numbers. mshl monte says there is a grassroot
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movement. he wants to see federal background checks and stronger gun tracking bill. they believe they are going to make that change. >> poppy harlow, thanks so much. in the days after newtown we heard a lot of talk about how everything would change. well, everything didn't. there have been at least 11,400 gun-related deaths since then. and in mother jones magazine, mark fullman writes about 194 children who have died in gun violence. and he joins me right now. you know, mark, since the sandy hook tragedy, you have been covering this issue of gun violence and children. what have you found out over the last year? >> well, with this investigation we found a pretty stark picture of kids and firearms. after the terrible attack in newtown last we' are year we heard the nra and other gun advocates testify in congress that the way to protect children is to arm more adults in schools and in their own homes, et
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cetera. but the cases that we studied, these 194 cases, show that that's just plain wrong. that in fact, most of these kids are dying in their own homes. that's the most dangerous place for them where they're getting their hands on firearms that are left unsecured in many cases, there are a number of homicides where parents are killing their own children, lots of cases there were i believe 72 cases out of the 194 where the kids themselves are pulling the trigger. we're talking about young kids here, don. talking about ages 12 and under. the average age of 6. 2 and 3 and 4-year-olds getting their hands on guns and pulling the trigger. >> who are these children? when kind of families, background, communities do they come from? >> it's broadly distributed. this is truly a national problem. these cases took place in 43 states. they're in inner cities, they're in tiny rural towns, they're in the south, they're in the west, the midwest. in terms of the backgrounds, you do see a number of working class
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families in these cases. but one thing that is also interesting about this study is that we used local and national news reports primarily local reports to gather the data in these cases. and often these incidents are just a blip on the radar so there isn't much detail available at all. and we also know that the count that we did, which 194, really understates the problem because pe in news media at all. >> yeah. listen, after the sandy hook shooting the obama administration and the vice president joe biden's pushed to restrict assault weapons. they didn't get much support with that. so my question is, if this is happening in kids own homes and happening in certain communities, what do we do here? do we need to have more responsible gun owners? because it is obvious that guns are not going away in america. >> well, that's certainly true. there's almost 300 million of them. we do know what the risks are
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when people have firearms in their own homes, especially unsecured ones. and the majority of the cases where this happens are handguns where these children are being killed. >> all right. thank you very much, mark. we appreciate you. the other side of this tragic equation is mental health. and when we come right back our dr. sanjay gupta visits a family struggling with their 14-year-old's severe mental illness. avo: the volkswagen "sign then drive sales event is back.
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i'm don lemon. this is "the 11th hour." we all remember what happened almost a year ago in newtown. adam lanza's murderous rampage. unfortunately, tragedies like that are just about the only time we talk seriously about mental illness. but tonight our dr. sanjay gupta visits a san antonio family living with mental illness every day. and as he finds out, there are no easy answers. >> when people meet my son, they don't see the mental illness. >> mom i'm going to go. >> i want to tell you a story about the love between a mother and her son. >> they don't see the 20 hospitalizations. they don't see if he hallucinates. he strives to be a normal kid. but he has something that holds him back from doing that. >> to protect his privacy, we're not going to show you his face
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or use his real name. for the next few minutes, he'll be known as daniel. >> i don't know my own strength. when i hit the bag i think of the voices. >> at age 10, daniel was diagnosed with bipolar illness. even with medication he hallucinates and hears voices. >> it would get very heated, because he would yell at me. and when he would yell at me i would get really offended because he was being disrespectful to me. >> i'm trying to help you and help me too. >> i don't tell you when to hear voices. >> i can't handle it anymore. >> not once thinking that, well, he's hearing voices. he's trying to talk over those voices. and with talking over those voices he has to yell. >> we wanted to get to know daniel and understand what life is like for a teenager with mental illness.
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there's laughter. fights about homework. >> that's all i got. >> daniel's in the eighth grade. but also, this. >> is there any way that i could just show up there and just wait in the waiting area? i don't want to be driving around. >> hearing voices and all of a sudden i had the urge to cut. so i started cutting. >> he was cutting himself again. it ended with a trip to the hospital. daniel stayed for a week. if stephanie seems to take it up an in stride, it's only because she's seen worse. even worse than what you're about to see. [ sobbing ] >> go away. please go away. >> what is that like to record your son? >> it was horrible. his eyes on the video. he's got these huge pupil eyes and he's just crying and you see
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the fear in his eyes. it breaks my heart. >> make them go away. >> last year, after a family fight, there were pills. too many of them. daniel tried to take his life. he was just 13 years old. >> i wanted to die is bad because i was tired of my life. i'm sorry i had to put you through that. i'm sorry i made a poor mistake. and i really really want you to know that i will never do that again. >> it's really hard for me to -- >> believe that? >> no. it's not so much that i don't believe that. it's just it's a trauma that no parent needs to go through. and it's really hard to say, okay, i believe you. because he doesn't understand that -- that for weeks after that, and it still happens, that
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i worry every day. if there's one thing that i remember the most it's him begging the nurses to let him die. that's one of my biggest fears. >> are you okay? >> it's scary, because one of these days he's going to get old enough to where i can't protect him. >> despite some high profile cases, the facts are people with mental illness are more likely to hurt themselves than anyone else. they are more likely to be victims of crime rather than perpetrators. >> every few weeks, i help law enforcement understand what it's like to live with a family member who has a mental illness. >> go away. go away! go away! >> when he was hospitalized he would call me and he would tell me if you don't come tomorrow i know you're dead. they're telling me they're going to kill you. and it's things like that.
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nobody knows how that feels. when i think about newtown and several other shootings that occurred, this would help put in perspective how to approach a mentally ill person. telling my story helps me with acceptance. i see myself being the person he comes to all the time. and i've accepted that. >> your mom again she's such a strong woman. and she loves you so much. i asked her, i said, people say that one person's love can make all the difference. can your mom's love make all the difference for you? >> mm-hmm. >> you think she can help shepherd you and get you through this? >> yes. >> as a dad myself, it is jarring to hear. but also somehow affirming. after all they've been through,
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most of all daniel wishes he could one day be just like the mother who loves him so much. >> i just want him -- ultimately i want him to be happy. i really do want him to be happy. and i just -- i need him to know that. when he's in the dark place, i'm always here. >> you're always there. >> mm-hmm. always. >> dr. gupta joins us now. sanjay, you spent time with daniel and his mother. and you saw what they go through. what is his prognosis for the future? will he ever be self-sufficient? >> well, you get a little bit of a sense there, don. first of all for stephanie his mother, every day she comes home she doesn't know if he has attempted to take his life that day. just imagine the psychological toll that takes on her and the whole family. and also this idea that he may be with her for well into adulthood. he may never leave the home. those things are things that see lives with. but having said that, he does seem to have stabilized over the
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last couple of years. he takes medications. but he is 14 years old. he's in the eighth grade at a regular public school in his area. and he appears to be doing well. he's getting bs and cs and is expected to progress through school. so it's by no means easy. keep in mind, don, we talk about this issue a lot, he was able to get some help. his mother is helping train people to deal with people who have mental illness. so they represent a little bit more of a success story. but still so hard even with that to get what you need. >> and sanjay, it's hard to believe it's been a year, you and i standing there in newtown covering this story. >> yeah. >> on the verge of tears the entire time. i'm wondering what someone like stephanie, stephanie is a mom, right? daniel's mom. when she heard about newtown, adam lanza, what was her first thought? what went through her head? >> i asked her that, don, as you might imagine. i remember so well as do you. she mourned a lot for those families. but she also -- her mind immediately flew to adam lanza's family as well and adam lanza's
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mother in particular. when we started following daniel and started learning about his story, part of this was who are these children, who are these kids who may be on the brink of some sort of significant problem. and that's where her mind went as well. look, adam lanza's family, did he have mental illness? and if he did was he able to get the treatment that he needed? it wasn't to take away the mourning of so many lives lost, but it was that area that she thinks about all the time. and again, how do we keep -- if our child is at risk, how do we keep them from going in that direction? >> sanjay, last night on the eve of the newtown anniversary, vice president joe biden's announces the white house's pledge $100 million toward mental health services. it sound like a lot of money but is it really? is this a big step? >> probably at the federal level probably not a lot of money. and keep in mind the original push was about curbing violence overall. this is one part of that push. 5 million of it's coming from the department of health and human services, the executive
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branch it's to help set up more resources, to help hire more health care professionals. 50 million is coming from usda, united states department of agriculture, interestingly because they wanted to focus on rural areas in particular and set up telemedicine so people who do not have access to hospitals could still get telemedicine via technology to get some support. but it's a small amount. we talk about parity, don, in this country. meaning putting things on par with one another. and putting physical health and mental health on par. that is obviously a very important step. but unless you have the resources, unless you have the doctors that can see you, mental health professionals, beds that are available if someone needs an inpatient hospitalization, parity doesn't take on as much meaning. i think that's in part what the vice president's trying to address. there's also a lot more money towards research in the mental illness in the future as well. >> we hear about people being turned away because there are no beds and they go out and do
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violent acts. there was a state congressman that happened to very recently. you mentioned that daniel, you said that most people who have mental issues, that they usually harm themselves. but can daniel possibly turn violent against other people as he grows older? >> he certainly could. the point that we are making in the piece is that people with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence rather than perpetrators. when they are violent that violence is often turned inward. in terms of mutilation, hurting themselves or even suicide. and that was sort of the point. but he could become more violent. right now instead of striking out at his brother or family members, he strikes out inanimate objects, that punching bag, things within the house. again that's how he sort of deals with it. >> sanjay, thank you very much. >> you got it, don, anytime, thank you. >> we'll be right back.
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monday on "the 11th hour" a case of cyber bullying or is it? 12-year-old rebekah sedgwick threw herself off a three-story silo after months of harassment. but is the small town tragedy a warning sign? is cyber bullying really to
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blame for ra beck case a death? and do you know what your own kids are doing? that's monday on "the 11th hour." that's it for us tonight. follow me on twitter with my new handle. it's @donlemon. no longer @donlemoncnn. brooke baldwin and "in case you missed it" starts right now. good evening. i'm brooke baldwin. welcome to our new program. it's called "icymi." and our mission here is to comb through every single story cnn has been covering all day all over the world to bring you the very best moments of what we do. they happen just a few times each and every day, and powerful interviews, dramatic video, and they're the reason we do what we do. like these pictures of a frightening mystery in philadelphia. police searching for clues about what happened to this screaming woman dragged down the street apparently ab


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