tv 2013 Year in Review Gun Legislation CSPAN December 26, 2013 8:00pm-8:51pm EST
the year in review examining gun laws following the new town shooting where 12 were killed. then "first ladies" featuring mimi eisenhower. later, women in the prison system. >> as 2013 began a, the issue of gun violence was fresh on americans mind. the newton shootings had just happened in connecticut. over the next hour, on "year in review," a debate on gun
violence and gun policy and we will start with january 16, 2013. he also talks about what his administration plans to do with the issue. >> i started getting a lot of .etters from kids four of them are here today. they are pretty representative of the messages that i got. these are some pretty smart letters from some pretty smart young people. a third grader, you can go ahead and ways. that's you. terrible for the parents who lost their children. i love my country and i want everyone to be happy and safe.
wave, brad. we should learn from sandy hook. not scared for my safety. i'm scared for others. i have four brothers and sisters and i would not be able to bear the thought of losing any of them. these are our kids. this is what they are thinking about. be thinking about is our responsibility to care for them. andhield them from harm give them the tools they need to theyup and do everything are capable of doing not just to pursue their own dreams but to help build this country.
this is our first task as a society, keeping our children safe. this is how we will be judged. their voices should compel us to change. that is my last month i asked leado lead a left for -- the effort to come up with concrete steps we can take right now to keep our children safe, to help prevent mass shootings, to help prevent the broader epidemic of gun violence in this country. cannot put this off any longer. just last thursday as tv networks were covering one of topic, news on this broke of another school shooting in california. months since 20 precious children and brave adults were finally taken from us at sandy
hook elementary, more than 900 of our fellow americans have reportedly died at the end of a gun. 900. in the past month. day we wait, that number will keep growing. forward a specific set of proposals based on the work of joe's task force. in the days ahead, i intend to use whatever way this office holds to make it a reality. because while there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every sense was violence, no that willegislation prevent every tragedy, every act , if there's even one thing we can do to reduce
violence, if there's even one life that can be saved, then we have an obligation to try it. as soon as i'm finished speaking here, i will sign a directive giving my enforcement, schools, mental health professionals and the community is tools they need to reduce gun violence. bywill make it easier strengthening the background system. we want them to hire more school resource officers if they want. we had knowledge that someone with a mental illness is far more likely to be a big them of violent rhyme than the i will direct the
centers for disease control to go ahead and study the best ways to reduce. they should look into the effect of violent bitty -- violent video games have. we don't benefit from not the science of this epidemic or violence. these are a few of the 23 executive actions i'm announcing today but as important as they are, they are in no way a substitute for inaction of members of congress. to make a real and lasting difference, congress, too, must act. congress to pass
some very specific proposals right away. it's time to require universal background check for anyone trying to buy a gun. [applause] it already requires licensed gun dealers to run background checks. these gun sales are not safe, not smart, not fair to responsible gun buyers or sellers. if you want to buy a gun, whether it's from a licensed dealer or private seller, you should at least have to show you are not a felon or someone legally prohibited from buying
one. this is common sense. an overwhelming majority agree with us on the need for universal background checks. congress should restore a ban on military style assault weapons 10 round limit for magazines. [applause] rifle used assault in or roar of when paired with high-capacity magazines has one purpose -- to pump out as many bullets as possible as quickly as possible, to do as much damage using bullets often designed to inflict maximum damage and that's what allowed the gunmen and a roar wrote to shoot 70 people. 70 people, killing 12, in a
matter of minutes. weapon is designed for the theater of war have no place in a movie theater. the majority of americans realize that. by the way, so did ronald reagan, one of the staunchest defenders of the second amendment who wrote to congress in 1994 urging them -- this is ronald reagan speaking -- urging them to listen to the public and to law enforcement community to support a ban on the further manufacture of military style assault weapons. [applause] finally, congress needs to help rather than hinder law- enforcement as it does its job. we should get tougher on people who buy guns with the express purpose of turning around and selling them to criminals. we should severely punish anyone who helps them do this.
has not confirmed a director of the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms in six years, they should confirm todd jones who has been act in you and i will be nominating for the post. [applause] and at a time when budget cuts are forcing many communities to reduce their police force, we should put more cops on the job and back on our streets. >> we are rad the hill offices with rebecca. you have covered a number of gun related hearings and events through the year. the president from earlier this year in january, how did the nuclear shootings of last december propel the administration and congress into action? >> the fact that a number of that waswere killed,
really the breaking point for lawmakers on the hill and the white house to do something about the gun issues in this country. the aurora shooting happened and they wanted to introduce something that would actually tried to move the the issue forward. president obama introduced a number of executive orders that day and they are still working on them today. vice president joe biden announced $100 million for mental health services this week. >> you talk about the actions but how receptive was congress to any sort of change? >> they did take newton and thought they had to do it. a lot of them focus on the mental health aspects. the democrats did want to tighten them.
>> you are talking about the coming together of joe manchin and pat toomey. what were they trying to do? amendment thatn would have expanded background checks so that it would be applied to all gun sales including the private market. at the moment, the law says those background checks only applied to federal gun sales. that was really the breaking point for a lot of lawmakers and it kind of impeded the issue for a lot of the year.
>> what about in localities and states? a lot of states didn't ask a number of gun laws. it was an interesting chart in the new york times the other day. a majority of the 100 gun laws enacted across the country were actually loosening gun regulation. a number of gun laws that actually tighten them. >> it was the death knell for a in colorado.ators we are speaking with rebecca shabad at the hill offices.
ourant to show you some of coverage of congressional debate and hearings regarding gun violence. >> thank you for inviting me here today. this is an important children,on for our for our community, for democrats and republicans. , but ig is difficult need to say something important. problem.is a big too many children are dying. too many children. something.
it will be hard but the time is now. the bold and courageous. americans are counting on you. >> nobody is committed more than we are about keeping guns of criminals hands. it's in our best interest. inssume you are as committed keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. do you agree with should prosecute and punish how they
get guns at? >> we have said strawman sales should have been prosecuted for years. there are statutes on the books right now. >> you agree that we should prosecute. >> if someone is doing a strawman sale, they should be prosecuted absolutely. >> you supported mandatory criminal background checks for every sale and every gun show. you said no loopholes for anyone. statistics show that when they do have a background check, nearly 2 million convict did to buyls have tried firearms and they were prevented. let me ask you this. as you did in 1999,
still supporting mandatory background checks at gun shows? yes or no? we support the national check system on dealers. we were here when one of your colleagues held a hearing in terms of who would be a dealer and he would be required to have a license. if you did it for profit, yes. >> let's make it easier. we are talking about gun shows. should be a mandatory background checks at gun shows for sales of weapons? >> if you are a dealer, that's already the law. >> that's not my question. i'm not trying to play games. very quickly, if you could answer my question. the do not believe the way way the law is working now that it does any good to extend the law to private sales between hobbyists and collectors. >> you do not support mandatory background checks out all in the
instances of gun shows. >> we do not because fact is the law right now is failing the way it's working. have 76,000 people who have been denied under the only 44 wereut prosecuted. you are letting them go. they are walking the street. >> you said no loopholes anywhere for anyone but now you do not support background checks for all buyers of firearms. >> the check system the way it's working now was a failure. they are not prosecuting the people that they catch. they are not even putting the records of those adjudicated mentally incompetent in the system. assume that if you do not prosecute and you try to buy a gun, even if you catch them and you let them walk away, to assume they will not yet a gun -- they are criminals, homicidal maniacs, and they are mentally ill.
>> with all due respect, that's not the question i asked. nor did you answer. >> i think it's the answer. i honestly do. >> it's your testimony. >> we presented a model training program for school resource officers that is an enhancement of what they currently undertake and are required. 60 hours of comprehensive training for the school resource officers.
this is one item that catches everyone's attention. of ourthis part recommendations that we have this model training program? first of all, there is the incident in pearl high school in active shooter went into the school and killed two students and wounded others. there was no school resource officer. he retrieved his 45 caliber semiautomatic ir arm, return to school, and disarmed the assailant. example of where the responses critical land that is what saved lives. the key is reducing the response time. if he had been trained, if he
had access on his person, he might have saved more lives even in that instance. in one of the findings of the team went through one school that did not have school resource officers and they were already planning to arm school staff for the protection of the kids. whenever the inquiry was made in terms of what kind of training they have, it was clearly arefficient and schools undergoing that process all across america right now without , modele on what a good training program is for arm school personnel. let me emphasize this is not talking about all teachers. teachers should teach. there is personnel with good experience, and interest, and is willing to go through this training, again, 40 to 60 hours that is totally comprehensive,
then that is an appropriate resource that a school should be able to utilize. the second recommendation is that we have to adopt in the states need to consider changing the laws so that it allows a firearm to be carried by school personnel when they go through this model training program. we attach as an appendix a model state law to be considered for this purpose in various states. >> pat and i have an agreement. we have worked with senator kirk and schumer. theave an agreement to keep mentally ill and insane from getting firearms and harming old. it's extremely important for all of us. a commission on violence and it will be made up the eagle with expertise.
people who have expertise in guns, mental illness, school safety, and video violence. we have a culture of violence and a whole generation that recently has been desensitized. if you go around and talk to the young people today, it is what it is and we have to find out how we can change in reverse at. legal gun protect the owners like myself and pat who basically cherish the second amendment rights that we have. we have done that also but today is the start of a healthy debate that must end with the senate and house hopefully passing these commonsense measures and the president signing it into law. back home where i come from, we have common sense and now we have gone cents. that's what we are talking about. truly, the events at newton changed us all. it changed our country, our communities, our towns, our
hearts and minds. this will not ease the pain of these families who lost their children on that horrible day. nobody here -- not one of us in of hours withital a good conscience could sit by and not try to prevent a day like that from happening again. that's when we are doing. americans on both sides of the debate can and must find common ground. that's what hat and i have been working on. we went to keep them out of the hands and keep our children safe. this is a bipartisan movement and amendment. a bipartisan solution is a lasting solution. no one could step by and tried to prevent this a day from ever happening again.
heret mixed lane why i'm today with senator mansion. over the last few months-- let today.plain why i'm here it is not something that i sought, but it is inevitable. thatd, it became apparent there are a number of gun control proposals that i think actually would infringe on second amendment right and i will tell you categorically that nothing prevents the ownership of guns by any lawful person and i would not support it if it did. that's when i started talking with senator mansion, senator kirk thomas and others to see if we might be able to find a place common ground. it rests on the simple
criminals andat the dangerously mentally ill should not have guns. i don't know anyone who disagrees with that premise. if we start with the notion that dangerous criminals and shouldusly mentally ill not have weapons, we are in agreement. 2009, 1.8 million guns sales were drop -- blocked because they were not qualified to own a gun. thepported john checks in past and i support them now. they already exist for all handgun purchases.
it will not require recordkeeping by any private citizens. that we havelaw had and pennsylvania's experience has done nothing to restrain the lawful ownership by law-abiding citizens. we hear about background checks leading to an erosion of our second amendment rights and it simply has not happened. we have to make sure that it does. amendment is a compromise and it includes a number of measures to secure second amendment rights that they have long sought. the bottom line for me is this. it's expanding background checks to include internet sales and gun shows can reduce the
likelihood of criminals and mentally ill people from getting guns and we can do it in a fashion that does not infringe of the second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, we .hould do it >> mr. president, earlier this about legislation to reduce gun violence. i came on the floor of the to filibuster the proceeding of this no. the senate should not have to overcome a filibuster to respond .
i've seen the debate on so many issues. i was encouraged by a number of senate republicans of they were prepared to debate these matters and will not support this wrongheaded filibuster. even the wall street journal editorialized against this yesterday. misfire."ontrol i don't agree with much of the editorial but i will quote this. thisrvatives want to prove but the way to do it is to debate and vote on the floor. a small minority of republicans are trying to prevent this from
happening. none of these threaten second amendment rights. none of them call for gun confiscation or government registry. hadof these three have bipartisan support. with regards to the third proponent, closing loopholes in the current background system. they will have a bipartisan amendment with this component as well. the senior senator from maine, senator collins, and i were able to announce another step towards consensus. we have engaged in discussions with law enforcement and more recently, we have been engaged in discussions and we have agreed to stop illegal
trafficking to address while doingconcerns what we want to do by providing the tools they need to investigate and prosecute .llegal trafficking senator collins and i are both strong supporters and advocates of second amendment rights for law-abiding americans. it seems absurd that they insist in the filibuster of the bill. the american people expect us to stand up and face our responsibilities. whether we like having to vote , we have an oath of office.
we have the solemn privilege of meeting with some of the families who lost loved ones in the sandy hook shooting. can hardly begin to comprehend the enormous grief that these individuals have suffered losing such a young in an spouse, or mother act of what would appear to be senseless violence. your -- varying your child is something that no parent should have to do. -- burying your child. the families and friends of the are owedf sandy hook the dignity and respect of a effortrent, good-faith .o address gun violence
i do believe there is a common ground upon which republicans and democrats can come together. of issue of mental health the gun owner is that common ground for me. along with enforcing current laws that are on the books. if there is one thread that connects the horrific series of gun violence episodes in our , particularly in recent times, it is the mental illness of the shooter. in every case, the perpetrators mental illness should have been and, in some instances, it was but not reported. these individuals should never be allowed access to a gun.
this is actually something we can and should do something about. that theo make sure mentally ill are getting the help they need -- not guns. something this is that i believe all of us can agree on. in response to the tragedy at virginia tech in 2007, the senate and congress unanimously legislation to bolster background checks. texas has received high marks for their compliance but many states have essentially been noncompliant and the department of justice has failed to implementationup of the law. essentially the law we passed in the wake of the virginia tech shooting requiring the reporting
of those people who are ill is not working as it should. rather than string along and in effect new program, i think this is a wonderful opportunity to fix it. we should fix it. >> i'm glad that we are proceeding in this very important legislation. they might be wondering why they are not reporting on any amendments to the pending legislation. they voted to proceed to the bill. this followed calls that the senate should debate the bill and that is why i just said i'm glad we are getting there. there has been very little .ebate the president has said that various proposals deserve a vote . on this side of the aisle we do
-- and tend to stand in the way of those votes in the amendments and i hope we are able to vote very soon. last week, senator mansion and to me unveiled an amendment. -- senators manchin and toomey amendment. the one wet would be would first vote on. we have not voted so hopefully we will get to the vote. we have not voted because despite claims from the other side, background checks are not and have her -- never have been the sweet spot of gun control .ebate we have not voted because they do not have the votes to pass it. i think they know it.
they do not have the votes even though published reports indicate that vice president biden, the vice president of the senate, they have been calling and asking to support the manc n hin-toomey bill. i do not have the votes for background checks even though the vice president has stated that the opposition to the "thesal comes only from black helicopter crowd." toomey would oppose new -- impose new obligations and it would do so even though expanding background checks would have done nothing to stop newton or other mass shootings. it would do so even though expanding background checks would do nothing to prevent
these killings in the future. the deputyte director of the national and that of justice institute and that person recently wrote that background checks could work only if they were universal and accompanied by gun registration. most oppose gun legislation. they know what has happened historically with don legislation. members of the senate but more , they do not want to go down that role. it claims to strengthen the rights of gun owners. in fact, it does not. the fact is the opposite is true.
>> mr. president, we are debating what are the most important bills we have had in front of us in some time. the reason we are debating this is because of what happened in newton, connecticut, december 14. we know because we hear about the victims. we are saddened by what happened in boston. we still don't know what the cause was, who was responsible and i just have to say we are stunned. members of the senate, those i worked with on immigration we talk about it but it is that was addressed by
the president. we wait to build a case for those who were responsible. i, for one, and i'm sure they feel the same day, don't want -- feel the same way don't want to rush but the sadness we feel for victims and an open and free america where people stand on the sidelines cheering marathon runners is one that is profound in the senate today. the issue before us is gun safety and it comes because 20 beautiful little first-graders were massacred at their grade school at sandy hook and the town of newton, connecticut. six literally gave their lives in defense of these children. there is not a parent or ground alive who did not
identify with that horrible loss. they came in and begged us to do something, to spare future parents and children from this type of massacre. as they showed me the photographs of their beautiful children who were gone, i commend them for their courage and stepping forward. voteis not an easy elliptically. i come from a pretty diverse southerncome from illinois, more rural, more gun owners than the great city of chicago. where the guna issues were very volatile and to people.ant
i survived the attacks and eventually was elected to the senate here. this is the first meaningful gun safety legislation that we've taken up since i was a let did to this body -- you let did to this body -- elected to this body. we weare here because of newton. one of our own, gabrielle giffords, and a town hall meeting was gone and down shot point laying can they stand we did nothing -- point blank in the face. no hearings. no changes. it was just another statistic. but newton touched our hearts.
>> it the amendment would have expanded background checks for buyers. they needed 60 voting yes to end debate and bring it to a final vote. it fell six short, 54-46. democrats, four republicans, and two independence. voting against, 48 republicans and five democrats. >> it represented moderation and common sense. that's why 90% of the people supported it. the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill. they claim it would create some kind of dig brother registry even though the bill did the opposite. it outlawed denny registry, plain and simple. but that did not matter.
unfortunately, this pattern of spreading untruths served a purpose. intimidated a lot of senators. i spoke to them over the past few weeks. they are all good people. were shocked them by tragedies like newtown. states wherem there is a regional difference when it comes to guns. both sides have to listen to each other.
action can save one person, one child, a few hundred, a few thousand, if it could for vent those people from losing their lives to gun havence in the future, we an obligation to try. this legislation meant that test. i've heard some say that --they don't step have a right to weigh in on this issue. we think their emotions and their loss is not relevant to this debate?
all in all, this was a pretty shameful time for washington. this effort is not over. i want to make it clear to the american people. we can still bring about changes to reduce gun violence so long as the american people don't upon. even without congress, my administration will keep doing everything it can to protect everyone. we are going to do everything we can to protect our children in schools. we can do more if congress gets its act together. if this congress refuses to listen to the american people and pass common sense gun
legislation then the real impact is going to have to come from the voters. to all who supported this legislation, democrats and republicans, responsible gun owners, urban moms, rural hunters, whoever you are you need to let your representatives in congress know that you are disappointed and if they don't act you will remember, election time. you need to let your leadership in washington know that they did not represent your views on this. is this issueeans is not going away. people behind me have been hurt bysically and emotionally
violence and they will continue working with us. i pledge to everyone that i will try to do everything that i can to fight for meaningful background check legislation. the fight has just a gun. it's not going away. -- the fight has just begun. i want to call a little out of order and call on joe manchin from west virginia who courageously crafted the legislation, great legislation, dealing with background checks. >> looking ahead to 2014, you mentioned some of the executive actions the administration has
taken. what else are they doing? is there any other legislative effort plan for 2014? on thet of lawmakers hill think that the issue is dead. in september, we have the navy yard shooting and it reinvigorated the debate for dick durbin, dianne feinstein, the democrats who wanted to bring the debate back to congress after the failed .mendment in april harry reid said he would not seek a vote. right now, the issue is appearing dead. that may allow the white house to introduce my executive if republicans on the hill will not cooperate. >> in terms of the administration, what will we see? >> i'm not quite sure. they did introduce the 100 million dollars for additional mental health services this week but it is tofa