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tv   MSNBC Live With Katy Tur  MSNBC  February 21, 2018 11:00am-12:00pm PST

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that wraps up this hour of msnbc live. my colleague katy tur takes things over from here. katy, i don't think we've ever seen anything like what we're witnessing in tallahassee today. >> absolutely not. just in the recent past it feels like we've covered these stories and unfortunately the news cycle whips through and we're onto the the next controversy. the president's meeting with those students, it's going to be interesting to find out. >> we'll be watching. >> what comes of this. kristen welker, thank you very much. it is 11:00 a.m. out west and 2:00 p.m. in florida where one week ago this hour at 2:21 last wednesday, students were hiding for their lives inside marjory stoneman douglas high in florida. students who survived are in the state's capitol, and they are angry, so are a lot of other folks. >> i'm not trying to take away
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your rights, but we cannot protect our guns before we protect our children. >> dear congress, how many of the thoughts and prayers do i need for some damn action? >> we lose confidence in our government because we're told nothing can be done time and time again and we're tired of hearing that because we know there can be change in this country. >> what i saw today was discouraging, but i want everyone to know we will not be skren discouraged. we will not stop this movement. >> everyone at the nra, we're not afraid of you. we will not be silenced by anything you have to say. >> we're asking, begging, and pleading because this cannot keep happening. we cannot see another friend in a casket. >> should you continue to choose your wallets over our lives, i
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pray you enjoy retirement. because we will vote you out. >> this is the moment we've been waiting for. you are the cavalry we've been waiting for. so to you, let's do it. >> right now as those parkland students meet with state lawmakers, other teenagers are rallying to their cause. students are standing up across florida, capitol hill, and the white house. they are screaming right now for politicians to listen. last night they did not listen. last night as survivors of the massacre watched from the capitol's gallery in florida, lawmakers debated a bill declaring porn, you heard me right, porn, a health risk. they refused to even discuss an assault weapons ban. the porn bill would, quote, protect floridians, teenagers, from pornography.
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later today at the white house, the president will pete with people from parkland along with parents from sandy hook and columbine. the administration is calling the meeting a listening session but what will president trump hear and what will had edo? yesterday donald trump proposed regulations that would ban bump stocks, the device used in the las vegas shooting five months ago ago. neither one of you stopped 1-year-old gunman from killing 17 people in florida. something donald trump said he supported back in 2000. >> the eight-year assault on your second amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end. [ cheers and applause ] you have a true friend and
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champion in the white house. >> which leads us to our big question once again, what will president trump do? let's bring in our team of reporters. maya rodriguez is in tallahassee, florida. kelly o'donnell is at the white house. kimberly atkins, chief washington report for "the boston herald" and msnbc contributor. maya, you're seeing what the students are doing right now. do you get a sense that they're in this for the long haul >> reporter: so many of them were heart broken yesterday after the vote in the state house where they failed to take up a measure having to do with a ban on sexual assault weapons. they were heart broken, but they say they're not surprised that they know that this is going to take quite a while, that change does not come easy when it comes to having to deal with lawmakers in general, both at the state and federal level. a number of students were out here that have nothing to do with stoneman douglas high school. they decided they needed to be
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here, that this issue was important to them, lives, and education. one of those students is taylor pal ford. you came up from 20 minutes from here. why did you decide to come out here? why was it important for you to make the trek up here? >> i thought it was important because i don't hear about these things happening close to home. the other shootings that happened in florida, it was very tragic to hear it was happening and we decided something needed to happen. and so we came up here to make sure our voices were heard >> reporter: what would you like to see happen? >> i think there are there's should be stricter gun laws and a lot of focus on mental health awareness to where it's more -- i don't think someone with ale mental illness should be allowed to purchase a gun. >> reporter: mass shootings were quite frankly not uncommon, do you think about that when you go to school? >> i do. it's something that runs through my head every once in a while.
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it's really unfortunate. these are the things we think about when we go to school. i want that to be a thought that's not there. >> reporter: taylor, thank you so much for joining us. >> maya, hold on. the passion is really intense right now. the emotions are really intense right now. are these kids willing to keep fighting this fight for as long as it takes? will they show up to the polls in 2018 or later this year when they have to vote for the midterms? >> reporter: so katy tur wants to know will this motivate you to go to the polls when you have the right to vote when election time comes around for you and your classmates? >> it will definitely be something that's on my mind because i don't want my future children to have to deal with the things we dealt with. as far as, you know, the fear of this is the potential of what
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could happen, i don't think anyone should have to feel that feeling whenever they go to school. >> we heard a lot of chants out here, vote them out, over and over again. >> i don't think people -- we voted in people that are going to speak for us. and then it seems like whenever we want something to be done, they don't hear us and it's not fair for us because i know a lot of students feel like they don't have a voice and we should have we are the next generation >> reporter: are you all in it for the long haul? >> we are. >> reporter: katy, taylor is just one example of the people we've met out here, people that have come up from orlando, tampa, from south florida to somehow support for stoneman douglas high school who are right now inside with state lawmakers, meeting about 70 of them throughout the day and later this evening they'll be meeting with republican governor rick scott of florida in groups
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of 20. they tell us they understand this is going to take time. they are also looking forward to that march that is supposed to be happening march 24th in washington, d.c., having to do with gun control, safety in the schools, mental health. they want all these issues to be addressed because they keep saying like the hashtag, never again. they do not want to see another mass shooting at a school like they have seen throughout their years. columbine was almost 20 years ago. these kids have grow up in the shadow of that ever since. >> thank you. what you're looking at on the left side of your screen is our cameraman going through security alongside the students and demonstrators and young people. they're in florida at florida state capitol going to rye and confront lawmakers to beg lawmakers to do something down there. last night lawmakers decided not even to discuss an service
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weapons -- assault weapons ban. instead they decided to discuss a measure that had to do with pornography and the health effects it has on teenagers. pornography being bad for teenagers, not assault weapons, which was what killed 17 kids and teachers just a week ago. this is oka la, florida. we're seeing these images far and wide today. we're going to be seeing, again, students going to the white house to talk to president trump, students from parkland, parents from sandy hook, parents from columbine, folks trying to urge him to do something about it. kelly o'donnell, you're at the white house. the president is having that meeting. what is the white house hoping to get out of this? what are they saying at least they're hoping to get out of this? >> they describe it as a listening session. the president invites guests into the white house with a
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specific issue. he will often open the floor to let them make some comments. and today maybe one of the most interesting opportunities to see that because the emotions are raw, the personal experiences they're bringing are very relevant, and it could be unpredictable. i was at columbine back in 1999. i worked covering the sandy hook parents on capitol hill who sustained their energy for months in the very difficult sort of mission for their very small children who were killed, going door to door on capitol hill trying to make change. now here we are wiparkland. the president maybe making incremental progress, whether it's the bump stocks he talked about, the adaptation to weapons that could make them operate as if machine gun style, or age limits, or trying to deal with
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things with mental health. will that be enough? probably for those he would meet with, no. does he have the ability to get that done. this is an important data point for a president who has his own personal progression, to now being closely tied and supportive with the nra and now as president having a moment where he may be able to speak to this issue and perhaps try to get lawmakers to take action. that's where it gets difficult. >> we'll see what he's able to push and not able to push and the limitations of the president's own influence here. then again, the nra does support the background bill, while it doesn't necessarily support banning bump stocks, it signals they would be open to those regulations. any sense at all that the president would go further than the nra, potentially go against the nra?
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last year and the year before he was at the nra convention saying no one's going to impede on gun owners' rights >> reporter: he has vacillated on this point. even when he's moved by something, for example, the daca participants and spoke about passing a bill with love in that address. he gets pulled back by the folks within the party they don't necessarily want him to go that way. so we may see something small like bump stocks. bump stocks is something the nra was able to get behind, some sort of restriction on the sale of that, but once you get beyond that, it becomes more difficult. even something that seems as incremental as changing the age limit to purchase guns, to purchase alcohol. if the nra isn't behind it, it's
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going to be difficult politically for the president to back that despite the fact that you've seen this remarkable grassroots civil rights campaign being put on by these young people. >> here's the thing about banning bump stocks. the president may want to do it by just signing something and telling the atf to ban it, but the given what the atf said about their ability to regulate, there are going to be court cases about it. so it is something that if you want anything done immediately on it, it's going to need to get passed through legislation. kimberly, we're watching these scenes out of tallahassee. there are giant crowds going to the state capitol demanding something from lawmakers down there. there's ocala, florida, on the upper right. not to be cynical, but the news hasn't moved away from this. is this sort of pressure we're seeing on tv enough to not only convince donald trump, but
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convince lawmakers that something needs to be done and not just something little or incremental, but something substantial when you have young people who are so scared, young people who are so angry, young people who are posing the question, what do you value more, me or your rights as a gun owner? >> i think that's the difference we've seen here. yes, it's just been a week. in most of these cases of mass shootings that are really horrifying, by the time seven days have passed it was not even in the headlines at all anymore. these are young people that are not only motivated, they're media savvy and politically savvy and they're using that to keep this issue in the forefront. if they're able to maintain that, they have a greater chance of changing not just the mind of lawmakers -- again, for all the reasons and the strength of the nra, legislation is hard on this. i think if they are able to change the culture, motivate other young people, and really make a change from the
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grassroots up, then you might see some sort of movement akin to the smoking movement, the fact that big tobacco, a lot fewer younger people started smoking and the entire culture around that change. or the lbgtq community and same-sex marriage, they were responding to the people as opposed to the other way around. if they can lead that -- >> they are effective, especially when they're as eloquent as these young people have been and as brave as these young people have been. because of that, because they are so effective, they're a threat to a certain status quo. that's why you're seeing ugly stuff come out about these kids and ugly accusations. we'll get to that a little bit later in the hour. kelly o'donnell, thank you, maya rodriguez. let's go to david cohen, a
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flori at tallahassee reporting for "vanity fair," and author of "columbine." a student got shrapnel caught behind mer eye. let's listen to her. >> i don't know how columbine wasn't enough. i don't know how sandy hook was not enough. i don't know how the las vegas shooting or pulse nightclub was not enough. i don't know how any of it was not enough. but now it is. this is enough for me. this is enough for my message and my platform. i'm not going to let anyone stop me. >> i don't know if you got a monitor down there. i'm not sure if you can see her image, but she's got shrapnel behind her eye, a black eye, she has blood in her eye. she looks wounded. it's a powerful image to see her with that injury. it's a powerful message to hear
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what she's saying. do you think from your experience, you wrote the book on columbine, that this could be different? >> it could be. i've never seen anything like this. i've been in a lot of the school shootings unfortunately for 19 years now. never seen anything like this. the columbine kids were really shell shocked. there was sort of that blank affect of almost all the kids the first couple days after, nobody was talking about policy, definitely not like gun control. these kids kind of leapt into action day one and they've been incredibly savvy about how to do events like this today immediately so the momentum the didn't die, but also pacing. for the first time in several years i have hoped it could be different, and they're kind of the right messenger.
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i get asked what'll it take to change this and i say i don't know. i wasn't expecting this but this is the best hope we've had in ages. it's all on them. >> david, on the left side of the screen we're watching, it's not florida where this is happening. you see snow on the ground. that is parker, colorado, it's a student walkout. they are now marching in that suburb all to call for action. these are powerful images. if this is going to effect change, what sort of change should they be shooting for. what is a reasonable ask right now? >> that's a great question. they're hitting at a couple different levels. they have focused on gun control. they want sensible and called it something like major or comprehensive changes of gun
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control. they are really laser focused. some of the sessions like today, it's a little more mixed. they're talking about two major buckets, mental health and gun control. not all the conversations -- today is supposed to be having a conversation with legislators. different events have different focus. but gun control is kind of, like, the main point through all of them and the biggest thing they're all talking about. they want assault weapons ban. >> let's listen at the florida state capitol. [ crowd chanting ]
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[ crowd chanting ] >> it is loud in the halls of the state capitol right now. students and activists and teachers, victims, survivors, witnesses, people who are passionate about this chanting "vote them out, vote them out." students are also in the governor's office down in tallahassee. governor rick scott of florida demanding something be changed with him. a reminder, students are also meeting with the president of the united states, asking him for some change. here's what they are up against. they're up against the nra right now, they're also up against a republican-controlled government, not just there in florida, but a republican-controlled government in the capitol, in the congress,
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house of representatives, senate, and also donald trump, a republican, in the white house. historically republicans have not been easily swayed on any sort of measure like gun control. anything limiting a person's right to own a gun. there are certain bills that are being discussed right now, strengthening background checks, even raising the age of when somebody can buy an assault weapon from 18 to 21, making that a federal law, not a state by state law. there's also an issue on banning bump stocks, which we saw in the vegas shooting. i don't think it's part of an issue for what we saw here down in florida. but, again, these things are hard to do. they're difficult. it's hard to maintain the momentum for them. it's hard to maintain the support for them in congress.
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not just among republicans, but also among some democrats. these kids are trying to flatten this out and make this not a political issue, but make this a rights issue, a human rights issue. something that all americans need to worry about. change the culture around it, not just how lawmakers respond. jared moskowitz joins me me now. he the broad from marjory stoneman douglas high school. congressman, thank you very much for joining us. i was just talking about how these kids are trying to flatten out the issue, make it so it's not just about republicans, not just about democrats, not just about what lawmakers are doing, but changing the culture. do you think that that's the best strategy? what do you think should be done? >> it's by far the best strategy.
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these students are the difference. they are the reason why there will be bills coming forward that will be heard that will change the conversation in the state of florida. something that hasn't happened in 20 years. i've been saying to myself that we have to look at this as parents, not as democrats or republicans. i remind myself of a slogan, parents over party. that's really what we should be doing here. it would be nice if we approached all issues the same way we're approaching this as common people with a common goal with a common purpose. you would think in a country with the most powerful military and the best economy and the best people in the greatest country ever created, we could keep our schools safe. if we can't coalesce around that, what can we do in this country? >> let's listen to the scene in tallahassee one more time. that's a florida lawmaker rallying with the kids.
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hold on a moment. [ crowd chanting ] >> representative moskowitz, i want to talk about what happened last night. this discussion that was had declaring porn a public health risk, a risk especially for teenagers while an assault weapons ban would not even be discussed by lawmakers down there, what is your reaction? >> it's not acceptable. but it hasn't been acceptable just for the last week, it's not been acceptable for years. this is not something new. we're acting like all of a
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sudden parkland happened in a vacuum. this is one incident after another. we've all been on notice. and when this first happened, i said we would do nothing and washington as we've shown is doing nothing. it's great the president sent a memo dealing with bump stocks. why doesn't the president pick up his pen and not sign memos and sign executive orders and make bump stocks go away? why do we have to wait for jeff sessions to research that for the next several months. it's obvious the evidence on bump stocks. in tallahassee, i think democrats and republicans have to rise above the partnership on both sides. there are democrats that won't want anything to happen. we must get something done. we cannot bring nothing home to these parents. we cannot fail these parents. there are 120 members of the
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legislature. if we can't pass anything, then 160 of us don't need to be here. we need to figure out what we can get done in the next three weeks before session ends. and then when we come back, continue to work at this issue. >> hold on. representative, hold on. there's a woman inside the -- let's listen. this is governor rick scott's office. the kids are being told the governor doesn't have time to meet with them. >> he will not see us because he's scared of us? he represents us. >> shame on you. [ crowd chanting ]
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[ crowd chanting ] >> apparently the woman who you saw a moment ago, i believe she was a blonde woman wearing glasses, came out and told these students who are gathered there in the entrance to governor rick scott's office that the governor is too busy to meet with them today. as you can see, they have file boxes of paperwork they want the government to see. they're going to try and drop it off, looks like, hashtag, here
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are the bills. they're flooding the governor's office, and the governor is refusing to speak with these students. they're students from parkland, marjory stoneman high. sounds like they're not being heard. they're going to be maybe passing these boxes of bill paperwork to the office staff, but there seems to be some sort of holdup in that. apologies. trying to figure out what this woman is saying. >> bring them out. >> we're going to keep monitoring is and figure out what is exactly going on. look at that image right now. >> while we're waiting -- hey, everybody. i asked you guys to think of one
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sentence. if you met governor scott, what would you say to him in one sentence? anyone? [ cheers ] >> make a difference. >> can you guys hear me back there? >> yep. >> do your job. what else? >> you suck. [ cheers ] >> stop blaming mass shooting on minorities and start going after -- this is not an immigrant issue. this is not a poverty issue. >> looks like the woman with the blond hair is part of student group. but they were being told the governor didn't have time to meet with them. she just asked her students there what would they say to the
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governor if they had a chance to speak to him? a lot of them said do your job. others said do the right thing. the young boy in the front in the red shirt said make a difference. i mean, they're asking the governor to do something about rifles, to do something about assault weapons, to stop looking into immigration so much and to focus on the issue they're there to talk about. weapons. their lives. we're going to keep watching this to find out what happens if those doors open up and if the governor ends up meeting with them. lots of kids there, lots of young faces, lots of young people who want to see something change. again, when they turn 18, they will have a chance to effect change at the ballot box. representative moskowitz, let's
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go back to that. the governor not meeting with those students, what do you think? >> well, florida is a public state. we're public servants. you have to meet with the people who voted for you and you have to meet with people that didn't vote for you and you have to meet with people who are too young to vote for you. there's no such thing in america as denying access. if there are students that want to meet with you, you better meet with them. you don't need to be afraid of people that died in that building. you need to be afraid of the people that lived. they are coming for you. >> representative, stay with us for a moment, if you can. i want to go to ashley parker of "the washington post" who does a lot of great reporting on the president and the white house and what's going on behind the scenes. ashley, what's going on in the white house right now? >> what's striking about this is even earlier at mar-a-lago the
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president was struck by these images of these kids. he was asking guests there, you know, what do you think of these kids? what do you think of these images? what do you think i should do? what do you think about possibly raising the age limit to get a semiautomatic or an assault rifle? what's striking is we both know from having covered him, this is a president who is deeply swayed by images and by social media. and these kids have that sway in a different way, the intuitive sense of their images, how to use social media, how to capture a moment, that the president himself does. so his aides are waiting to see if this will move him on an issue. >> he was moved on the issue of daca, ita seemed, but has takena harder line and made it so the democrats have to pass all his asks on immigration, his wall,
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et cetera. are we going to see a scenario where there's a poison pill put into a bill that might mean that folks can use their concealed carry licenses across the country no matter what state they got them in? they will be valid no matter where they go? is that what we'll end up seeing happen? >> that's a great question and it's an open question. we don't know. but he's moved by images and with daca he's moved by the stories of young people. it's possible here he's moved and he takes action and he's sort of the person who can communicate that to his base and to the nra and get people on board with small reforms. or it's possible history will repeat itself and he'll start to make a move and the hardline people in his administration, in the party, in the base will sort of pull him back to where he was in all these images at the end of the won't have frankly done that much.
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>> ashley, i hope you don't have to leave, i'm going to ask representative moskowitz, what do you want to see banned or regulated, et cetera? >> i mean, there's not one issue, katy. let's be honest. what happened in parkland was a total system failure. every elected official at every level of government failed these kids. what i would like to see specifically is i'd like to make sure assault weapons aren't on our streets. that we don't need them. we don't need weapons made for afghanistan on the streets of america. at a minimum, they don't need to be in the hands of 18-year-olds. [ no audio ] -- if these magazines aren't meant for hunting, they don't
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need on the streets of america. i would like to see something done with bump stocks. while we wait for the president's memo to come through, no reason we can't address that here. we have to have levels of government talking. we are four levels of government that had to hit on the shooter, and they didn't talk to each other reminds us of the problems we saw in washington, d.c., before homeland security was created to make government talk to each other. we have to harden our facilities and schools, increase our school resource officers. these are all things that can be done in the next three weeks. there's no one thing we have to do. let's be clear, we got to deal with guns first. that's got to be first, second, and third on our list. if the president is watching, what i would say to the president of the united states is this, he said he wanted to make america great again. is america great again? is watching 17 families put their baby in the ground and
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pour dirt over their coffin, is that maga? that's what you wanted to do? i have to believe that's not what he had in mind when he wanted to become president. i have to believe that he better look at this, that this could have come to his town where his kids were. he's not just a parent, he's the president. don't give us excuses about congress. we know congress is broken. you got a pen and paper and you got executive orders. draft one. >> florida state representative jared moskowitz, thank you very much. the governor's office down there, florida governor rick scott's office has just called us. they say he will be meeting with students at 5:00 today in small groups, 20 minutes each. students from parkland. right now he is not in the office. he's at the funeral, i believe, for a student. that's why he cannot meet with those kids right now.
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obviously they're not happy about it. those kids are still inside that office. they want to be heard. we'll see if they wait until 5:00 today. ashley parker? one more question to you. sorry to make you wait. >> no worries. >> we're looking at this white house and looking at the president. what happens if these kids walk out of that meeting and criticize him and say he wasn't listening or don't believe what he says? how does he react? >> that's another great question. it could go one of two ways. but what we've seen so far at least is that this is a president who is not particularly receptive to criticism and that sends him reeling in the other direction. if they take a model from members of congress, it's members who sort of publicly either praise him or delicate in
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their criticism, he's not going to respond well. doesn't mean they should not do it. they should do whatever it is they want to do and what they feel is most effective. but he doesn't respond well to getting publicly trashed. it will be interesting to see how the meeting goes, how these students and parents think the meeting goes and what they say publicly about it and what next steps that does or doesn't lead to. >> ashley parker of "the washington post," thank you very much. >> thank you. we're keeping eyes on the white house. we have eyes down there in tallahassee. we're going to bring you updates as they come. coming up next, it is unbelievable. little things can be a big deal. that's why there's otezla. otezla is not an injection or a cream. it's a pill that treats psoriasis differently. with otezla, 75% clearer skin is achievable
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this is not fake news. and i am not a fake actor. i'm not an actor. we will not rest until we have change. >> these kids who have witnessed and survived what was once unthinkable are trying to make sure it doesn't happen again.
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unbelievable because they are speaking out because they are brave, because they have a point, because they are convincing, because of all that they are a political target. fodder for sick conspiracy theories, just like 9/11 and sandy hook, so-called truthers have been throwing around terms like crisis actors, a term they give to victims who they believe are faking. this week calling a survivor an outspoken student journalist, david hogg a crisis. a florida state representative's aide was fired after he pushed the crisis actor conspiracy theory in an e-mail to a "tampa bay times" reporter. then there was the gateway page
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a florida state representative' it's more rush limbaugh is attacking the students saying everything they're doing is right out of the democrat party's various playbooks. it has the same enemies, the nra and guns, so is former congressman jack kingston who has had a hard time with facts and truth in the past. quote, do wefrl think 17 years old on their own are going to plan a nationwide rally? he said that on cnn. accused sexual harasser bill o'reilly wrote the national press believes it's their job to destroy the trump administration by any means necessary. so if the media has to use kids to do that, they'll use kids. unbelievable. enough with the noise. let's listen to the kids. joining us from parkland, florida, is sean simpson, one of david hogg's teachers at marjory
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stoneman douglas high. the kids are speaking and being loud about this. they're angry. they don't want this to happen to other kids. david hogg, one of your students, how difficult is it for you to watch them being attacked like this? >> it's very difficult. david is an excellent student. he's not actually my student. that's student that i work with in other organizations like our garden program or balloon program. he's not actually in my classroom, but he's someone i'm familiar with, who i spend a lot of time with. he's a good kid. he's outspoken. he has a love of film. they picked the wrong school to do this because these students are going to stand up and speak from their hearts and they're not going to be silenced. >> why do you think they're
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being targeted? >> i think they have a credibility that their emotions are bringing to the table that can't be fought in any other way. you see that with the support we're getting from all over the world for our causes. these kids are taking that momentum and moving with it and people think they're going to stop. they're not. >> what do you want the kids to know? >> well, as far as david, emma, cass, and kim, they have an intelligence, a drive to make a difference. they're not going to stop. this is only the beginning. and i see images coming here today as i was getting off the highway, marjory stoneman douglas is being flooded with other students that are following their lead. they've walked out of school in
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solidarity. i'm seeing it all over broward. just trying to get here was impossible because of all the kids coming out in support of douglas and what happened here. they're supporting david and emma and cam and all the other students that have made the trips to tallahassee and are going out and speaking their voices as loudly as possible. i'm sorry if people are not okay with them doing that, but they're not going to stop. they feel that drive to move forward and there's nothing that's going to stop them. >> we're showing images of all the walkouts across the country. looks like one kid a moment ago might have had heat stroke or something. we're not sure. but these are walkouts happening -- i'm sorry. i'm trying to get off this screen because i don't know what's going on with this young girl. >> unfortunately, it's a long walk. >> there are walkouts happening. the kids are angry.
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yesterday in tallahassee as parkland students were there, they were trying to talk to lawmakers, convincing them to do something about what happened to them a week ago, the lawmakers wouldn't talk about assault weapons, fine. but instead they talked about pornography and declared it a public health risk and said it's a real threat to teenagers. is pornography a real threat to the health of teenagers? >> i don't know. i wasn't running from that on wednesday. i was running from the sound of gunfire, semiautomatic gunfire in a high school i taught at for 14 years, a high school i felt safe in. there's no way to explain what that felt like seeing my students running at me saying, mr. simpson, they're effing shooting at me. that's not okay. it should never be a thing that should happen. you know, i remember looking at my colleague and we started to run and just being scared for, you know, hours, just wondering what happened to my colleagues.
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i had friends texting me from under desks, saying i'm okay, tell whoever. it's not okay. it shouldn't be condoned. thoughts, prayers, it's nice to have that. let's have some action. these kids are demanding action. they're going to cause change. anybody who doesn't believe that doesn't know these kids. >> sean, some folks say the solution is more good guys with guns and putting guns into the hands of teachers so that teachers can protect students if a gunman shows up. would you want a gun in your hands? >> that's a tough question. to be honest with you, that's a tough question. would i have been able to stop in gentleman with a semiautomatic weapon? i'm not sure. would i like an opportunity? that's a question i'm not sure i would know how to answer. the answer, maybe. i have a friend that was grazed in the face saving some
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children. and i know he feels that if he was armed, he could have at least stopped some of the carnage. i don't know if that's the answer, but i know that there are some of us that are willing to take the if it was offered and probably be another line of defense. but again, that is a complicated subject and i'm not sure if it is the answer. i think it is easier to get these type of weapons out of the hands of people that aren't meant to do anything but kill. they're not meant for hunting and if you -- my personal opinion is if you need 30 rounds to hunt something, you should find another hobby. i don't ski because i can't do it. so i know my limitations. if you can't kill something with four or five rounds, you should let it go, it deserves a better chance than shooting 30 rounds at it. there is no purpose for a bump stock. what is the purpose but to make a rifle that was legal that i don't feel should be legal into something that is illegal.
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and now people are throwing around assault rifles and there are assault rifles and other rifles with the exact same inner workings as the assault rifle and the same magazine capacity and we're not talking about them but those should be limited as well. the fact that you have a semi automatic weapon that could discharge that many rounds, that child, 17-year-old young man discharged 150 rounds into my school building. 150 rounds. killing 17 and wounding 15 others. and i don't know what else to say on that. >> those people are just trying to muddy the water, the ones talking about the differences between guns and trying to make some sort of argument based on why this one and not this one. it is just trying to muddy the water with the argument. let me ask you one more question. >> i agree. >> on being armed, if you get a gun to protect your students, is that also mean you're going to be getting a bulletproof vest?
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will you be wearing kevlar in school every day or trying to stop a gunman without any -- without any armor? >> i think that the better option is to get the guns out of the hands of the people and get these specific types of guns that are not useful for anything but killing out of the hands of people. i'm not going to have a vest. i hear -- i've been watching my social media and my students saying, i'm thankful that you are here. students that i've had from 2004 are writing to me and people are trying to put down officer peterson for not being able to stop this man. officer peterson responded and he was there within minutes and he could not stop this gentleman. he had an semi automatic rifle against a 9 millimeter or a 40 caliber. he had to wait for help -- he couldn't take him out. he couldn't enter a building against somebody with something like that. >> there is a difference -- >> it is horrible -- >> when somebody walks into a
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building intent on shooting it up, you are walking into the building probably knowing that you're not going to make it out of the building or there is a high likelihood you will not. so you are not as afraid of getting shot as i would imagine as somebody who is trying to protect other people and also trying to protect themselves. when someone has nothing to lose, it is hard -- i would imagine -- >> that is the problem. >> yeah. >> people aren't seeing that. and officer peterson is taking this harder than he should. and i wish nothing but the best for him and i hope that he comes back because he's a good -- a good s.r.o. and he doesn't deserve any kind of criticism for his response. he did his job, he did what he was supposed to do, we all did. we saved kids and some did not make it. the administration put together a plan that we followed and it saved kids. had it not been for that preparedness we would have had a bigger problem. and i just -- it just hurts to see some of the people aren't
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being given the credit for their work. and they're broken up about it. and some of the people are not ready to come back. we're going to back to school on friday and it's traumatizing for people just to think about going back. i can't imagine what the kids are going through. we're adults and we're having a hard time with this. imagine the kids. it's a tough situation. >> you could -- >> i don't know how else to put it. it is a tough, tough situation. and i haven't given out this many hugs in my life to kids, students, staff, friends, family just making sure i'm okay and i'm doing okay. i can't imagine what these kids are going through. and hope none of them are doing this alone. i hope their families are with them and their friends are with them. that is what is getting us through, the stoneman douglas family and friends and the city of parkland. i've had people randomly walk up to me and give me a hug and say we're with you. that is what is getting us through. guns have to be addressed.
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i think we also have to address the kids and this faculty and make sure they are okay. because some of them aren't. and may never be again. >> you could clean up the blood at a school but you can't erase a memory or erase that trauma. sean simpson science teacher at marjorie stoneham douglas high. thank you for talking to us. we appreciate it. >> thank you for giving me the chance to dispel those nasty rumors about david and kim and em y-- emma. and they are full of good kids and they could check the record from deca to band to any of the other academics, our kids are great. they are phenomenal kids and you can't expect phenomenal kids well-spoken kids to shut up and be quiet. >> no, you cannot. we're learning that right now if we didn't know it already. sean, thank you. >> i think the politicians are going to learn it too.
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>> sean, thank you very much. we appreciate it. and the mass shooting at the high school is an issue for the next guest -- an issue had a hit home. debbie powell is part of the wave of women who are ready to take on washington. she's a democratic candidate running for congress against congressman carlos curb ello and you are one of the hundreds of women running -- running for office and we also know that what is happening down in florida is personal for you. tell us why? >> thank you, katy, for having me on today. you know, it is a very difficult week for a lot of us here in florida. with the massacre in parkland. when i was 24 years old i received a phone call from my sister that my father had been shot and killed by a criminal with a gun. so seeing the shootings time and time again brings back the pain, the memory, the fear, the
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frustration. i have been an advocate for passing common sense gun reform laws now for several years. and my father never really had a chance to walk my down the aisle, he didn't meet my three children and i am fully committed more than ever to make it my mission that if i get elected in november, no one has to receive that phone call. >> so here is what congressman occur bellow -- curb ello is saying. >> we clearly have to do more to make sure guns stay out of the hands of those who want to harm innocent people. i'm supporting universal background check legislation to make sure every gun transfer is run through the nix, the background check system. we cannot take risks any more given the consequences that we've seen. i also support raising the
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minimum age. >> number one, is that enough and number two, are you confident that even if it was enough that he's be able to get it done? >> well, for one, katy, i don't have a lot of faith on the promises that congressman makes. i know he has a record of breaking promises. he also promised not to vote on a spending bill to protect daca recipients and yet he did. he also has gotten an a-rating from the nra, he's received thousands of dollars from the nra. and he voted against universal background checks. he actually also opposed restrictions for people to be able to access guns with mental health issues. so i am hoping that somehow this time is different. that we are listening to the students and the families of the park lar-- parkland shooting. i don't think it is enough. i think we need to start with passing universal background checks but i think we need to
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take legislation up on banning assault weapons. i am a firm believer that we should not allow military-style weapons from getting into the hands of people in the streets. those weapons were designed to kill, they are designed to shoot large number of people in a very short time frame. there is no reason why we can't talk and pass legislation to ban assault weapons. >> debbie, thank you very much. >> thank you, katy. and that will wrap things up for me this hour. ali velshi will pick things up. tough day. >> what an -- i've been watching you for the last hour. these kids going in there and really sustaining that energy. they want change and the dialogue and they want things to happen. >> i was so struck by sean simpson and the teacher and we talked about this morning about arming teachers. it sounds on the surface like a great idea, give teachers guns but when you think about it -- somebody who is teaching a cooking class -- >> it is not their job.
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there are teachers who will chose not to be teachers. >> there is a gunman walking in with a semi automatic weapon and maybe wearing his own armor. >> i'm not prepare to say it is a good idea and the statistics say it is because we have more guns by a factor of many than anywhere else in the world. >> and more likely -- >> and these are distracting silly conversations. >> and if you own a gun you are more likely to be killed by your own gun in your own house. >> there is nonsense out there by the gun lobby and gets aloud as part of the discourse and now the other side will have this conversation. we'll continue to have this conversation. thank you. and have good a afternoon. i'm ali velshi. that hour it feels like we're witnessing a pivotal moment, a movement led by teenagers with the hashtag never again. more than a hundred students from marjorie stoneman douglas high school are on a push for gun control after seeing 17


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