tv MSNBC Live With Velshi and Ruhle MSNBC March 14, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PDT
students calling for change. i want to turn it over to stephanie ruhle. thank you. these kids talking about the time has come for change. >> hallie jackson, these kids want to be safe in school. moms send their school every day, the one place they are for an extended amount of time, not under our control and those moms want them to be safe. there were moms in car pool lines that helped organize this. good morning, everyone. i'm stephanie ruhle. my partner, ali develvelshi on assignment. it's march 14th, a da thy that l go down in history. >> tens of thousands of students from coast to coast plan to walk out of classes to protest gun violence, one more since the deadly massacre in parkland, florida. >> so many kids as you say, here in the nation's capital.
they've been trickling by the hundreds just in the past hour. >> i believe that we will win. i believe that we will win. >> at some point once the students have gathered on to the field, we expect they will observe a moment of silence, 17 minutes, if you will, one minute for each person murdered in this school just one month ago. >> all i could think of is on february 14th, when we were all gathered together but for a different reason, we were all running out of the school. >> his daughter jamie was tragically killed at stoneman douglas high school. >> they've lifted my spirit for the past month. >> we have an apparent winner in the pennsylvania special election. >> wow. >> for the house district in the 18th. conor lamb. finally, my god, we waited all night for the numbers. >> donald trump won it by 20 points 18 months ago. >> many of the people who voted for trump just a year ago moving
over to vote for the democrat. that is a very serious sign in other districts. if the president calls to congratulate you, which they often do in situations like this, what would you say? >> i guess i would say thank you. >> tributes are pouring in for legendary physicist and author stephen hawking, the 76-year-old died early this morning after a life of discoveries that changed the way we look at the universe and a battle against als that inspired us. >> brooke told him he wouldn't live long but he went on to explain time yourself. >> there's nothing like the thrill of when you discover something someone never knew before. >> it's an honor and privilege to meet you, sir. >> i know. one month ago today students at parkland, florida, those students were running for their lives while a gunman, a if fellow student, a classmate of
theirs, mowed down teenagers who were sitting in their classrooms. right now, students from more than 3,100 schools across the country are walking out of their classrooms, demanding to know why the adults in washington are not doing more to strengthen gun laws in country. the walkouts have begun at 10:00 local time and they're going for 17 minutes, one minute each for the 17 people killed at marjorie stoneman douglas high school on valentine's day. the pits you are looking at are from washington, d.c. where students have been marching from the white house to capitol hill, demanding lawmakers put stricter gun laws into place, including banning assault weapons and expanding background checks. these pictures are from chicago, where four schools are marching together. the event kicked off just a few moments ago. here right now, a live picture from st. paul, minnesota, a long way from parkland, texas but a
crisis that's affecting every student, every school across this country, where students there just began their walkout. these live pictures are from chesterfield, missouri. check out the kids streaming out of that school at this very moment. it's happening here in new york city as well. i've got an 11-year-old walking out and we've got reporters fanned out across the country covering the protests which could end up being hundreds of thousands of students. there are some schools who aren't allowing it. there may be students who want to the walk and they're not. i want to bring in nbc's mariana atencio, nbc's ron mott in chicago where the walkout just got under way and nbc's gadi schwartz in clayton. i want to go to rahema ellis. it's been just over an hour. oh, we don't have rehema. let's go to mariana. you have lawmakers involved in
the mix. what's happening there right now? >> that's right, stephanie. students walked from the white house over here to capitol hill. they're going to lawmakers. we'll hear from chuck schumer, nancy pelosi, and congressman deutsch. let's talk to some of the students here as you can see behind me, it's a crowd of countries, possibly thousands of students of all ages, all backgrounds from d.c., virginia, maryland. where are you joining us from? >> clarksburg high school. >> why was it important for you to be out here and why stay for this part of the event? >> there was a threat in my school. it's scary to know one day it could be you. somebody could come and shoot up your school. i'm here to fight for a change and hopefully i don't have to wake up and be scared to go to school again. >> our stephanie ruhle is talking about students who
weren't allowed to walk out. what did you talk about with teachers before coming out here today? s. we weren't really aloud to but we did so anyway. the small consequence doesn't matter in this big occasion. >> thank you so much. let's talk to one of the male participants here today. tell us what kind of legislation you want to see get passed today. what will you be asking lawmakers? >> i want them to pass the gun control. i'm tired of feeling anxious in school. there needs to be change and what i understand is, you know, in a country that's growing, there's never any, you know, change amongst the laws. and sometimes after like -- especially with this type of thing, we should really considering are change it. the youth is tired. i know i'm not the only one. we're tired of sitting in class worrying about, is it going to be me? is it going to be my little sister? i wrought her, too.
we want our voes voices to be heard. >> thank you so much. here with his little sister, stephanie, so many families, friends holding hands, walking out of school for a cause. stephanie. >> thanks, mariana. please stand by. we turn to gadi schwartz. he's inside a school with students in clayton, missouri. gadi? >> we're at clayton, missouri, joust outside of st. louis. i want to show you the crowd right here. they just walked out of class. there are a couple hundred kids outside. the organizers were worried there weren't going to be a lot of kids that showed up. there are more of these students coming from this side over here. had is interestingly enough, one of those schools where these kids will serve detention. there are consequences for walking out of class for these 17 minutes. you see hundreds coming to this park right here. they're going to be hearing speeches from student organizers, much like parkland. this school is a school that was already heavily involved in the
debate on gun violence before we saw what happened in florida. many of the students have been working on drafting gun legislation, working with lawmakers to try and see if there is something they could do before all this happened. as you see, they have been galvanized even more by what happened in florida. they are coming out by the dozens, by the hundreds. and the students here say that even though they are going to have to serve detention, lunch detention for coming out here, that's a choice they have to make. administrators saying they're not being treated differently than any other excused absence. they're trying to send a message that these things come with choices, if this is going to be an act of civil disobedience, there has to be a consequence. if there wasn't a consequence, it wouldn't necessarily be a choice. we're about to hear 13some of t
students. these students have siblings that go to school. they are tired of the reality they face, which is that no matter where you are in this country, this is something that can happen on a regular basis. stephanie? >> stunning. i want to turn now to ron mott, four schools are walking out together in chicago. ron, what can you tell us? take us there. >> hey there, stephanie. it's a cold day here in chicago. we're leaving the charter schools. you can see the students behind me here. we're head stod a park on the south side. they're going to meet up with a couple other schools. two of the students from prospectus will be speaking at that rally. this is marion. he's an 11th grader. what's your message? >> let's stop talking about the change and actually make one. honestly. i'm just ready for everything to cease, stop all the violence. ready to see something new. >> they want to see something
new here. this particular campus, they've lost a dozen people, students and alum over the past two years. we know about the daily gun violence here in chicago. these students are not only marching against school gun violence but marching against daily gun violence, especially on the south side. this is ammaria. why are you out here today? >> i want our voices to be heard. there's a lot of violence going on. it's time for someone to stand up. as you can see behind me, it's a lot of teenagers ready to stop the violence going on in our city. >> there you have it, steph. some examples of some of the concerns that these young people have, not just at their school but when they go home to their neighborhoods on the south side of chicago. back up to you. >> that's important. we need to remember, especially those kids ron mott just spoke to, it's not just about the mass school shootings. for kids in in places like the south side of chicago, it's the daily gun violence that unfortunately is part of their
lives. let's go back to d.c. i want to listen in again to some of those students who are speaking. >> enough is enough! enough is enough! enough is enough! enough is enough! enough is enough! enough is enough! enough is enough! enough is enough! enough is enough! enough is enough! enoughle is enough! enough is enough! enough is enough! enough is enough! let's turn now to rehema ellis, she's in parkland, florida. >> i'm standing here with three students, jade, bryce and carly. i think i have that right. you heard gunshots that day.
>> yes, ma'am. >> what are you thinking today? >> right now it's just kind of, i'm proud of our community for standing strong and being together and overcoming all of this. >> is there a moment when you heard the gunshots that you wondered whether or not you'd get out alive? >> of course. i saw him turn the corner and started firing in my direction. i ran into a classroom and started thinking, this could be the day i die. >> how old are you? >> i'm 14. actually 15 today. it's my birthday. >> what's going through your heart? >> i'm proud that we can stay together and stay douglas strong. >> there are a lot of the signs about staying douglas strong and how united this community is. carly? 18 years old, senior in high school. this is a moment for you. talk to me about this moment,
what it means to you. >> i'm just happy that i get to vote this year. i'm going to vote as many people out as i can that don't believe in banning assault rifles. because i lost one of my friends in the building due to gun violence. i'm never going to be sable to see her again. just doing everything for her. >> you've reached a moment in your life where you're not just asking other people to vote for you. you're approaching that moment where you can do it for yourself. is there any doubt in your mind about what you're going to do? >> i'm going to get out and vote and encourage my friends to get out and vote. this is the time that every young person in america is going to vote. things are going to change. >> tell me what you're thinking, jade, right now. >> i turn 18 in june. i think everyone needs to register and vote, because everyone is just saying, okay, i'm going to vote. we need people to actually do it. midterms are in november and we need to do something about it.
we can't just sit here, yes, i love everyone protesting and everyone is going out and standing up but we need everyone to vote, vote, vote, vote, if you can. >> how do you make certain that the energy, that the spirit, the unity you have and you see around you today continues beyond this moment? >> just keep encouraging people to do it. just keep doing it. the more you do it, the more other people will want to do it. >> what happens when we're not here, the cameras, correspondents, reporters aren't here? what happens then. >> we need to keep talking about it. >> keep going. >> something we all have in common, we all experienced this. we all have each other. we're a school of over 3,000 people. if we all tell someone, our friends tell someone, we're all going to keep doing it. everyone has to keep the spirit and energy they have right now and keep going until something's done. >> you're aware all across the country, students are joining you in solidarity in this
movement. your thoughts about that? >> love it. >> you love it you say? >> love it. >> do you think they have any idea of how much they're inspiring you and supporting you? >> i don't think they know. but i hope they can know. >> because you're not in this alone, is that what you're saying? >> yes. we have alumni from all across the globe who are helping us and supporting us and we even have boosted morale at our school. we're going to use our voices and be heard. >> what do you say to the fact that there are a lot of people that don't agree with you, that don't think there needs to be gun reform. there are some people who stay the laws are need to stay the same. >> it doesn't hit them until it happens to them. they don't understand what we're going through. we as high schoolers or youth, we have that common thing. we understand our friends are hurt. we're just so scarred from this but some adults, even some students, they don't understand
until it hits them. once it hits home is when it hits. i think everyone should have an open mind about it. >> behind you on the stage, there are angels. talk to me about what these angels represent to you. >> they're all my friends and my family, my school family, that died. >> there are 17 angels representing -- >> everyone that died. >> 17 -- >> everyone that died in the school that day. >> there are a number of memorials here in the park. they won't stay here forever. but the pain, the anguish, the hurt, the sorrow you feel, does that last a lifetime? >> yes. >> it's part of us. we're all kind of connected, even if you see someone in the hallway we don't know, we go up to them and give them a hug. we're all going through the same pain. we're all in this together. >> that had to be very hard to go back to school after the shooting? is it school hard? >> yes. in my first period i lost my
friend alana. i have to go back every day and sit by a desk that's empty. it's hard. >> and for you, as you say, you heard the gunshots and you wondered whether or not you would survive. what's it been like for you going back into the building? >> we are not allowed back in the freshman building right now. to be back at school, it's good to be back, see everyone but it's still difficult. >> today i think school is finished for the day for you folks. >> yes. >> it would be very hard to go back into a classroom after this. did your teachers understand that that's probably what was going to happen when you walked out today? >> yes. i came back to get my backpack. my teacher told me go ahead. i'm not going to get in trouble. i think they understand this. ? of them, they have students who passed away and colleagues. everyone is just being understanding right now. i think that's what we all need. >> you need it from everyone. do you think --
[ chanting ] >> gun control now. >>y know if you can understand the chant, what do we want in the "gun reform now." that is the rally sky this morning at parkland from a couple thousand students. i think the whole school emptied out, which is about 3,000 kids. >> 17 minutes is not enough to show how much we're hurting. we all went to the football field and after we just went straight for the red gates in the front of the school and walked here so we can all be together. >> they walked here. it's a little more than a mile from the school. as you said, 17 minutes would not be enough for you to show how much you hurt from what happened a month ago. >> it's not enough time. we need to get together so we can stand together, be strong,
comfort each other. >> it's going to go on for a little bit longer here, these students gathering, holding on to each other and confirming to each other they're going to remain strong. >> all right. thanks so much. nbc's rehema ellis in parkland, florida. we have mariana atencio, ron mott, gadi schwartz around the country at schools where students are speaking out. joining me now, kentucky senator rand paul who announced his opposition to the president's picks to run the state department and cia. senator paul, i want to get to that in just a moment. all morning, we are looking at thousands of kids, 3,100 schools in total standing up, speaking out, asking for lawmakers to do something on gun control. do you have response to these kids this morning? >> you know, i have three children and i'm horrified by what happened down there i can't imagine sending my kids to
school and worrying about their safety. yes, i'm horrified by it and we should do something. i'm a physician. i like to look at things systematically. we need to look at what happened, why wasn't he on a no buy list. why wasn't he a felon? i i this there are probably maybe a half dozen, two dozen times where he could have been arrested or convicted of a felony and his gun rights stripped. had i been on a jury, a local adjudication, i would have voted to have him on a background list where he couldn't buy a gun but he should have become a convicted felon for threatening teachers, threatening violence. then you can go into the home with a court order and take the guns. i'd go one step further. he shouldn't have been allowed to live in a home with guns being a convicted felon. nobody bothered to do their job. local law enforcement sat on their hands and did something. as a consequence, a terrible tragedy happened. >> are the gun laws in place enough? do you think the laws that we
currently have, if enacted, are all we need or do you believe there needs to be more? >> i think if you look at this particular situation, any of the different violent situations, we need to look at whatted and fix what went wrong with the system in in this case, local law enforcement, the fbi was tipped off to i afelony, terrorist threatening. if you say on your youtube feed, if you say i think i'm going to be a professional school shooter, that's a felony. he should have been convicted for that. the fbi didn't do their job. the local sheriff was called like 40 times. if a guy's in a neighbor's yard brandishing a weapon, either threatening to shoot chickens or shooting at things in someone's yard, that's a felony and he should have been convicted for that. the teachers at school said he was threatening them. the teachers didn't call the police. nobody did their job. it's so sad. >> but to my question -- >> it's sad. i think the 17 lives could have been saved if people would have done their job. >> let's turn to the presser
that you just had. it's an important one. you're opposing mike pompeo. >> one of the things i liked about president trump is he consistently and loudly opposed regime change in iraq, the iraq war. he's appointing people around him that not only support the iraq war, never learned the lesson that regime change led to instability and chaos in the middle east. these are people who he's appointing that have advocated for regime change next door. these aren't the kind of people who support the notion that the iraq war was misguided. if you read her quotes, when she was present during waterboarding, she was gleeful and gloating at the fact that the guy is acting as he's struggling to breathe and
drowning in fluid. this is not what america stands for. torture is not what america is about. i have family members in the armed service. i don't want to send a message to the world that torture is fine. our young men and women can be captured at some point too. if the whole world thinks america tortures prisoners, they'll do the same to ours. this is say woman who is a poster child for what went wrong with waterboarding after 9/11. she should never be advanced to any position in the cia. >> do you have any other names in mind? >> there are many people, if you want a career person, someone who served in the cia, there are dozens and dozens of people who weren't involved with waterboarding, not directly involved with torture, that weren't gleefully showing how much they loved the idea of someone being tortured. i think she's absolutely disqualified. there are probably dozens of other people, i wouldn't presume
to know the individual names at the cia, but i think we can find a career person that hasn't tortured anybody. >> you are the first we've heard to openly protest or block these nominations. do you think there are other republicans with you here? >> i don't think there will be very many republicans, if any republicans, this is up to the democrats who have said they are opposed to torture. are they going to allow someone to be at the head of the cia that ran torture in a foreign country. democrats need to step up and oppose miss haspel. do we want a proponent of the iraq war and a new war with iran, do we want that person being the secretary of state? i think that the state department should be about diplomacy. you're the chief diplomat. >> all right. senator paul, thank you so much.
i really appreciate you joining me today. >> thank you. all right. we'll take a turn now back to washington, d.c. where mariana atencio is standing by. the student protests never again taking place, let's listen in to one student speaking out. >> so no more silence! not one more minute! today we are doing more than just taking a first step. we are about to hear from powerful student leaders and some of our elected representatives about the fight for gun control. i encourage you to use twitter, instagram, social media, anything that you can, with the hash tag enough is enough d wrchlt v. we want to spread our message much further than just this area. >> let's turn to mariana atencio who is standing by with senator elizabeth warren.
>> we're live with stephanie ruhle on msnbc. >> sure. >> tell me what are going through your mind. thousands of young people out here. >> the nra has held congress hostage for years now. these young people have shown up to spring us free, to say you're not here to do the work of the gun lobby. you're here to do the work of the american people. and i believe they will lead us. they are making a huge difference in our democracy. they are making sure democracy is about people being heard, not just the lobbyists. >> what is different this time around, senator? >> this time, it's the young people. lives are on the line whose futures are on the line. that's the point they bring home every minute, it's their friends, it's themselves who are at risk. and, boy, they drive that in an up close and personal way that nobody else does. >> thank you, senator. i'll let you get back to the crowd. it was really a sight to see
when the lawmakers started showing up, these kids, many of them went wild. they started marching up here to capitol hill. it's something you don't see often. there's this momentum, you can hear the crowd chanting in the background. kids of all ages, kids who just turned 18, who are turning 18 this year and who as the senator said, they plan on just taking that enthusiasm to the polls, being here, not letting that momentum from that shooting in parkland just get lost by the way side. that's the kind of energy we're seeing here. i'm trying to get my cameraman to cut through this crowd, to get you a better shot of the amount of people that are out here on the nation's capital demanding change. they are participate in what seems like a sit-in, similar to the solemn moment we saw during the 17 minutes of silence as they hear from lawmakers, the very same lawmakers they came to hear from today who they hope will take all of that energy and momentum to enact change in
washington, d.c. >> you know, this is stunning to hear these young students speaking out, rehema ellis was talking to the students in parkland, florida, who are specifically saying, they're turning 18, they're 18, they're registering to vote. you can see all day long to the nra has unbelievable amounts of money to influence candidates. candidates need to get elected and re-elected and if these young people are saying they're going to vote anyone out who is not in a position to do anything, to create more sensible gun laws, it's going to be a problem. you're seeing it happen in corporate america. earlier this week, students from parkland took out a full-page ad and wrote an op-ed urging corporate leaders to take action. we saw stors like walmart, krogers, dick's sporting goods
saying they will no longer sell the type of gun used in parkland. they said they were going to take a hit, lose business over this. they're willing to do it, not just because it's the right thing to do but from a business perspective, the power of the young people, the decisions they make, they cannot be bought. they are fearless and they're going to send their business, do business, with companies alined with their values. just this morning, i saw marc benioff, the founders of salesforce, send out a tweet to join the many who are passionate about the safety of kids. he pledged to give a million bucks to march for our lives. this movement is more than just about kids getting out there and saying enough is enough, they are taking real action, you see elizabeth warren standing in the crowd in washington, d.c. i could see chris murphy from connecticut standing in that crowd earlier. think about it, for people from connecticut, they thought sandy hook was their enough is enough moment. and what did we see after sandy
hook? simply not enough. earlier today, i spoke to one of of the fathers of a teenage girl who was killed in parkland. he was talking about gun control measures. he was so disappointed in what the president has done so far. he had that listening tour two weeks ago. since then is sort of in the middle of the sand box, as he said, throwing sand but sticking with the nra talking points. it was a parkland said that said devos should not be head of the commission. it was that same dad that applauded the governor of florida, in a state that's pretty pro gun, applauded the governor of florida for taking stronger actions. while there may be some they don't love, something, he told me, is better than nothing. let's bring back nbc's godgy schwartz. he's outside a school in clayton, missouri. give us an update. >> i'm here with matalli. she was one of the organizers here of a large walkout.
earlier you were nervous. you didn't think a lot of students would come out. hundreds came out. tell me about that. >> i was really, really leezed that everyone came out. i think it shows how much students care about this issue. and really want to get their issues heard. i was totally pleased. yes. >> clayton high school, this one of the high schools where you fill face disciplinary action if you walk out. all those hundreds of students that we saw come out here, they'll have to serve detention. tell me about that. >> that's the heart of civil disobedience. we're taking the consequences for our actions. that's how we get a point across. we will get unexcused absences which could result in detentions. the district has to do that. they can't treat this any other way than like any other walkout. yes. >> stephanie, just a little while ago you were talking about some of the regulations, the gun laws that people want to see changed. i heard you speaking is up there. this is one of the speakers
during today's rally, you were saying, there are some difficulties in passing laws here in st. louis, in missouri. tell me about that. >> well, it's -- i don't think that was me. >> it seemed as though -- were you saying it's easier to get a gun than -- >> yes, yes. it is so much easier to do so many simpler things -- so much harder to do simpler things, harder to adopt a pet, buy a boat, get your driver's license because you have to go through all of these steps. in reality, to purchase a gun in missouri, you only have to be 18 and have a driver's license, go through a background check and then you can purchase your gun. >> what do you want to see changed? >> i want regulation so we know the people that are having these guns are mentally able to have these guns. they know what they're doing. they are intelligent and they know how -- they're informed on how to use them. and that the government has
checked it out and that it's all like regulated. >> when it coulds to assault rifles -- >> yes. >> have you taken a stancen to that as well. >> yes, we are against assault rifles and we'd like to see them banned. >> thank you so much. i know have you to go back to class to check in. lunch time, you'll have even more to do. what's going on at lunch? >> yes. at lunch we are going to have a lot of stuff going on our in common area, the cafeteria area, we'll have registration to vote. if you're 17 1/2 you can go to lunch and register to vote. we'll have a letter writing station where people can write letters to senators like roy blunt. we have samples. people can fill in the blanks and get that done so their voice is heard. >> a quick question. out of all of you guys, how many are 18? who's turning 18 soon? got it. these are the future voters and some of the voeders here. this is what of what we're seeing in clayton.
back to you, stephanie. >> thank you, gadi. it's not just students out there. behind them you saw elizabeth esty, chuck schumer, hand in hand, i think i see nancy pelosi standing just behind him. it's a little hard to see. there you have it, these students with lawmakers. i keep hearing over and over that these kids are registering to vote. i want to go back to nbc's rehema ellis. she's outside the school where this movement began. marjorie stoneman douglas high school in many parkland, florida, where one month ago today on valentine's day, a former student who the had been expelled from the school, who was not supposed to be back on school premises, made his way on to campus, opened fire and killed 17 people. let's take you back there. rehema? >> yes. i'm standing here with two
students. tell me your name. how old are you? >> i'm 15. >> what grade? >> i'm a freshman. >> and you are? >> charlotte. >> you're also 15? >> yes. >> and a sophomore. >> sophomore. >> what's this day mean for you? >> it means a lot that everyone is here and that everyone around the world isple coming to take action and that they are walking out and showing their support for our school. >> does it surprise you at all that so many people, not just in your school, turned out, but across the country have turned out? >> it's a huge shock. i like to see how everyone, in had other worlds too, supporting and showing their love. >> when you think about what happened, just one month ago, tell me what's going through you right now? >> i'm definitely doing better than i was a month ago. it's hard to believe it was only a month ago. it feels like it was last week but at the same time, it feels like it was years ago. it's interesting to see how everyone is coming together for
it. >> i saw signs out here, one that said demand change. is that what you're doing? >> i believe that's what this is all for. we are showing we need to make a change. if they're not going to listen, we'll do something about it. i feel that's what this walkout is, demanding change. >> what change would you like to see? >> safety, you know. it's too easy to get into some schools. i just believe that everything should be more secure. just everything -- >> the students, stephanie, they came out, left their school and they left their school and came to this park to stand in solidarity to one another. can you do this, can you hold on to this intention you have for change beyond today? >> yes. i think this is something i'm going to carry with me forever. this is something i'm never going to let go. i'm going to washington to support my -- for everyone there. >> on the 24th of march?
>> yes. i'm never going to stop, i don't think, never. never going to let this go. >> a lot of people say that, they're going to stand strong. you've heard this before. the tragedy that happened at your school, unfortunately, it is not the first tragedy at a school in america. how are you going to be different from what's happened before? >> i think we already are being very different. no other school shooting has had this domino effect like this, that everyone around the world is showing support. i think this is going to be the last one. this needs to be the last one. >> even in the face of some people who say they don't want to the give up their guns, they don't want change, what do you say to them? >> unless you can give me a real reason why you need it, you don't, you don't need it. >> a couple, maybe 3,000 students from parkland high who left school today because they wanted to take a stand against gun violence. back to you. >> thanks so much, rehema.
let's turn back to ron mott live in chicago. what stood out earlier, those kids aren't just talking about mass shootings in school. they're talking about daily shootings. gun violence is part of their daily life for kids who live in the south side of chicago. give us an update on what you're hearing. >> yes, hey there, steph, daily gun violence is a fact of life in chicago. it generates headlines, those headlines seem to get smaller and smaller by the day. of course, when we see what we saw in parkland, florida, those are giant headlines. these kids are not marching in honor of the students who lost their lives but friends, cousins, family members, fellow students in chicago whop are lost almost on a daily basis. i'm here with two students. one is trinity. what's your message beyond the sign? >> to say i'm tired of hearing about an innocent life being
taken, no child, no parent should have to go home and hear their child has been killed in school. the gun control, the gun laws, you know, gun control policies should be strengthened. i think that -- yes, innocence shouldn't be taking for granted. i don't like the fact that little is being done to stop it. >> she wants obviously more done on the law enforcement front, including the laws about gun access, the governor here just vetoed a measure that a lot of folks are aittacking as a simpl step that could have reduced the number of bad guns, illegal guns, that is out there. craig, you're a senior, you're about to go out into the big, bad world. >> yes. >> you lost family members to gun violence? >> yes. what happened in parkland, that was personal. i have cousins who were lost and friends who lost family members
as well. gun violence i take personally. i know as a black man, especially in chicago, that could be me or my cousins or friends who i hold dear to me. >> because this is a national movement of millennials, the people your age, making a statement to the country and the world, really, will you be the change that a lot of people are looking for? >> yes, we will. that's what we're pushing towards. the millennials leading this now, this is something we shouldn't have had to lead because it shouldn't have gotten this far to need marches and protests. this is something that could have been nipped in the bud a long time ago. now it's up to us. we're doing what we can. >> the kids in chicago have a unique story that maybe a lot of other kids across the country don't share because of the daily violence we see here. 2018 is off to a better start than 2017 both in terms of homicides and shooting insz dents. that's a step in the right direction. like you've heard, they want to
see more change so we don't see parklands going forward. >> it is amazing how articulate these kids are. every time i hear one of them speak, i'm blown away. a reporter was in virginia at a school walkout where an 11-year-old organized that school walkout and handed the reporter a press packet. they are organized. they are articulate and they are demanding action. this is amazing. i'm going to take you back to washington, d.c., really, where this all began this morning. we're going to listen in -- that's richard blumenthal at the podium from the state of connecticut. >> i have never felt as close to victory as we are today, because of you, because you have the energy and passion, not just to walk out of school but to walk into this building and make change happen. that's what it's going to take.
let me ask you, are we going to ban assault weapons? >> yes! >> are we going to have universal background checks? >> yes! >> are we going to give parents and law enforcement the right to take away guns from people who threaten to blow up schools or kill people? >> yes! >> we need to remember that change has always come because of young people in the civil rights movement, in the anti-war movement, in the marriage equality movement and in today's movement, it is a movement. are you willing to be part of it and fight to the end? >> yes! >> there you have it, richard blumenthal speaking. he's flanked by two other
lawmakers from the state of connecticut, chris murphy and elizabeth esty. for them, this has been a journey, a battle for over five years. the sandy hook promise and that cause is close to them. sandy hook, newtown, connecticut where, of course, that deadly massacre took place killing kin ke kindergarteners and their teachers. we are seeing elizabeth esty. i think she's going to give some remarks. >> is it on now? is the bull horn working? >> it sounds like her mic is not working yet. let's turn to mariana atencio who are there in president trump crowd in washington, d.c. where she has been since early this morning. mariana, when we spoke this morning, there were a few hundred kids now they're in the thousands in our nation's capital. >> they are in the thousands,
stephanie. they are excited when they saw these lawmakers, hundreds of them ran over this way. i want my cameraman to pan to show you how this crowd is moving. when they saw bernie sanders, they ran over that way to listen to him. when they saw senator warren, senator chuck schumer. i don't think the lawmakers have been greeted by such an excited group of young people in a very long time which goes to show the momentum and energy we're seeing here. they really hope these lawmakers can really enact change in washington. you can see them just running towards bernie sanders right now as he is making his way through the crowds. i want to talk to a few of them here to see what it's like to live through this moment. what are your thoughts right now? >> i'm so proud to be in a city where we get to come to the capital and make our voices heard. i think it's amazing to see how many people just stand for what they believe in. like our generation is really making a difference.
it's just wonderful to be part of it. it's such an amazing opportunity. >> i haven't seen congressmen and senators being greeted by such an energetic crowd of young people in a long time. why do you think that is? what is it about this moment that is different? >> i think for certain lawmakers such as bernie sanders, he's always shown interest in the youth. for us, these people are our voices when it comes to these big decisionmaking processes. and so we want to show them we support them and they'll have our vote if they can do the things that we want them to do. >> this crowd, stephanie, they want to move over to catch some of the action. i'm going to start walking with them to get you a closer shot. what are you expecting from lawmakers today? what do you want to hear? >> i want law lakemakers to knos generation is serious about change. a lot of us are 17, 18 years old. we'll be ready to vote in
november. they need to know, if they don't care about our lives, we can't vote for them. >> who are you excited to hear from today? >> i'm excited to hear from senator john lewis. he had such a big role in the civil rights movement. he's one of my heroes. i can't wait to hear from him. >> what is it about john lewis and having somebody like you who's 17, 18 years old, those two generations having this conversation -- >> mariana, i'm going to interrupt you. bernie sanders is in the crowd. >> you are the young people who are leading the nation -- all across the country, people are sick and tired of gun violence and the time is now. for uhl of us together to stand
up f up to the nra and to pass common sense gun legislation. i just want to thank all of you for your courage and for your intelligence and for leading the nation in the right direction. thank you all! >> bernie! [ cheers ] >> bernie! bernie! bernie! bernie! bernie! bernie! bernie! bernie! bernie! bernie! >> this is an extraordinary morning to watch.
less about the lawmakers, more about these students activating. mariana, you're with more students now? >> i'm in the thick of it, stephanie. senator bernie sanders is to it the back of me. these students, you were so excited hearing bernie sanders. what kind of change do you want from lawmakers? >> i think lawmakers should make sure there are stricter gun laws. it's ridiculous. i think the gun laws are too lenient. it needs to be stricter. >> you guys were really excited when you saw the lawmakers, really excited about seeing bernie sanders. what is it about the energy and crowd in washington? >> i think it makes people look at us more and recognize we're hurt by this. the change i want to happen, if there are legal ages for drugs and alcohol and stuff, there should be legal ages for guns. this is ridiculous. it's not realistic that people can get rid of all the guns. >> what kinds of conversations
have you been having in your neighborhoods about gun violence? >> we've been talking about ways that we could change it, why we think the problem got to where it is. >> this crowd, stephanie, you can just hear it, they're all sort of sitting down again. we're here with castro. how are you? >> good. it's great to see all this energy, enthusiasm and passion from the young generations of americans. it's encouraging. >> tell me, what is the next step? it's the one-month anniversary after parkland. how do you take this momentum and keep it going? s. all of this energy has to translate into action in that building. so i'm glad all these young people are here to let the folks in there know how much they care about the issue of gun reform. >> they've done their part, the young people. what is your part as a lawmaker, to make sure that this energy doesn't die? >> well, so many of us are supporting legislation to have background checks, ban bump stocks, assault rifles and so forth, assault weapons.
we need to hit a critical mass of people that support it in the congress and things like this, i think, help us get further along. >> thank you so much, congressman. >> thank you. >> stephanie, i just want to walk you through third time there has been sort of sit inif, if you will, 17 minutes of silence. they are listening to the lawmakers they came here to hear from today. howl they are going to take this protest into action in that building in capitol hill behind us here. let me talk to some of the young people who are sitting down. tell us what is going through your mind at this moment? >> this is just a huge tragedy. we are all in solidarity for. and it's amazing to be part of this and fighting for something so important for the kids in our lives.
>> that is, you know, 17 minute momtd moment of silence for the victims of parkland. very solemn moment. but in contrast you have so much enthusiasm about the future. how do you think you can take this momentum and pressure lawmakers into making change? >> um, i think we can. we can use our unity as a whole in order to make a message to show our senators that this is really important. this is the biggest tragedy. and it doesn't matter what party you belong to. >> thank you so much. so much kids, stephanie, as we've talked throughout the morning have grown up with gun violence, seeing one school shooting after another in the news. and this really seems, for us reporters in the news media and for these kids here, like a moment of reckoning, like a
turning point. stephanie. >> thank you so much. a turning, a reckoning point. let's go back to listening to some of those students who are now at the podium. >> and that of course is a speaking in d.c. speaking in spanish. let's turn back to my colleague who is live in chicago. ron. >> reporter: hey, there, stef, this just wrapped you have. two students from leo, jay lana senior, kevin sophomore. what did you get out of this rally today? what's the message you want to send around the country? >> the message we want to send is stop the gun violence. because teenagers are killing each other. but we wanted to stop and create unity around the city of chicago. >> reporter: how do you do that?
is it about gun control? a lot of adults are saying gun control, a lot other adults are saying more than that. what will it take to rein this in? >> i think more positivity among our youth, get them involved in different programs around the city. >> reporter: and you are growing up in a different situation because of the gun violence in chicago, especially on the west and south sides here. how difficult is it going to school every day trying to stay focused on your academics when there is so many bullets flying around this city? >> i think it just makes our situation stronger. people in hour situation know it's dangerous to be outside and walk the streets of chicago. just makes us want to get out more. so we want to learn in the classrooms and learn from our teachers and pay attention in class. >> reporter: lastly, a lot of adults are looking to your generation now to really make a lasting impression on the country's consciousness about
guns and gun violence. are you guys willing and ready to accept that huge responsibility? >> yes. >> reporter: tell me we've had so much school shootings that has awakened your generation? >> i feel it needs to be stopped. that's what we came out here today to make sure there is a stop to this. >> reporter: you guys have probably known people, lost friends, family members to violence? >> yes, we have. >> reporter: and that's going to have a huge impact on you, yeah? >> it does, but it makes us stronger. we have to get out of the city. >> reporter: so just two of the several hundred students just on this one side of chicago, stef, this is happening all around the city of chicago today. and as we said, these young students are growing up in a somewhat different situation than a lot of students around the country because of the gun
violence here. as we mentioned earlier, for fortunately 2018 off to a better start than 2017 shooting incidents, but it's an every day thing students have to contend with. they lose a person several times a week and that weighs on the people of these young people. and as you heard from some of the speakers here today, they have said enough, we want a peaceful existence as we go to school and try to learn to become young adults, as these two young men. stef. >> kids in chicago what they need are tougher federal gun laws. because we know in the state of illinois, while they may have tougher laws than others, there are people who can walk across to another state and get the guns, and then of course use them in the city of chicago. one thing we've heard from some of these walkouts in other schools and other cities, standing right by are voter registration tables set up.
are you seeing anything similar there? because as passionate as these kids are, if they want change and they want action, that's got to happen from lawmakers. >> reporter: i think we are roblely good with you guys for now. i like those colors, man, nicely done. are you a football player? are you going to college? >> now, let's take you back to parkland, florida, really when this began. because one month ago today on valentine's is where the tragic shooting began. standing by with some of the students. this is an important day for kids across the country, but it's a deeply personal day for those kids in parkland, florida. they've only been back at school at marjory stoneman douglas really for the last two weeks. talk to us about the significance of today. really, this is part of their healing process. >> reporter: it really is. and more than hearing from me in terms of sharing thoughts of these kids about the
significance of the day, i have some of the young people with me. tell me your name. >> lenora men oz. >> reporter: and you are high school student? >> yes. >> reporter: how important is this? >> extremely important. seniors just found out we got into uf never came out of that school. and i'll always remember them. >> reporter: tell me your name. >> anna baic. >> reporter: and you are a sophomore, 16? >> 16. >> reporter: when you think about this day and how important it is, it's important to today, but will it be important tomorrow? >> i think it's going to be important for a long time. a lot of work to be done still to make change. and also these people are going to be in our hearts forever that we've lost. >> reporter: and you are also a sophomore, just turned 16 years old? some people say that you might be too young to really understand what's going on here
or to think beyond today. what do you say? >> i just want to stay that a lot of people, all of our teachers say history repeats itself, good and bad parts of history. civil rights movement was started by teenagers also. we are not too young. we know what we are talking about. we have done our research. and we are talking about how we feel and we are using facts to back it up with. >> reporter: the whole issue of how do you feel, i was asking you earlier, how do you sleep? have you been sleeping? >> flno, i haven't. i've been crying myself to sleep. i've been trying my hardest to talk to someone. because my mom -- my parents care for me. and i keep crying. and i keep not being able to sleep. and they want to help me, but this is something that's so difficult that has nothing to do with them. and i'll -- every time alone, i'm always going to keep crying.
and the only reason that i'm okay with moving forward is because it is the idea that this will never happen again. i'm holding onto that hope. >> reporter: so senior in high school? >> yes. >> reporter: voting age? >> absolutely. >> reporter: what does that mean in terms of when an election comes, what do you do? >> i'm not going to be the only one voting. i'm going to get everyone i know to vote. all my friends, my entire family, which is pretty big family, we are all going to be voting for better gun laws. >> i just want to bring up that you can preregister to vote in florida when you are 16 years old. >> reporter: all right. thanks very much. just thoughts of three of thousands of students that came out here today. stephanie. >> thousands of students. thank you. total of 3,100 schools taking part in this walkout today. any minute, put it into
perspective, students at columbine high school will begin their walk out and moment of silence. why is that important? you know that school. 1999 school shooting that killed 13 people. it was 15 people in total who died if you include those two school shoot serves. when that shooting happened, the kids, students at marjory stoneman douglas high school in parkland, florida, they weren't even born yet. our special coverage of the national student walkouts across the country continues with my friend and colleague andrea mitchell for andrea mitchell reports. >> and good day i'm andrea mitchell in washington. in a powerful show of sol dairy tens of thousands of students walking across their classes to protest gun violence and mark one month since the parkland school massacre. demonstrations taking place at more than 3,000 schools across the country scheduled to last 17 minutes from moment of silence