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broadway stars are taking part in the "march for our lives". that is broadway mega hit creator, hamilton creator and ben platte with "found tonight." it has had 2.5 million views. download it a portion of the proceeds will go toward supporting this march and its causes. joining me now is connecticut student lynnley himes and her father. congressman, you get all the attention. you're always the one we're talking to. i'll put you aside and talk to lynnley. what is your role in this? why are you here? >> i think ever since parkland, my generation and we have to make the call for action. i think the nation as a whole said this can't happen begin. it is really important to see the students who are not all of us can vote. i think it's really awesome to
see us all take control and say this is our future. we're the ones who will be affected by it. i think we should start using our voices in different ways other than just voteing to say i want to live in awe nation that i'm proud to live in, that has a good moral value. >> why do you think it is different from sandy hook? i remember being there. like i said, i think everybody who was there or who watched it said can't possibly change now, didn't change. >> yeah. tragically, kinder gartners were killed. they didn't have voices. they are obviously younger. ever since parkland, they're older, high schoolers, my age, people older than me. they are able to use the voice. they are more educated. they were originally who will be the ones directly affected. >> congressman, i look at linley and the kids who are here today, and i think they're all going to vote. if they're not old enough to vote now, they will vote at some point. but that is a generation, a
cohort, that has not shown a propensity to vote in large numbers. if they don't vote, if they were to vote twice as much as they vote now, that would make all the difference in the world. how will that sustain in getting the young people to vote? >> that's the remarkable thing about this movement. this is the hardest demographic, the toughest group the get engaged. they have jobs is, after school, college. they don't feel like the political system relates to them. but something about parkland made this group say, hey, if we don't seize the initiative, the adults aren't going to do anything. they're right. i sit in congress every time there is a shooting. you know what the most powerful body in the land does when dozens are killed, they hold a brief moment of silence. i think kids looked at that and said we have to take charge. >> the nra doesn't like what you have done. but connecticut has done things. >> that's exactly right. this is really important. connecticut passed a package of
gun safety laws, a limit on the number of bullets you can put into a magazine is and restrictions on assault rifles, universal background check. that didn't restrict anybody's abilities to exercise their second amendment rights. and it has begun to bring down the level of violence. fewer people are dying in connecticut because of that. that's a model for the country. >> linley, you and people of your generation have taken on the largest interest group in america, the nra. they have not chose tone come out and say, hey, we support common sense restrictions that will stop this gun violence. how do you go up against the the strongest interest group in the country? >> obviously they are contradicting a lot of what we have to say. they have the big donors. they have the money. they have the abilities and the connections in politics. but we're the ones with the cause. the students and my generation
are the ones being put in direct danger. i have friends that are a little nervous to go to school. >> that's unfortunate. >> yeah. i'm lucky that i am not afraid to go to school. but they have the money and the power and the politics, but i think we have the heart and the reason to just say enough is enough. this can't happen anymore. >> you have the heart. you have the reason. and today you have the people out there to prove it. linley, thank you for being here. congressman jim himes and his daughter linley in the "march for our lives". the influence on lawmakers. who is taking nra money and how much are they taking? the giffords center to prevent gun violence we will speak. every day, 96 americans are killed with guns. you're watching msnbc special coverage of the historic "march for our lives".
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the "march for our lives". i'm ali velshi live in washington. and things just got a lot better for me, because my old friend alex witt has just joined me. alex and i go back to my first days here at msnbc when we would get up very early in the morning. this is quite luxurious for it to be just is after 8:00 in the morning. >> thank you for explaining us as old as our time together. i want to clarify. >> alex, in our time together in the decades together that we have had covering stories, this is different. >> it sure is. >> there is something unusual. there is something in the air today in washington other than cold temperature that is really indicative of a movement. >> yeah. you know, to date myself, i've been at this network since just before columbine. and i can remember as you brought up with the representative himes just in this last segment how you hear time and time and time again, far too many times, lawmakers
saying they are offering their thoughts and prayers. not an illegitimate concept. we appreciate that. it has he never led to anything. it is taking these kids, what we are seeing on set today, to watch what happens. people streaming in. it warms my heart on this chilly day. it is extraordinary to see all of this. >> take a look at that. the signs, the people. you're hearing music starting behind us. there is a lot of activity here. >> absolutely. all of these students of course, ali, are pushing for gun legislation. it's worth taking a look at the national rifle association. it is essentially a gun lobby and its influence on lawmakers. it describes itself as a nonprofit organization that advocates for gun rights. it was founded in new york state in 1871 by two union officers after the civil war. its original purpose was a shooting club, to improve the
marksmanship of americans. in past generation, it worked with government to limit traffic of guns, advocacy began lobbying in 1975. today it claims to have 5 million dues paying members despite it does not disclose its membership. its power of course comes from money and funding of political candidates and grading them on their voting effort from a to f. it tells how much support members of congress gets from the nra. they have spent $7.7 million on john mccain throughout his career, more than any legislator. that includes campaign funding and ads attacking opponents. the next are north carolina richard burr, senator roy blunt, $4.5 million. north carolina's other senattho
tillis. are you taking notes here? you know who is getting the money in the nra. florida senator marco rubio benefiting from $3 million in nra spending. that is something he has taken a lot of criticism for. it is not just congress, though. florida governor rick scott has an a-plus rating before recently signing that gun legislation in the wake of the parkland shooting. vice president mike pence has an a rating, loosening a number of laws while governor of indiana, including allowing firearms to be kept in vehicles on school property. then jump to the 2016 election where the nra spent $21 million supporting our president. all the spending buys the nra an oversized seat at the table on all the issues, the ones largely opposing the expanded federal background checks, taking a hard line against the assault rifles ban. they are opposed to raise the
age to buy rifles or create stricter concealed carry laws. >> they are not here today. they are not a sponsor of safer schools, safer streets. i'm talking to a lot of these kids and their parents not against the second amendment. they're not talking about taking guns away. one thing a republican told me in the days after the parkland shooting is that one way to think of the nra, and i'm a gun owner, is a racket, protection racket for politicians. if you are an nra supporter and you're a politician in a particular jurisdiction and you have an a-plus rating and you do anything to change that. if you do what rick scott did and raise the age at which you could buy a semi another mattic weapon, they will find someone else with an a-plus rating. >> follow the money that way. >> we will keep the money you with you as long as you never do
anything at all to work against us. so it's a bit of a protection racket. i want to introduce a couple of our guests. robin thomas, executive director of the giffords law center to prevent gun violence is, a position she's held since 2006. here on set with us is julian, a junior at stone man douglas. he spent that terrifying day hide anything a closet with his classmates. his friend joaquin oliver was one of the 17 victims. he had a funny nickname. i'm trying to remember it. it. >> was guac. >> you hid in a closet. i was just talking to one of your classmates earlier, julia. and i think people have to remember, this is not going to go away for you. it may heal having a million people may help you feel supported. but this is never going to go away from you. >> it never will.
i will never be 100% myself again. but i take it day by day. this is a start to make change in america. >> do you believe change will come from this? >> 100%. parkland, we're loud. we have people from all around the time. we've seen progress particularly since the sandy hook elementary school. but there heath been this grassroots movement where the voices, these disparate voices haven't figured out how to come together and these kids are amazing, they are relentless, tireless, they're on point. they understand the issues, the money that the nra is giving politicians. they visited thurgood marshall high school the other day and came away talking about the ill pact of gun violence in the urban united states. they're really connecting the dots and i think that that
aggressive way of connecting the dots, they're saying things, that we've been saying, but it's different coming from them. >> it has this purity of it. why are the adults in the country wirks are the politician letting us be killed in our schools. that message is hitting home. >> what's interesting, juju, i was speaking with one of your colleagues from school earlier on the broadcast and there is concern about keeping this going, this is an extraordinary event now and you're getting a lot of publicity. do you at all have concern about that? do you think social media is going to help you do that. that's what you guys have that columbine didn't have. >> social media is a big help for us. we can all talk and tweet easily and everybody sees it now. every tweet you see, there's a lot of people commenting on it and with everybody's voice, think we're going to make a change and i'm really happy for it. >> i know you're going to see
guac's parents today. >> yeah. >> robin, help me characterize the nra for people who don't know what it is. the fact is it's more than just donations. >> absolutely. part of what the nra has done really well over the last few decades is to put the money into politics, which we know is what buys the votes for them and they also show up. they do have a very hard-core base that shows up to the local hearings and legislative hearings and they make their voices heard. they're a very kweeky wheel. part of what's so amazing about this moment is they'reliberrying the voices and energy to contend with that. for a long time the nra has been so loud and aggressive with their money, votes, and demands, they're aggressive in their lobbying. and i think we've needed to have the counterpoint. and after sandy hook, the giffords organization really expanded and this is feeling like a tipping point. it's building momentum.
and now you're seeing students get into the mix and young people and they're demanding that it has to be better than this. that this can't possibly be the best this country can do to keep them safe. >> here's the problem with the nra. we've been talking about the money. money talks, people have been bought, if you will. let's just call it for what it is, right? >> absolutely. >> how do you combat that? do you have to hope that there are people in congress who will say, you know what, i'm going to fall on my professional sword. i'm going to allow myself to lose my top rating, to have the nra say we're taking our money away with you and give it to someone who will align themselves to our ideology. how does that work? >> there needs to be money on the other side. politician who is do the right thing on gun violence, need to know they're going to be supported with financial support and there also needs to be votes weemplt going to have to vote some people out this november who don't stand for the right thing and who are not protecting our children. we're going to have to vote them out and show politicians that we
have numbers. 97% of americans support universal background checks and congress won't pass it. they clearly don't represent americans, they represent the nra, we're going to have to vote some of them out. >> but as juju said, you guys are loud, you're the tip of the spear. the nra can bring people out. but apparently so can you. >> look behind us. right? >> our support group is ridiculous, a parents told me that they messed with the yong city. parkland, we're loud, every day we're doing this and we're going to get everything done. we're going to keep on, keep on and do what we can to do what we can. >> i kwant to ask you quickly on a personal note. i've spoken with people who are columbine survivors and as you said this is never going to leave you. how do you process that, ju-ju. what do you need to do to make sure that when you are reliving these horrifying moments, you're okay? >> my family. i talk to my family most, my
friends, i say my friends. this event has brought all my friends together. even friends we don't talk to any more, everyone is together and we're all a group. i use them to make me feel better and they use me for them to feel better and we're going to get through this together and hopefully, we can. >> your family got a lot bigger today. >> family. >> you're going to have millions of new people in your family. julian ju-ju decost is a junior at stoneman douglas and we have the executive director of the giffords law center to prevent gun violence. >> i remember after parkland we were getting trolled by people who say you know in chicago more people die on a weekly basis from guns than died in that. but we've been covering that, too, and there are kids from chicago schools at this rally here today. there are parkland kids who have gone and visited chicago, these kids don't want to die from guns. i had a student telling me i'm
not worried about dieing in my school from a gun. i don't want to die on the way back. >> march for our lives as thousands of teachers, students, parents, get ready for this historic day of demonstration for gun control. goes here. test drive the ztrak z540r at your john deere dealer and learn why it's not how fast you mow, it's how well you mow fast. nothing runs like a deere. save 250 dollars when you test drive and buy a john deere residential z540r ztrak mower. i'm trying to manage my a1c, and then i learn type 2 diabetes puts me at greater risk for heart attack or stroke. can one medicine help treat both blood sugar and cardiovascular risk?
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♪ good morning, everyone, i'm ali velshi, live in washington, d.c.. >> and i'm alex witt, we're here for today's march for our lives, let's get started. >> you are watching what has become a worldwide movement unfolding before our very lives. today, you're watching history. check out the scene right here in washington, d.c. at least half a million people, including children, their parents, shooting survivors, they're expected to take part in today's march for our lives. >> this is our future that we're worrying about and for us the douglas students who were in the building, we saw our friends die in front of us and we, we want to make a change and we