tv MSNBC Live MSNBC March 24, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm PDT
these people vote where they're showing up here today, the real american people showing up today. i'm turning it over now to craig melvin, who is going to do an amazing job here. >> good to see you, my friend. always good to see you in the flesh. thank you. good afternoon to you. craig melvin here, live in washington, d.c., at the site of an emotional and important moment in this country's history. a moment organized and led by america's teenagers. >> i have a dream that enough is enough! >> army teachers will not work! more security in our schools does not work! >> we cannot keep america great if we cannot keep america safe. >> we need to arm them with pencils, pens, paper and the money they need! >> we would not need metal detectors and clear backpacks and more weapons in our streets if there weren't weapons of war in the hands of civilians! >> my goodness. it was remarkable to watch and
listen to passionate demands for change, not only here in washington, d.c., hundreds of thousands of people all over this country, even worldwide, taking a stand against gun violence. their message to lawmakers, very simple. enough is enough. take action or get voted out. the rallies continue at this hour. this is a live look at boston. this is boston, massachusetts, where things are actually just getting started. we're keeping a very close eye on all of the live events. we will be taking you around the country throughout the hour ahead. but let's start -- let's start right here in d.c. the heart of this movement today. nbc's tammy leitner, jacob season remov soboroff. tammy, what have students been telling you? >> craig, a very, very powerful day. you know, we had some a-list celebrities here on the stage behind me today.
but today was really about the students. about a half million people here today, and i'm actually here with one of the teachers from parkland, melissa, you're a journalism teacher. we've spoken a number of times since the shooting actually happened. you hid in a classroom with a lot of your students. there were about 1,000 of your students out here today. and you must be proud of them. >> yeah, i'm incredibly proud of the students at our school. i was amazed by today's event that they said they were going to do something, and in such a short period of time, were able to organize it and make it happen. and the size of the crowd today was just amazing. and just a testament, you know, to what they can achieve when they put their mind to it. >> reporter: and one thing you were telling me really struck you, they shared the stage with so many other students that have been impacted by gun violence. >> yeah. i think that was what impressed me the most today, is that they shared the stage, didn't make it just about what happened to us in parkland, but they allowed these other students whose voices have been drowned out,
that they haven't had a voice in this discussion. that have been touched by gun violence, whose communities have been dealing with gun viaolence for so long and they shared the stage and let them share in the voice. and i think that is so important. and i was most impressed by that. >> reporter: thank you so much for talking to us. and you definitely have a right to be proud of these students here. craig, the one thing that we've heard over and over from the students today from parkland is that this is not the last we will hear from them. today is only the beginning, and undoubtedly, that is probably true. craig? >> yeah. somehow i believe that's probably true, as well. tammy leitner for us here in washington. thank you. marianna atencio has also been with us all day. lots of emotional moments today, marianna. what was the one moment that stood out for you? >> craig, lots of emotional moments. especially those speeches. and we talked about it earlier
today. seeing speeches like a latina for me, watching so many hispanic kids, african-american kids, watching emma gonzalez. you can just sense the energy, and just how emotional they got, listening to these speeches. kids like veronica, who is 12 over here. and by the way, just to let you know where we are, we have just walked down pennsylvania avenue, as protesters are starting to make their way in front of the white house. a couple of them, anyway. veronica, i saw you walking over here with both of your parents. can you tell our craig melvin, what was your biggest takeaway from today? what would you like to see the most? >> well, i liked how everyone just joined together to speak up about gun control. >> reporter: as a 12-year-old, did you ever think your generation would ignite something like this? >> well, i mean, it's pretty, like, sad that this is happening now. and, yeah, i guess.
yeah. >> reporter: thank you so much, veronica. craig, i want to keep walking with you to give you some of these live images. you have people that have put up signs over here in front of the white house. you have young people that are just taking in what they saw today, those speeches, the hundreds and thousands of people that were clamoring for change, and also that diversity that we saw today. not only on that stage, but on the streets of washington. just kids that were saying, we shouldn't be divided any more along racial lines, along class, or just along geography. just this real call for unity from all of these young people. i want to see if we can talk to some more of them, if our camera would just follow us over here to see what their biggest take-aways were from this rally today. hey, guys. how are you today? >> hi. >> reporter: tell me what was one of the things that impacted you the most from this rally today? >> i mean, there was a lot of people. i'm not from here, i'm from colombia, and i've never seen a march this huge. and i felt like all the parts of
the community besides their political inclination were together in this enterprise. >> reporter: thank you so much. as we said on our programming, craig, it's not only nationally, but internationally, this is being looked at all over the world. and these kids really calling for change. let's see what happens after today. but they definitely made their mark in numbers in washington, d.c., today. craig? >> marianna atencio just outside the white house, a stone's throw from where i sit here. we should note here, in terms of the size and scope of the crowd, the national park service no longer provides estimates. but organizers of this event, according to the associated press, putting the number right now at 800,000, making it one of the largest marches in the history of washington, d.c. and, again, that's just washington. that doesn't take into account the other marches happening all over the country. boston, massachusetts, right
now, again, that march just getting under way. a live look here above the scene in boston. i think we have that -- excuse me. this is denver. this is denver, colorado. just after 2:00 local there in denver. you can see a sea of people. similar to what we saw here, although in a smaller scale. but the march for our lives rally getting under way in denver, colorado. jacob soboroff has been on duty here in washington, d.c., for us today, as well. talking to marchers, talking to protesters. jacob, what have they been telling you? what have you been seeing? >> reporter: craig, you mentioned the number 800,000. 800,000 people will be an absolute force at the voting booth. and young people in this country, millennial generation in particular, has surpassed baby boomers as the largest potential voting block in the nation. and if they, the people out here today want to actually change gun laws, they're going to have to go out and move for marching down pennsylvania avenue and
actually march into that voting booth. that's what this group here is doing right now. these are volunteers from the group head count, and i'm actually going to squeeze in here. sorry. slide by. she's turning in her forms right now. this is tappen, running this event. tell me what you have going on today. >> today we were working directly with the march which is a great honor and we ran a 5013 c campaign. and had 1,000 volunteers. >> reporter: check this out, craig. with the t-shirts, the yellow t-shirts, registering people to vote. how many people can 1,000 people register to vote? >> well, we hoped they would each register five. it was already a very engaged crowd, so there's no way to know exactly what our numbers are going to be until we all get together. we've got a lot of stations like this all over the march area. >> reporter: but it could be -- if 1,000 people each registered five, that's 5,000. congratulations to you on the efforts today. let me see how many folks -- how many people did you register to vote today? >> ten today. >> and nine. >> reporter: that's exceeding expectations. and how many people did you register to vote? >> 14. >> reporter: wow. how many?
>> 15. >> reporter: 15? >> five. >> reporter: all right. what was it like for you to talk to people today and what were they telling you about why they get to get registered to vote on a day like today? >> a lot of what i heard was it's more important for this upcoming generation to put action to their voices as they're developing their political views, things they're interested in, to put that to legislation. and registering to vote is giving them that power and that ability to do that. >> reporter: i'm sure you've registered people to vote before, based on the numbers of people you registered today. >> no, i have not. >> reporter: never, ever? >> my first time ever and it was really exhilarating to be able to meet people and even parents who were registering along with their kids. making their voices heard. >> reporter: what was the mood out there today? >> oh, exhilarating, exciting. a lot of love. and you could feel that people were encouraged by one another. but people were also on a mission. >> reporter: all right. so we had ten people, five people. all those numbers add up, craig. and if head count succeeds in
what they wanted to do, it's going to be a heck of a lot of new young voters in the united states of america after today. >> jacob soboroff with an angle to this story that hasn't been covered as much today. i've seen a number of folks registering to vote. and one of the major questions after any rally or march like this is, what comes next? and it would seem as if for a lot of folks here, they have decided that what's going to come next is voting. the speakers today, perhaps you noticed, all of them -- all of the speakers were students. there was not a speaker on stage over the age of 18. and while this was a march, a rally, that was financed by and large, using celebrity money, oprah, george clooney, they were noticeably absent from the stage, and that was by design. they wanted the students to be front and center. one of those students was david hogg. >> as usual, these politicians are going to continue to be owned by the nra. they don't really want to take any steps to take action.
you must hold your elected officials responsible, because what they're doing right now is trying to make it seem like they have done something when in reality they haven't even gotten started. and we have. >> reporter: again, a glimpse there at what organizers hope comes next. let's go out west again. again, the rally has wrapped up here in washington,a live look e scene in denver. and san francisco is where we go right now. nbc senior politics editor, beth fouhy, standing by for us as we look at the scene over denver. beth is in san francisco where the rally is. i understand beth is just getting under way there, correct? >> reporter: yeah, that's right, craig. it's just getting under way. it's a beautiful, sunny day here in san francisco. and first in california, notably very progressive state, has some of the strongest gun control laws in the country. assault weapons are banned here. there's a required ten-day waiting period before the purchase of a gun. many of the things that some of
the activists who are at some of the other rallies around the country would love to see, they actually have here in california. and yet there are many, many people here at this march who are very eager to talk about how gun control laws that exist here in california might work elsewhere in the country, as well. i want to bring in dr. heymond oshie, a pediatrician, to talk about what the gun issue is from their perspective. it's a health issue, it's a public health issue. >> exactly. gun violence is a public health issue. framing it in any other way just doesn't make sense. 46 children are shot every day in america. as a pediatrician, that is incredibly concerning to me. just like primary care pediatricians talk about safety helmets, seat belts, car seats, we need to talk about gun violence as one of the leading killers of young people. i know that all -- the house of medicine. so emergency medicine, psychiatrist, all of the national organizations, the american medical association, the american academy of pediatrics, american college and emergency physicians have put
out statements encouraging common sense gun legislation to combat this public health issue. >> reporter: and how did you guys all come together and decide you wanted to make a statement coming here in your white coats as doctors to this rally? >> so, you know, in the last month or so, i think the nation has been kind of captivated by the young people of parkland. and as part of that, one of our medical students at ucsf is an alum of the parkland school. and so the medical students have really taken on the mantle of leadership and organizing a week of action at ucsf with activity surrounding education about gun violence, presentations from things like the zuckerberg san francisco wrap-around project for victims of gun violence. and as faculty and residents of ucsf and community members, just is a responsibility for us to be involved. >> reporter: thank you so much. so we're just getting started here, craig. senator feinstein spoke to chris matthews a little while ago. she's going to be kicking things off along with the mayor of san francisco. but most of the speakers are kids, just like all of the rest of the marches around the country, craig. >> beth fouhy there for us in
san francisco. beth, we will be checking in with you throughout the course of the evening. of the emotional moments, of the inspiring moments that we witnessed here today, emma gonzalez was perhaps the most inspiring. she's become one of the most identifiable faces of the parkland high school shooting tragedy. she closed -- she closed the rally with this emotional tribute to her friends and a plea for change. let's listen. >> everyone who has been touched by the cold grip of gun violence understands. for us, long, tearful, chaotic hours in the scorching afternoon sun were spent not knowing. no one understood the extent of what had happened. no one could believe that there were bodies in that building waiting to be identified for over a day. no one knew that the people who are missing had stopped breathing long before any of us had even known that a code red had been called.
no one could comprehend the devastating aftermath or how far this would reach or where this would go. for those who still can't comprehend because they refuse to, i'll tell you where it went. right into the ground, six feet deep. six minutes and twenty seconds with an ar-15, and my friend, carmen, would never complain to me about piano practice. aaron feis would never call kyra miss sunshine. alex schachter would never walk into school with his brother, ryan. scott beigel would never joke around at camp. helen ramsey would never hang around after school with max. gina would never wave to her friend liam at lunch. alana would never, cara would never, chris hixon would never, luke would never, mar kin would never, peter wang would never,
alyssa would never. jamie guttenberg. meadow pollack would never. >> and she stood there in styles for six minutes and twenty seconds. that, of course, the length of time that the gunman mowed down her friends and classmates. i'm joined now by fran warnersbacke, former teacher at the parkland school, whose daughter is still a student there. she is in parkland this afternoon. cora hayworth is with me, an eighth grade student from chicago. she traveled here to washington, d.c., just for the rally. and maria victoria ciccone, a 15-year-old from miami, and maria, i think i butchered your name, so i apologize. >> you got it. >> did i get it? >> yeah. >> fran, let me start with you there. in florida here. as a former teacher, at marjory stoneman douglas, now the parent of a student there, what do you make of what we saw and what we
heard here in washington and there in parkland today? >> i was really proud of them. coming from the school, those kids are very well-organized. they're taught very high standards. so i didn't expect any different from them. >> what do you want to see happen next? what do you want to see come after this march and rally, fran? >> i would like to see change. i really -- not necessarily banning all weapons, but, yes. having gun reform, looking at the whole picture. maybe having a national network so that this way if people move state to state that this way we at least know what kind of weapons they do have. even limiting the amount of magazines that they're allowed to have, and, you know, purchase. because that would have stopped at least some of the shootings. >> how was your family impacted by the terrible events that took
place last month? >> every day is a different adventure. my daughter definitely, although she was not in the building, one of her friends passed away. she was also close with aaron feis, when they were -- my kids were they were in middle school, used to drive them over on the golf cart it really is traumatic for them. you know, the only room she really feels safe right now is definitely her culinary room where her teacher kept her safe. aside from that, she still has a lot of issues with going out and about, and, you know, routine of school. >> cora, you're so young. how old are you? >> i'm 14. >> 14. so that's eighth grade. >> yes. >> and we should note, for our viewers and listeners, you were here for the woman's march, as well, last year, right? >> yes. >> why is it so important for middle schoolers like yourself to be active in causes like this? >> i feel like it's important for middle schoolers and youth
to be active in causes like this because it helps them make change early on so that they can continue to make change throughout their whole life. >> you know a lot of folks have said that not much is going to come from this rally. not much is going to come from this march. there were some great speeches, there was some singing. but a few months from now, no one will be talking about this. what do you say to that? >> i say that that's not true. i feel like this will be written in the history books. i feel like this march will lead to something even bigger. >> what's the story on the orange ribbon there? >> i was given this from moms demand action, and it's to show awareness and to show support for the gun victims. >> maria, you're also connected to -- students demand action, correct? >> yes. >> what's your connection to all of this? >> well, we all started, because
our parents all attended a moms command action rally down in broward. and so we got all the students huddled up together and we decided we wanted to make this more personal. because it's our lives that are being taken every single day. so we got together, we started an instagram, and we just started slowly -- we're doing pretty good, actually. have a few members down in miami. and there's other locations. now we have some in washington and new york. so -- >> how old are you? >> i'm 15. >> 15. what's the goal? what do you want to see happen? if president trump were watching this right now down in florida, and he happens to be listening to you, what would you say to the president of the united states? >> i want him to know how significant our voices are. and we get told every single day that we're the future, and this is us proving it. just -- all of these kids out here, and by the next election, we'll be voting. so i want him to realize how important we are. >> maria, thank you for coming by. cora, thanks to you, as well. >> thank you.
fran, before i let you go, i want to pose that same question to you there down in florida. a number of folks have said that a few months from now, this is not going to be something that is remembered. that there will probably not be any sort of measurable change policy wise that comes from all of this. what do you say to that? >> i say it's definitely going to be change. what they don't realize at this point is that these kids are going and preregistering. at least i know here in broward county, we have a high school voter registration drive. we just had it last week. and a lot, a lot, a lot of kids signed up. i know my own daughter will be able to vote by then. and this is going to stand by them. remember, this is the largest school that had a school shooting. this is -- means a lot to these kids, and they're not going to stop. >> fran, thank you. cora, maria, thanks to both of you, as well. keep it up, okay? our coverage of the march for our lives continues ahead.
this is the scene right now in denver, colorado, where that rally has just gotten under way. and you can see the mass of people that's assembled there as america's children continue to demand to be heard. people believe that the youth of this country are insignificant. people believe that the youths have no voice. when joan of arc fought back english forces, she was 17 years old! when mozart wrote his first symphony, he was 8 years old! to those people that tell us that teenagers can't do anything, i say that we were the only people that could have made this movement possible. you know what's awesome? gig-speed internet.
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we need each and every one of you to keep screaming at your own congressman. each congressman has a local office in their visit so pay them a visit or organize a town hall. they'll be home for the next two weeks for congressional recess. have them hear you out, because they work for us! >> that was stoneman douglas student, jacquelyn coren speaking to a crowd here in d.c. about confronting elected officials, about tighter gun restrictions in washington, d.c.
one of dozens of rallies across the country today. a look at some of those rallies that happened that have wrapped up since just a few hours ago. joining me now, once again from outside the white house, nbc's marianna atencio. and we should note here, president trump not in town for this weekend's rally. he is at his mar-a-lago estate. mar anna? >> reporter: not in town, craig. but some of the hundreds of thousands of students who marched on washington today wanted to come here after the rally to send president trump a message, and i want to hand it over to them now. mind you, they drove for 13 hours from bloomington, indiana, to be here. what is your message to president trump? >> our message is basically that the future of our country is not controlled by the person in the white house, but rather the person in the mirror. and we here are the future of this country, and we here are going to create change.
if those in power now do not want to. so -- >> reporter: you guys drove a long way to be here. can i ask, what was the most impactful thing from this rally today? >> the most impactful thing for me was seeing all the students speak up and how much of a student-led thing this was. and it wasn't just a bunch of adults speaking up. it was students talking and saying what they want to see and how they want to see it. and they were telling stories of the shootings, and they were telling their legislators, we're the future, we're going to vote. and they were kind of telling them, this is who we are, and this is what it's going to be. we're going to come. yeah. >> reporter: and they're going to come and they are going to vote, craig. can i just with a show of hands show our craig melvin who here will be voting for the first time this november? you see that, craig? most of everyone here, 17, 18 years old. they will be taking this energy to the polls. we've talked a lot about the nra, as well, today. i interviewed joe biden yesterday, and he said we can beat the nra. it's deemed to be the nra was
one of the big enemies in most of the speeches. how do you beat the nra? >> well, we need to show them that it's not going to be enough for them to pass small changes or say that they can't do anything. we're going to prove to them that we're not going to stop until there's actual change, until -- we're going to vote them out of office. we are the leaders of tomorrow. and if they don't meet our needs, then we're going to change it, and find the people who will. >> president trump, who you're directing, part of your comments right now to, he passed the school safety act. was that enough for you guys? what are your thoughts on what you saw coming from the white house? >> i think it was merely just a show. it was sort of something to get people off his back. and there was not much heart behind it. the things that were passed in that gun safety legislation or whatever it was, it wasn't anything that was going to prove to help anyone. it's been proven to not be
effective. and whatever he says is probably going to be backed by the nra. and once he gets the nra off his back and starts doing things on his own, then we'll start to believe that he really wants to change this growing issue. >> reporter: a lot of skepticism, craig, as you heard, about what president trump will do in the coming days and weeks after this rally today. but as you saw, these young people, their message is very clear. look at us, look at our strength in numbers. and we want to see sweeping changes in gun legislation. craig? >> marianna atencio, just a few blocks away there at 1600 pennsylvania. thank you. and a big thanks to all those young people behind you, as well. let's bring in political reporter for the "washington post," eugene scott. and chief washington reporter for the "boston herald," also msnbc contributor, kimberly atkins. we saw mar anna there asking folks to raise their hands if
they plan to vote in november. a year ago, there was the women's march. and there have been a lot of folks who have said there is no coincidence you had that massive march, and now you have a record number of women running for office in this country at the state level, local level, and do you think that that is going to be the case this time around? that we are going to see more young people than usual voting in midterm elections? >> i think we will. one thing i talked to a lot of these young people about is what happens after today. what happens when the march is over, what happens when the headlines have dropped away from gun violence. and that's the first thing they talked about is political engagement. not just voting. but the organization that they have been doing, using petitions. using other things to reach out to other young people, and to develop coalitions to keep this in the forefront in their local communities, in their states. they're seeing this as a long-term commitment. >> i want to play a piece of sound here and talk about it on the other side. this is from the rally in new
york, a massive rally in its own right. but this is marjory stoneman douglas high school student megan bonner at the new york city rally that wrapped up a short time ago. take a listen. >> this will never leave me. it has been over a month, and i still can't wrap my head around what happened that day. there is so much more that could have been done to prevent this. i want to see change. i don't want to feel unsafe in school any more. i want to see change. >> i was at sandy hook, and i recall vividly, eugene, after that shooting a lot of folks in this country heard similar speeches to that gut-wrenching speech. president obama wasn't able to galvanize any sort of coalition to manifest some sort of major change to gun laws in this country. do you think it's going to be different this time? >> i really do. only because we're seeing young people who are not just saying they want to see change, but are initiating the change themselves. we see them organizing rallies.
we see them walking through the halls of capitol hill, talking to lawmakers themselves. we see them getting hash tags, trending, producing videos of their own on social media. communicating what needs to happen. that they think could enhance their education experience, and not take away from their education experience. and i was a high school senior when columbine happened. and i think what we're seeing right now is people saying this is the new normal, but it doesn't have to be. and we want to do something that stops that. >> i want to call your attention to a poll here. this is a poll, and it's not from the "boston herald," but still a reliable poll. this is a "usa today" poll here, kimberly. one in three young people polled said they were going to be participating in today's march for our lives protest in some way. obviously, not all of them at rallies. a lot of them participating on social media. >> yeah. >> but that's a staggering statistic, if you really stop and think about it. one in three young people in this country say they're going
to be a part of this movement. what does that tell you? >> i think that tells us that even if we don't see action in congress, which is a high likelihood, very difficult to get lawmakers to move on this. we are seeing a cultural shift. the shaame way we saw people thk about things like seat belts differently. or things like smoking differently. young kids don't smoke like older people did, because it's a different generation who thinks about it differently, after they would see it as a health hazard. so i think now if they see this as a hazard to them, a public health hazard, a threat to them, they're going to think about guns differently, and i think in the future -- may not be right away -- but in the future, you're going to see people have a shift in the culture. because that's really what this is. we have a gun culture in this country. it's very profitable for the gun manufacturers. and it's going to take a shift in thinking of an entire generation to get at that, and i think we might be seeing the beginning of that. >> eugene, one of the things that has struck me all day, i had two teenagers here moments ago, one in the eighth grade,
one in the ninth grade, we just heard from a 15 or 16-year-old here. i think back to who i was when i was 14, 15, 16. not only was i not as the kids would say -- not only was i not woke, i had no concept of social activism or advocacy. i'm having a hard time understanding, like, what's motivating them? are they just that angry, are they just that fed up? or are they just wired differently than we were back when we were in our teens? >> i think it's a combination of things. when i think about the student who was speaking in new york, she seemed deeply traumatized. and she -- and a lot of these students have talked about having younger siblings, and they know what they are feeling, and they're like, i don't want my cousins, i don't want the kids coming after me to feel anything similar to what i'm feeling right now. and i'm confident that somehow i can have an impact. these are kids who have been on the cover of magazines. they have met with the president of the united states. they have attention of people that perhaps we weren't confident were listening to us when we were younger. and so they said now that i have
the mic, i'm going to do something with it. >> eugene scott, kimberly atkins, always enjoy your perspective. thank you both for being with me today. keep it right here on msnbc for more live coverage of the march for our lives. as rallies continue across the country at this hour, again, a live look, be denver, colorado, where that crowd has clearly swelled in just the 20 minutes that we have been on the air. 30 minutes that we have been on the air here. this programming note, as well, right now. 50 years after the assassination of dr. martin luther king jr., a new documentary, "hope & fury: mlk, the movement and the media." it looks at how social movements in the media have influenced each other, from the civil rights movement through today. you can watch that tonight 8:00 eastern on nbc.
before i learned how to read! >> our coverage of the march for our lives rally continues right now. this movement catching the attention of celebrities, of political leaders, as well. current and former. some even taking part on social media. former president barack obama tweeting this. michelle and i are so inspired by all the young people who made today's marches happen. keep at it. you're leading us forward. nothing can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change. again, that coming from former president barack obama. this photo of democratic california congressman, adam schiff, joining demonstrators in burbank this afternoon. i'm joined now by blayne alexander, outside the trump hotel here in washington, d.c., where as i understand it, some of the folks who were here at the rally and marched, blayne, have decided to leave some parting gifts. >> reporter: yeah, craig, you're right.
so the trump international hotel is about eight or nine blocks away from the main stage here on pennsylvania avenue. but what's interesting, you can take a look, you see right here, as people left the march, they left signs. one by one by the hundreds, it seems. they left their signs right here in front of the trump international hotel to leave a message. now as you have been pointing out, president trump is not here in washington, not here at the hotel, certainly. but this has become almost an unofficial gathering spot we have seen people coming here and leaving signs. which is also why you see a number of security barriers, police barriers, and police officers. they have been here standing by all morning long to provide extra security to the hotel today. one of those signs really caught my eye. i want to bring you over here and introduce you to a group from virginia. and i want to show you her sign. my brother survived virginia tech 32 others did not. #neverforget. so i want to talk to you, because you can really identify with the students from parkland today. >> it's pretty crazy to think that my brother was at virginia
tech at a building next to where it happened and it just goes through my mind all of the time, what if it had had been him? like, my life would be completely different. and i think that whole experience changed my perspective on life completely. so i felt like i had to be here to support anyone else who has gone through such terrible, terrible things like this. and it has to stop. i'm sick of it. >> reporter: absolutely. and you know, another person -- a lot of people we have been seeing out here are a lot of parents, and you're a parent yourself. you got that phone call. you understood there was a shooting at virginia tech. you knew that your son was a sophomore there. so every time you have seen another shooting since, you told me that kind of goes your mind again. >> it does. because i'm really worried about the parents who send their kids to school every day and have to worry whether or not they're going to be safe and whether they're going to come home at the end of the day. this is america. kids should be safe to go to their schools, we shouldn't have to worry about that as parents. and i came today because i wanted to lend my support to the young people. for all the young people who
came, please register, please vote. you can be the leaders in the tide of change that we need in this country. the politicians will pay attention to you. >> all right. thank you, guys. and one more point before we go, craig. a lot of things we've been seeing is students raising their own money to come out here. but as one young woman told me, she said she came out here today but hopes she won't have an occasion to attend a march like this again, craig. >> blayne alexander for us outside trump hotel. blayne, thank you very much. nbc's steve patterson is at the rally in los angeles. that is ongoing. steve, what's the scene there on the west coast? >> reporter: craig, it's history from coast to coast. it's still early yet, but the estimates are tens of thousands of people that came to this rally, as you mentioned, that is still going on behind me, from all over the country they came to this coast, also to take part in this rally. we have a group of girls from broward county, florida, the home of parkland. ladies, can you show me your hands?
>> what's your message? >> gun reform. >> positivity. >> reporter: why did you come out? >> we want to show that it's okay to be you, but and it's okay to not be bullied. but we need less guns. >> gun reform now. honestly, why is it easy for a person to walk into a store and buy a gun, but you can't buy cigarettes? like, how does that make any sense? >> reporter: if there are politicians that are watching this right now, lawmakers that can affect real change, what do you want to say to them? >> why is it that schools do not have money to supply their students with paper, but they want to supply schools with guns? that makes no sense. absolutely no sense. gun reform now. >> and i personally lost my own father to gun violence. and if it wasn't that easy for that man to walk into a store, buy a gun, then my father would be here still today. and i know i'm not the only one that feels this way. and there's children's who have lost their friends, their family members to this. so there needs to be a change. and we're going to make that
change for the future kids coming up so they don't have to go through this. >> reporter: craig, we've been hearing that all day, people that grew up in this era of gun violence, in an era which mass shootings at schools are common sense, and an era in which school violence is something of a common place. they want today to be their platform, to see affected change. send it back to you. >> they're fed up. they are fed up, steve patterson. thank you. let's go now to parkland, florida. where we find nbc's maya rodriguez, and, of course, maya, if you want to say there as jwa impetus, it would be last month in parkland, florida. i know you talked to a local resident there. what did she say? >> reporter: yeah, there are so many people who were out here, craig. you know, yes, a lot of folks went up to d.c., but just as many wanted to be here in parkland, because like you mentioned, this is the heart of
the never again movement. and what they are saying is they have had enough with gun violence, and do want to see something done. there were about 12 to 15,000 people out here today. that's according to the broward county sheriff's office. that's quite a number when you think about this community, which only has about 31,000 people in it, and, of course, a number of people had gone up to the nation's capital. what they did was gather this morning just after 10:00, had some rally, had some speeches, and made their way down about a mile from here, where marjory stoneman douglas high school is, and had a moment of silence there. many of them spoke very, very eloquently, passionately, about this subject. take a listen to what one person had to say. >> when you heard about what happened here in broward county, and this is your community, when you heard about what happened here, what went through your mind? >> i cried. i cried, because we're in the greatest nation on earth, and we get so upset about terrorists, but it doesn't seem we get upset enough about the kinds of laws we have to make our own people safe.
>> and that's the thing here, craig. they do not want to lose sight of this with all of these rallies and marches. there were 17 people who were killed here. they do want to see change happen, and they also want to see the conversation move forward. and they have sort of a visual representation of that today. when everybody was going past the school, they had that moment of silence, but they did not stop walking past the school as they had that moment of silence. and they said, that was to visually show they do want to keep that conversation moving forward. craig? >> maia rodriguez there in parkland, where roughly 15,000 gathered for the rally there. let's go back out west. beth fouhy is still in san francisco, standing by for us. beth, who do you have? >> reporter: i have a survivor of that columbine mass shooting back in 1999, that really raised the consciousness of so many people in this country to the dangers of mass shootings in schools. it's something that those of us
who are around and covering it back then will never forget and certainly somebody who went through it will never forget. tell us about your experience and tell us what brought you here to this address. >> sure. so i was a junior at columbine during the shooting. and the truth is, we didn't think shooting -- mass shootings were going to continue after that. we didn't know. a lot of us -- i can't speak for everyone, but a lot of us got very quiet after that. and then it keeps happening, keeps happening. and i don't know. there was something about the students rising up out of parkland that really reactivated my own activism. >> reporter: so that would be my question. we have had so many other shootings since columbine. we have had sandy hook, we had the pulse nightclub, we had las vegas. very little kind of activism that we have seen around the shooting in the way we're seeing now. what do you think is different? is it because it's high school students using their voices? what inspired you? >> the high school students have inspired me, i have to tell you. i have to tell you, they have every right to rise up and be upset. we haven't done anything. i'm an adult now, and i haven't done anything to protect them.
and so i think now -- now is the time, and they're the ones leading us. and i hope they don't stop. >> back when you were a junior and went through that horrible experience at columbine, did you or any other students consider doing something like this, standing up and speaking out against gun violence? >> quite a few kids did stand up and did speak. but back then, it wasn't a regular occurrence like it is now. it just -- it just wasn't. it -- columbine was not the first, but i think most people did assume that whatever needed to get done was going to get done so it didn't happen again. but here we are. >> reporter: and you told me that there were many other columbine alums who were here at this march. >> yeah, there's a few, yeah, yeah. >> reporter: and what's your message? what is the message of the columbine alums right now? >> i can't speak for everybody. i can only speak for myself. but what i will say is that as adults who have -- are now on the other side of this, we need to do everything we can to amplify the voices of these young people. and then as the adults, we need to do everything we can within our power as adults to fix this. so whether that is calling our congressional representatives,
divesting in gun manufacturers, doing what we can to really make sure this doesn't happen again. making gun-smart travel choices. we have a lot we can do that doesn't have to do with congress. >> reporter: thank you so much for speaking. >> thank you. >> reporter: a columbine survivor who has found her activism through parkland. >> beth fouhy there in san francisco. beth, thank you so much. i'm joined now by democratic congressman from rhode island, david cisilene and host of the hue hewitt show, and democratic strategist, ateama o'mara. congressman, let me start with you, sir. are we seeing a tipping point in this fight? >> i certainly hope so. you know, we had a march here in rhode island with thousands of young people, and their parents. and i think what they want is for the adults to do their job and get something done to protect them. and the message is very clear. there are dozens of bills
pennedi pending in congress, many i have introduced, my colleagues have introduced. and what young people are saying is, do something. protect us. we want to be able to go to school and study and be safe. i think this movement is going to make a real difference. and if the voices of these young people aren't heard today, they're going to be heard in november. >> congressman, president trump tweeting yesterday about bump stocks, and the government appears to be poised to really crack down, to ban them outright. how far is that going to go? >> well, who knows? the nra, i suspect, will challenge that. i introduced the bill with 170 of my colleagues to ban bump stocks three days after las vegas. we ought to pass that bill right away so we can prevent a lot of litigation and get that done. we ought to pass an assault weapons ban, a bill to improve the background check system, to get rid of these very deadly magazines. there are a number of things we can do. but let's have a debate, bring those bills to the floor.
let the people who want to stand in the way of sensible gun safety legislation stand up and be accountable. these young people are demanding action. they're right. we have a responsibility to do everything we can to reduce gun violence in this country. and there are a lot of good ideas to do it. i'm so proud of these young people. we heard from so many here in rhode island who are making a real difference here in this debate. and i know they're not going to let up until we do our jobs and enact common sense gun safety proposals. >> hugh, simple question. do we have a gun problem in this country? >> absolutely, we do. i think today we had a lot of republicans down here. i think it's not a red/bluish u. to what you asked the congressman, he knows there's a gun problem. john cornyn helped get past the omnibus. and chris coons, a democrat from delaware and pat toomey, who is as conservative as i am from pennsylvania, i've got a bill called coons/toomey, a very important step forward. so i don't think it's a red/blue issue. we have a gun violence problem.
i think there are some sophisticated solutions, and i would be surprised if there aren't bipartisan efforts like we saw in florida across the united states. >> so it sounds like you think today is a tipping point, as well. if not on the policy front, perhaps on the cultural front. >> i think las vegas began it. and sutherland springs accelerated it and parkland put a dot on it, and it goes back to so many of the parents here from connecticut today, and they were very touching. a lot of people, parents, grandparents, all want their kids to go to school safely. and that requires common sense measures that will not offend the second amendment. i've been teaching common law for 22 years. lots of things that can be done and it's a purple issue, not a red or bluish u. >> can i say one thing? i have to respectfully disagree. it is a red/blue issue. we can't get a single vote in the house of representatives from the republican house leadership on a single gun bill. so it's not just true. in fact, there's one party fighting for common sense proposals. we have introduced dozens of bills to do it. we cannot get the republican house leadership to bring a
single bill to the floor for a vote. so i do think it's a red/blue issue. sadly. >> atima, is it? >> it's been unfortunately more so than it should be, i think. i think that he was right. there are some congressmen who are definitely interested in having common sense gun reformulation and working on a bipartisan effort. but honestly, you know, we have not had anything done in several years on gun reform. i carried a sign, i was the same age as the shooters were at columbine, it's 19 years later. very little done. we did some work in 2008. close to 200,000 school shootings or kids hurt in a school shooting since then. there needs to be something done. and the nra needs to get its grip off of members of congress to be able to do its work. >> we have to leave it there. atima, thank you. hugh, thank you. congressman, thanks, as well. we, of course, will be continuing the conversation. all of the speakers today were students, again, none of them over the age of 18. but there were a lot of
that is going to do it from here in washington, d.c. these are just some of the folks who came out today to march for their lives. one of the things that's been most striking, if you look here, some of the signs, really creative signs in today's rally, some 800,000 people showed up. rallies continue across the country at this hour. joy reid picking up our coverage right now. >> my grandfather had a dream that his four little children will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the concept of their character. i have a dream that enough is enough! and that this should be a gun-free world. period! >> good afternoon! i'm joy reid live in