tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto CNN March 24, 2021 6:00am-7:00am PDT
good morning. i'm poppy harlow. jim has the week off. congress, mr. president, what are you going to do? the nation is reeling after another mass shooting. will you do all you can to break the pattern of inaction? this morning, growing calls for action on gun reform as we learn much more about the ten people killed in boulder. today we are seeing their faces. we are hearing the stories of their lives and we're hearing the void that their families now feel. we are also learning the suspected shooter, 21 years old, was, according to his family, paranoid, and just eight days ago, he bought a ruger ar-556 pistol that sources confirmed was modified with an arm brace.
also this morning, a clearer picture of the chaos inside the grocery store that he attacked and scars survivors still carry. >> i hid under the far desk against the wall, and my pharmacist, carrie, who was in there with me, she was right by me. she was standing the whole time behind the wardrobe as much as she could and just held the chair there the whole time. ready to throw if we needed. after the next couple of rounds of shots were fired i hung up on 911 and called my family and my parents. i saw a body. it was an instinct to look over and that's when i saw it was rikki. it all came crashing down seeing someone i knew and dead there that wasn't going to be able to walk out to her family or walk out of the store.
>> that's maggie montoya, one of those who will be forever scarred by this shooting. this is a crisis. how what happens next? we begin with dan simon in boulder. good morning to you. what is the latest you can tell us on the investigation? >> good morning, poppy. we can tell you that, according to court documents, the suspect, 21-year-old ahmad alissa brought two semi-automatic weapons to the grocery store. also had a tactical vest. we know that he came to this country from syria when he was just 3 years old. came with his family. we're also learning some information about his background. this really comes from his brother. his brother told cnn that he suffered from mental illness. he was paranoid. that he had been bullied when he was in high school and that led to him being anti-social. but this notion that he thought people were following him, and he was paranoid. he actually took some duct tape and put it on the camera on his laptop because people, he
thought, were following him. we also know that, according to a facebook post, that the alleged shooter posted a couple of years ago, he thought his phone was being hacked. the bottom line here, poppy, when you take all of these elements, when you take the mental illness and combine it with the fact he had easy access to weapons, you really have the recipe for a disaster. i can tell you that he will be in court tomorrow for his first court appearance. >> dan simon, you're so right. a complete recipe for disaster. thank you for that reporting. let me bring in former secret service agent jonathan whackrow and george brockler. i should note, mr. district attorney, that you prosecuted multiple active shooter cases, including prosecuting the gunman in aurora after the movie theater shooting. thank you for being here this morning, both of you. let me begin with you. i mean, i spent more than a week there in aurora in the wake of
the shooting, and i remember so well what those hours were like, but then what the days were like with the families. how does this change things, george? because we thought movie theaters were safe. then that showed us they weren't. we thought grocery stores were safe. this shows us they're not p. it's such a good question and it's one that america's grappling with right now. and where are the safe spaces left you can go without having to second-guess who is around you and your ability to protect yourself. it started with columbine. and i handled that. that said schools were no longer safe. we've had theaters, spas, now grocery stores, churches. there are very few places left that americans can go without having to have a second thought. it's troubling. >> jonathan, what would you do about it? right? i was speaking with a family member yesterday who is traumatized just seeing it. and they said, well, does it
mean metal detectors or turnstyles before you go in a grocery store? i don't know if that's practical. if someone just runs in with a gun. what do you do? >> good morning, poppy. first of all, i think it's interesting to -- let's flip the paradigm of the conversation slightly. let's talk about, you know, we keep talking about are movie theaters safe, shopping centers safe? all of these what we've heard was soft targets around the country. are they safe? and instead of putting all those focus on fortifying locations, let's talk about the actor themselves. let's talk about, you know, individuals that, you know, telegraph behavioral anomalies. behavior runs on a continuum. somebody doesn't just wake up today and say, hey, i'm going to go kill somebody. i'm going to walk into a store and i'm going to kill ten people. i'm going to shoot a police officer. that's not normal behavior. so there were warning signs. we've heard from the family and
i'm sure the investigators are going to find a lot of behavioral anomalies along the continuum that were red flags that were missed, that weren't actioned off of. so i think we should be looking at those actors, not the asset locations to fortify. >> okay. that's fair. but to you, george, what we know from his family so far, his brother told cnn, he was paranoid. often even younger in his teenage years he would be fearful that someone was walking behind him, sort of always looking over his shoulder, thinking people are out to get him. that's one thing. but to then have a family member, you know, call and say i think -- i don't think my sibling or child should have a gun, et cetera, when they probably didn't even know he was going to buy a gun. that's another thing, right? so where is the line? where is the line between odd behavior, paranoid behavior, and an actual threat that jonathan is talking about? because at least, as of now from his family, we don't know about an actual threat.
>> it's a great question. there's a couple of thoughts about that. one is, we're never going to be in a zero defect environment where people are going to nail every one of these before they turn into some sort of a homicidal act. we have to work toward it but recognize it will never happen. the second thing is, we have a red flag law in colorado. it's over a year old. and despite having that here, the question about whether or not family members feel comfortable diming out another family member for some suspected mental illness, even his sister-in-law spotted him playing with this rifle gun just a couple of days before. the final thing i'd say, i want to disabuse listeners and viewers of this. mental illness is not the same thing as insanity, for purposes of avoiding responsibility. the keys here are not, did he have paranoia. the keys are, could he form the intent to murder after deliberating on it and could he know right from wrong based on societal standards and morality. if those things are true, he is
going to be accountable for these crimes, very similar to what took place in aurora. >> jonathan, the president is now talking about another assault weapons ban which he helped lead in 1994. that one only lasted a decade and congress has failed to re-up it. if they do this time, does it have to be different? because the jury is out on whether the '94 ban really broadly worked because there were so many exceptions, including the 1.5 million people who got to keep their assault rifles and the 24 million people who got to keep the high-capacity magazines. >> i mean, poppy, listen, every single time we have a mass shooting, we have this conversation, right? is this the moment? is boulder, colorado, going to be the moment we enact smart gun legislation to prevent these from happening? if sandy hook and, you know, parkland, if those incidents didn't move the needle, is boulder? i fear that it may not, but we have to try. we have to do something to stop
preventing these violent acts from happening. whether it's -- whether it's the weapon, whether it's looking at, you know, how mental illness impacts this type of behavior. we have to take a whole of community approach to address the problem because it's getting worse and it's not going away. >> i also want to be mindful not to stigmatize mental illness because most people, many, millions that are mentally ill do not go do things like this. >> that's a great point. >> george, what would you do? what law would you change? >> this is a big one for me. look, i'm a father of four kids who go to public school right here. i used to live about three minutes from s.t.e.m. where i'm prosecuting a mass shooting. lived in boulder for seven years. i just feel uncomfortable as a father, as an american, that we've come to a place where i am left with only two choices. and one is, an extreme, take them all away or the other is just shrug and say this is the price of liberty.
i don't believe -- >> the two house bills that were just passed, hr-1446, neither does anything to confiscate weapons. there's no middle ground for you? >> but poppy, fairly, neither of those bills would have had a single impact on this case, on the case in aurora, the case at s.t.e.m. >> only to be fair here, i want to make clear, we know when he bought the gun. what we don't know is the result of the background check. we don't know if the charleston loophole was at play here, if three days expired and they didn't get the background check back and they had to give it to him. we don't know yet. please come back. >> thanks, poppy. this morning, friends, family are, of course, remembering the ten people killed in the massacre in colorado. among the lives lost, a heroic police officer, soon to be grandfather, a supermarket manager. here is sunlen serfaty with more on the legacies they leave
behind. >> reporter: the victims going about their daily lives in a grocery store. customers, employees, some there to get their covid vaccine. the ten lives lost from all backgrounds and ages, from 20 to 65 years old. >> our hearts ache for those who lost their lives. >> reporter: among them, 61-year-old kevin mahoney. his daughter posting a tribute on twitter to the man she calls her hero. my dad represents all things love. i'm so thankful he could walk me down the aisle last summer, she wrote. adding, i am now pregnant. i know he wants me to be strong for his granddaughter. >> kevin was incredible. an incredible father. incredible spouse. incredible neighbor. a wonderful, wonderful man who doesn't deserve this. >> reporter: and 25-year-old rikki olds. a manager at king sooper store, she was raised by her grandparents. her uncle le describing her as
charismatic. a strong, independent young woman. a shining light in this dark world. >> she was giggly and bubbly and just didn't -- couldn't be sad around her. she wasn't having it. >> reporter: and 51-year-old officer eric talley, a husband, a father of seven who within minutes of the first 911 reports of an armed man inside the store ran into danger. he was the first officer on the scene and then shot and killed. >> when the moment to act came, officer talley did not hesitate in his duty, making the ultimate sacrifice in his effort to save lives. that's a definition of an american hero. >> reporter: talley had been in i.t. before becoming a police officer. but at age 40 pursued a career change, joining the boulder police force ten years ago. >> he didn't have to go into policing. he had a profession before this. but he felt a higher calling. he was willing to die to protect
others. >> reporter: his father saying it didn't surprise me he was the first one there. and revealing he was learning to become a drone operator on the force because the job would be safer. talley's police car parked outside the boulder police station becoming a memorial. and a procession of his fellow officers honoring him monday evening. boulder police revealing the other eight victims. >> the families of the victims have been notified. >> reporter: 20-year-old denny stong. 23-year-old neven stanisic. 49-year-old tralona bartkowiak, suzanne fountain, 51-year-old teri leiker. 62-year-old lynn murray and 65-year-old jody waters. lives lost. families shattered. >> our heart goes out to all the victims lost during this senseless act of violence. >> reporter: sunlen serfaty,
cnn. an all too familiar battle on capitol hill as the president and vice president call for action on gun laws. senator ted cruz calls democratic outrage after the shooting, quote, political theater. we'll speak with a police chief who says his community benefited from stricter gun laws. and a republican member of congress who has proposed one gun law but voted against two others in the house. plus, a devastating new report exposing the toll this pandemic has taken on our nation's hospitals and medical workers. we have more on that ahead. some say this is my greatest challenge. governments in record debt; inflation rising, currencies falling. but i've seen centuries of this. with one companion that hedges the risks you choose and those that choose you. the physical seam of a digital world,
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prosecutors claim the paramilitary group you've come to know as the oath keepers coordinated, prosecutors say, with the proud boys before the attack. whitney wild is on this story for us. she has the latest. that would be really key if prosecutors can prove premeditated coordination. >> exactly. and so what we know is that doj has been building toward conspiracy cases. oath keepers, several of them are facing conspiracy charges. several proud boys are facing conspiracy charges. however, this does not -- this latest revelation does not indicate an overarching conspiracy between the two cases. so at this point, prosecutors do not feel like they are at that point. however, what this does show was that there was coordination between these two groups who, in the end, affected violence at the capitol riot that day. and what we know is that there were facebook messages that are highlighting the evidence here that the prosecution is using. here we have a couple of quotes from facebook messages that happened in december. weeks before the capitol riot in
which an oath keeper leader was telling a member -- another person that they had planned to coordinate with the proud boys. for example, this person said in a facebook message that the oath keepers plan to bring between 50 and 100 people to washington and had coordinated with the proud boys calling them a force multiplier. but i want to caution and say this is not a moment where doj is saying, look, there's this large conspiracy between these two groups. instead, they're just pointing out that there was a coordinated effort here prior to the capitol riot. it's a fine line but an important distinction to make. >> it's an important distinction. thank you for the reporting. we've also learned they have removed all of the fencing around the capitol. that just in. the white house is demanding legislative action on gun control in the wake of the s seventh mass shooting in america in the last seven days. >> what it means is that we need
to take action, but, gayle, let's be clear about this. there is the piece about executive action. but if we pass legislation that's permanent, if we -- if the congress acts, then it becomes law. and that is what we have lacked. that is what has been missing. we need universal background checks. we need to have a federal standard. and that is going to be accomplished by the way we have structured our democracy when the united states congress acts. the house has acted. now it's in the hands of the senate. >> let me bring in chief fernando spagnola. he's the chief of the department in connecticut and testified just yesterday before the senate judiciary committee. good morning. thank you for being here, chief. >> good morning, poppy. thank you for this opportunity. >> what we're hearing so much now, sadly, is that, well, if nothing really changed federally after children and a teacher were murdered in sandy hook at the elementary school, nothing
is going to change now. but things changed after that in connecticut, and you have evidence that that worked. so tell us why. >> it sure did, poppy. the people of connecticut took a look at the gun laws that applied in this state after the tragedy at sandy hook and worked with our legislative body here to improve those gun laws. we instituted background checks for all weapons. so if a person in connecticut over the age of 21 wants to buy a pistol, they have to apply for a concealed weapons permit. it's a process that requires background checks and mental health checks, fingerprints. we use the fbi as a clearing house to make sure that these people are not prohibited or have any disqualifiers on their record. and once they get that, they are able to buy the pistol. when they go to a store to purchase this pistol, the stores will take that permit number and run it through the state police firearms bureau to make sure it's active and valid and
nothing has changed. it's a pretty good process in place to make sure that folks buying guns in our state actually are not prohibited people and have the ability to purchase that weapon. >> the brady center, which you know is a nonprofit that advocates for gun control measures and against gun violence, frames this in a racial justice lens. and you spoke a bit about that yesterday. the disproportionate impact that gun violence has on black and brown communities. do you think that's enough of the conversation right now? >> so i know as a police chief working in a very diverse community here in waterbury that the majority, almost all the gun violence that occurs here is impacting our black and brown communities. and it's a tragedy. we work closely with our leaders, our local leaders to try to figure out the cycles of
violence that are occurring in these communities and other services other than just law enforcement that we can provide to members of this community to break that cycle. >> do you believe that one of the laws that was changed in connecticut after the sandy hook massacre is background checks for private sales and transfer of weapons? that is what the -- part of what the house passed a few weeks ago, but it looks to go nowhere in the senate. do you have evidence to use at your educated belief as a police chief that that has helped stem mass shootings in your state? >> i think it's helped stem gun violence, yes. and, you know, the fact remains that, you know, the person that initially bought that gun, that gun is registered to them. so from a law enforcement perspective and if an investigation needs to be launched, we have a starting point. we know where to go to determine what happened to that weapon and trace it from there and ultimately hold somebody accountable for its use if it's
used in a criminal way. >> i'd like to get your reaction to this from republican senator ted cruz. listen. >> every time there's a shooting, we play this ridiculous theater where this committee gets together and proposes a bunch of laws that would do nothing to stop these murders. >> what do you think when you hear that. ridiculous theater? >> so i think that there's a dual approach to this. gun laws need to be strengthened. i think that connecticut has shown to the country that strengthening gun laws, such things as background checks, the ability for law enforcement officers to apply for risk warrant. the surrender of firearms if you are the subject of a protective order from domestic violence. these are all components that reduce gun violence in communities and states and should be adopted across the country. i think that working with our
federal partners, there is a law enforcement approach and an accountability approach that needs to be addressed as well. there are people engaged in straw purchases throughout the country. we see many guns coming into connecticut. two-thirds of the guns used in this state in criminal activity are straw purchases bought in states with weaker gun laws that provide them to come here and end up in the hands of prohibited persons. >> coming up, we have a republican lawmaker who just introduced legislation to try to stem those sales from straw purchasers. so we'll talk to him about that. chief, thank you very much. >> thank you, poppy. hospitals and their staff are burned out by a year battling this pandemic. and that is just one of the disturbing details in a brand-new inspector general report. we are also moments away from the opening bell on wall street. take a look at futures pointing higher across the board. some concern about the global economic recovery as cases rise and some countries around the
world. jerome powell and treasury secretary janet yellen told lawmakers yesterday that more work needs to be done to help the economy recover. they testify on capitol hill again today. we'll watch that closely. this is how you become the best! [music: “you're the best” by joe esposito] [music: “you're the best” by joe esposito] [triumphantly yells] [ding] don't get mad. get e*trade and take charge of your finances today.
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from the health and human services inspector general. it finds medical workers are burned out, suffering trauma and in some cases ptsd. also found wide frustration over the vaccine rollout. kristen holmes is digging through the report and joins me from washington. what stands out. >> there are some seriously disturbing findings in this report. hhs surveyed more than 300 hospitals over their covid-19 response. and this is really meant to serve as a snapshot of what a year of dealing with this virus actually looks like. i want to go through some of the findings. you can see a health care industry crisis here. the first is medical staff burned out or suffering from ptsd. and one thing that stood out to me here was administrators talking about all of the death that the frontline workers were being exposed to, including among their co-workers. that leading to high are than normal turnover rate which sometimes affected patient care. and this was interesting. an erosion of public trust in hospitals. people seeing or hearing from their community, can hospitals
keep us safe because of the virus? now frustration over the vaccine supply. that's something we've talked about a lot. i want to get to the next one, which was patients delaying routine care which meant screening for serious diseases, including cancer, diabetes, any kind of cardiac issues. this was leading to people getting diagnosed very late in very late stages and could mean an impending health crisis. this is just some of the findings here, and hospitals are trying to work through ways to help them get through this. best practices. they're also outlining ways the government can help them, but one thing to really know, it's clear here, the u.s. government, the country, is going to have to prepare if there is any kind of other global health crisis because they weren't in this case. and it seems to have left hospitals really, as you said, on the brink. >> kristen, thank you for going through that. i hope there's a lot of focus on our caregivers, health care providers for the months and years after this, especially those suffering from ptsd. thank you very much. this just in to cnn.
president biden will soon announce the release of $81 billion to states immediately. this is for schools to help return children to in-person learning. this announcement is a big part of the president's promise to reopen a majority of schools in his first 100 days. the money comes from and makes up about two-thirds of the $122 billion set aside for schools in the latest stimulus. just days after the nation saw its seventh -- seventh mass shooting in seven days, two gun safety bills passed the house now face major resistance in the senate. with me next is a house republican who voted against those bills, but has proposed a different gun bill. i'll ask him about both. we started with computers. we didn't stop at computers. we didn't stop at storage or cloud.
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this morning, the push to expand background checks on gun sales in the wake of the seventh mass shooting in america in seven days. many republican senators and at least one democratic senator, west virginia's joe manchin, are push back at two house bills that expand those background checks. one of them would require expanded background checks on gun sales between private parties at gun shows in on the internet. the other would close a loophole that allows some commercial gun sales to go through before a required background check is complete. let's talk about these with republican congressman don bacon of nebraska. good morning, congressman. thanks for the time. >> thank you, poppy. >> let's start big picture. since you have been in congress, there have been more than 550 deaths from firearms in your state in the state of nebraska. since 2009, according to every town there have been 245 mass shootings in the united states, more than 1300 people killed in them, just since 2009.
do you believe gun violence is a public health crisis in america? >> i surely do believe it's a problem. we have way too many murders. my heart goes out to all the victims of colorado. it's heartbreaking. i do think there's measures we can take to improve public safety. i don't think the two bills that speaker pelosi passed really amount to much. i don't think they'll really be helpful. but there are legislative things we can do. >> let's talk about each of them separately and i want you to have a chance to talk about what you support because you just a few weeks ago put forward legislation in the house that would go after straw purchasers of guns. people buying guns for other folks and a lot of those other folks shouldn't have them. but you did vote against hr-8 in the house. and that's a bill that would mandate background checks for private sales between private parties or guns sold on the internet. why is that a bad idea in your mind? >> well, right now all commercial gun sales do have a background check.
and i find this bill, it really hinders private citizens the most. if i have a gun and i want to sell it to my neighbor or want to sell it to various family members, i have to do a background check. i think it hinders law-abiding citizens more than anyone. and i can guarantee you, criminals are not going in and buying guns legally. they're stealing them, using straw purchases. so i don't think it impacts the criminal but it impacts law-abiding citizens. >> what it doesn't do it doesn't impact sales between family members or loaning a gun to a family member, for example, or law enforcement or even in a situation that puts someone in imminent danger. it doesn't do any of those things. in fact, it -- >> depends on the family member. >> it could have prevented, according to factcheck.org, it could have prevented the 2019 massacre in odessa, texas, that as you know killed seven people,
injured 22 people, including a 17-month-old girl because the shooter in that case bought the gun from a private seller. why is it not helpful to background check in private sales? help me understand that. >> well, first of all, i would say that some family members are exempt, but not all. i just -- it hinders law-abiding citizens the most. i do believe -- >> respectfully, congressman, seth ator who carried out the odessa shooting wasn't a law-abiding citizen. in 2014, he failed a background check to buy a gun from a licensed seller. so wouldn't he have failed a background check again if it was mandated in the private sale? >> i'm sorry, you came in broken, poppy. so you're saying there was someone that bought a gun illegal? he should have been prosecuted. if someone -- >> no, he -- he didn't buy it
illegally. he bought it in a private sale and background checks are not required in private sales, and that's what hr-8 changes. that's what i'm asking you. why do you think that's a bad idea if it could have prevented the massacre in odessa? >> there surely could have a potential impact here or there but the vast amount of private citizens would be impacted by this. it puts a lot of onerous weight on their shoulders, and i do think the commercial sales, it's the right thing to do. but i think i saw where it was maybe 1% -- >> i'm sorry, congressman, here or there, tell that to the lives of the families that lost seven loved ones in odessa or the 17-month-old that was shot. >> if those who are doing the gun violence should be held accountable. i want to protect law-abiding citizens and not put own nerous
weight on their shoulders. >> should someone selling a gun have a lot of weight on their shoulders? i don't think it's onerous for them to know who they're selling it to. >> it is my responsibility to know who i'm selling a gun to, but i shouldn't have to do it to my neighbor, if i know them. it's onerous weight on the first amendment rights of the 99.9% of our citizens who are law-abiding. so the weight of legislation should be against the criminals, not against law-abiding citizens. >> let's move on on hr-1446, the other one you voted against. it would close the charleston loophole, which is the after three days, if a gun seller doesn't complete a background check if for some reason it gets caught up in paperwork, doesn't come through, right now that gun seller legally has to sell the gun to the person. what this bill would do that you voted against, extends that to ten days.
it says let's wait a little bit longer. you have ten days, and a maximum of 30 days to get that background check through. this is how the white supremacist dylann roof got his gun and then carried it into that church in charleston and murdered nine people during bible study. why is it a bad idea to close that loophole? >> the facts are that this would not have stopped dylann roof from buying that gun. after they've researched it. >> that's actually -- congressman, that's actually not the fact. i went through all the data on this. that is not a proven fact. >> i've seen the corrected data saying he would have still had it. here's the problem. it's not just ten days. it's another ten days if they don't have the first ten done. it goes to 30 days. >> that's only a month. that's only a month. >> if you want a gun -- >> we're talking about lives. so many lives lost. is a month not worth waiting? >> so if you are an abused woman and want to get a gun to protect yourself you have to wait 30
dace? i don't think that's good. that's not good for you. that's also your second amendment rights. >> i hear you, and violence against women is -- i mean, you strike at my heart when you say that. i understand what you're saying. but i can also tell you that fbi data from just 2018 shows that 90% of background checks, what that woman would be going in and going through a background check, they go through in minutes. so, yes, there would be some exceptions where it may take up to 30 days. and we don't want any woman to be in danger, but i am saying that the data -- >> you said the same word i said. exceptions. and we feel that women have been murdered waiting to get a gun. >> i hear you. i hear you. but i also hear the -- and i just laid out for you the case of dylann roof. so my question is, do you think that it is a bad idea to make a law that extends it by ten days,
possibly up to 30 days to make sure you know everything you need to know about the person you're selling the gun to? that's the fundamental question. >> i could make a case for the ten days, if the data backs it up. but then, like you said, it's not just that. they want to go to 30 days. they want to keep extending ten at a time. when that happens, your registration or application for the background check expires and many states have to go in and reapply. it's again, an onerous weight on law-abiding citizens. i'm going to go after the criminals. i want to protect law-ark bidin citizens second amendment rights. >> thank you for having this discussion with me. before you go, i want to ask you this because you served this country bravely for decades, for 30 years overseas. many tours in the middle east and iraq. and you hear a lot after all these mass shootings and after boulder that americans should not buy weapons of war.
and i heard that yesterday from the former police chief of aurora, colorado. listen to what he told me. >> why aren't we demanding more of the folks who set gun control policy in this country, our elected leaders. it's a weapon of war, and i think most police chiefs in this country would agree it doesn't belong on the streets of america. >> what do you think? do we need another assault weapons ban? >> i surely would want to ban m-16s. actual weapons of war are not being used. it's really a pseudonym or -- >> an ar-15 -- >> an ar-15 is not used. it's not used by our military. and that's misleading by many people in this debate. >> i'm asking you if you think an ar-15 is akin to a weapon of war or what was used here. >> a weapon of war -- a weapon of war is an automatic weapon, it's a machine gun. that's what our army uses. our marines use. and an ar-15 is not.
it's a rifle. by the way, the ar-15 is the most popular rifle in america. >> with a magazine attached to it that they can just keep firing bullets with a magazine attached to it that can just keep firing and firing and firing. is it semantics that we're talking about here? >> it's dishonest to say that the army and marines are using ar-15. it's not the -- >> it's not what i said. >> it's mislabeling. >> i think the viewers know that is not the point i was making. it was the aurora police chief -- >> we're talking weapons of war. it's the most popular rifle in america. 99.9% of americans that own them are law-abiding citizens. >> what do they need them for? what do they need them for? >> you know, we're a country of free people. you are allowed to have things you want. if it's legal. and this is -- >> for what? for what? >> 99% are law abiding. >> for what? i'm asking -- >> should you be -- poppy,
should you be challenged on what you own and why? it's your right. >> yeah, if i owned an ar-15, i would want -- you'd, of course, you could ask me why i owned it and for what. especially when so many people are dying. i think it's a legitimate question. >> 99.9% of the people that own them are law-abiding people. i know principals who own them. i know so many people. the most >> my job here, neither of these bills in the house, neither one would confiscate any weapons. i want to be very clear. but my job in this chair is to ask the people in power like you what you will do to protect people that are murdered, and to protect people who are terrified like mason alexander who we had on the show yesterday who said this to me. listen. >> it's a hard situation to deal with. i'm not -- i'm not an elected
official. i'm not a politician, but i am an american and living in america right now is incredibly difficult. something needs to be done. >> they just want something done. >> i support legislation that would go after criminals. i think that's most important. first of all, those who do commit these crimes should be held accountable to the maximum extent. but there are gun law violations that happen that are not being held accountable. i'll give you an example. the number one factor for gun violence in omaha, according to our police -- those guns are being used in crimes, but very seldom are those people being held accountable. that's why i support more stringent sentencing of straw purchases. >> congressman, i'm sorry.
we're losing your signal. come back on the show. i appreciate you having this dialogue with me. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. so abe and art can grow more plants. so they can hire vilma... and wendy... and me. so, more people can go to work. so, more days can start with kisses. when you buy this plant at walmart. ♪
just days after north korea conducted its first weapons test since president biden took office, senior administration officials are saying it is not as concerning as what they saw previously. joining me is cnn pentagon correspondent barbara starr. this is interesting a u.s. official tells us that they launched short-change ris missi.
are they not worried? >> military significant, not so much. the word is they may have been cruise missiles which perhaps don't go that far, don't pose that kind of threat. so the u.s. clearly and the south koreans trying not to get too rhetorical about the whole thing, trying to keep it all calm, but teenager kim jong-un's first weapons test we know of since joe biden took office. why did kim do this? the speculation is clearly he is breaking his silence, sending a message to the biden administration he is still out there, his weapons program is still out there and he still wants to be a contender in the region. what we've learned that's also so interesting is the biden administration actually had discussions with the trump team about north korea recently. they talked about what the trump team thought about maybe where there was still room for diplomacy with north korea.
the talks are described as very productive, very good, but it's an indication that the biden team, reaching out to the trump team, to find out where everything stands and really the bottom line to find out if there is still room for diplomacy with north korea, and if they can achieve any kind of diplomatic breakthrough on its weapons program. poppy. >> it will be a big deal if they can, barbara. thank you very much for the reporting at the pentagon. still ahead, debate over gun control playing out in the nation's capitol. will the president and congress act in the face of the seventh mass shooting in seven days? we're live next.
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good morning everyone. it's the top of the hour. i'm poppy harlow. jim has this week off. this morning, increasingly louder cries for gun reform in the wake of yet another american mass shooting. in all, ten lives lost in boulder, colorado. look at these images. these are the people that were murdered just for going to the grocery store, a police officer a soon-to-be grandfather, their families grieving this morning. what happens next? president biden is demanding congress take action on assault weapons and background checks, this as troubling details emerge about the suspected shooter. his family tells cnn he was