tv Erin Burnett Out Front CNN June 2, 2022 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
happening more and more often with no signs she has any plan to see abjucate, which is good news. >> we of course, wish her only the best. max fisher, thank you so much for that and to our viewers, thank you for watching. i'm wolf blitzer in "the situation room," you can follow me on twitter and instagram @wolfblitzer, the "the situation room" also available as a podcast wherever you get your podcasts. erin burnett "outfront" starts right now. "outfront" next, teacher's final moment. learning tonight of a call a teacher who was killed in the uvalde school massacre reportedly made as she was dying. plus, a texas state senator raising questions about whether the 911 calls from inside rob elementary were related today incident commander, that state senator my guest, and president biden about to deliver a prime time address on guns this hour,
expected to press washington to take action after the rash of deadly mass shootings. we'll bring you his speech when it happens this hour live, let's go "outfront." and good evening, i'm erin bur e, burnett, biden about to discuss gun violence in the united states, looking at pictures from the white house in a moment where biden will be speaking in about 30 minutes. his prime time speech follows what, of course, in the past few weeks has been mass shooting after mass shooting that have taken the lives of children, teachers, doctors, mothers, fathers, grandparents, friends, in so many different settings. hospital, grocery stores, schools, just some of the faces of those who have lost their lives, in buffalo, uvalde, and now tulsa. police say two doctors, receptionist and a patient were killed in a rampage at a medical building. the gunman, according to police, purchased the ar-15 style rifle
three hours before he went and murdered all those people, went to the hospital with the sbechbt killing the doctors three hours after buying the ar-15 and uvald uvalde, texas, haunting details coming to light. according to new york times, mireles was on the phone with her husband, at one point telling him she was dying. omar "outfront" in uvalde tonight, i want to begin though with lucy kavanaugh in tulsa as that story develops. what are you learning tonight? >> reporter: we're getting the sense, erin, a grudge against a doctor blamed for ongoing back pain after surgery and a tiktok on how this massacre unfolded. the shooter, michael lewis named by police today had an operation on his back here last month, may
19th, with dpreston phillips, h called this office multiple times, was seen again by dr. preston on may 31st, called again yesterday, but at 2:00 p.m. he purchased that ar-style rifle nearly three hours later, the 911 calls began to flood in. police say that lewis used two guns, that ar-style weapon he bought the day of the shooting as well as a handgun purchased three days prior. we know that he had a letter on him, police say, which specifically said that he was going to be, quote, killing dr. phillips and anyone who came in his way. four people got in his way, including dr. phillips, dr. preston phillips actually was 59 years old when he was gunned down, spent his time annually volunteering in africa, providing surgeries with a nonprofit to those who needed them, killed alongside dr. stephanie husen, sports medicine
specialist, amanda glenn receptionist and mother of two boys and william love, a patient there at the wrong place, wrong time, just like the others who lost their lives. the doctor at the press conference earlier breaking down, apologizing to mr. love's family why the team couldn't save his life. >> we so wanted to be able to utilize our skills and training to save these precious lives. to the family of mr. love, i'm so sorry we couldn't save you. we are grieving with you. when i awoke this morning, i really just wanted this to all be a bad dream but this is the reality of our world right now. and today, our world and our st. francis family are devastated. >> reporter: we were outside of the san antonio hospital in texas last week talking to traumatized doctors and nurses who were treating the uvalde
patients who also treated the sutherlin springs mass shooting victims, now in front of this facility where the doctors themselves and some of the unlucky people there at that time were targets of america's 233rd mass shooting, erin. >> just so hard this year. lucy, thank you so much, now to the horrible and other preventable shooting we're covering tonight. "outfront" from uvalde texas. >> reporter: more than a week after the shooting at rob elementary, there are still questions. now, about the frantic 911 calls from children trapped inside. >> the 911 calls were not being communicated to the so-called incident commander. >> reporter: that incident commander was uvalde school police chief pete aradondo leaving when investigators say delayed entering the classroom. state senator gutierrez raising information whether information
was properly relayed by responders on scene and what followed. a report from the texas department of public safety into the shooting expected friday. >> what are you looking for most in this report? >> i want to know where the cops were in that room, how many of my cops were in there, how many state troopers were in there. how many state troopers were outside, how many federal officers were inside for 45 minutes. >> reporter: there was another link though, among the flurried communications, uvalde county judge told the new york times, eva mireles, a teacher who was killed had been on the phone in her final moments with her husband, a school district police officer who was outside as mireles lay wounded she was comforted by a friend, department of public safety trooper, juan maldonado. >> it was an honor to spend the last moment with eva as she left this earth into a greater place.
>> reporter: for survivors like leanne garcia, she still hears the bullets, says her grandfather, and even now, gets scared at the slightest sounds. he says things will never be the same for his family. her face is damaged and swollen, he says. it was difficult for him to even look at a photo of her. but while garcia awaits a trip home from the hospital, others are finding solace in memorials, which continued today and are expected to every day for the rest of the week. it's a pain shared in this community. i asked rodriguez how difficult it's been. oh yes, he says, may god give these people strength to move forward. and to us, too.
>> and they're one of the lucky ones, as garcia, the family tells me, is expected to be okay. on the investigative side, search warrants obtained by cnn show that authorities were given permission to look through this shooter's cell phone which was found next to the shooter's body after he had, of courses, been killed. the results of which hasn't been made public. separately, a county judge who is in charge of death certificates and autopsies told cnn the wounds were all over the body, indicating this shooter was indiscriminately firing at these kids in many cases, but moving forward, as part of it, this judge also said that at one point, nine bodies had to be removed out of this classroom just to get the injured out, erin. >> thank you very much, omar. every new detail we get and just, you know, unbearable to imagine.
and i want to go now to texas state senator democratic rolen gutierrez and i'm not happy to be speaking to you again but you know the most about what's going on here and i appreciate you taking the time to share with me. i know you have new information on the investigation. what can you tell me about it? >> well, erin, unfortunately, it's not new information. that clip that you just showed earlier about me getting the information tomorrow, about where the police were inside the building which law enforcement agencies, they belong to, and what times they were there, i just got a text from steve mcgraw who i've been working with the last 10 days on this, very effectively, today told me at 5:00 that he was ordered not to give me that information. >> and any reason as to why? i mean this is obviously the crucial information that everyone's been waiting for of who was there, when they were there and what they knew when they were there. >> i know from a conversation earlier that we had today, that
was between a first, last week we were told there were two dps troopers in that hallway and now we know there were as many as 13 during that one time, that 45 minutes or thereafter, so we need to piece that information together, that's why it's important to me as a state legislature to understand where the police, were that were accountable to us in that facility. we were told just now, by colonel mcgraw that the district attorney is now presenting this information at some point, i suppose, to a grand jury. that this is something that's normal, you know, quite frankly, the perpetrator is dead. you know, unless we're going to unite ini indict a bunch of cops making a bunch of mistakes i don't know what we're talking about here. >> it soupds like that is what they're talking about, from what they're saying. >> perhaps. there was a lot of malfeasance here, a lot of missing
appropriate protocols, i had, talking to the state's communication emergency office about 911 calls in rural communities, understanding the 911 calls were going to uvalde p.d. but also 17 other entities, erin. i know aradondo was not receiving those 911 calls, and not been told a reason why. this community is a community that is hurt, that is fractured and is devastated but absolutely they need to know what happened here. >> so let me ask you, senator, something very important you just said there, talking of 911 calls. just to be clear, at 12:16 p.m., student calls 911 from that classroom saying eight to nine students are still alive. police do not breach that door for almost 40 minutes, right, until 12:50 okay that's when they go in. people died in that interim,
okay, people died who didn't need to die because as you've poin pointed out, children died and there were police right outside. now you're saying the city police were aware of the 911 calls as well as 17 other agencies but the person actually in charge on the scene in this small town with a totally separate title of school's police chief, aradondo maybe the only person who didn't know there were 911 calls coming out of that room, is that possible. >> that is what was presented to me, obviously i've been hammering law enforcement quite a bit trying to get this information, colonel mcgraw has been very helpful to me. those other agencies are not accountable to the state legislature so i have not been able to talk to them. it's my hope the mayor and other people, that they are accountable to, will begin to look at this information, but unfortunately, now everything has been stopped by the district attorney. it's my hope she can
expeditiously present whatever it is she needs to print so this community can get the answers. we need to pull this band-aid off and let people know what happened. >> yes, you're talking about in a room, over this period of 40 minutes, people continued to die. that means bullets are heard, screams are heard. one does not need a 911 call if you're in the hallway outside to know there's something going on in the room. obviously, these are fair questions to ask. do you know, senator, whether chief aradondo who was the incident commander was on the scene during the shooting, whether he had a radio with him, whether he was physically there himself? >> at this time, erin, i don't know the answer to that question and i don't think any of us have been presented with that either, throughout this process. this is probably the most bungalled investigation in responses we've had that i've ever seen with these types of mass shootings in the united states. it is a deep, deep concern to me that we have a policy where we
have a tremendous amount of police force, state troopers along the border yet we have this issue confronting us right square in the face that we weren't able to execute as well as we should have. i respect law enforcement but here, there was an abundance of errors, admittedly so by colonel mcgraw. >> clearly an abundance of errors and i think as the news that you're talking about of a grand jury could be hugely significant but i think we all know this many people did not need to die, even if you accept that someone showed up with a gun, this many people did not need to die and mistakes, horrible mistakes were made. senator, thank you very much, i appreciate your time. >> thank you, erin. >> and next, we are standing by for president biden's prime-time remarks on gun violence, slated to begin here in 10, 15 minutes. we are live at the white house with that. plus, ukraine's president now conceding that russian forces control 20% of ukraine.
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in about 10 minutes. we are also following the news and developments out of ukraine. president zelenskyy tonight says ukrainian forces have been seeing some success pushing back russian forces in severodonetsk where russian forces were trying to occupy that crucial town. and in kherson, ukrainian forces say they just liberated five miles of land. five miles, that is the way this war is a war of attrition and foot after foot, but those victories, such that they are, come hours after zelenskyy said that 20% of ukraine is now in the hands of russian forces. matthew chance is "outfront" in kyiv tonight and matthew, 20% of the country under russian control and president zelenskyy is coming out and saying it loudly and clearly. what does this mean? >> reporter: well, i mean it gives us a really good indication, it underlines just the price ukraine is paying in the past four months. it's been 100 days now since the
invasion began. 20% of the country, an area the size, he says of luxembourg, belgium and the netherlands, actually about the size of the state of new york that is currently occupied by the russians, inside ukraine. you add to that the price in terms of human casualties and you got 10s of thousands of people across the country that have been affected, probably killed. millions have been displaced. 5 million people have left their homes and left the country and millions more displaced internally inside ukraine. so it's an enormous price that ukraine has been paying and continues to pay in this war with russia, you know, and president zelenskyy underlining that. >> and i know zelenskyy was saying 60 to 100 ukrainian soldiers dying everyday. now the price they are paying is so incredibly high and yet, you know, you speak to soldiers, talk to a soldier today going back to the front lines just
without hesitancy, they go. and they fight. i know that you have new reporting, matthew, on this very crucial issue of what russia has been doing in terms of taking ukrainians en mass and deporting them to russia, putting them in some sort of filtration camps there. the word is sinister, and the reality, as it becomes more and more clear appears to be even more so. these are staggering numbers of people you are now learning are going through this. >> reporter: yeah, well actually, the most staggering figure i think comes from the russians themselves. they say that there are 1.6 million people from ukraine that have come into russia. they say they've given them sanctuary and they're saving them from this conflict and basically they are, you know, offering them shelter but that's not how it's characterized, as you can imagine, on the
ukrainian side. these are people, according to the ukrainian government who have been forcibly deported from their homes, taken out of ukraine to depopulated whole swaths of the country and amongst them, more than 200,000 children, president zelenskyy of ukraine, saying this is, you know, talking about this in terms of it being a huge tragedy in the country, couple of hundred thousand ukrainian children taken out, transplanted to russia in the hope, he says, they will basically forget their ukrainian roots. >> when you put it in that context, this is why people are talking about genocide with this forceable movement and, you know, raising these horrors. thank you so much, matthew chance with that reporting live from kyiv tonight. and next, we are just moments away from president biden's prime-time address on gun violence. we are going to bring this to you live, next.
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biden will approach that podium and address the american people about gun violence and just the most recent mass shootings, the ones in buffalo, uvalde, and tulsa. biden expected to use this rare prime time address to the nation to urge congress to pass common sense gun control legislation. obviously, that has been a complete nonstarter after every single mass shooting in recent memory. right to chief white house correspondent kaitlan collins, as we get ready for president biden, this is a significant moment, they have chosen to do this in prime time, obviously going to begin in a couple of moments and as you've been reporting, he was the one pushing to give this speech in this forum. >> reporter: yeah, erin, and he had been thinking about doing so before four people were killed in tulsa last night. didn't make the final decision to give this speech today and it's not often you see president biden give an evening address, typically in the morning or afternoon, i think this really highlights the importance the white house is putting on this,
having him speak to the nation after what we've seen happen in the united states after the last several weeks because yes, there is gun violence in the united states everyday but the white house, obviously, having to brief president biden over three shootings in just the last three weeks alone, the one of course in buffalo, uvalde and then last night in tulsa, a third briefing for the president to talk about this . one thing i think to look for tonight, the white house has not really previewed yet is whether or not he is going to call for congress to enact specific legislation. they want congress to take action here, they want common sense gun laws, they say, but haven't said exactly what it is the president is looking for in this round of negotiations. a lot of that is by design because the white house says he wants to give congress space to give these talks that are happening now between democrats and republicans and say the president has not been directly involved in those yet, but clearly, the president speaking to the nation is also speak to get lawmakers as well, erin. >> kaitlan, thank you very much
as those doors open, of course we're waiting the president, john avlon, analyst, and former acting baltimore police commissioner. so john, the president pushed to do this in prime time, obviously rare for him to do so, demanding the television time in a very specific way at this time, at this second, so the bar is high. >> the bar is high, but this is an issue he cares deeply about. the third speech on fwuns in three weeks. he clearly thinks this is something his administration will be judged on and thinks there might be a chance, just maybe, that congress can get something done. he has a record of passing gun legislation as he is fond of pointing out back to the 1990s, much tougher bar now, but what constructive role can the president play in pushing this forward today. >> and commissioner, let's talk about that. the nation is on edge about gun violence, people angry on both sides of the political spectrum but divided on what to do about it.
some in congress already saying raising the age to 21 is unconstitutional, some raising the most basic reforms saying they're nonstarters. anything president biden could say tonight that would make a difference? >> i just want the president to stay on the course that he's set to do something about this. that 21 years of age argument, think about this, erin. two incidents that involve 18-year-olds, look how many we've lost because of that. so it's worth the fight. hopefully, it's not a fight that, you know, that can't be figured out, but we need new laws. we need action, and we need it now. >> and john, you know, in am the context of john cornyn from texas, any restrictions not going to go there, right, jim jordan the one that made the comment on the unconstitutionality of over 21. are there enough republicans to
move forward on some common sense? and when i say common sense, when the white house says it somehow comes off political, i use it in the sense this is something the vast majority of americans support and vast majority of members of the nra support. >> yes and that's what's so critical, we've super majority of americans things that fall under common sense gun safety laws, preventing people with mental illness getting their hands on weapons, closing the gun shell loophole for example. >> walking how the here in the final seconds, obviously so much at stake for him in this address. because it's one thing to speak and get the air time and what matters is if we're going to listen, is he actually going oob able to move the needle in congress. here is president biden speaking -- >> memorial day, this past monday. jill and i visited arlington national cemetery. as we entered those hallowed grounds, we saw rows and rows of crosses, among the rows of h
headstones of other emblems of belief, honoring those who payed the ultimate price on battlefields around the world. the the day before, we visited uvalde, uvalde texas. in front of rob elementary school, we stood before 21 crosses for 19 third and fourth graders and two teachers. on each cross, a name. and nearby, a photo of each victim that jill and i reached out to touch. innocent victims, murdered in a classroom, that had been turned into a killing field. standing there in that small town, like so many other communities across america, i couldn't help but think, there are too many other schools, too many other everyday places that have become killing fields, battlefields. here in america. we stood in such a place 12 days
before. across from a grocery store in buffalo, new york, memorializing 10 fellow americans, a spouse, parent, grandparent, a sibling, gone forever. and both places, we spent hours with hundreds of family members who were broken and whose lives will never be the same. they had one message for all of us -- do something. just do something. for god's sake, do something. after columbine, after sandy hook, after charleston, after orlando, after las vegas, after parkland, nothing has been done. this time, that can't be true. this time, we must actually do something. the issue we face is one of conscience and common sense. for so many of you at home, i want to be very clear.
this is not about taking away anyone's guns, it's not about vilifying gun owners. in fact, we believe we should be treating responsible gun owners as an example of how every gun owner should behave. i respect the culture and the tradition, the concerns of lawful gun owners. at the same time, the second amendment, like all other rights is not absolute. it was justice celia who wrote and i quote, like most rights, the right, second amendment, the rights granted by the second amendment are not unlimited. not unlimited. it never has been. there have always been limitations on what weapons you can own in america. for example, machine guns have been federally regulated for nearly 90 years and this is still a free country. this isn't about taking away anyone's rights.
so i'm protecting children. protecting families. it's about protecting whole communities. it's about protecting our freedoms to go to school, to a grocery store, to a church, without being shot and killed. according to new data just released by center for disease control and prevention, guns are the number one killer of children in
the united states of america. number one killer. more than car accidents, more than cancer. over the last two decades, more school-age children have died from guns than on duty police officers and active duty military combined. think about that. more kids than on duty cops killed by guns. more kids than soldiers killed by guns. for god's sake. how much more carnage are we willing to accept? how many more innocent american lives must be taken before we
say enough. enough. i know that we can't prevent every tragedy, but here's what i believe we have to do. here's what the overwhelming majority of american people believe we must do. here's what the families in buffalo and uvalde, in texas, told us we must do. we need to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines. and if we can't ban assault weapons, we should raise the age to purchase them from qu18 to 2. strengthen background checks, enact safe storage law and red flag laws. repeal the immunity to protects gun manufacturers from liability. address the mental health crisis, the trauma from gun violence as a consequence of that violence. these are rational, common sense measures. here's what it all means.
it all means this -- we should reinstate the assault weapons ban on high capacity magazines we passed in 1994 with bipartisan support in congress and the support of law enforcement. nine categories of semi automatic weapons were included in that ban, like ak-47s and ar-15s and the ten years it was law, mass shootings went down. but after republicans let the law expire in 2004, those weapons were allowed to be sold again, mass shootings tripled. those are the facts. a few years ago, family of the inventor of the ar-15 said he would have been horrified to know his design was being used to slaughter children and other innocent lives instead of being used as a military weapon on the battlefields as it was designed. enough. enough.
we should limit how many rounds a weapon can hold. why in god's name should an ordinary citizen be able to purchase an assault weapon that holds 30 round magazines that let mass shooters fire hundreds of bullets in a matter of minutes. the damage was so devastating in uvalde, parents had to do dna swabs to identify the remains of their children. nine and 10-year-old children. enough. we should expand background checks to keep guns out of the hands of felons, fugitives and those under restraining orders. stronger background checks are something the vast majority of americans, including the majority of gun owners agree on. i also believe we should have safe storage laws, personal reliability for not locking up your gun. the shooter at sandy hook came from a home full of guns.
they were too easy to access. that's how he got the weapons. the weapon he used to kill his mother, and then murder 26 people including 20 first graders. if you own a weapon, you have a responsibility to secure it. every responsible gun owner agrees. make sure no one else can have access to it. to lock it up. to have trigger locks. and if you don't, and something bad happens, you should be held responsible. we should also have national red flag laws so that a parent, a teacher, a counsellor can flag for a court that a child, a student, a patient, is exhibiting violent tendencies, threatening classmates or experiencing suicidal thoughts, makes them a danger to themselves or to others. 19 states in the district columbia have red flag laws. the delaware laws, to my son,
attorney general bo biden. texas, 2009, 13 dead, 30 injured, marjorie stone douglas high school in parkland florida, 17 dead, 17 injured. in both places, countless others suffering with invisible wounds. red flag laws could have stopped both these shooters. in uvalde, the shooter was 17 when he asked his sister to buy an assault weapon, knowing he'd be denied because he was too young to purchase one himself, she refused. but as soon as he turned 18, he purchased two assault weapons for himself because in texas, you can be 18 years old and buy an assault weapon even though you can't buy a pistol in texas until you're 21. if we can't ban assault weapons as we should, we must at least raise the age to be able to purchase one to 21.
look, i know some folks will say 18-year-olds can serve in the military, and fire those weapons, but that's with training and supervision by the best-trained experts in the world. don't tell me raising the age won't make a difference. enough. we should repeal the liability shield that often protects gun manufacturers from being sued for the death and destruction caused by their weapons. they're the only industry in this country that has that kind of immunity. imagine if the tobacco industry had been immune from being sued where it would be today. the gun industry special protections are outrageous. it must end. let there be no mistake with the psychological trauma that gun violence leaves behind. imagine being that little girl, that brave little girl in uvalde who smeared blood off her
murdered friend's body on her own face to lie still among the corpses in her classroom and pretend she was dead in order to stay alive. imagine, imagine what it would be like for her to walk down it's hallway of any school again. imagine what it's like for children who experience this kind of trauma everyday in school, on the streets, in communities all across america. imagine what it's like for so many parents to hug their children goodbye in the morning, not sure whether they'll come back home. unfortunately, too many people don't have to imagine that at all. even before the pandemic, people were already hurting. there's a serious mental health crisis in this country. we have to do something about it. that's why mental health is at the heart of my unity agenda that i've layed out in the state of the union address this year. we must provide more school counsellors, more school nurses,
more mental health services for students and teachers. more people volunteering as mentors to help young people succeed, more processing protection and resources to keep kids safe from the harms of social media. this you knew aetd ag, unity ag won't fully heal the wounded souls but it helps, it matters. i told you what i'll do, the question now is what will the congress to? house of representatives already passed key measures we need, expanding background checks to cover nearly all gun sales including at gun shows and online sales. getting rid of a loophole allows a gunsale to go through after three business days even if the background check has not been completed. planning even more action next week. safe storage requirements. the banning of high capacity magazines, raise the age to buy an assault weapon to 21. federal red flag law, codifying
my ban on ghost guns that don't have serial numbers and can't be traced. this time, we have to take the time to do something, this time, it's time for the senate to do something. but as we know, in order to do, to get anything done in the senate, we need a minimum of 10 republican senators. i support the bipartisan efforts that include small group of democrats republican senators trying to find a way, but my god. the fact that the majority of the senate republicans don't want any of these proposals even to be debated or come up for a vote, i find unconscionable. we can't fail the american people again. since uvalde, just over a week ago, there have been 20 other mass shootings in america, each
with four or more people killed or injured, including yesterday, at a hospital in tulsa, oklahoma, shooter deliberately targeted a surgeon using an assault weapon he bought just a few hours before his rampage that left a surgeon, another doctor, receptionist and patient dead and many more injured. that doesn't count the carnage we see every single day that doesn't make the headlines. i've been in this fight for a long time. i know how hard it is, but i'll never give up and if congress fails, i believe this time, a majority of the american people won't give up either. i believe the majority of you will act and turn your outrage into making this issue central to your vote. enough, enough, enough. over the next 17 days, the families in uvalde will continue burying their dead.
will take that long in part was it's a town where everyone knows everyone and day by day, they will honor each one they lost. jill and i met with the owner and staff from the funeral home, being strong, strong, strong to take care of their own. and the people of uvalde mourned as they do over the next 17 days. what will we be doing as a nation? jill and i met with the sister of the teacher who was murdered and whose husband died of a heart attack two days later, leaving behind four beautiful orphaned children. all now orphans. the sister asked us, what could she say? what could she tell her nieces and nephews? the most heartbreaking moments that i can remember. all i could think to say was i told her to hold them tight. hold them tight.
in the visit to the school, we tended mass at catholic heart church mass, in the pews, family and friends held each other tightly as the arch bishop spoke, he asked the children in attendance to come up to altar and sit at the altar with them, there wasn't enough room so mom and her young son sat next to jill and me in the first pew and as we left the church, grandmother who just lost her granddaughter passed mea a hand-written letter, it read, erase the invisible line that is dividing our nation. come up with a solution and fix what's broken and make the changes necessary to prevent this happening again, end of quote. my fellow americans, enough. enough. it's time for each of us to do our part.
it's time to act. for the children we've lost, for the children we can save, for the nation we love. let's hear the call and the cry. let's meet the moment. let us finally do something. god bless the families who are hurting. god bless you all. from the 91st psalm in my church, may he raise you on eagle's wings and bury you on the breath of dawn, may he shine you like the sun and hold you in the palm of his hand. that's my prayer for all of you. god bless you. and that's the president of the united states, obviously not taking questions after his
remarks there which were about 17, 18 minutes addressing the nation. obviously, very emotional. john avalon, commissioner barksdale, our coanchor for state of the union as well, know he walked out there, they did the symbolism of the candles, you wonder is that the number of people in the shootings, it was to commemorate all the u.s. states and territories and to give the commentary from the white house this scourge of epidemic gun violence has affected every state and territory, so that is the i symbolism of those candles. in this speech, he was emotional, but also very specific. extremely specific, and he said it, said it again, very clear on what he wanted. a ban on high capacity magazines, assault weapons and if not, raise the age to 21. the gun company liability laws, having people be responsible for
locking up their guns and went on and on. he was very, very specific. this was not a general motivate people, this was a to-do list. >> it was, and it's a big change over the past week in the white house response, from the president and the people who work for him in the executive branch, erin. i was in uvalde over the weekend and i was there when the president came and had that, those meetings, private meetings with those families that he discussed, but on the policy level, the white house did not come out at all to talk about anything except to say it's up to congress, congress needs to act, and need to figure it out. the president said it various times until today, there's only so much i can do. that clearly changed. because he does have the pulley pulpit. he does have the biggest, loudest, most important megaphone on the planet and you can tell not just by what he
said but the way he said it it was time to use it. exactly right, air erin, from t specifics of raising the age to buy a weapon to red flag laws to other topics that are very much in play, not just in congress, erin, but in states, maybe not fully in play in texas, but they have happened in other red states, and florida right now is a red state and after parkland, they made some of the very changes that the president was talking about. >> and commissioner, you made that point, the president did take the time to go through some of the inconsistencies, you know, maybe in recent days people heard well you can buy an assault weapon in texas years before you're able to rent a car. he points it outside today, you can buy an ar-15 in texas at 18 but can't buy a pistol until age 21, basic inconsistencies, commissioner, i'm sure the president was hoping would and would seem should appeal to anybody with an open mind.
>> agreed. this message was more than i could have hoped for. it was fair, what he is talking about. it's fair, it's logical, it makes sense to move in this direction. i just hope they can find the 10 republicans to make this happen. >> so, let's talk about this because this was the one part of the speech where i saw you flinch a bit but when he was talking about the senate which obviously is where this was going on, he supports the small group working together but then he expressed his frustration with the majority of the gop. >> that was the one discordent moment in the speech. this is a personal issue for joe biden, going back decades, particularly dealing with the death of children and this is a time in the speech he was trying to turn that raw pain into purpose and specific policy, but he knows, any progress is going to go through the senate and
encouraged those senators meeting by zoom now, in good faith, apparently making some progress but when he said the majority of republicans oppose this, that could be interpreted by some as a stick in the eye. that's right. especially when mitch mcconnell apparently gave his blessing to john cornyn and republican senators negotiating with this. he knows better, he spent a lifetime in the senate before this but that's where this is going to get done and the list you indicated, the specifics, something a super-majority of the american people support so time to be focusing on that, not castigating people -- >> and to be clear, breaking party lines on this, included changes to buy a weapon and mental health so reaching one side or the other it was all in there. not as if he went one way or the other. kaitlan collins is back with me now. kaitlan, what went into the decision, as you hear, people pointing out here, the big shift
from generally i support what's going on, i want change, to a very specific laundry list of items. >> reporter: well and also, the white house had been saying the president wasn't directly involved in these negotiations on capitol hill because he wanted to give them space but did just make news there, erin, talking specifically about what he wants to see. yes, a lot of it is what he has said before, banning assault weapons, universal background checks, these red flag laws, talking about safe storage and mental health, but also saying if they're not going to ban assault weapons, they being congress, the president said he believes they should raise the age to buy them from 18 to 21. that is something he kept going back to time and time again in this speech which seems to him is something the white house potentially thinks is feasible, is possible for capitol hill, lawmakers on capitol hill to come to an grooelt on because the president kept going back there, returning there, more than anything else in that speech. we heard some skepticism from republicans involved in these negotiations on capitol hill about this idea of raising the
age limit from 18 to 21. one of them is senator tom tillus a republican who said he wasn't sure that was an idea republicans could get behind because technically if you're 18, in the military, you can have those weapons and the president pushed back on that criticism saying that's different because you're in the military, being trained by what he said was the best ex-purtds in the world. so that did seem to be a point the president wanted to hammer home repeatedly, of course, along with the word enough he said many times even there at the end, saying this is enough. so it was a rallying car for capitol hill. of course, the major question is how do they respond to that and is that idea, the push back on the idea of raising the age from 18 to 21 and the criticism from that if that's something republicans could get behind. >> i want to bring in chief congressional correspondent manu raju on capitol hill.
you hear kaitlan talking about the individuals, john, so you hear cornyn involved, but also, getting the eyes from anybody, making any changes. it is unclear where these individuals stand. how realistic is what president biden just called for. and i understand he is not going to get everything on the list but he thinks he's going to get a lot of it. >> and i think it's still uncertain whether he gets any of it, erin, these discussions are still happening, still very fluid, and still uncertain whether a deal can actually happen here. the chief democrat, chris murphy earlier today, said he is optimistic to a, quote, incremental but significant deal but also said he is, quote, prepared for failure in the case this all collapses, democrats want to move quickly, get a deal by the end of next week but there are still a mountain of issues they have to resolve and one of the big issues is where or not republicans will get
behind what a small group of members are currently discussing and they are not discussing what joe biden just calmed for. they are not discussing a ban on assault weapons. that is not part of the discus discussions here. not talking to go as far on background checks as joe biden wants, in fact, talking about in gun show sales, not fwretd sales and certainly not private transfers. joe biden wants universal background checks. that is not part of the discussion, erin, so there are really uncertain, ultimately, where republicans will come down, ultimately when this deal comes together, if in fact it does come together, but at the moment, erin, the question here is when they come back into town next week, can they get behind something? can republicans ultimately get the 10 republican votes to go get behind a deal here? but joe biden may ultimately get nothing despite his call for a laundry list of asks he just made there. >> and despite that there are
super majorities, but one interesting thing here, is that the window of time is very short. manu talking about they'll come back next week. their window of time is pretty short before things start to flake and they walk away, because that's what they've always done in the past. >> one congressional aide said it this way to me, a democratic aide that what happens after so many of these events is that may, this is their allegation that republicans hide behind this bipartisan group, whatever that bipartisan group may be, until the white house spotlight is off and then everybody moves on. the question is, do we take people like dick durbin, number two democrat or chris murphy who has been working very hard on this. do we take their word when they say they feel this time is different not just because of the tragedy and the massacre,
massacres, plural, that we have seen, but because of the conversations that they're having in private? we don't know the answer to that. but what we do know is that the white house made a tactical decision that they want to keep the spotlight on and do it from the most important person in that building which is the president of the united states. it is an open question whether what john avalon was talking about is true, which is that because it was the president and the tone he took and some of the language there, it could scare off some republicans but that's obviously a live they wanted to take. >> yeah, john. >> i just think he knows he's not going to get the assault weapons ban. that's why, as kaitlan pointed out, what is significant is if not that, then this, 18 to 21. the red flag laws rick scott signed into law as governor and now senator and said he would happen open too. there are places we can get common ground and i think what's
clearer than ever, the failure to enact anything after sandy hook in retrospect does look like the shame that it is a this is a chance to remedy some of that. >> certainly the shame that it is and of course, at the time, joe biden was the one who was heading that up. thank you all so very much and thanks very much to all of you for being with us. ac 360 begins right now. good evening, as you look at the white house presidential address to the nation, there have already been 234 mass shootings this year. more mass shootings than days of the year according to the gun violence archive which defines mass shootings as shootings involving at least four people shot. that's a case of five mass shootings a day, upwards of 10 every week, after three especially deadly acts of gun