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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  August 9, 2012 10:00am-1:00pm EDT

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>> she stated that she believes -- has work to ensure that americans will receive the best assurances that the products they buy are safe and tested to be found so. we know the chairman has an important announcement this morning. thank you for being with us. inez tenenbaum. >> thank you for that kind introduction and for your warm hospitality this morning. thanks for the national press club and for allowing me this opportunity to be with you this morning. it is good to see a number of familiar faces this morning, people who cover the consumer product safety commission
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regulate and members of the meet who are covering the commission for the first time. that may start with some breaking news from the cpsc. this morning the cpsc is announcing 1.3 general electric dishwashers are being rec alled because of a fire hazard. there have been seven fires, three of which have caused extensive property damage. we need consumers to respond to this recall right away. the g.e. profiles and other models that were sold. stop using these dishwasher's immediately and disconnect the power supply to the unit.
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consumers will have a choice of a free repair or they can get a rebate toward a new dishwasher. the cpsc to medications staff can give you more details and we will be sharing more details at the end of this forum. one other news item i would like to mention. i am charged with running a regulatory agency, i do not believe all the problems that we face are best solved from all regulations. one such area is concussions in sports, particularly football. she was a part of the washington divas, the woman's football team in d.c. i would like to share the work that led to roger could tell and meet joining forces -- roger
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joining me.ell we set out to see what contributions toward reducing the risk of a concussions and head injuries in football. we have been working with all the major football organizations from the nfl down to the major helmet manufacturers and our sister agency, the cdc. working to accelerate brain injury in helmet research efforts. why we need to know how these concussions can be prevented. the role and the limitations of helmets in preventing these often devastating injuries.
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even without those answers, we know enough to say that there is no such thing as a concussion- approved helmet. -- a concussion-proof helmet. we feel an urgency for immediate safety results. one is now visible on the back of many football helmets for sale. most of the helmet manufacturers agreed to place on the back of the helmet a borne-on date. this is the date that the helm et was borne on. my own inquiry showed far too many children are likely wearing football helmets that are not
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being properly cared for and should be taken out of service. even in the absence of hard withce, i'm uncomfortable using poorly maintained, often older helmets made for children. it is unlikely that the older football helmet manages the different type of force from tackles at play on football fields as well as the properly maintained newer models do. i see no downside which leads to possible trauma to the brain. helmets' require care and maintenance and they do not last forever. these new labels are a great step forward in the name of the safety. too many kids are still using
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old helmets. we went to the leadership of the national football league. we presented our deep concerns to them about the state of helmets, especially at the youth level. keep your head out of the game and safer ways of tackling that do not involve the head. these discussions resulted in an unprecedented public as private collaboration. there is a program designed to assist economically disadvantaged youth to trade out older helmets for new helmets. it was one of my requirements -- no program would receive the
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new helmets without going through an education effort aimed at accelerating a vital change. the nfl commissioner and i kicked off this safety initiative with more than 100 football players in ohio last weekend. newer football helmets are important, the real game change it is learned how to play the game and used the helmet's properly. smaller plate is safer play -- smarter play is safer play. i would like to focus on the the of today's forum -- cpsc improvement act of 2008. this is a landmark piece of legislation that was signed into
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law in 2008 by president bush. next tuesday will mark the anniversary and i want to talk about how this child safety law has improve the u.s. marketplace. let's start with a few names you might recall. bobby.dnd these are children who died too soon. they swallowed powerful magnets they had fallen out of children's toys, or were entrapped in cribs. these were products made in china. they were not made to me proper safety standards.
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they were not recalled it in time to meet these tragedies. the safety systems did not protect the safety of children. congress passed the most comprehensive consumer product legislation in decades. the passage was a game changer. the implantation has created one of the strongest product safety situations in the world. i often refer to our consumer product safety protection triangle. there are three points to this trial. enforcement. i want to start with the new rules to advance product safety. we have approved 41 final rules
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and nearly 100 notices to industry. the agency has average 3 1/2 years to promulgate a rule. the staff has been working overtime to complete these rules mandated by the csscia. cribs. the united states is the strongest regulations for cr ibs in the world. stronger lead limits. 100 parts per million. is is one of the lowest levels
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of lead in the world. the law required as to create a chronic hazard advisory panel to look at the three -- to make recommendations if others it should be banned. it is a chemical that is in plastic to make a more pliable. find them in children's products. it is a mandatory toys standard things to the cpscia. we now have a federal toys standard that we can enforce. tracking labels. all children's products must have tracking labels so we can track the raw materials and where it was manufactured.
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we have independent, third-party testing for all children's products. before a product can be sold in the united states, it has to be tested by independent, third party laboratory. parents wish these rules were in place years ago. parents have greater confidence that independent testing is in place for children's products. the majority of the rules have now been promulgated and are in effect. the remaining major rules to be completed are durable nursery equipment. there were numerous instances of injuries and deaths of infants and small children in defective products like cribs and other
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products. congress put in the final version called section 104, which requires mandatory safety standards for all infant and toddler products. there were no mandatory safety standards for any of these products. i have moved to implement this mandate as quickly as possible. we have completed rules on cribs, backseats, and play yards . in the works this year are strollers and infant carriers. these are standards that, once in place, will save even more lives. i want to turn towards in for spend. when i became chairman, i said i would be a fair but firm enforcer of the law.
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please that complied reported injuries to the agency in a timely manner as required by law are treated very fairly by the agency. companies have study the requirements of the cpscia and want to comply with the law and want to keep their consumers safe. we have systems in place to catch them and hold them accountable. when companies sell products that cause injuries, we are going to hold them accountable for failing to tell us in a timely manner.
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we are working to be more proactive. a good example is our porch surveillance program. the best way to protect american consumers is to make sure the violent products never enter the united states. the cpscia has strengthened our authority at the ports. we work hand in hand with customs and border protection. we have streaming data, live on products before the container that wee into pourt know what is in that container. we have about 550 full-time people. we have 30 others who support the mission for testing and
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analysis. there are over 300 u.s. ports, so you can see we are spread thin. our information and we're able to pinpoint and identify products before they leave our shores. we're testing a pilot program less toll allow more effectively target dangerous shipments of consumer products. we're working to find the proper balance between the flow of commerce and detaining dangerous consumer products. we have stopped products with excessive lead. we now make public the names of foreign manufacturers and importers of product that we every quarter.
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it is public the companies that have sent these products to the united states. we screamed nearly 10,000 products at the ports. we have found more than 1100 violations of safety standards. our staff was able to stop a possibly 4.5 million units from entering the united states. small parts could present a choking hazard. here are some of our success stories. our investigators targeted a shipment of toys. there were numerous violations and the shipment was seized. a second shipment was found to
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contain it toys that were seized. investigators targeted a shipment of hair dryers. they were seized because they didn't have the required shock protection system. ofther example is tha shipment cigarette lighters from a company that had a proper paperwork on file. the shipment was exported from the united states because the cigarette lighters did not comply. the investigators are standing shoulder to shoulder with customs and border protection. our goal is never to have these products in the hands of consumers. another example can be seen in our efforts to address cadmium
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in children's products. cadmium was in many stories generated by the media. we were determined to not have cadmium be the next lead. we got out front with learned about canada and in children's products. manufacturers.manufactorie warning all the manufacturers not to substitute cadmium for lead in children's products. we conducted five major recalls due to high levels of cadmium in 2010. indidn't have any recalls 2011 or 2012 so far.
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we conducted a nationwide jewelry sweep. our investigators did a jewelry sweep of big and small retail stores in 2011. there were 711 pieces of jewelry that were screened using an analyzer. it is a small hand-held instrument and you can put it against any item and you can see all of the metals that are contained in that article and it will tell you if it is in violation. a handful of pieces of jewelry have a high level of cadmium. those pieces were not children's products. there were old inventory and the staff bought out the remaining inventory in the store to get
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them off the market. there were mandatory limits on cadmium and other metals. these limits were needed. we have worked with a fashion jewelry, a toy industry association to craft the child protective standards in children's jewelry and toys. this has been a team effort and it has worked. cabin did not become another lead -- cadmium to not become another lead. congress increased the amount of penalties that we could use as a fine. it went up to a maximum of $15 million total.
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penalties are a deterrent and they are typically imposed after the recall is in effect. we work to protect the consumer first. then we called the company accountable afterwards. burlington coat factory agreed to pay a fine for failing to report dangers drawstrings in children's otherwhere like sweatshirt's. this is a standard. you cannot put drawstrings on children's underwear because of a choking hazard. the penalty is the highest ththe cpsc has ever assessed. other penalties include $1.3 million penalty against spinmaster against aqua dots.
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this was a band hazard and spin master paid the fine. henry gordy paypal de about children's dart guns -- paid a penalty about children's dart guns. there were complaints about magnets. we determine the product presented a hazard. there was a briefing package yesterday recommending the aid is the start rulemaking on rare earth magnets to address safety concerns with all earth's
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magnetic products. the staff will present their findings to the commission. you can watch the briefing live starting at 3:00 p.m. on the our meetings were held -- i made all those public and you can watch us deliver these rules. you can listen to the staff recommendations that we have a rule on rare earth magnets. the final point is education and outreach. when i first came to the commission and met with members of industry, i was told by manufacturers, please finish the rule making under the cpscis.
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we have a responsibility to them to be predictable. "we want predictability so we can plan and we want to know which rules we have to follow." i believe it was incumbent upon us to work with the agencies. i thought it was important that we have outreach so that large companies and small companies could comply with our rules and statues. i credit global outreach and small-business ombudsman. we have written online content so our rules are now in plain english. we have conducted eight webinar 87,000e have reached businesses like the handmade toys people.
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they are not a big corporation. they needed us to help them to understand the rules and what they had and did not have to do under the cpscia. we'll have our first safety meeting and asked our candidates in beijing to participate. we send our people over to china to do seminars for manufacturers. we conducted 43 sessions totaling over 18,000 chinese professionals. we have conducted 27 sessions for the chinese government. this approach is in keeping with my philosophy taking safety to the source. the source is manufacturers. we believe that you can build safety into products and can
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design the product safely. you can have products that comply with all of the cpscia and all of the other roles. another key element of the mandate is the creator of a -- the creation of -- this web based was created by congress. i believe it was the biggest open government project in my tenure so far. it went live in march, 2011. it is a valuable data base for consumers and the cpsc. consumers can research incident reports. they can file a report of harm or potential harm to the
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government for a product that they have purchased. we screen all of our reports. manufacturers have a dedicated confidential port. we sent information to them. they can tell us if the claim is inaccurate. they can claim it is confidential and should not be posted. they have a chance to post their report alongside the person who ended the site. we're getting close to having 10,000 in some reports. it is so important for the public to know and to use the site. some reports have contributed to product recalls. we're using this site to give retailers an easier portal to report hazardous products to the
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agency. i believe it is informing consumers in a way that is in powering them. it lets the sun shine in on our operations. we will continue to integrate the data into our warehouse and other systems so we can connect the dots faster when we see an emerging hazard. i hope you'll check out the website and use it frequently. the creation of our new logo. we near the 40th anniversary of the consumer product safety act and we have a new logo.
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we have worked hard to make the cpsc more modern to the public. our seal had been considered dating and confusing. we developed a new symbol for our agency. it reflect the global aspect of our mission. the qr code in the local is unique. it represents the advancement of the agency and the interactive window for consumers to link to our website. the code can be used by consumers to link into online resources. i am excited about the new logo. i believe that because of the
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improvement act and all of the accomplishments, i can say that the state of product safety is strong. and i think it is built to last. i believe we're making a strong contribution to the state of product safety around the world. i am using our strength to break a system of a product's safety system. a system that is built to last. it is a system that is built to last through compliance with testing requirements established by the cpsia. it strives for injury prevention rather than reacting to injury. they will thank us for what we have done so far. i want to thank the national press club for providing me the chance to speak to you this
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morning as we celebrate four years after the passage of the cpscia. i will be happy to answer any questions that you have. >> can you collaborate on what rules are? >> it works so that -- it closes in a way -- it collapsed and the child caught their head in there. it collapses in a different way so that the strangulation hazard is removed. there are other things like strength and durability that
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they address. >> could you elaborate on your agreement? is it basically calling for research? >> the research is being conducted by academics and other organizations. we read "the new york times" article. there were some television shows. we said we to get ahead of this and see what we can do to expedite the research and see if we can add a concussion-approved helmets. we interviewed people and met with researchers at virginia tech who were doing extensive work on helmets. they said they don't have a
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concussion-proof helmut that can be manufactured. i know there were a football leagues that were out there probably with old helmets. after 10 years, these helmets need to be reconditioned. we started talking to everybody involved in football. my staff went to the nfl and said, would you like to participate? so many youth leagues are wearing these old helmets. they and other members contributed funds and give it to the usa football, a nonprofit organization. they bought the helmets for the leagues in akron. it will be in that area and the new york city area, services,
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and the gulf states -- san francisco. leaks can ask to be part of this initiative. -- leagues can ask to be part of this initiative. how to play more safely at how to avoid concussions by changing the culture of football. so you did not die in with your head or do anything that puts your head in danger. that is what the national football league is one of the contributors to the fund that the usa football will be administering. >> whether to establish some kind of standard for football helmets or for youth football helmets?
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>> we got the manufacturers to put on the back of the helmet a wasl, "this heldmet manufactured on this date." people didn't know the playing life of a helmet. that is brand new, the marking. if at the time the science supports that the helmet can be concussion-proof, we will work to get the standards to adopt it. there wasn't a standard that could completely prevent a concussion and there were these older helmets with these football league's that were being used without ever being reconditioned. inside then
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met was gone. we have a brochure which tells parents and coaches have to change the culture of football. we would like to see this expanded throughout the united states. we would like all children to be helmet. self helmafe >> talk about what resources parents have so that their goods are compliant and their livelihood can continue even as standards get stricter. >> that is a great question. that was one of the hard things,
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cocker's dealt with. you had major corporations making children's products and the small businesses. what congress did was pass amendments to the cpsia. if your gross sales were $1 million or less annually made 7500 other products, you could sign up on the registry and you can qualify for the small batch manufacture, meaning you don't have to test your products. we still have to comply. you know more than 90 parts per million lead paint. you have to comply but you do not have to do the rigorous testing. they are buying compliant component parts.
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if you're making a toy train, you would buy a thing of paint that are it meets the standard. you would not have to test. you try to do without the lead or see that the lead does not have over 100 parts per million. we had a small batch exception. i give credit to our small business ombudsman. he has spent hundreds of hours with the small businesses. he took our rules and wrote them in plain english. he has done workshops. we're done seminars. we try to do everything so they understand what the rules are
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and help them learn how they can comply and be in compliance. >> we're without any more questions. >> i appreciate you coming to an thank you for this invitation. we appreciate it. >> 80 at donner to have you -- it is and honor to have you.
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[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> if you want to see this again and the safety issues she talked about, it will be an hour of video library shortly add c- nasa will update the mars
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curiosity commission. that is scheduled to get underway at 2:00 p.m. eastern. tonight, a special look at u.s. foreign policy from the aspen institute. a pair of events for you. a brief look at one of those panels. >> we took on probably the toughest problem there is in the region. that is where the persian world meets the arab world, where the shia misti -- i cannot think of a tougher place. if you're going into the toughest place, do not just to would on adrenaline. to it by doing some homework. i feel we should have done a lot more homework. look at a dictator. the first question should not be, how do we get rid of him?
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the first question should become how did he get there? tell help inform the answer to how you get rid of him. iraq has to be ruled by some combination of the three communities. that has to be held works. -- asin and think that' opposed to getting sunnis out, i did not think we understood where the fault lines really stood. it was -- we were right to rectify that. the fall line has been there about 1000 years. -- the fault line has been there for about 1000 years.
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it was a hard thing. i agree with jim that it is going in the right direction. i would put myself on the glass half full side. i know president bush will take a lot of grief for the rest of history about the invasion of iraq. nobody will say he did not take on the toughest problem in the middle east. i hope we can stay with the it. we do have the world's largest and the say. we have the-- we have the world's largest and the cembass. it was a regular at tower of babel. i use some of my albanian and macedonian. it is an unusual situation. i think we have to stay in
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it.ed on engaged on >> will show all of it to you tonight beginning at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> c-span, brought to you as a public service to buy your television provider. >> now i look at the role of guns in society. this kind of lot became widely known due to the trayvon martin case in florida. the american constitution society posted this pound discussion in july looking at gun rights and the current legal challenge to the georgia stand to crown lot. it is an hour and a half.
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>> the debate rages on today in the aftermath of the tragic shooting in colorado that left 50 people wounded. the topic of guns and public policy is not a new discussion. dating back more than a century, individuals were entitled to use self-defense to protect themselves in their own homes. the doctor has been expended on in recent years. beginning with the passage of the first standard ground law. a similar law was passed here in georgia the following year with
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overwhelming majorities and was signed into law on april 4, 20 06. there are currently 25 states with some version of this law. the basic premise is to limit a duty to retreat outside their homes. this brings us to the night of february 26, 2012. at about 7:00 p.m. that night, george zimmerman called 911 to report a suspicious person, 17- year-old trayvon martin. george zimmerman said he was trailing trayvon martin. cement lost sight of martin --
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zimmerman lost sight of martin. martin was on the phone with his girlfriend. the girlfriend recalled hearing zimmermann asked martin what he was doing and martin asking zimmerman why he was following him. cement later told police -- zimmerman later told police martin points and in the nose and began slamming his head into the sidewalk. the precise nature of that confrontation is still unclear. martin was shot and killed by zimmermann. martin was carrying a small amount of cash and was unarmed. zimmerman claimed he shot martin
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in self-defense. the chief of police stated that zimmerman had not been charged and was no evidence to dispute his account of the events surrounding the shooting. the file was turned over to the state attorney's office two days later. zimmerman was finally charged with shooting. he is thrown out of jail on bond awaiting trial. on april 9, a reverent filed a lawsuit challenging certain sections of sb 396. the named defendants in the lawsuit are the governor and the state attorney general.
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there was a motion to dismiss that lawsuit due to lack of standing. that motion is currently pending. that brings us to tonight's discussion. we'll hear about the origins of the stand your ground law. he was born in atlanta and earned his bachelor of science in physics and was commissioned as a u.s. army officer. serving in europe and the persian gulf, he finished nine years of active service in coastal georgia before moving to metro atlanta. first elected to the georgia house of represents in 2004, he serves on the transportation,
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rules, and appropriations committees. following his presentation, if you audience questions, we will turn to our panel discussion. that panel will be moderated by richard dean. he attended the university of georgia. mr. dean work for the department of justice, then the chief of the criminal division, and at the united states attorney between 1998 and 2001. he is currently a partner and the practice leader for the corporate criminal investigations group. our first panelist grow up in
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georgia and attended morehouse college. he has been involved in many civil-rights causes including the response to the shooting of catherine johnson, a woman killed by the atlanta police department during a botched drug raid. he was the national president of the national youth connection, a civil-rights group that the founded as a college student. he helped to create the one church, one police precinct to address crime and violence. this spring, he led a rally supporting trayvon martin that drew several thousand participants. he has received an honorary doctorate degree of divinity.
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he has received an official commendation from the state of georgia. and hebaptist preacher serves as chairman of martel hutchins minister is. our second palace is professor hashimoto. she served on the georgetown journal of legal ethics. she clerk for the nine states district court and the united states court of appeals in the d.c. circuit. when on to serve as the assistant public defender in washington, d.c. she is an associate professor of law at the university of georgia school of law.
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she teaches classes in criminal law. our final palace is john munro ist is johnl panel l munroe. he is the vice president and chief legal counsel for georgia carry. george carey has 5200 members and has participated in 20 lawsuits at all levels of the federal and state court systems here in georgia, including submitting an amicus brief. i want to thank our moderator and our panelist this evening.
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i ask the audience to be respectful of our panelists. please allow a moment for the microphone to come over so we can capture your question. i now turn over the program. >> thank you. i would like to think the american constitution society for putting this event on. this is a terribly important topic for us to discuss. i'm mindful that discussing issues of carrying firearms can trivialize the loss we as seen recently in a nation and in aurora, colorado, and i hope
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nothing trivializes the loss in the trayvon martin case. the loss of the life in this nation it is sacred and important and should never be taken lightly. i want to highlight and provide some background for this very important panel today to discuss the issues with respect to the right to self-defense in this country. what is often referred as the right to bear arms is more broadly at the right to defend oneself, one's family, and one's property in a variety of contexts. it was consistent with many other states but not the same among any states. i would like to highlight a
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hypothetical that should set the stage for this conversation. we cannot allow the particulars of criminal procedures in law to blur the facts in cases. a man and a young mother walking in downtown atlanta which is had the birth of her first child. sixth month earlier, she has a role to the newborn. the mother is walking down the sidewalk along a park in intercity atlantic and the toddler is swapping next to the stroller and the mother has a baby in the stroller. she's a white van pulled up next to her and a man jumps out and approaches her in an ominous why. -- in an ominous way.
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the man stretches the baby from a stroller and goes back to the white fan to make off with the child -- back to the white van. if you can imagine the horror of the young mother. i was a newborn just over four s ago.ago -- 40 yearr imagine the horror of the mother. the issue of what the mother should do or five us. the options available to her, to suggest a small but can overcome an athletic man who might be making off with their child. this is not on imaginable -- un
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imaginable. the conversation we're having today is one is right outside their own home and protecting one's self and one's family against those that would do them harm. perhaps death. perhaps brutal beatings or kidnappings. what is the fundamental right to self-defense? if there is a right to self- defense, what does that mean to somebody who doesn't have the ability to defend themselves to members larger than themselves? that is the central conversation we are having here today. i want to hone in on that issue as a guiding point for our conversation today. that was the issue the georgia legislation was dealing with in 2006 when the issue of how the
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legislature charges passing just, fair law for a state, wrestle the issue for " self- defense outside of one's home. the questions for you today, but i would charge assault to move forward with this charge. the quality of one's life is a direct proportion to the quality of the questions that an individual is willing to ask. in facing public policy, states are advised in much the same way. consider the right set of conditions, we can move forward with our common values that all lives matter. whether you are wealthy or not. whether you have power or not. how do you wrestle with this issue of one's fundamental right to defend themselves in a world that can be all too brutal?
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we as a state government taking this up in 2006, a study of state politics is also a study in comparative government. there are 49 other states. the process of improving laws, we find there are examples that can be gleaned from other states. back in 1974, georgia became a model for the nation after the death penalty statutes were struck down. representatives got together to craft an equitable and fair the death penalty statute.
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a lot more can be provided to exonerate the person, free the person from the risk [inaudible] back in the 1970's, there were not organizations who could vote on the conservative side, progressive side. today, we have those kinds of organizations. the progressive side, the center for working families. on the political rights, the american legislative exchange council, which has been brought under intense focus because of their support on standard ground laws. the american legislative -- it
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allows properties that have been environmentally impacted -- it is likely to become part of the conversation today. overall, these organizations in general provide a forum for conversation and the sharing of practices across gates. -- states. given the fact that state policy makers provides best practices, lessons learned. i want to put before you the issue of the stand your ground law in georgia.
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the legislature was seeking to provide clarity to a couple of important circumstances. the first circumstance was an idea that had been in georgia law for years. the concept of date duty to retreat. if someone is attacked with life-threatening force, previously a person had a duty to try to run away. there was no specific provisions that allow it once expressly to protect themselves or others outside of their home. there was vagueness with one's ability to exercise their right to self-defense outside of one's home. we understand that all laws are imperfect.
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in 2006, the stand your ground law was seeking to provide more clarity to these issues. in conclusion, i want to ask that we be sensitive unmindful. -- and mindful. these are very difficult issues. i would charge you to never take your eye off the ball of the important issues. once fundamental right to self- defense and passing laws that are consistent, that allow the courts to judge on understandable ways to uphold the principles of justice we all hold so dear. it is an honor to be with you today.
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>> we can take a couple of audience questions. go ahead. front row. >> do you know if there have been studies done on the impact of shooters? there were some concerns raised the there is an element of racism in this, but i have not been able to come across any academic studies were any credible information to suggest anything.
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>> i do not claim to be the expert. the fact that we have a member of the law faculty, the question might be directed best at the professor. i do think we had enough of basis of concern that there is a compelling state interest. i would not suggest that every state has dealt with that as effectively as they cut. -- could. we're finding some states where the work of state legislators worked very imperfect. it is an important topic to move forward with. rather than get into the tragic circumstances that exist in any specific cases, as being a basis for throwing out an entire theory of law, i think we
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have to be very careful to tease out the issues and make sure we do not lose sight of the fundamentals because the tragic circumstances of been in specific cases. in the trayvon martin, i think we need to let the system work. we recognized that defense attorneys right to defense, a defense attorney is going to see stand your ground was going to be the basis for the defense claim. i would ask this audience on television and among us to focus on the important constitutional mandate that we as the legislature have taken very seriously.
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>> how many violators that have been killed as a result of stand your ground, versus ones that have been charged. >> we spoke in some detail before the session today. i do not know the answer. not to be dismissive of it. >> thank you for being here. was there a particular incident
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or issue that brought about the changes in florida in 2005 and georgia in 2007? or was it an issue that ended up coming up for no particular reason? >> i cannot speak to florida cases specifically. in georgia, there was a recognition that our statutes was vague with respect to what it meant to duty to retreat. there was a policy question. does one endanger themselves if they are aggressively challenged with a deadly or serious force? does getting someone out of the public view in this attempt to retreat. is that something we should ask the citizens of georgia to do
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has a duty? we as a state, we believe there is a compelling state interest to providing clarity to the law and make public policy statement that very clearly a person should not have a duty to retreat. policy perspective that one's right to bear arms should not be constrained just within their homes. they're both public policy questions that were raised when we looked at the georgia law. but it has been a pleasure being here today, and i look forward
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to your questions. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. professor, you have been printed out as the resident academic. i will start with you. we have a series of questions to each of our panelists and a provides an opportunity to answer the question and make some general opening remarks, four or five minutes or so. let me ask you that in the supreme course that has been mentioned earlier, the case of held the castle doctrine. justice oliver wendell holmes stated that "the past reflection cannot be demanded in the presence. this was a case in 1921.
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upheld the doctrine. given the origins of the stand your ground law under this doctrine, in what ways to have the expand -- >> it is scary when someone pulls a gun on you, pulls a knife on you. it is hard to imagine having rational thought about what you should be doing in the face up a gun being pointed at your face. i think parts of stand your ground law have drawn on that intuition. i also think that they do a lot more than not.
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they go beyond -- it is difficult when there is a gun in your face. i want to focus on florida. it was passed in 2005. in georgia, i will disagree a little bit. he is correct that there was nothing in the statute saying there was no duty to retreat in georgia before 2006. since 1898, if you are in your home there was no duty to retreat. my understanding is that the legislature wanted to make sure that ended up as part of the statute. there has not been a duty to retreat in georgia. florida, on the other hand, did
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have a duty to retreat. it required when people were not in their own homes, that if they were confronted with force, before they could use deadly force in response, they had a duty to try to -- if there was a reasonably available avenue of escape, to take that available avenue of escape. the stand your ground law, one of the things that i did was to get rid of that duty to retreat. no matter where you are, on the street, or out forever, there is no longer a duty to retreat. in some ways, this provision comes closest to our intuition about self-defense and the panic that strikes when you have they done it raised in your face. most of those cases, a jury would say there is no reasonable avenue of retreat,
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particularly if it is a done with which the person is being attacked. most jurors understand that if a gun gets pointed at you, you may not feel that he did so reasonably safe to go running. i think the stand your ground law did not change that much of what was already happening in the court system. there are places where that provision gives a little closer. for instance, a bar fight. you get a person who is worried about a person punching people and he could run away or he could pull out a gun and shoot a person.
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to the extent that the fist could be seen as a deadly weapon and risking serious bodily injury, at that point, the defendant is entitled to use deadly force. once you get rid of the duty of the retreat, he has no duty to do so and he can pull out his gun and shoot the person dead. that particular stand your ground provision is the one that comes closest to the justice's view. there are other provisions that i think move further away from that justification. there is another provision of florida's 2005 law that creates a presumption that a shooter
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has a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily injury. if the victim was in the process residence or the vehicle, in some of these cases, there is going to be a risk of imminent death or bodily injury. you could imagine the person upstairs in their home, they hear their door been knocked and, and they are scared, right? they're always would have been a self-defense claim. no duty to retreat because the person is at home. imagine though, let's you have somebody outside. neighborhood watch volunteer, a neighbor who happens to be looking across their porch, and they see somebody forcibly entering their neighbor's house.
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at that point, you would kind of hope this person would call 911, right? stand your ground law allows the person to do instead is to pull out their gun and shoot the person. that, i think, strays much further from the intuition that it is hard to be rational when you were facing deadly force coming at you in the form of a gun or knife. i should also note that it is not just to stand your ground laws that have expanded self- defense and these kinds of ways, i think.
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there is always what has none at as a first aggressor's role. if you are the person initiating the force, you cannot shoot the person who punches back to you. in florida, at least as i read their statute, and this was before stand your ground that adopted time and the first aggressor does have the right to use the before us, even if they initiated the altercation. the only exception, at least as i've read it, is they have a duty to retreat. you get back the duty to retreat, but only if he were the first aggressor. you started the fight. again, that moves us away from the person who was walking down the street, they get jumped, and a pullout a gun.
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because i think some of these provisions move away from that very strong underlying sense that we have these self-defense laws, it is for the having a conversation about whether these provisions makes sense. there has to be more than just we want to protect people who are in fear of their life. >> thank you. we're going to cycle back to each of the panelists. these first questions are to provide you with a platform. you have been involved in a number of different high- profile civil-rights issues in the metropolitan area over the course of many years. the first time i met rabin hutchins, he was marching on my office as u.s. attorney.
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he was entirely civil about the whole matter and we ended up striking a friendship. you have been very active endive with like to ask you what prompted you to file a lawsuit? >> first of all, any time i am blessed to be in the company of richard deane, it is an honor. i want to express appreciation to sarah and matt for putting together this conversation. let's give these organizations and hand for bringing us together.
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[applause] the thing that strikes me most in this hour is we are seeing are around the nation such an increase in high-profile violence and crime, whether it is 20 something kids killed. we are seemingly moving into a place as a nation where we are just obsessed with violence and guns and one of the reason why we feel so strongly about these stand your ground laws is we are moving closer to a wild, wild west mentality where we are have a posture of shooting first
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and asking questions later. what the death of trayvon martin did for us as a nation, it exposed a flaw in our criminal justice system. there is much said, many of us watched george zimmerman speak for the first time as a result of this tragic situation. he said, what ever it was it said, the stand your ground did not apply to george zimmerman. i heard lawmaker after lawmaker said, stand your ground did not apply. it was applied. the night trayvon martin he was
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killed, and that is why he was not arrested. the idea that it did not apply it, it is not truthful because it did apply. it was only after the tens of thousands of people cried out loud and marched in a way that was reminiscent of the 1960's that it was on applied. folks ought to know is that is what happened. the investigation had been closed. it was only after some of us demanded justice, was the investigation opened. and then we saw the indictment and the the eventual arrest. y the massive outcry? conversations around the
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country with people asking me, why are african-americans so energized and so angry about this issue? so many mothers, like my mother, who has been a worker she saw me at 35 years old in trayvon martin. so many african-americans and other mothers saw their own children symbolized in trayvon martin. when the rally cry came, people responded because they saw some of themselves and their own children in trayvon martin. why did i filed a lawsuit against the state of georgia? we called for a demonstration because we believe that george's stand your ground lot is is as bad public policy as the florida law. we organized 70,000
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demonstrators in georgia, the majority of which were students, to come to the state capital. we marched to demonstrate. the next logical step in that pursuit was to file a legal challenge because we saw legal loopholes and the standard ground law. the reasonable person's standard is illogical. what is reasonable may not be necessarily believable to me. we believe that is a place of on equal protection under the law. it is vague in its application.
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when the big issues that have with standard ground because of stand your ground, police officers who were trained in the use of firearms who should have more experience in judgment making and difficult decisions have a higher burden of proof because of stand your ground than do everyday ordinary citizens because they go through a great deal of scrutiny when they kill a person. because of that, i thought to myself, this has to be bad public policy. if law enforcement officers have been more difficult time justifying their actions, we believed it was unconstitutional and believed it is unconstitutional because of vagueness. unlike the rest of these
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lawyers, i am not a lawyer, i am a minister first and an activist second. i believe as a person of faith, we're moving into a dangerous place as a nation when we as a matter of public policy discourage or fail to encourage the presentation of life. -- the preservation of life. i believe we are moving into a dangerous place as the society when we as a matter of public policy put laws on the books that say to everyday ordinary citizens that the preservation of life should not even factored into one's decision. i grew up in the south. i own a gun. i dare one to try to come into my home, but when i am in the street, i am going to do everything i can to preserve life.
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because stand your ground is and hypothetical to that basic truth, we believe is only in the best interest of all americans to deal with these laws. >> thank you, reverend. mr. monroe, i would like to turn to you. it is the most influential organization at the state capital. why has the georgia carry chosen to intervene in the reverence lawsuit? why do you think stand your ground laws make us safer?
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>> we did not exist at the time the law was being debated. we did not have much influence. in retrospect, i expect we would have supported it. i do not think it would have been high priority agenda item. as the professor mentioned, it was already the law in georgia. i have the case where the court is necessary to protect themselves from make felonious assault. that has always been the law in georgia. there was never a case that said anything different. in fact, that has been the nearly 500 years.
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when henry passed the statute legalizing shooting thieves, without regard to fear for life, a subject who did that was during the king's work. he was justified in doing the killing in the first place. that is nothing new. as for why we intervened in the case, whenever there is a subject been publicly debated that impinges on the purpose of of its members, we get involved. if there were a statute or a bill introduced in the general assembly that would, for example, suggest repealing the stand your ground law, we would get involved in that.
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it is only natural that we would have gotten involved in that. of course, we disagree with several of the major premises of a lawsuit. i have the complaint here. for example, statutorily removes the duty to retreat. prior to 2006, georgia law did not impose the duty to retreat on victims of attack, which was true. the bottom line is we got involved because it was important. the case is important to the members of georgia carry. and we want to keep the rights
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of the members to keep and bear arms and use them, if necessary, to the extent that we can. as to whether stand your ground laws are important or deter crime, i do not know -- i am not a criminologist. i do not know to what extent they deter crime, but they do give people the means to protect themselves. if people otherwise have duties to retreat, that might give someone pause before they do anything and cause them to be a victim of the more serious crime. comparing that to trayvon martin case, i disagree with the reverend hutchins. i do not believe that case is about stand your ground.
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i was not there. if you believe that george zimmerman's versions of the facts, she was lying on his back. his head was being bashed against the sidewalk. there is no opportunity to retreat there. if you believe the martin family version george zimmerman shot him in cold blood, there is no duty to retreat there either. either way, there is no duty to retreat. >> and you have mentioned the provisions of the statute in florida. we have just heard his view of the world is that he does not believe there is an application of the law within the context of what we believe we know about the trayvon martin shooting.
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if george zimmerman was the initiator of whatever the contact was between them, would hutton he have the protection of the stand your ground law? >> assuming that george zimmerman initiated contact, as i read the first aggressor law, because if you believe george zimmerman's version of it, he does not have an avenue of retreat, even though he was the first aggressor, he would be entitled to use deadly force.
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there is one other potential exception, if george zimmerman was engaged in felonious conduct. i do think he could claim some sort of self-defense for that first punch as well. that is one way in which the law could be implicated. >> i want to get a piece of this, as you can imagine. the first thing is that mr.
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morales and i agree on one thing and stand your ground should not have been applied to george zimmerman. -- mr. monroe. but it was applied right there on the scene and that is why he was not arrested that night. that is the reason why it had to change. law enforcement officers on the street should not -- who do not have law degrees, they should not be making judgments on the street. those should only be made by prosecutors, judges, and juries. the fact that he was not arrested that night because of stand your ground said that it was applied and now the question is, willie florida jury unapply that which was applied that night?
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the lawsuit, what we challenge as a matter of law is the notion which did exist. let me say this. in the proper context, what we say is that 396 removed the duty to retreat when one is not in his or her home. we're not suggesting, by any stretch of the imagination, that stand your ground existed or no duty to retreat existed inside one's home. there was a certain duty to escape from committing a crime of harming someone or defending yourself by using deadly force. if we're going to have a conversation about whether or not stand your ground is
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appropriate, whether we like it or not, stand your ground was applied that night to george zimmerman. >> let me get back to the point you are making. another provision of this statute, and we touched on it and number of times, but to get to the point of what the rev. is pointing out, under the florida statute, any person who claims they are acting in self- defense is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action. the police may not arrest a person for using force unless they determined there was probable cause that the force was used and was unlawful. is that an unusual provision under these statutes? it is not just a defense. >> that is exactly right.
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a number of jurisdictions have passed the immunity of language. georgia has that same community language betrayed because self- defense gets transferred from being an affirmative the event into being an immunity from prosecution some courts have said that all along the way, all along that criminal prosecution wrapped, starting with the police, prosecutor, and then the judge, at every point, everybody is supposed to be making sure that the use of force by the defendant was on lawful and did not fall within the stand your ground or self- defense. for instance, in florida, not only did the police have an obligation to assess the strength of george zimmerman's self-defense claim, if his
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lawyer asks the judge for a pretrial hearing, the judge has to decide whether the use of force by george zimmerman was unlawful or not or whether it was self-defense. usually, that goes to the jury if there is a dispute. because of the way these laws are structured, it gets revisited a lot more times along the way. you have the police trying to make these determinations as to whether this was all muffled force or not. >> professor, i want to direct this to you. one of the things that is different about the florida statute that in georgia, fortunately, is the florida
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statute goes a step beyond community. if, in fact, one is charged with a crime that should have been covered understand your ground, they have certain civil possibilities in terms of being able to sue law enforcement, prosecutors, and the like. are you familiar with that? >> i am not quite as familiar with that. my reading of some of the civil action provision is that what they primarily relate to come to forgive me if i'm wrong on this, what they protect is george zimmerman from a civil lawsuit been brought by the family of trayvon martin to the extent that he prevails on the stand your ground claim. even though there is a different standard of proof in civil
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action, if he prevails in the criminal case, at that point, there would be no civil action against him by the martins. >> picking up on the point that the professor has just made, it is there any justification under the stand your ground ball, focusing on florida, because they have the immunity provision, barring it prosecution or eliminating civil liability, and why is it not sufficient to allow a person to use stand your ground as an ordinary fence -- defense? >> georgia has immunity provisions that some mirror what existeds are, which prior to it 2006 bill.
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they were there before. the reason for having things like that is because the idea is if you were justified, different from being excuse, in doing what you did, you should not have to go through the expense, the emotional trauma, the incarceration while waiting for trial of having a trial, when you were justified with what you did in the first place. the idea is to give you the protection that the professor was describing, where you can bring a motion -- a motion to dismiss the case against you early on, you are entitled to a hearing long before you get to trial and things like that, you can testify as to the fact pertaining to your use of the defense, and your testimony then, while subject to cross- examination, is not subject to
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being used against you at your trial, if you are eventually tried. the idea is to get a determination of whether or not your actions are justified. >> i put like to turn to you, because you have talked about public policy, and in your view these statutes are bad public policy. in 2010, a commentator published a third edition of his study, which determined in states where these laws have been passed, the violent crime rates have declined. in florida, the sponsor of that stand your ground law clinic claims the current rates in florida dropped significantly under appeared -- under the bill until today. in light of these findings come
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what is it not correct to conclude that the stand your ground lost reduce crime and save lives when it is being applied by prosecutors -- by prosecutors, but prosecutors have to contend with it? >> two responses to that, that there is the perception that the ends justifies the means. i have not read the study, and i am not sure we agree with that. in my lawsuit, we cite a different study that says the exact opposite, and that is that in fact though states that had stand your ground laws have not seen a significant reduction in violent crimes. is we are living in a time where people seem to in some way believe that the way to protect ourselves, the way to
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become a more safe society is to arm everyone with not only the physical, but also the legal ability to use deadly force. one of the things that was when iging to me wais filed a lawsuit in georgia challenging georgia's stand your ground, and my attorney is here. robert is a great young civil- rights attorney. the thing that was most encouraging to me is that not one anti-crime organization challenged our lawsuit, not one anti-violence, not one anti- domestic violence prevention -- none of them challenged the basis for which we filed the lawsuit against the state of georgia. it was only the pro-gun lobby
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that challenged our lawsuit. to us, that says in fact those who are practitioners in the anti-crime cannot anti-violence movement do not believe that stand your ground is good public policy. >> for the record, georgia carry is anti-crime. >> i imagine it would be hard to be otherwise. but you would think. >> turning to you, mr. monroe, a 2010 national district attorney assisted nation noted concerns that stand your ground have been used as a defense of crimes that could be the result of using deadly force when an individual was not endangered. in florida, when the law was being considered, the miami chief of police stated weather
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is trick-or-treater or kids playing in the yard or someone who does not want there to be some drug stumbling into the wrong house, you encourage people to use deadly physical force when it should not be used. given these perceptions, is it true or what would be your opinion as to the standard ground laws presenting opportunities for individuals to manipulate the system by use of this defense? >> i do not think it is true that laws encourage people to use deadly force when it cannot be used, because the premise of is toyour ground laws ensure that people can use it if it ought to be used. as to the subject of criminal defendants this using it as a defense or manipulating the system, the bottom line is
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criminal defendants will use whatever defenses that appeared to be viable in their defense, and that includes not just stand your ground, but any defenses that might be available that seemed viable. i do not think that is unique to any particular kind of defense perry, professor, and there was mentioned made earlier of various studies, and i have referred to a couple. are you aware of any studies that speak to the issues we have been talking about as to whether the reverend says pretty much the opposite of what i was putting out from the question i posed earlier? are you aware of any academic research? >> i am not, and i think it would be critical difficult to draw a causal connection between the passage of a stand your ground law or the elimination of the duty to
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retreat and violent crime rates. there are so many things that affect these rates, and we have nationwide been seeing a drop in violent crime rates generally speaking. there are all kinds of things that could be contributing to those falling crime rates. it would be really difficult, particularly given that these laws are not use that often. until trade on martin was killed, i imagine most people even in jurisdictions that have these laws, a lot of people did not know about that. i would be somewhat skeptical of a study that could say definitively there is a causal connection between the passage of a stand your ground laws and a drop in violent crime rates. >> i think what professor eri
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ca says -- hashimoto -- i'm sorry -- you could make a steady or pole to say whatever it is you want it to say. if you polled my family, i am the best looking thing, i would happen to agree, but the point is and we ought to deal with this, there is a partisan aspect as well as a racial aspect to these laws. if you look around the country sed laws,ate that pas all of them are almost all republican or red states. there is a reason in red states like florida where there are a number of high-profile republican police chiefs, not
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one single police chief in florida or one police chief in for georgette supported the passage of these stand your ground laws. they are most responsible with the protection and provision of law and order in municipalities across the nation. even -- and because the police chiefs not support these laws, risk cause to look at it. of what to do with it racial element, because that is something we have not talked about it in these conversations. one of the reasons why -- one of which we thought the lice -- the loss to come up courts run the country have held race can be use as a measure of one nepos eat reasonable fear. what is reasonable to a 90-year- old jewish woman in south
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carolina may not necessarily be reasonable to a 17-year-old african-american male in southwest atlanta. because of what is reasonable to that elderly jewish woman, may not be reasonable to that young african-american man, and cost of law is so vague with regard to what is reasonable -- the door to a statute gives the definition to what exactly is reasonable fear and leaves it so subjective that a creek and unfair and unbalanced protection on the law. wheatley because of that, there's a certain racial element. secondly, the port it more plainly, when there is such vagueness, historically we see african-americans and other minorities most often get the short end of the stick. the state representative said that we eat to let the system
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work. we tried that. the night trade on market was killed, we try to let the system work, and the system let george zimmermann, and it was only one out we did was we cried out lied and said no justice, no peace, and we will not let anyone turn us around and marched us in the street. it only works because we made it work. the idea that those of us in the african-american community should remain idle and let system work is just not a reality for us, because we know historically, and even to this day, it works when you make it work. >> on the point that you made earlier, we wanted to make sure there was an opportunity for our audience participation at any questions you might have. before we do run out of time, we want to offer the opportunity to ask questions. >> would like to ask the
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professor, if the reverend did get what he was asking for, it would not change anything. my misunderstanding that? if the 2006 law got repealed, it would not have any bearing on anything, which it? >> i think that is right, at least assuming that it is just challenging the absence of the duty to retreat part of the stand your ground wall, because the georgia case law has been clear that there has not been a duty to retreat since 1898. >> i would like to make a comment. i agree with everything that reverend hutchins was saying, and being a mother who has lost a son who was murdered, and the young man that murdered my son received a 30-year sentence.
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with the stand your ground law, it does need to be revisited or amend it or did away with, because when you really look at the perpetrators who are committing these crimes, they can use that, and if you do not do something about it, there is going to be a vigilante-type crime in the community, where they feel they can take the law into their own hands, and who suffers? the community suffers. you have to include race in this, and that is something that nobody wants to discuss. >> this gentleman, please come and then you, ma'am. >> my question to the panel would be, the way the law is currently structured as far as the invitation of stand your
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ground, would there be any harm in rhee crafting our law that sets out criteria where it should apply? if the other person produces a weapon or there are any other criteria that should apply, simply applying this vague reasonable person standard to the law, would that take away the thing that the law supports and the right to self-defense? >> let me direct answer that. in reference to your question, ma'am, but my lawsuit does is exactly what robert just alluded to. what is a misnomer of what my lawsuit seeks, we do not see in fact to completely do away with it as a premise of our lawsuit. we speak to provide some reasonable and legal language and parameters for that which is
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reasonable. if our lawsuit is successful, we believe there will come forth a block that protect people's rights to defend themselves without presenting this kind of unreasonable fear language in the defense. >> any comments? >> the fact that you described the reasonable standard as unreasonable is a judgment call you are making. the reasonable man standard is something that is throughout the lot. we use it in tort and other areas of criminal law to suggest the notion of a reasonable man is unconstitutionally vague is to condemn the entire legal structure that we have today. the lawsuit essentially six to declare the common law to be
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unconstitutional on the common law is the basis for the constitution. it's not going to go anywhere. >> yes ma'am? >> i have a question for reverend hutchins and. without taking sides, under the reasonable standard, which is used fairly often in civil- rights cases, it is not an is-- i mean it should be an objective standard as opposed to subjective. how would you like to see it? >> i think that certain situations would give us an opportunity, like what happened in florida, to provide some definition to what is reasonable. what is unreasonable is when a person like trayvon martin is walking through neighborhood with a bag of candy and a bottle of ice-t to be pursued by george zimmerman.
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we believe that it is entirely unreasonable and yet in this situation in florida a reasonable standard could apply, whether we like it or not. . what i think needs to happen is there needs to be some appropriate parameters put around the language, a definition given to what situations ought to be qualified your ground dard brown lock law. the notion that we are in some way challenging all common law is flatly ridiculous. we are talking about a specific set of circumstances in this. a specific public policy and how it has led and can lead to the
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loss of life. that is the base upon which we are challenging this law, not the overall notion that we don't have the ability as people and to make reasonable and sound judgment calls. it is based on this particular fact. >> yes, sir? in the back. >> i would like to ask mr. munro question. i would be curious to hear how you believe race does apply or how do you think race has an impact or does it have an impact in the application of the general stand your ground statute? do you think it has an impact, race? assuming you do, how do you deal with that in interpreting these are reasonable man standards, which is throughout the law? >> i don't agree with the
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premise. i don't know why race would have anything to do with it. either person is justified in using force or is not and race does not enter into it. i don't know that there is not a disparate impact on race because of the application of the law, but i don't think the law itself is particularly concerned with color when it comes to this application. >> we have been talking hypothetical. think the senators started off with a hypothetical. if you go back to the white woman walking down the street and let's say a white woman and it is approached by a group of young black men who walk up and say something perhaps that i should not have been said. her -- the standard for her as a
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reasonable person or if you take the same situation and you have another young black man who is walking down the street and is approached the same way and you are applying the same law and the reasonable person standard, do you think you would get the same result in each situation? >> i don't know if there has been a disparate impact, but i don't think belote draws a distinction in the two situations described, if the young woman is surrounded by several black men or several white men, it doesn't make a difference. either the circumstances were justified for use of force or they did not. i don't think the race of the putative victims or the putative aggressor has anything to do with it.
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>> over here. >> a question for mr. munro. [inaudible] why is it a good idea for police officer to perform a fact finding function at? >> i don't think it imposes any additional duty on a police officer. if a police officer has probable cause to believe a person has committed a crime, he can make an arrest. if he does not have probable cause, he cannot make an arrest. that standard has not changed. the potential for civil rights action against the police officer for arresting somebody who it turns out was immune from prosecution is not heightened. the same standard will still
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apply in an attempt to wsue the officer -- to sue the officer for wrongful arrest. probable cause. the standards are very low and it has not changed by the application of immunity from prosecution, because it is just that. it is immunity from prosecution. there's no immunity from arrest. >> you agree with that assessment? >> i think it's true to say that police in general have to have probable cause and believe a crime has been committed and that this person committed it before the person can be arrested. the gray area is whether, assuming the defendant asserts some sort of affirmative defense, whether the police then have to have probable cause to believe that the defense does not apply.
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i think that is a little bit of a gray area. that is what the law has now made clear, at least with respect to stand your ground, that the police have to have probable cause to believe fusiform by the defendant was on lawful. that is self-defense does not apply. i think there could be a little bit of a change. >> i'm trying to balance things out. you. been a citizens task force looking into stand your ground loss in florida with an eye toward having a report card in the next legislative session. there have been turned into hearings and they have been interesting. the audiences seemed to be fairly representative of just independent grass-roots action. there does not seem to be a whole lot of artificial audience building. a couple things have been really interesting. one in particular is folks
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across the races have expressed support for people to be able to carry guns in this country and have guns and use guns, but people are very confused with the number stand your ground laws and what it all means. 26 states have stand your ground laws. some of them are incredibly complex. you can use it here and not there and maybe you can use it here or there or maybe you cannot. it kind of gets distilled into stand your ground, which people can interpret any way they want to. i am curious why do we need in georgia to change georgia's's to doorge a loss anything different than what has been done in the last 100 years? to think about going back to the language versus continuing to spread this out, i looked
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through about 10 or 12 pages and this page has functions and that. i'm not a lawyer, but i'm not sure if i could shoot somebody or i could not shoot somebody. there's tremendous confusion about that. people sincerely have come to the task force to say what does it all mean it? >> i cannot agree with you more. i think what we have in georgia before 2006 was more than sufficient. those who disagree is the pro- gun lobby who wanted to pass the legislation in multiple states like texas and then georgia. nra's pro-gun lobby legislation. one thing you raise is in the african-american community and in all communities, we all agree we should protect ourselves in
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our homes or wherever we are, but the idea that some seem to have that there's nothing wrong with the law itself, there may be some problems in how the law is applied and other may be some racial disparity. if there is some racial disparity and injustice in how the law is applied, then there's a problem with the law itself. how can you separate the application of the law from the law itself? that's where i think mr. munro and i disagree. that's one of the basics for our lawsuit. it is board from fake application. if you look at the application of the standard brown's law, just in high-profile cases we have seen, african-americans and other minorities, unfortunately, get the short end of the stick. for anyone to suggest otherwise is not living in the world we live in. >> that might be, but it is against the law to speed and the speeding law is applied
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desperately against blacks. that does not mean we should repeal the speeding law. we should change how we are applying the law. >> we should put parameters around how the law is applied, which is what we have an opportunity to do in georgia. i hope the legislation will do that. >> this gentleman. >> first, a quick comment. mr. munro makes a good point. just because a lot is misapplied in a certain way does not necessarily mean there's a problem with the law. if it is misapplied because there is vague and ambiguous language in a lot, then there might be problems with the law. but there may not be vague language and somebody might be it poorly.o apply at it in the trayvon martin case, reverend, i appreciate what you were saying about what was
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applied by police and i was not aware of the immunity provision, so i am glad that case has raised the discussion about stand your ground. ground my question is now that he has been arrested and charged with a crime and has said that he was pinned to the ground and this was the only way to defend himself and there was no avenue of escape, is the stand your ground law now implicated now that that is the defense is coming up with? >as opposed to a regular self- defense position? >> i think that the immunity provision is kind of separate from the stand your ground law, been no duty to retreat part of it -- but the no duty to retreat
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part of it is still there. an attorney who wanted to raise that used to do it at trial. if they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was not acting beyond a reasonable area, but would simply dismiss the case. you get a chance to hear the defendant to put this on before a judge and have the judge make a determination as to whether by a preponderant of the evidence the defendant was acting in self-defense. if the judge concludes, based on a disputed actual record or whatever, that the defendant was acting in self-defense, the case goes away. it gets dismissed at that point. and so, i think that is one of
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the big ways it still could be implicated in the trayvon martin case. >> the other point is, on the comparison with speeding laws and all that at, what is a reasonable speed to travel is not what the law is in georgia or anywhere else in the u.s. if there was a definition of 55 or 75 miles an hour and there is a speeding law, if it had that kind of concrete subjective language, then we may not be having this conversation, because george zimmerman would have been arrested that night. >> georgia with every other state has "unreasonable speed" or "driving too fast for conditions," something on that order. >> you get mine point. >> is there a review of the
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judge's decision that you just described? >> i think there's a provision for appeal. i am not entirely certain about that. but i think there could be one more quarter that would look at it. but the state can appeal it if immunity is granted. >> yes. >> [inaudible] they don't have the opportunity on a finding of more evidence to look at the case again. that is coming from prosecutors in florida when they are testifying before the task force. >> thank you all for your participation. i think we are going to end. >> what an incredible debate we have had. let's give round of applause. >> in about 45 minutes we will
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take you live to the jet propulsion lab in pasadena, california, for an update on the mars rover curiosity mission. there briefing set to get under way at 1:00 eastern. we will have that live. denied a special look at foreign policy posted by the aspen institute, a recent battles looking at u.s. policy towards iraq, afghanistan, and pakistan. here's a preview. >> look at the gains we have made. i will not repeat those. this audience is sophisticated enough to know what the base line of 2001 in afghanistan look like. going forward, i think the transition strategy that has been outlined by nato, by the u.s., and agreed to by the afghans, sanctioned by the united nations, is a solidly ahead. it's not risk free. there are challenges with pakistan. if pakistan is not on our side, the transition becomes much more problematic in terms of treasure and more lives. there are challenges with the
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afghan national security forces, with their sustainability and their capabilities. there are challenges on the economic domain. as the level of international participation starts to decline over the next several years, it will have a severe shock effect on the afghan economy. can there's problems with afghan government. our problems with corruption and accountability. to say that at this point, then we need to continue to double down on our efforts. steve, i think we are at a point in the united states where we look at our own economic problems. something that really struck me coming home from so much time overseas is the extent of our economic problems. we've got infrastructure problems, education problems. i don't think the united states can afford to continue to invest in campaigns like iraq and afghanistan as we have over this past decade. i think that transition has a
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reasonable possibility of success. we have reached a point now in terms of our own means that are available. frankly, in terms of the afghans, it is time for this transition to take place. i am reading right now a book and he's talking about now dealing with the french, the american revolutionaries dealing with the french and washington saying that if we are going to win our liberty, the american revolutionaries have to be the ones to win the battle, we need the french, but it is ours to win. so, yes, i think we have reached the point where we have done a lot, there's a good foundation, we will continue to do more, but it is over to the afghans at this point. >> all that aspen institute focus on u.s. his foreign policy at 8:00 eastern on c-span.
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the house and senate are out for the august recess, returning a month from tomorrow, september 10. news from michigan today, the attorney general has charged four former u.s. representative thaddeus mccotter's campaign staffers in an investigation into trading and duplicates signatures on nominating petitions. the associated press says the former representative is in charge. the additions can block the congressman off the ballot and led to his resignation on july 6. >> i do not envy the drowsy harmony of the republican party. they squelch debate. we welcome it. they deny differences. we embrace them. they are uniform. we are united.
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[cheers] >> the choices this year are not just between two different personalities or between two political parties. they are between two different visions of the future. two fundamentally different ways of governing. dear government of pessimism, fear, and limits or our s of hope, confidence, and growth. >> c-span has aired every minute of every major party conventions since 1984. this year, once the republican and democratic national conventions live on c-span starting monday, august 27. >> again, an update on the mars rover mission coming up in about 40 minutes at 1:00 eastern. we will have that live on c-span to. until then we will show you part of our conversation this morning with former presidential candidate newt gingrich. we will show as much as we can until the nasa briefing gets under way. >> newt gingrich is here now.
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mr. speaker, i wanted to get your position on welfare. you are all over the place in the papers today on many issues, but welfare is one of them. the usa today headline says -- " what do you say? guest: i said there was a real gamble on obama's part. clinton announced in the state of the union and the fear of big government was over. obama is trying to rebuild it. clinton created the democratic leadership council to move the democratic party to the center, but obama is taking it back to the left. he vetoed welfare reform twice. we finally worked it out. it is the most important social conservative reform in our lifetime. obama gutted the work provision
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of welfare by issuing a regulation, which is illegal, by the way. clinton and i worked out a balanced budget act of 1997, which was a very tough negotiation over two and a half years. four straight surpluses in a bipartisan way. obama has led the largest deficits in american history. because of welfare reform and economic growth, the number of children in poverty dropped 25%, the largest improvement in the last two years of the clinton administration as the policies went into affect and as people went to work and earned a living. in almost every major zone, clinton is in one world and obama is in another. host: a talking points memo tracking or statements says -- guest: i don't know that it is don't knowplot.
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obama as a state senator in 1996 opposed the work requirement. a substantial number of liberal democrats bitterly opposed that and attacked bill clinton for signing it. section 407 is very direct, no waiver is legal. the reason is we wanted to force the state level social s service bureaucrats to recognize this was a major shift back to the work ethic and they have an obligation to apply the work ethic. president obama has gone and issued a proposed regulation and health and human services which waives something which congress has said and president clinton signed that you cannot wave. if they don't intend to waive the work requirement, why are they waiving the work requirement? you are leaping into conclusions, they say, but
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that's nonsense. it's very clear that people who are left wing who don't believe in the work requirement are now trying to set the stage to waive. the work waive host: the former speaker and former republican presidential candidate will be with us about 45 minutes. newt gingrich will be taking your calls in a couple minutes. back to the presidential race. a lot has been written about the mitt romney campaign ad entitled "the rise and fall of welfare reform." [video clip] >> the new bill restores america's basic bargains of providing opportunity and demanding in return responsibility. this bill will help people to go to work so they can stop drawing a welfare check and start drawing a paycheck. >> why should an able-bodied person receiving welfare benefits not be required to
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work? >> i believe it is an important change. yes, people ought to work. hardworking american citizens should not be required to carry people. >> i introduced the concept of workfare in 1986 and was opposed by colleagues on the democratic side for suggesting a mandatory work requirement for anyone receiving welfare. >> i was not a huge supporter of the federal plan signed in 1996. >> i would not probably have supported the federal bill that was passed. >> obama administration wants to issue waivers to the work requirement in law. host: mr. gingrich, you have
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been pressed on this. a headline developed overnight -- guest: that came out of a conversation that was pretty convoluted. the requirement has only been around since july 12. i believe they will waive the work requirement the first chance. they chancethe a-- the first ch. why would they put in place a waiver if they don't intend to waive it? it has not happened, but clearly it will happen if he gets reelected. host: that was on cnn the other night, by the way. we want to get the viewers involved in talking with newt gingrich. delaware is up first, mae on the
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democratic line. caller: good morning. everything i'm going to say is basically a comment. the first thing about this welfare situation, what is happening, you are saying the poor man cannot get a job and criticizing it. republicans, i want you to love yourself more than you hate the president. understand what i'm saying. he as your interests at heart. if mitt romney gets in, the republicans will be like they were in the great depression, they will be jumping off every bridge they can get on. thank you. she is a hard-core democrats. period of great prosperity, when i was speaker we worked in a bipartisan way with bill clinton. the largest reduction in children in poverty in american history is the two years after we passed welfare reform. i think we can work together to get things done that are good.
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i do think president obama t is presidentoo try to the left. compared with president clinton, he is much too partisan. host: and this in the new york times editorial -- what do you think of mitt romney at this point as a candidate? guest: is a smart, hard-working guy with great management capabilities who has put together a very effective campaign. he won the nomination and did so in a real fight. i was in the middle of it. i also think the new york times is plain wrong. the times has to answer the question, why would you issue a proposed waiver, something which is illegal, if you are not going to waive it? on the left is a desperate
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desire to protect president obama and the new york times editorial board is on the left. they want to protect president obama from his self -- himself. it's clear what they are trying to do. rector of the heritage foundation, got it right. they said that the minute they did this, this is going to gut the requirement, robert rector of the heritage foundation. host: next call for newt gingrich. caller: i hope you remember this, years ago, on a cold morning in new york, i handed my package, the mobile office facility that had a number of pictures of k-12 children exercising and in this program. i have been to over 1000 schools through the state of virginia -- the reason i get there is
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because the parents pay for me to come. all of my clients are repeat customers. what i find at the local and state level in respect to pre-k- 12 health is that anything that is innovative, reducing costs, and improves service is what they are fighting against. what i do is i operate a program that costs $100 an hour, and i can take as many as 90 children and our with a measured outcome immediately and improved morale and health every school i go to. sadly, that has meant nothing to republican or democrat leadership in the state. it just doesn't make a difference what local community i am in. i am battling entrenched school board, local owners, local school groups.
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teachers' associations. the last thing they want is someone to come in and out work them, outthink them, and provide the best facilities for the children so that they will have the job. host: thanks for calling. guest: that is a very powerful and very important point. i've talked to a number of innovative educational technology companies, one of which had a brilliant computerized program for learning how to read, particularly people who needed remedial reading. the resistance of the education bureaucracy both to new ideas and do anything which reduces the work load and therefore reduces union membership and perils, it has been very resistant to the kind of modernization which happens in most of the rest of american society. host: back to presidential politics, one of your via twitter. what do you make of this debate between hariri and mitt romney? guest: harry reid is not telling
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the truth, and the senate majority leader should have some minimal respect for the truth. romney offers began releasing financial documents when he ran for governor in 2002. he has released documents for a 10-year period and a great deal of information is available. nothing he is going to do is go to satisfy president clinton or axelrod or the democrats. if you had 8.3% unemployment as president, you would want any issue other than the economy. romney has to do what he's doing and relax, to focus on issues like welfare, and let the democrats talk about whatever they what. host: we are still waiting for a vice presidential announcement from mitt romney. who should be the next vice president? guest: it is romneycare's joyce. it is a very personal choice. i think there are four criteria.
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the four that are practical are can a person be president, because it is not a ceremonial job. can the person help win the election? can the personnel in the senate, which is going to be the critical place for what is happening? there is a fifth, which is, are the two compatible? one of the things you saw in 1992 that surprised a lot of us is bill clinton and al gore just had the right chemistry. in 2000, i think a dick cheney brought george w. bush a sense of comfort about national security that really became an input to part of their chemistry. -- really became an portend part of their chemistry. is mitt romney comfortable with him, is this some he wants to work next to for years? he has some great choice is to
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senator rob portman of ohio would be a possibility, governor bob mcdonnell of virginia, senator marco rubio in florida, senator kelly a shot in new hampshire, gov. susanna margin as in new mexico -- suzanne up martinez in new mexico. i am like everyone else looking for to the announcement. host: anyone you told about? guest: any one of those i would be very happy with. host: next call, charles. caller: as far as welfare in america, we don't have any welfare. we should not have 22 million children going to bed hungry every night because they are living in poverty while rich folks are not paying them taxes. my question to mr. gingrich's, i heard you speak a few years ago at a college, have them speeches that you are being paid $60,000 an hour for.
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you told these kids in college that the rich do not pay taxes, they hire attorneys and go around the irs. were you lying or we telling the truth? we know you were telling the truth. the rich don't pay taxes. they collect taxes. number one. -- i -- don't cut me off heard you say about the union janitors, you would fire the union janitors, because i suppose you think they are making $50,000 a year is too much. you would hire children to do the work. he would appoint -- you would appoint one master janitor kid my question is, what is this master's name? simon the green? host: response from newt gingrich. guest: first of all, on taxes, the wealthy pay much more taxes
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than the total share of income. my point was if you raise the marginal rates to a number like what they were before ronald reagan, like the french are doing, they hire more cpas and lawyers and find ways to avoid taxes. that is a natural human reaction to higher marginal rates paid on the gender issue, it is fascinating, the intensity of the left on this. my daughter worked as a janitor in a baptist church in georgia. her first job. she cleaned at the church, cleaned the restroom, did everything you do as a janitor, and she got paid. she was glad she got the job. she was in junior high j.k. for money to do some things. it taught her some habits. both my children worked through high school and college, they learned a terrific lessons. they both have their own businesses, they but have been very successful. i talk to people who are extraordinarily successful, who started 14, 15, 16 years of age.
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my point was if you could have an opportunity -- people walk up to me all over the place who did what i am describing. if you had an opportunity in the poorest neighborhoods in america to take kids to do some work, whether they work in the school library, cafeteria, help mop the floors -- it is not all hard, heavy work, not all work that is going to be a danger. eighth, ninth, 10th graders like to earn the money. i am trying to find creative new ways to tie them back to their schools, to give them a chance to earn some money, and to give them the dignity of work rather than dependency. host: democrat for newt gingrich. caller: right now there is presently 56 million people drawing social security. i have heard you all want to redo it. well, i was surprised to find out that there is only a little over 13 million actual retirees.
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9 million physically and mentally disabled kids on social security. 33 million disabled that are not retirement age. and i know over the years our government has borrowed $4 billion from the social security program, which has never been put back. i feel like what is wrong with the social security program is that our government has turned into a welfare program. if it was only actual retirees on it now, there would not be a problem. it is time that people, when they have kids, start taking responsibility for being parents and taking care of their kids. host: mr. speaker? guest: a lot of what she just said is a lot of sense. we should have a retirement plans the, which is what social security was designed to be. that retirement plan should be fully funded to the best of my knowledge, everybody i talk to
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on the republican side believes that anybody close to the age of retirement to have an absolute guarantee, and younger people should be offered the opportunity to invest in a personal social security savings account which, in galveston, texas, has been tried since 1980, has given people two or three times as big a retirement over the current system. a lot of what she just said, she brought a lot of common sense of the conversation. host: there is a tweet about economics, specifically the federal reserve. guest: i think the federal reserve should be audited, i think the federal reserve should be held accountable. i think we should understand how much power the chairman, mr. bernanke, as. -- has. and documents for 2008, 2010, 2010 should be investigated by the congress, because you cannot in a free society at the amount of power and money invested in
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one person that chairman bernanke has had. he has moved trillions of dollars, and i think that we need to have a much more accountable, much more reform federal reserve. i also believe, frankly, we should go back to a stable dollar and we should find some method to transition to having a much harder currency, closer to gold than the current inflationary paper we have. host: how significant is the debt right now? guest: in the long run, it becomes very significant. we have been in a very strange period were two things have been happening that nobody could have predicted. one is that inflation is two things. how much money is available, how fast it is being spent. what has happened in the last three years is that bernanke, chairman of the federal reserve, has dramatically expanded the supply of money, but it does not lead to inflation, because it is been spent so slowly.
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what is called a velocity has collapsed. a lot of paper is floating out there, and the moment velocity picks up, you will see inflation overnight. the second and to remember is that when you are in this kind of environment, because we are still the largest economy in the world and because we still have more of the rule of law than any other country, people actually come to the u.s. to invest money when they are scared. the pressure has been downward on u.s. bonds. the danger is the morning people have an alternative and the morning inflation starts, if you have 15, 16, $17 trillion you are paying interest on, you are going to pay an enormous percentage of your budget and end up paying more in your life and for interest on the debt that you pay on national security. that is very dangerous, and sets up some very difficult economic choices bit later on. host: reminds me of a couple of
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the vice presidential candidates put out there who are experts on fiscal matters. one of them is rob portman. speak to him and his ability to help with the problems. guest: clearly, if you are looking for expertise, the two people who know most about this are rockport and paul ryan. -- rob portman and paul ryan. portman has been a director of the office of management and budget. paul ryan it is probably the brightest person ever to chair the budget committee. the two of them are really powerful. from a veryes fo important state, ohio. ryan is from wisconsin. host: rick, republican from virginia for newt gingrich. caller: what about j.c. watts
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for vp? what romney not consider him because he supported yourself? the media narrative is that republicans don't want to compromise on taxes, but the system is already effectively progressive, according to the cbo. reform would result in more revenues and rate increases. the democrats had 60 in the senate in 2009, unlike the republicans from 2000 to 2006, who had an average of only 52. the democrats chose not to pass tax reform. only getting a $40 billion of tax increases would not increase the deficit, because they would redirect that to more spending. host: beginning with j.c. watts. guest: j.c. watts is a terrific person. great congressman, great all- american football player, terrific preacher. great private sector business today. he is certainly somebody you would want a thing about as a
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great talent. i don't think he would think of themselves right now as being in the running for the vice- presidential nomination. on taxes, i have a very simple principle. this country is overspent, not under-taxed. i am deeply opposed to giving washington any more money. i would put washington on a diet and get washington to shrink. i don't want to feed washington. host: back to twitter. i bring that up because one more "new york times" ps i want talk about how to get various republicans and their role at the convention in tampa. "more power outage and in." featured here are donald trump, -- "more are out than in." featured here are donald trump, michele bachmann, and yourself, newt gingrich. "the romney campaign will have the lead workshops, nicknamed
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newt university." guest: this is a conversation i had with the romney people after we suspended our campaign. starting in 1984, i've taught a series of workshops, usually in the morning, and i found that there are delegates and activists from all over the country who are excited to come, and the news media, frankly, does not have much to cover that time of day, and they are intrigued. i just did "morning joe," and a they both said they vonta con. frankly, having mika come be a great shock to everybody. we have forums on school twice, and we shocked everybody because we had the rev. al sharpton -- came to the workshop at the republican convention. we also had the governor pawlenty, a real leader on school choice. and the head of education in arizona. very well attended, covered by
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c-span and lots of other media. people often said that i am an idea person. i am clearly a teacher by background. we are working out the details and hope to announce the next day in tampa. we will end up having 10 to 12, monday, tuesday, wednesday, and thursday, very issue-oriented, but also, this scripted in the evenings. evenings are very control. -- if things are very controlled. hopefully we will put it out on line and make it available to everybody in the country. it will be a chance to talk about in debt issues in a way you could not -- i told them i would rather do that then have a brief speech in the evening. i have been a republican after this since august 1958. -- i have been a republican activist since august 1958, so i'm very experienced during these things. tampa is like a giant family
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reunion, and these workshops are going to be terrific. host: another part of that i want to get your response to. "intraparty tension is high," according to you. guest: i don't think it is any higher than normal. what you have is a party in transition, a new generation coming along, the marco rubios, the next senator from indiana, the treasurer, richard mourdock, ted cruz. this is a new generation, intense and aggressive and excited, but those of us who thought of ourselves as young reaganites in the 1970's, we can identify with them. this is the new blood, the new wave, a new in these as a very a governing majority party is going to be big enough, in a country of -- you invite 180 million people to the family reunion, you are going to have tension, you will have a weird people, by everybody's
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definition of weird. you have to relax and be cheerful about it. host: one more question about your campaign -- u.s. had a few months to reflect it is there one thing that you would have done differently that would make a difference? guest: callista and i talked about it a fair amount. they bring out how to raise more money is a big factor. we got outspent in florida on a scale we cannot match. i would say also that i made a mistake -- this is my responsibility -- in trying to work with traditional consultants, because just as this idea of the university in tampa, i have never been a traditional candidate. we had a four-month detour that set us back badly. i am not blaming the consultants. they to what they into a pit it just did not fit the way newt gingrich has done -- they do what they do.
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it just did not fit the way newt gingrich has done things his career. host: next call. talk to honor to hea you, sir. guest: good to hear you, gary. caller: to me, a corporation was once a small business that did work through hard work and dedication and learned the american dream. listening to obama, viable never be more than a small business owner. -- will never be more than a small business owner. what will give me the incentive to be the next steve jobs? am i to be vilified and he did for my success? -- and hated for my success? next, on taxes -- when they raise taxes on the people we get our commodities from, oil, gas, electricity, food, you might have given me a tax break, but
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on those commodities -- that is pretty much what i really wanted to say i want to hear your report. -- rebutatl. guest: first of all, i thought the speech the president before he talked about "you didn't build it"-- i have been watching the olympics. yes, these athletes had coaches and families that were supportive, but michael phelps, you have to say to yourself that he put a lot of himself into being competitive. you look at the terrific people we have had in sport after sport. you watched yesterday the women on the beach volleyball who won their third gold. yeah, i am sure they had great coaches and family support. those two women went out on that beach and they practice and practiced. we ought to recognize and encourage exactly your point. we want to encourage the next
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steve jobs, we want to encourage the next bill gates. not just in this district we want to encourage them working for the red cross -- not just in business. we want to encourage them working for the red cross to have a granddaughter who is in ballet, i have a grandson who plays bass. president obama was undermining that talent. he mentioned taxes. you raise taxes on products, they become expensive and scarcer. we have an opportunity to become energy independent of the middle east, to have the north american continent literally independent in energy production by the end of the decade. that will not happen with an obama-style approach. host: chris, democrat. caller: as i watched the republican debates, i notice that all of you stood on stage
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and have and what about the affordable care act. i think i.t. is very important to understand everyone of you who stood up there and talk or or receiving subsidized health care and pensions for my taxes. under the federal employees benefits program, which, according to the office of personnel management, this program has -- will begin its second season in 2000 after a highly successful first year of operation, which saw an unprecedented 750,000 employees, retirees, sign up for dental part visua -- dental or vision programs. this program to its costs down only 2% for each consecutive year. i find it strange that all the politicians put down health care as subsidized and paid for by taxes, and yet you are willing to push us off and say that we don't deserve this kind of health care, we don't deserve
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this kind of program. i also understand that congress use your federal employees health benefits program as a template for providing affordable health care. and to bring up paul ryan, if he is such a great economist, how come he is not tearing apart your programs that are helping with in the congress, such as you receive lifetime pensions and lifetime health care? if i remember right, if i am employed by a certain company and i lose my job, i lose all those benefits. how come you don't lose your benefits? host: newt gingrich. guest: i think you raise some interesting points, but they are in some ways very misleading. congress has a penchant plan that is much closer to a defined contribution plans the than a defined benefit plan and then it used to be. in lots of companies, people can earn a long-term benefits, and when they get older, members of congress are on medicare just
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like everybody else. i think that part of it is just not an accurate perception. the key difference is no corporation, including federal employees, is big enough to control medicine in america. there is a very wide range of choices pretty to look at the federal employee health benefit act, it is a good model for thinking about having a large number of choices. what worries that those of us who have looked at various national health system is putting power in the hands of bureaucrats so they start making decisions. there is a reasoned argument about whether or not you should have a particular test for men that relates to prostate cancer. one of the leading experts on prostate cancer in america says that this government bureaucrat decision made by a committee that had no cancer expert on eight, this sounded good in theory, but would lead to the premature death at 10 to 15% of the men who get prostate cancer
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could i want to stick with you having the right and your doctor having the right to practice appropriate medicine for you, and then i want to find ways to maximize the number of people who have health insurance. if you look at medicaid, a government-run program, there are not people who are voluntarily getting on medicaid, and studies indicate that the uninsured have better health outcomes than people on medicaid, because medicate tends to be so badly run. host: 80 work wants to shift to national security. touching on it briefly earlier, but this is the work wants to know exactly what national security means -- this viewer wants to know what national security means to you. guest: national security means to me that my grandchildren should be able to wake up early in the morning and feel that they are safe and free, and that the government has taken steps to preserve their safety and their freedom. whether that means stopping mexican drug cartels, whether that means stopping radical
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islamists, whether that means developing and deterrents against the rising chinese military -- on every front, the government has looked ahead and said that this is what we need to do to keep america safe. host: where do you see things going with iran? guest: i think it is ms, and this administration has been very weak and it is dangerous. i just wrote a piece for "human events" saying that we need a platform plank on islamists. it was reported in the morning news that the egyptians are bombing their own territory in the sinai. that should sober people up. if the egyptians cannot control their own territory, you have a war under way in syria, a war under way in yemen, a war under way in iraq, a war under way in afghanistan, large parts of pakistan out of control.
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you have libya very, very unstable. we need to understand how dangerous the world is, and iran is a piece of the danger. it is not by itself the only danger. host: one more point on syria to the lead editorial in "the washington post," "without intervention, the bloodshed is likely to go on and on the." should there be intervention, and to what degree? guest: we should be actively helping to arm and train guerillas and independence forces to defeat assad's government and we should be sending clear signals that assad is not going to survive. host: he made a good bit of news this week. here is "the hill" story, about the muslim brotherhood and the aideo secretary of state hillary clinton, huma abedin.
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"attacks on michele bachmann over abedin letter are baloney." guest: i am not making allegations about any one person. the five members of congress, whom i called the national security 5, wrote letters to the departments of state, homeland security, etc., and said that we want an assessment of the influence of the muslim brotherhood in your department. i think that is totally appropriate. i think the muslim brotherhood is a very dangerous organization. tony blair was just quoted last week as saying that one of the things he has concluded is that since 9/11, we have greatly underestimated the desire of radical islamists to achieve supremacy, not toleration, and he went on to say that the west is asleep. i think that these letters were an


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